Drug patches on the rise in Turner County

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You've likely heard of an alcohol monitoring bracelet worn 24/7 on an offender's ankle -- but another monitor isn't as widely publicized, drug patches.

In Turner County, the sheriff says they're being used now more than ever.

Over the last six months in Turner County, there have been several meth arrests. In response to that, Sheriff Byron Nogelmeier has been issuing more drug patches.

It looks similar to a nicotine patch. But this patch detects meth, cocaine and marijuana use. Sheriff Nogelmeier says the patch has been around for a few years but hasn't been used as much as it should.

"The patch itself collects the sweat off of the individual that's wearing it and through your sweat you're releasing the controlled drugs or substances that's collected on the patch and then they check it," said Sheriff Nogelmeier.

The offender-paid program costs $40 per patch every two weeks. Sheriff Nogelmeier says it may sound like a lot but the cost doesn't compared to a life saved.

"If you're buying meth or if you're buying cocaine, or if you're buying marijuana there's a cost involved in that. You're just putting your money into staying clean and staying a good citizen in the county," said Sheriff Nogelmeier.

Joan Swenson with Tallgrass Recovery says addiction is a lifelong disease and the drug patch is one more tool to help in recovery.

"You have that accountability that says I can't use, I can't drink they're going to know if I do. And you clearly you don't want to use while you're on that because of course a lot of times you'll end up back in jail," said Swenson.

Sheriff Nogelmeier says he can't say what's attributed to the increased meth use.

"I don't know if people are just more watching, the good citizens of the county, and reporting things that are odd or mysterious that make people feel that there something going on at this house that you should know about," said Sheriff Nogelmeier.

He's not out to get people in trouble but rather possibly save a life the sheriff says.