Boone County had the state's second sharpest spike in meth lab busts -- just one lab in 2012, and 17 last year.
In Lincoln, Fayette, Logan, Lewis and Jackson counties, meth lab busts jumped five-fold, while lab seizures quadrupled in Upshur County and doubled in Randolph County.
Meth lab discoveries declined in eight of West Virginia's 55 counties. Grant, Roane and Mason counties had the most significant drops.
On Tuesday, the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee advanced a bill designed to reduce meth labs across the state. The legislation (SB6) requires people to secure a doctor's prescription before buying most cold medications containing pseudoephedrine, a key meth-making ingredient.
Pharmacies now keep the nasal decongestant -- sold under brand names such as Sudafed and Allegra D -- behind the counter, and customers must show a photo ID to buy it.
The bill exempts "tamper-resistant" pseudoephedrine products, including Nexafed and Zephrex-D, which can't easily be converted to meth.
Azinger, who said he plans to vote for the prescription bill if it makes it to the House, said the measure would help law enforcement stamp out the meth lab problem. Wood County's sheriff and Parkersburg's police chief have supported making most pseudoephedrine products prescription-only.
"We ask the police to come out and protect us," Azinger said, "so if we ask them to do that, we ought to give them every advantage to cut down on this stuff."
The legislation next goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.