Meth Lab Busts Way Down

Making crystal methamphetamine is much harder than it used to be. Keeping the Sudafed behind bars is apparently keeping some would-be drug makers from going there.

Just ask pharmacist Kyle Null. Since state law required that drug, and drugs like it, with pseudo-ephedrine, to be sold behind the counter or in a locked glass case, he says it has prevented the wrong people from getting their hands on it.

"Some people didn't care, some did," said Null. "But that was maybe the ones we were looking out for anyway."

The ones they're looking out for are those who would use Sudafed to make the drug crystal methamphetamine, commonly called meth.

Before last year, the making of that drug was running rampant, but since the new law was passed, state officials say meth lab busts have gone down 75 percent.

In Lauderdale County, the change has been even more dramatic. In the year before the law was passed, 15 meth labs were busted. Since then, only one has been busted, and other meth-related crimes have also been on the decrease.

Local drug agents say they are pleased with the results, but know they haven't completely rid the community of meth.

"You have pseudo-ephedrine come over the border into the states," said agent Chris Swanner of the East Mississippi Drug Task Force. "People are still going to get it. It's just going to be harder."

And maybe eventually, impossible. Null says the making of medicines with pseudo-ephedrine could eventually disappear altogether.

"They have taken some decongestants off the market for different reasons a couple of years ago, so I could see that happening here, especially if sales are slow," Null said.

And without meth makers being able to buy them, that may be the direction sales of the drug are heading.


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