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On the same day North Carolina's Attorney General Roy Cooper announced new statistics for meth lab busts, a local counselor told WBTV it's not enough to fix the problem.
Meth lab busts in NC in 2012 are up 34% from 2011. Law enforcement officers have taken down 466 labs across the state. Burke and Caldwell Counties have some of the highest numbers in the state with 24 and 26 labs found last year. And deputies are finding more labs near Charlotte, with three in Mecklenburg county, and more in surrounding counties.
WBTV talked to an addiction counselor at New Beginnings in Gastonia. Eugene Kaplan told us the problem is not going away any time soon.
"It's such a powerful drug. And it's so hard to get off of, and it does so much damage," said Kaplan, referring to the powerfully addictive drug Meth.
Kaplan says the key is treating the addiction that fuels the use of Meth. Private treatment programs can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and some state programs have a waiting list weeks long, which doesn't typically work for addicts who choose to go into treatment. "If they don't go now, they don't go," said Kaplan.
Kaplan says the state needs more money to fund treatment centers and to provide more staff to help addicts cut through the red tape he says often hinders treatment.
"If somebody gets diagnosed with lung cancer and they don't get treatment, what are their chances? If somebody gets diagnosed with an addiction and they don't get treatment what's their chances of living?" said Kaplan.
To read the complete release from the North Carolina Attorney General, click here.