Police went to an apartment house on Route 11 in Mooers Forks Monday, looking to arrest three individuals on outstanding warrants. But police found a surprise cooking inside-- a meth lab.
"Most meth labs are discovered by police stumbling across them while looking for something else," said Doug Collyer, the assistant district attorney for Clinton County.
Police arrested all five people inside the home.
This was the fourth meth lab discovered in Clinton County since mid-July. Eleven arrests have been made. Prosecutors say the cases are not connected.
"It was just a matter of time," Collyer said. "All it takes is someone with the know-how from another area of the country. And like I said it spreads like a virus, they teach one person, that person teaches five people, those five people teach five each and now you have it spreading through the community."
Meth labs have slowly been making their way to our region from out west. In 2011, 45 meth labs were discovered in New York. As of Aug. 1, the number of meth labs cooking in the Empire State was already at 84. Prosecutors in our region say the labs they found were not sophisticated.
"Now that they are here we are knocking them down as fast as we can. They are very easy to develop, they don't have to be homes, they can be in cars which makes them that much more difficult to catch," Collyer said.
"It isn't the same as alcohol or pot; it really envelopes a person's life," Patrick Monette said.
Monette is a counselor at Clinton County Addiction Services. He says the main reason people use the powerful drug is for the high it provides-- sometimes lasting for 12 hours. But others cook it to make a profit, as the ingredients are cheap and easy to obtain.
"Meth is so scary because it is so addictive, it just absorbs the person's life and their thought and it just takes over their life so quickly than other drugs we have seen," Monette said.
And the side effects are dangerous. The drug rips people apart physically, creating extreme weight loss and tooth decay. Meth also causes people to become emotionally and mentally unstable.
"One of the things we have seen is it creates incredible paranoia, even after you stop using it, the paranoia continues after and it really throws your mental stability and emotional stability out the window," Monette said.
A drug slowly destroying lives and usually quiet communities in the North Country.
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