Dr. Michael Smock, director of the Mercy Burn Center in Creve Coeur, Mo., made a frightening admission Friday that one in every four victims in his burn unit are there due to methamphetamine production. The problem has "become more common over the last few years," he told KSDK.
* Producing meth can cause burns to the hands, arm and face. Smock believes many of the burn victims get that way from new methods of cooking meth, including a "one pot" method or "shake and bake" method.
* Some of the victims aren't even the ones making the illegal drugs. The director said innocent bystanders often get burned.
* Meth production can lead to explosions, which is why a recent incident south of St. Louis caused a Wal-Mart Supercenter to be evacuated. KMOV reports a woman suspected of shoplifting had a plastic bottle inside her purse Thursday.
* The mixture started bubbling after store security put her in a loss prevention room. KSDK states it was a 20-ounce soda bottle that was cooking meth while the woman was waiting for police.
*Smock noted in states where lawmakers require a prescription for pseudoephedrine, meth labs have decreased. Requiring a prescription for certain cold medications is one solution that has been presented to the Missouri General Assembly.
* Missouri led the nation in 2011 with 2,096 meth lab busts. That figure comes out to nearly six meth lab seizures per day.
* Missouri leads the way again this year. The Show-Me state has 194 meth busts through January, the last month for which statistics are available. Oklahoma was second with 96.
William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.