Northeast Wisconsin has a drug problem. We're not talking about heroin or marijuana. Those drugs are on the radar.
FOX 11 Investigates has found another drug is quickly gaining ground and destroying lives.
The drug is meth. (Watch Video Here)
"Meth was something I got into for probably eight months," said Anthony Alvarado. He says he battled addiction for 10 years. While cocaine was his drug of choice, he says meth was very similar.
"It drove me crazy," he said. "It absolutely drove me crazy because there was a lack of sleep. There was a lack of health. I wasn't eating properly. I wasn't going to work. I was becoming depressed. I was on the verge of pulling my hair out. You know, being on a binge for four or five days at a time. I mean, think about you not being able to sleep for a week."
Meth has been around for 100 years so it's nothing new. What is new is how common it has become in Northeast Wisconsin.
"It is right up there with heroin. It is highly addictive," said Lt. Dave Poteat from the Brown County Drug Task Force.
He says in the last five years, meth has exploded onto the scene.
In the 2011, the Drug Task Force seized 9.03 grams of meth. In the first five months of this year, agents seized 730.54 grams.
It's not just Brown County.
"The methamphetamine issue has sort of flown under the heroin radar," said Brad Dunlap, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Lake Winnebago Area MEG unit.
He noticed a rise in meth back in 2010. That year, agents busted one meth lab in his four-county region. Just four years later, there were 20 meth labs busted ---- half of all the meth labs busted in the entire state.