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Meth Production Decreases In State

The Alabama Drug Task Force is seeing reduction of meth production due to the new laws passed in 2012 limiting the amount of pseudoephedrine (PSE) an individual can buy. This allows law enforcement easier prosecution of meth producers.

Along with stopping the production of meth at its earliest stages, Alabama’s comprehensive anti-meth bill includes features that established a drug offender database, enhanced drug paraphernalia laws to allow prosecution of intent even if PSE is absent, reduced the monthly allowable amount of PSE that any one person can purchase, established a felony charge for anyone convicted of being involved with smurfing, allowed for restitution of expenses incurred in prosecution of meth labs, and established crime of smurfing as a felony charge in the state of Alabama.

The anti-meth laws passed by the Alabama Legislature have become known as some of the nation’s toughest.

Data collected indicates that in only two short years anti-meth laws are helping to prevent the production and use of meth around the state with much success. Butler County has seen the effects of the laws. The Alabama Drug Task Force reports that in 2013 159 boxes of PSE were blocked in Butler County. 387 grams of PSE were kept from potential use in meth production with these blockages. In the first seven months of 2014, 44,953 sales of PSE were blocked in Alabama, keeping more than 110,896 grams of PSE out of the manufacturing process of methamphetamines. This was reported by the National Association of Drug Diversion and Investigators (NADDI). The National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) system, used for all pharmacies in Alabama and most states in the country, caught those that should not be buying PSE. NPLEx restricts the sale of certain cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine electronically when someone tries to purchase the items.

Through enforcement of the new laws and the NPLEx system, Alabama law enforcement has seen a 78 percent decline in meth lab seizures. With the 15.59 percent decrease in the number of PSE boxes sold from 2013 to 2014 and a decrease of 12.95 percent by individual purchasers, taxpayer dollars are being saved on the costly cleanup of meth labs. The hazardous chemicals used in meth production can cause explosions in homes and severe burns to those around.

Many states nationwide have chosen to mimic the laws that Alabama has passed.

“Alabama is a model for states seeking to be tough on meth criminals while maintaining access to PSE for law abiding citizens,” said NADDI Executive Director Charles F. CiChon. “Alabama has reported a dramatic decrease in the number of meth lab incidents statewide.”

“The drug task forces from around the state have been so successful at reducing meth production in Alabama thanks to the support of pharmacists around the state,” said AJ Jongewaard with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “I’ve met with law enforcement officers from around the state, they are thrilled with the impact the NPLEx system and new laws have made. It is important that citizens understand these new laws and how they are helping their communities. Citizens need to know that smurfing, buying PSE for someone who intends to make meth, is now a felony.”