CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- In 2008, law enforcement officers busted more meth labs in Tennessee than all but two other states, Missouri and Indiana.
Today, the state's top meth busters met in Crossville to compare notes, take, and share challenges.
So what's prompting the increase in methamphetamine making?
Would you believe more organized meth manufacturers?
Police say state laws have restricted purchase of supplies, and they're more aggressive on the streets.
Still, cookers are finding ways to get around the roadblocks forcing the police to get smarter too.
When meth task force members find a lab they put on protective suits and what they find inside a home cooking meth can be very disturbing.
"Worst thing about it is they've got little children in there a lot of times that you see that," says Major Mark Rosser with the Crossville Police Department.
Nearly 1,500 labs were found in Tennessee in 2005 but stricter laws cut that number in half.
But now, there's a new trend.
"It is true that we ended 2008 with a 40-percent increase in lab seizures in the state of Tennessee," says Tommy Farmer, Director of Tennessee's Meth Task Force.
Laws passed in 2006 prevent numerous purchases of pseudoephedrine.
But, Farmer says meth cookers are getting more organized to get around that.
"There's a whole new cottage industry of individuals that are doing nothing but going from pharmacy to pharmacy purchasing the legal limits of the precursors, pseudoephedrine ephedrine," says Farmer.
And they're finding new ways of making meth.
Farmer says, "What we're seeing now is a single one pot method. It's called a Shake and Bake one pot method of production."
Farmer says it's extremely dangerous and they're seeing more people show up at hospitals with burns because of it.
But the fight is getting stronger too with better intelligence.
Farmer says, "The community is definitely engaged. We're definitely getting more tips to law enforcement about those labs that are out there."
And stiffer sentences, thanks to federal prosecutions..
"A lot of serious methamphetamine cases are taken to federal court for that very reason so that these people can get substantial penalties," says Russ Dedrick, U.S. Attorney for Tennessee's Eastern District.
While ground may have been lost in recent years, the effort continues.
"We're going to keep the fight. We have no choice," says Farmer.
Some good news.
With all the talk about budget cuts from the state, funding the fight is not that big a concern.
Farmer says much of their funding comes from Washington where they've continually gotten very good support.