A new kind of methamphetamine that has wreaked havoc in Hawaii has come to Iowa as domestic supplies of meth have dried up, state narcotics officials say.
The smokable, crystallized form of methamphetamine, known as ice, is being seen in increasing amounts in many states, from Arizona, the Dakotas, Texas and Florida, said Ken Carter, head of the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.
"I'm afraid the ice age has come," he said.
Many meth users are turning to ice after the federal and state government clamped down on homemade meth production, Carter said.
Last year, 5,900 adults and almost 300 youths in Iowa sought treatment for meth addiction. For the estimated thousands that still use, ice may replace the less-pure powdered meth that has been shipped into the state but also the anhydrous ammonia-based meth that is made in clandestine labs.
"Over half, if not 60 percent, of the cases we have right now are ice cases," said Sandy Stoltenow, a chemist and supervisor at the state crime laboratory in Des Moines. "Addicts are not using less. If they have the addiction, they will do anything to feed their habit, and that has created this new market."