The ease of producing methamphetamine has helped spread meth through
Illinois like a flu virus. One meth cook tells five people how to make
it and they each tell five people - and the problem grows. Illinois
State Police figures show that meth use continues to expand in
Illinois, although the pattern is not consistent statewide. While the
number of lab seizures has leveled off in some Illinois counties, the
totals are still increasing in others.
In central Illinois, the number of methamphetamine labs seized in
Macoupin County jumped from six in 2000 to 19 in 2001. Morgan and
Greene counties reported their first cases of seized meth labs in
2001. On the other hand, in Adams County, where meth apparently first
entered Illinois, there was a decrease from 31 cases in 2000 to 19 in
2001. Christian County saw a drop from 17 to eight labs. Six labs were
seized in Sangamon County in 2000 and five in 2001. Montgomery County
broke up 29 labs in 2001, up from five the previous year.
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Brandee Sanders, who grew up in Pana, describes her childhood as
normal - until she was 13.
"Around 13 is when I started getting into drugs - marijuana, smoking
it out of a soda pop can."
Sanders is participating in a court-ordered rehabilitation program at
the Triangle Center in Springfield.
The 19-year-old gets to see her two children for only a few hours at a
time as they are in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children
and Family Services. At a time when most people her age are enjoying
the fruits of youth, Sanders' day consists of meetings, chores and
group therapy, all because she became addicted to methamphetamine.
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