Crimetracker: Meth addicts find ways around tough laws

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Police say it's a cheap easy high that can be made with a few over the counter drugs and a plastic bottle and that's why more people are using meth.

A new report says that tougher laws designed to track purchases aren't helping curb the meth problem, in fact in some cases the problems getting worse.

Sheriff's deputies in Knox County say users are getting smarter about how to bypass restrictions, and that's why they say Knox County has become a target zone for people in surrounding counties.

"We are finding out that Knox County is a hub they're going store to store," said Martha Dooley, Spokesperson for the Knox County Sheriff's Office. "It's so easy to buy in Knox County because we do have so many pharmacies, practically one on every corner."

Last year Knox County says they found 15 labs, Blount County reports 20 busts. Deputies say users tend to work together to get the materials needed to get a high.

"We're finding out it's a pretty tight group. You may have a group over here that's involved in meth, but they may know of another group and this way we can tie all of them together and make more arrests that way," said Dooley.

At Cherokee Health Systems, Dr. Aaron Sayers deals with people addicted to drugs and alcohol daily. He says meth is a tough addiction to break, and the fact that it's easy to get keeps people going for more instead of getting help.

"I say it's a problem, it's difficult to get off alcohol or any drug," said Sayers. "There is hope that people can get better, so one of the things that we strongly believe in is the importance of people seeking treatment."

Sayers says the state should look at ways to make treatment easier for people to get too. He says it includes making facilities closer to patients and help cover the cost of treatment.

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