Meth use in Wisconsin nearly tripled over last 4 years, according to study

MADISON, Wis. - A statewide study on methamphetamine has found that use of the illicit drug in Wisconsin has likely expanded between 250 to 300 percent from 2011 to 2015.

According to the year-and-a-half-long study, while heroin use continues to remain a focus for law enforcement and treatment services, meth has quietly come on par with heroin in terms of number of cases, arrests and charges.

"The rise of methamphetamine use in Wisconsin is troubling. The FBI is committed to working with Wisconsin DOJ and other local and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the state to rid our communities of this harmful drug,"  Special Agent in Charge Justin Tolomeo of the Milwaukee Division of the FBI said in a news release.

The FBI and DOJ say meth use is mostly concentrated in western Wisconsin and rural areas.

Rural areas are likely more ill-equipped to handle the rising meth use and do not have the necessary resources to mitigate the problem.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Wisconsin meth is produced in Mexico and trafficked to the state via California or Minnesota.
  • High availability of methamphetamine across Wisconsin has led to the price being relatively low cost.
  • Methamphetamine use is highest in Northwestern Wisconsin, but in the past five years has expanded south and east.
  • Between 2011 and 2015, meth related cases submitted to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab increased 349 percent. Heroin-related cases rose 97 percent in that same period.

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