A follow-up detail to add context to the story about the East Tennessee sheriff and community praying against meth: A new report says that nationwide, the number of meth users decreased by about half in the last four years.
Meth use -- so often called "epidemic" -- appears to be on the wane.
In 2010, according to The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there were 353,000 meth users. This is down from 2006, when 731,000 were reportedly using meth (via).
The report comes as federal funds for anti-meth efforts have been drastically cut. DEA money available to state enforcement efforts went from $20 million to $8.3 this year. In Tennessee, meth lab busts also decreased by half, a decrease that has been attributed to the lack of funds, but which is also exactly the same size as the reported decrease in meth use.
Those decrying the cuts said it was a retreat in the war on meth.
The decrease in funding was part of the backdrop of the story about the anti-drug prayer meetings, which made news when the sheriff attributed a "600 percent increase" in busts to the public prayers.
The local paper reported meth lab raids and arrests in April, June, July and August. The 600 percent referred to 21 of those.
I can't find any information about more prayer meetings in Scott County Tennessee, other than the state paper's note from a while back that ministers "say more will be scheduled if they feel God is calling them to do so."