MASON COUNTY — Meth is no longer contained in the rural corners of Mason County, this year it has literally been found on Main Street and feet away from an elementary school.
The Mason County Anti-Drug Coalition and Mason County Health Department will present an all day workshop and discussion called “Meth Labs and Effects on Our Community.” The event is from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Dec. 17 at Marshall University’s Mid-Ohio Valley Center.
The event’s itinerary is as follows: 9:30 a.m., registration and welcome; 10 a.m., Brandon Lewis, ERS II, clandestine drug laboratory remediation program coordination from the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health; 11:30 a.m., break and working lunch (meal provided); noon, PFC Jason Crane of the West Virginia State Police; 12:45 p.m., Greg Haddox of West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Child Protective Service; 1:15 p.m., Catherine Sayre of Prestera Center; 2 p.m., Rex Troy of Pleasant Valley Hospital.
Discussion will include everything about meth, such as what happens to a home when meth is found; what happens to children who are living in a home and exposed to the drug; what help is out there for addicts; how the drug is manufactured; how local agencies are responding to what is becoming a major public health issue, etc.
Back in September, out of 19 indictments handed down by a Mason County grand jury, nine of them had to do with alleged meth making activities. Meth busts seem to be a weekly occurrence in Mason County and are now popping up in unlikely neighborhoods - neighborhoods which have empty homes now condemned due to alleged meth making occurring inside the residence. Unless the owner cleans up the home or tears its down, these dwellings will likely sit empty.
Meth has exploded in Appalachia due to its relatively cheap manufacturing expenses - it’s made with everything from cold medicine to Coleman fuel. The new shake and bake method of making meth has also gained popularity due to its mobility and quicker manufacturing time. In this year alone, shake and bake meth labs have been found not only in homes but in a backpack and the trunk of a car in Mason County.
For those who wish to attend the upcoming event, RSVP to 304-675-3050 or Diana.L.Riddle@wv.gov by Dec. 14.