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State Crime Lab Experiencing 9-Month Backlog

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- The Arkansas State Crime Lab is experiencing a nine-month backlog on processing drug cases. 

It's a historic high for the laboratory with about 11,000 cases just waiting to be tested. 

Executive Director Kermit Channel says illegal drugs and prescription drugs are not just an epidemic in Arkansas, but across the United States. 

In 2013, the turn-around time only took 15 to 30 days, now it takes months. 

The crime lab recently had to hire four new chemists to help put a dent in the backlog, and hopefully improve turn-around times. 

"We don't want to sacrifice the quality of our work, to try to push out more cases," says Channell. 

Channell says this backlog is not projected to improve anytime soon, as drugs continue to be a problem. 

The lab expects another seven percent increase in their workload this year alone. 

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