Meth Cases Skyrocket In Trempealeau County Over Past Four Years

Meth related cases in Trempealeau County have skyrocketed over the past four years.  Fox 25/48's Zach Prelutsky reports on why the DA says they cannot arrest and prosecute their way out of the problem.

 

Back when Taavi McMahon became Trempealeau County district attorney in 2012, meth cases were few and far between.

 

"When I came in 2012 and 2013 I had a combined one case."

 

Fast forward four years and McMahon estimates that by the end of this year he will have worked on close to 100 meth related cases.

 

While there is no rhyme or reason why these cases have seen such a dramatic increase, McMahon says there are ways to potentially solve the issue.

 

"One of the biggest impediments to resolving this problem is treatment.  And treatment accessibility and options and we are sorely lacking with those centers where people can go to get treatment for their addiction."

 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the most effected treatment for meth addicts are behavioral therapies and contingency-management interventions.

 

But McMahon says that getting treatment through the Department of Corrections has some strings attached.

 

"Ss of now, a person has to be charged with a felony before they can be put into treatment through the Department of Corrections."

 

And that could put people behind if they are trying to rebuild their life free of drugs.

 

"I know that somebody with a felony, when they come out of their probationary term is gonna have a harder time finding a job and getting back into being a productive member of society and I think that's where the system needs to re-look at how we prosecute and arrest these types of crimes."

 

And these are not problems only faced in Trempealeau County.

 

According to a study done by the FBI, Eau Claire County saw meth-related arrests increase over 500% between 2011 and 2015.

 

McMahon says he believes it is time to look at this now as a public health crisis.

 

In Whitehall, Zach Prelutsky, Fox 25/48 First News at Nine.


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