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Meth use on the rise in Kanawha County

The Metro Drug Unit's commander says they have seized more meth than heroin this year. (WCHS/WVAH)

Charleston police said crystal metamphetamine is on the rise with the Metro Drug Unit seizing more than 26 pounds of it in Kanawha County just in the last six months.

Michael Haston said his once quiet Kanawha City neighborhood has changed.

"We don't let them in the front yard without us here, it really is frustrating," Haston said. "There is a picnic table right over there, and it was about two weeks ago my wife and I were upstairs we actually watched a man and woman sit at the picnic table get high and then they started fistfighting, what do we do about it?"

People he has never seen seem to be showing up more and more.

"We call the law but by the time the law comes they already had their bags picked up and they were gone," Haston said.

Haston said he is not shocked at the news that meth use is back on the rise given what he sees from his window.

"Why would it be a surprise that another drug is making a comeback? They can't stop it. There is too much of it," Haston said.

Metro Drug Unit Commander Sgt. J.C. Powell said they have seized more meth than heroin this year.

"Over the past four to five years, there's been an increase of crystal meth and a decrease of heroin, and it continues to follow that trend to this point," Powell said.

Powell showed Eyewitness News meth shards seized valued at $700. Meth is being frequently found across Kanawha and Putnam counties.

"We haven't seen this large of quantities in the past," Powell said.

But unlike the past, where meth labs were a common find in West Virginia, Powell said it's now being funneled in from larger cities.

Police don't know precisely why meth is making a comeback but said it affects the central nervous system, causing a person to be more hyper. The drug can be smoked, snorted or injected.

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