CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's methamphetamine lab problem is spreading into more counties across the state.
Last year, authorities seized meth labs in a dozen counties that had no meth labs in 2012, according to West Virginia State Police data released Wednesday.
"The overall numbers are increasing and the areas affected are expanding," said Dan Foster, a Charleston doctor who headed a Kanawha County substance-abuse task force last fall. "It's no longer a problem limited to one or two parts of the state."
Several counties had significant increases in meth lab busts last year.
In 2012, authorities reported no meth lab busts in Greenbrier County. Last year, officers seized 19 clandestine labs in there.
"The seemed to all come in a flurry," said Lewisburg Mayor John Manchester, adding that many of the meth lab busts were in unincorporated parts of Greenbrier County. "The increase has really drawn a lot of attention to the problem in this area."
In Wood County, meth lab seizures increased six-fold, from six labs in 2012 to 36 labs last year, according to State Police statistics.
"Meth is tearing up our county," said Delegate Tom Azinger, R-Wood. "We're really concerned."
State and local officials have cited stepped-up law enforcement and the proliferation of "one-pot" or "shake and bake" meth labs as possible reasons for the spike. Statewide, meth lab seizures increased from 287 labs in 2012 to 533 labs last year.
Kanawha County's meth lab numbers increased from 96 labs to 159, a 65 percent increase. Putnam County's total rose from 15 labs to 28.