STATEHOUSE (Aug. 15, 2017) – New data released by the Indiana State Police indicates a 58 percent decline in statewide methamphetamine lab seizures so far this year, according to State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn).
Indiana State Police reports 254 meth lab busts occurred from January through June, representing a 58 percent drop from the 605 incidents during the same period in 2016. In addition, the number of children removed from meth lab environments went down nearly 68 percent from 108 to 35 cases.
“Because of the hard work of law enforcement and pharmacy staff in combination with statewide meth reforms, Indiana has seen a significant drop in meth lab busts,” Smaltz said. “Since taking office, one of my top priorities has been to curb meth production in Indiana while working to reduce the number of Hoosier children exposed to meth labs to zero. As these numbers continue to go down year after year, I’m confident that we are on our way toward achieving those goals.”
Meth labs are dangerous to innocent children and unsuspecting neighbors because they leave behind toxic contamination and can easily catch fire or explode. Meth lab accidents often cause costly injuries to meth cooks and first responders. Over the past two years, child removals from Indiana meth labs declined approximately 81 percent. Smaltz said more children were removed from meth labs during a single month in 2015 than the first half of 2017.
"Although these statistics are very encouraging, we cannot relax our efforts in combating other illegal drugs or helping addicted Hoosiers get the treatment they need to return as contributing members of society,” Smaltz said.
During the 2016 session, Smaltz sponsored a law to combat Indiana’s growing number of meth labs. Smaltz said the law makes purchasing large amounts of pseudoephedrine, a common decongestant as well as key ingredient used to manufacture meth, more difficult for criminal networks and meth cooks. The law also empowers local pharmacists to use their professional judgment to ensure law-abiding consumers maintain legitimate access to these cold medications.
State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) represents House District 52, which includes
all of DeKalb County and portions of Steuben and Allen counties.
A high-resolution photo of Smaltz can be downloaded by clicking here.