Meth use increases sharply in western Wisconsin

EAU CLAIRE (AP) — Western Wisconsin has seen a dramatic increase in methamphetamine use.

The Star Tribune reports the number of meth cases seen by the state's crime lab tripled from 2008 to 2014. The lab processed 920 meth cases in 2014, with most of them concentrated in the western part of the state.

Officials aren't sure what's behind the big jump in meth use. But they say the drugs come from Mexico and are picked up in the Twin Cities before heading to western Wisconsin. The drug scene in eastern Wisconsin is dominated by heroin from Chicago.

Governments have clamped down on meth in the past decade, passing laws to hinder homegrown production from pseudoephedrine. But more and purer meth has since come from Mexican cartels.

Eau Claire County has formed a committee to study meth use.