War on Meth - Focus on Cold Medicines

(Oklahoma City-AP) - A bill passed Tuesday by a state House committee would make it tougher to buy pseudoephedrine.

The bill is aimed at curbing methamphetamine use in the state. Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant common in cold tablets, but it's also the main ingredient in methamphetamine. The bill would require customers to show photo ID and a signature before they could buy medicine containing pseudoephedrine.

It would also make the decongestant a regulated substance that could only be sold by a licensed pharmacist. And it would limit the amount of pseudoephedrine a person could have at one time to nine grams, or about 10 boxes.

The bill is being named after a highway patrol trooper killed while checking on a car believed to contain a mobile meth lab.

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Fast Facts About Meth

  • Methamphetamine use among high school seniors more than doubled between 1990 and 1996.

  • Women are more likely to use meth than cocaine.

  • The average meth "cook" annually teaches ten others how to make meth.

  • Every pound of meth produced leaves behind five to six pounds of toxic waste.

  • Seizures of clandestine meth labs in the Midwest increased tenfold from 1995 to 1997.

  • Methamphetamine accounts for up to 90 percent of all drug cases in many Midwest communities.

  • Methamphetamine kills by causing heart failure, brain damage and stroke.

  • Methamphetamine-induced paranoia has led to numerous murders and suicides.

  • Methamphetamine produces hallucinations.

  • Meth users are the hardest to treat of all drug users.

  • Meth lab site cleanups can cost up to $150,000.

  • Methamphetamine is highly addictive.

  • Meth use increases risk of child abuse and neglect and domestic violence.

Many people may be unaware that they're living near a meth lab. Here are some things to look for:

  • Unusual, strong odors (like cat urine, ether, ammonia, acetone or other chemicals).
  • Residences with windows blacked out.
  • Renters who pay their landlords in cash. (Most drug dealers trade exclusively in cash.)
  • Lots of traffic - people coming and going at unusual times.
  • There may be little traffic during the day, but at night the activity increases dramatically.
  • Excessive trash including large amounts of items such as: antifreeze containers, lantern fuel cans, red chemically stained coffee filters, drain cleaner and duct tape.
  • Unusual amounts of clear glass containers being brought into the home.

Presence of the following items could indicate the existence of a meth lab:

  • Alcohol
  • Ether
  • Benzene
  • Toluene/Paint Thinner
  • Freon
  • Acetone
  • Chloroform
  • Camp Stove Fuel/Coleman Fuel
  • Starting Fluid
  • Anhydrous Ammonia
    "Heet"
  • White Gasoline
  • Phenyl-2-Propane
  • Phenylacetone
  • Phenylpropanolamine
  • odine Crystals
  • Red Phosphorous
  • Black Iodine
  • Lye (Red Devil Lye)
  • Muriatic/Hydrochloric Acid
  • Battery Acid/Sulfuric Acid
  • Epsom Salts
  • Batteries/Lithium
  • Sodium Metal
  • Wooden Matches
  • Propane Cylinders
  • Hot Plates
  • Ephedrine (over-the-counter)
  • Cold Tablets
  • Bronchodialators
  • Energy Boosters
  • Rock Salt
  • Diet Aids

Source: www.kci.org [Koch Crime Institute]


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