Meth Becoming More And More The Drug Of Choice

The powders Biloxi Police investigator John Miller shows us all look different, varying in color. But they're the same drug, methamphetamine.

Miller said, "It's just different methods of cookin' it, different ingredients that they use that's why you have the different colors. Some of it's damp and wet, some is real dry, some is in rock form."

Meth addicts smoke, snort, ingest and shoot up the drug. And those who make it don't limit themselves to secluded areas.

Bureau of Narcotics agent Dwayne Brewer said, "It used to be it was all in the rural area where they tried to stay hid and reduce the amount of complaints but now it's comin' out in the cities and in apartments around our neighborhoods."

Brewer said meth is also becoming as much a drug of choice as marijuana and cocaine.

"Crack cocaine is still common and we still see it, still make buys from it but the meth seems to be the epidemic level that crack cocaine used to be at," he said.

Miller said he thinks the tighter security after September 11 has a lot to do with that.

"People started lookin' for homegrown dope and this is methamphetamine. You can make it at home, you don't have to go to Columbia, you don't have to have a hidden area to grow weed," said Miller.

Still, officers say they think they're doing a good job busting those who make and sell meth.

"And proof of that is all the arrests you've seen lately. There's somebody arrested every other day for meth somewhere on the Coast," said Miller.

Numbers for Harrison County are unavailable.  Jackson County narcotics officers said since January of this year, they've arrested 109 people on meth charges. And in Hancock County, agents saidinstead of the actual meth labs, they often find the ingredients made to make meth at sites where labs used to be.