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WV State University making serious effort to combat horrors of methamphetamine

April 23, 2018, Calli Norton, The State Journal 

Whether you’ve grown up in West Virginia, or you are new to the state, you’re probably familiar with the drug abuse struggles we’ve been plagued with for years. While the opioid crisis gets much of the news coverage, another drug has taken a steep toll on the Mountain State: Methamphetamine. Thankfully, we have dedicated legislators and law enforcement officers working with the retail and pharmacy communities across the state to combat this terrible drug’s production, and they’ve made real progress thus far.

The WVSU Student Government Association understands that an issue as serious as local meth production requires an all-hands-on-deck effort, which is why we’ve recently begun hanging posters around campus to educate our fellow students the dangers of meth and meth-related activities.

In the past, domestic meth production was a huge problem in our state, largely because criminals had easy access to the precursor ingredients they needed, such as pseudoephedrine. Meth cooks freely hopped from pharmacy to pharmacy, collecting boxes of over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines containing PSE, which they in turn used to “cook” meth, usually in small batches made in what are called “one-pot” labs. These labs were everywhere and flooded West Virginia communities with meth, tearing families apart and destroying lives along the way.

It makes sense then that meth production in our state has been steadily declining since 2012, when our lawmakers passed legislation that limited the amount of PSE individuals could buy. To enforce that law, pharmacies across the state began using the National Precursor Log Exchange, a system that tracks PSE sales at the counter, and notifies the police when criminals try to buy illegal amounts. In fact, recently released data shows that in 2017 alone NPLEx kept 13,615 boxes of PSE out of the hands of criminals in West Virginia alone. As criminals become discouraged from further illegal purchase attempts, the resounding success of this program is proven, time and time again, by steadily decreasing annual block numbers.

Read more here.