Meth Use Spreads in the Northland

By KBJR News 1

March 21, 2013 Updated Mar 21, 2013 at 6:04 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.COM)

An Ironwood meth lab was just discovered, but the Northland meth problem is no new issue.

The sale and use of methanfedamines is widespread throughout the Northland region.

"It appears that there has been some type of increase in the last ten years in the number of drug cases especially meth...we had more drug cases last year than we had alcohol cases," says Judge Tingstad Jr.

Authorities say the Northland was one of the first places in the country to see wide use of the drug methcathinone.

"It was very popular with women because you didn't eat when you were using it and it was like a super diet pill...and then that type of stuff disappeared and this started popping up," Tingstad informs.

It hard economic times the lucrative drug business provides quick cash opportunities making it harder and harder to fight.

"We're rather a depressed area. Sometimes money and income are hard to come by in jobs. Unfortunately it's a rather easy process and it can be highly addictive and lucrative," says Lt. Mike Rimkus.

"Because there a lot of money in drugs. And if I'm not a doctor, or actor or singer I might as well sell the drugs because I can make more money than I could make working locally," says TIngstad.

The twin ports area has not seen a significant increase or decrease as people continue to smuggle in drugs from over the border.

"9 times out of ten it's considered to have come from Mexico or California and produced there," says Lt. Steve Stracek of Duluth PD.

The Duluth Police Department will continue combat meth in the area and work to prevent more addictions from forming.

"We try and stay ahead of the trends by finding creative ways to catch the bad guys and hold them accountable," adds Stracek.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware
gware@kbjr.com