2005 Jordan Institute
10, No. 2
Maps of Meth Labs in North Carolina
Meth lab seizures in North Carolina increased almost twenty-fold in the last four years (NCDOJ, 2004). In 2000, 16 meth labs were found; in 2004 there were 322 (Shaw, 2004). North Carolina is doing what it can to combat this trend because it can get much worse: some states seize more than 2,000 meth labs a year.
Rural communities are particularly at risk. Teens aged 12 to 14 who live in smaller towns are 104% more likely to use meth than those who live in larger cities (DEA, 2005). Meth “cooks” often site their labs in rural areas to hide the odors produced during manufacture (KCI, 2005).
The trend is for labs to spread from rural to suburban to urban areas. Relatively few labs have been found in larger cities such as Charlotte and Raleigh, but they are becoming more common in small towns in western and eastern North Carolina (Shaw, 2004).
To view maps illustrating the growing number of meth labs seized in North Carolina, as well as their spread from west to east, click here.