Local law enforcement officials say there's been a huge spike in the number of people who are being jailed because of meth.
On an average day, the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Office says more than 40 people are sitting in jail on meth related charges. In 2011, that number hovered around 4 or 5.
Captain Joel Brettingen told News 18 that 20% of the space in the jail is taken up by people who were caught with meth, or were trying to sell it. That's not accounting for the people there because of meth related crimes, like theft or child neglect.
Though Captain Brettingen said it's not just about a space crunch; dealing with meth related arrests takes up a lot more time than it used to.
"Our staff is already stressed with the normal day to day duties, with doing their rounds, serving meals, court, bookings and all that other stuff," he said. "So when somebody comes in and ... instead of a 20 minute booking, it's now an hour, hour and a half booking, that takes up a lot of time and energy for our staff."
That why officials have put together a 'More Than Meth' forum for National Meth Awareness Day. They're hoping the discussion will help people understand just how big of an effect meth has on our community and how you can help stop the spread.
It's set for Wednesday, November 30th at Chippewa Valley Technical College. It will be held in the CVTC Business Education Center, in room 103A and 103B. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the forum is set to begin at 6:30.