A report from the Kentucky Drug Control Policy Office says the number of methamphetamine labs found in the state in 2012 has dropped after a peak year.
The report lists 1,060 labs being discovered last year, a slight drop from the peak year of 1,233 found in 2011. Until last year, the number of meth labs located had increased each year since 2008.
The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports that officials can't point to any one reason why meth lab discoveries declined last year but say a contributing factor could be that state law changed last year to limit the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can purchase without a prescription. Pseudoephedrine is the key ingredient in locally produced methamphetamine.
The law limits the amount of pseudoephedrine, a common cold and allergy medicine, a person can purchase without a prescription to 24 grams a year.
One-hundred-thirty thousand dollars. That’s the average hospital cost of treating someone who has suffered burns in a meth lab fire—60% more than other burn patients. On top of that, most meth patients are uninsured.
Drug crimes in Tennessee have risen to their second-highest number in eleven years. That comes despite the fact that overall crime rates in the Volunteer State are dropping. On the one hand, Tennessee has experienced four years of general crime declines. On the other hand, the Tennessean reports that drug-related incidents are on the rise throughout the state.
A lobbying group for various drug manufacturers has set a record for money spent during a Kentucky legislative session. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association spent nearly half a million dollars between January and March lobbying against a bill aimed at curbing meth production by limiting pseudoephedrine purchases. According to the Legislative Branch Ethics Commission, that’s a new yearly record, and there's still one month of accounting left to do.
Forty-two year old Chris Thomason of Glasgow was once what he calls “a model citizen” who coached Little League, held a management level position at a local factory, and earned a decent living. Then he started smoking meth, and he lost everything.
One reason methamphetamine is wreaking havoc on our region is the highly addictive nature of the drug. Meth impacts the brain in ways other drugs don’t, making it much easier for users to become addicts, and much harder for addicts to give up the habit.
A bill dealing with pseudoephedrine usage could be in trouble for the second straight legislative session. Supporters of restricting PSE use thought they had a compromise. Previous bills have attempted to make the drug available by prescription only. The latest measure would allow the drug to remain over the counter but limits consumers to three point six grams per month and fifteen grams per year.