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Crystal Meth Use on the Rise In Iowa

WATERLOO, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- The popular show Breaking Bad took viewers inside the gritty world of crystal meth - Otherwise known as ice.

Lieutenant Corbin Payne and the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force say their huge October meth seize shows that world is making its way into Iowa.

Probably one of the largest that I'm aware of, especially for us, Payne said.

Payne says meth is sold by the gram, each gram weighing about as much as a paper clip. It that means the meth seized in October is equivalent to almost 7,000 paper clips.

Payne says there's been a shift in the meth trade. Their numbers show that production methods are changing.

Homemade meth cooks are becoming a thing of the past, and people are more aware of those - and the dangers of them.

Now, sellers and users are looking to this more pure form of the drug, much of it supplied by Mexico and made in large underground labs. The result is a stronger, more accessible high.

Somebody can meet you at somebody's house and just hand it over, you buy it instead of cooking at someone's house, Payne said.

Drug Counselors around the area are seeing the effects in patients.

The individual doesn't realize how powerful the ice is vs. something they made on their own, said Shirley Schneider with ASAC.

Schneider says this more pure meth may make their job more difficult.

The intensity of the high may make a person develop an addiction quicker, or it may result in overdose.

The drug enforcement agency says in 2012, they've seized more than 8,500 pounds of meth nationwide. Its the highest amount they have on record for any year.
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