RAVENNA: Methamphetamine is making a comeback.

Instead of being cooked and sold by amateur backyard chemists as it once was, the majority of what is being seized has a new origin: South of the border, as cheap, high-quality Mexican meth is what is being smuggled into the U.S., according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and local authorities.

“The crystal meth is all coming out of Mexico” and it’s pure, said Maj. Larry Limbert, commander of the Portage County Drug Task Force.

The powerful and dangerous stimulant is manufactured in bulk and distributed all over the country, and is showing up during arrests and autopsies. In March of this year, the Portage County Coroner’s Office said it was seeing increasing amounts of meth in fatal overdose cases.

The amount of meth seized in Portage County has increased over the past five years, while the number of small, clandestine meth labs seized in the county has steadily dropped.

“I don’t know if we’ve had a meth lab this year,” Limbert said. “I think last year, we had eight.”

In 2016, the Portage County Sheriff’s Office and the drug task force seized a total of 3,814 grams — about 8.4 pounds — of meth worth an estimated $305,000. A total of 48 meth labs were taken down, according to Sheriff David Doak’s 2016 annual report.

At least 211 meth labs were seized and dismantled in Portage County in 2015, Doak reported.

Deputies also seized and dismantled 217 meth labs in 2014, and seized nearly 4 pounds of the drug. That’s two-and-a-half times as many as in each of the previous two years, as agents seized 87 labs in 2013 and 87 labs in 2012.

Within a span of three years, “we went from 200 (labs) to nearly nothing,” Limbert said, as Mexican cartels turned their attention from large marijuana grows to industrial meth labs.

Meth’s primary effects include a high lasting up to 12 hours, and some heroin or opioid users reportedly are now using meth as a stimulant to combat the effects of withdrawal.

Side-effects of using meth include increased anxiety, violent behavior, insomnia, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions and mood disturbances. Users can suffer from anorexia and decreased appetite, high blood pressure, overheating and severe dental problems.

A further sign that addicts and their dealers are moving away from heroin? Limbert said his agents are buying and seizing more cocaine, as well.

“What is through the roof is crystal meth and cocaine,” he said.