WASTE WATCH: The War on Meth is Costing You Money - Meagan O'Halloran
Updated: Wednesday, February 19 2014, 11:16 PM CST
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Tennessee is one of the top meth-making states in the
country and your wallet is taking a hit because of it. We're keeping an eye on
where your tax- money is going and we thought you should know you're paying big
bucks to clean up after meth addicts. We're talking millions of dollars. It's
becoming so much of a problem it made the state's quarterly expense report.
Methamphetamine. It's a highly addictive drug and the
dangers go beyond those who use it.
"It's so sad. That our children have to suffer; These
children are raised as slaves in these houses. A lot of these children are
sexually abused and physically abused. Some of them are even killed" said
Winchester Police Chief Dennis Young.
A lot of the survivors end up in state custody. Between
January 2010 and September 2013, the Department of Children Services rescued
1,305 kids from meth homes. It cost almost $23,000 to take care of each child.
In a little more than three and a half years it added up to a whopping $30
million dollars of your tax money.
"Meth and prescription drug abuse is putting an
enormous strain on the public child welfare system in the state" said Rob
Johnson, Department of Children's Services Spokesman.
After meth lab explosions many users and innocent children
end up in the hospital with burns all over their body. The majority of them
can't pay for treatments. It's racking up more than a million dollars in unpaid
medical bills. Inside the Franklin County Jail, 70% of inmates are behind bars
on meth-related charges. It's costing us $59 a day per inmate.
"The solution is simple and that's what we're
advocating; put pseudoephedrine, the pill, as a prescription drug" said
Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller.
Pseudoephedrine is a main ingredient in meth. You can't get
it without a prescription in Winchester and several other cities in the state.
Some lawmakers are pushing to get a similar bill passed statewide. It's a law
that's already on the books in Mississippi and Oregon .