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One in every twelve kids in Greene County between 6th and 12th grades is misusing prescription drugs—that’s according to the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s Behavioral Health Profile. And take a guess at the average age for taking that first sip of alcohol: here in Greene County, it’s 13 years old.

All this week, we’re looking at what substance abuse means for our region. 

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is again calling on requiring a prescription for certain cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in making methamphetamine. KSMU’s Scott Harvey reports.

Speaking Monday before the Missouri Sheriff’s Association, which is holding their summer training conference this week in Springfield, Koster said that “continued inaction is allowing for a flourishing meth trade in this state.”

In this segment of KSMU's series on methamphetamine, Michele Skalicky talks with a recovered meth addict about her experience and how she finally sought help.

Julie is 33 years old and started doing meth as a teenager

Julie says it was curiosity that lead her to try meth. She was also dealing with several issues, she says, and anything rebellious appealed to her.

Julie used meth off and on until she was about 18—that's when she began using on a regular basis

Julie says she felt betrayed and abandoned by her family...

In this segment of KSMU's series on methamphetamine, Michele Skalicky reports on how meth affects children.

sound of hospital equipment and babies crying

The innocent victims of methamphetamine are children--those who live in homes where meth is being manufactured and used and those who are yet to be born...

On a recent visit to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. John's a 2-day-old baby lay in his isolet, his future uncertain.

He was born to a mom who tested positive for meth.

Methamphetamine is still a significant problem in Southwest Missouri even though the number of mom and pop meth labs has dropped sharply. Michele Skalicky reports.

Methamphetamine production used to be a huge problem in the Ozarks. In 2004, 2788 meth labs were seized in Missouri, making the state the number one state for lab seizures.