Meth's hidden cost is high -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Meth's hidden cost is high

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An economic study estimates that illegal methamphetamine use costs Georgia one point three billion dollars each year, and the state Attorney General says the cost is crippling Georgia.

Albany Dougherty drug agents say the meth problems in South Georgia are not as serious as around the Atlanta, Dalton, and Gainesville areas.

but they have discovered several meth labs in recent months. And Drug Agents say they know the costs to tax payers to clean up those meth labs, and the court, jail, and hospital fees for addicts is enormous.

The Attorney General is urging Georgians to take a stand against meth.

"Anything that helps to battle the problem is a good thing," said Investigator Victor Camp of the Albany Dougherty Drug Unit. "And we do have citizens who call and say hey, I live over here and we smell this funny odor."

Attorney General Thurbert Baker is establishing the Georgia Meth Project to reduce the growing number of users of the drug. In 2007 32 percent of the federal drug offenses in Georgia involved meth, and officials say the rapid increase in those crimes are pushing the justice system to the breaking point.