Is Meth Use on the Rise in WNY?

April 12, 2013 Updated Apr 12, 2013 at 6:57 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

April 12, 2013 Updated Apr 12, 2013 at 6:57 PM EDT

LOCKPORT, NY (WKBW)- A deadly and highly-addictive drug is on the rise in Western New York. The 'Meth epidemic' sweeping the nation is starting to infiltrate our region. In Niagara County, police have already dismantled 5 suspected Meth Labs this year alone, compared to 3 last year and only one in 2011. Investigators say this is a battle well worth fighting.

"It's sad because this drug turns people into a former shell of what a person once was," said Niagara County Chief Deputy Steven Preisch. "It's a difficult thing for us to take care of because of the relative ease of making it."

Methamphetamine is a toxic and dangerous drug and considered one of the most addictive substances on the streets. In fact, the drug consists of countless toxic ingredients including common household items. Due to its volatile ingredients, it's extremely destructive to the human body and wrecks havoc on a person's central nervous system.

"It's a destructive drug causes observable physical damage and emotional damage on individuals who use it," said an Investigator with the Niagara County Drug Task Force who did not want to be identified.

Eyewitness News spoke to two undercover investigators with the Niagara County Drug Task Force who say these manufacturing sites are so dangerous and potentially explosive, many times they have to call in specialty teams just to enter the homes where these labs are found.

"Because of the volatile nature of these chemicals, I don't even go into the houses. It has to be cleared for me to even occupy the house," added the investigator.

Investigators say they will continue their fight against this deadly drug and will prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law.