A bill that would make cold medicines that contain the meth ingredient pseudoephedrine available by prescription only may have unintended consequences for many Kentuckians. The legislation will make the medicines unavailable to meth producers, but also to many of the state’s uninsured residents.
Late last year, Kentucky State Police trooper John Hawkins told WFPL the increase in meth lab busts was so sharp that police were on track to find more than one thousand before the end of the year…and they did.
The Governor says he wants to reduce the number of meth labs in the state, but is concerned about the effect of the measure on law-abiding citizens. In addition, he says it’s hard to know if any new law enforcement system is going to be effective before it’s implemented.
There are similar bills in the House and Senate. They would make cold medicines that contain the meth ingredient and decongestant pseudoephedrine, or PSE, available by prescription only.
Many law enforcement officers support the legislation, since it would make meth harder to manufacture. But Major Tony King with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department says prescription drugs are abused, too.
Rogers says 137 other cold and allergy remedies that don’t contain pseudoephedrine will be still be available over-the-counter. Despite the congressman’s appeal, the legislation has a steep hill to climb. No votes have been taken yet, but Pat Davis, wife of U.S. Congressman Geoff Davis of Kentucky, is among the opponents.
Pseudoephedrine, which is found in most over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines, is a key ingredient in illegally manufactured methamphetamine. And with the number of meth labs exploding in Kentucky, two bills requiring prescriptions for medicines containing pseudoephedrine have been introduced in Frankfort.
The number of methamphetamine labs found in Kentucky has again increased over last year, as law enforcement officials face dwindling resources in fighting the drug.
A Louisville Metro Council committee will begin discussing a proposed resolution this week that aims to curb methamphetamine production across the state.
Methamphetamine production in Louisville and Kentucky increased dramatically in 2009 and that has a Louisville narcotics officer calling for a change in state law.
By now you’ve likely seen the billboards and buses that tell you how to identify materials used in meth labs. And it can be pretty eye-opening (two-liter bottles – who knew?). Maybe it also has you wondering, just how big of problem is meth in Louisville? Why is it so addictive? And how can we combat this problem? Listen to the Show