1:39 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Tennessee Governor Announces Anti-Meth Legislation

Nearly 1,700 meth labs were broken up in Tennessee in 2013.
Credit Barren County Drug Task Force

Governor Bill Haslam is proposing legislation that would require a prescription for more than a 20-day supply of cold medicines that are used to make methamphetamine.

The Republican governor said Thursday that the bill is meant to target the purchase of large amounts of medicines from a variety of stores, which is known as "smurfing."

The monthly amount of cold medicines like Sudafed that could be purchased without a prescription is the equivalent to the average total purchased by Tennesseans each year.

Haslam's office noted that 268 children were removed from their homes last year due to meth-related incidents and nearly 1,700 meth labs were seized.

4:55 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Report: Meth Lab Busts in Kentucky Declining

Police bust a meth lab in Barren County, Kentucky.
Credit Barren-Edmonston Drug Task Force

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.

Impact of Meth Series
9:40 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Injuries from Meth Lab Fires in Region Causing Explosive Emergency Room Costs

The inside of a meth lab discovered by police in Barren County, Kentucky.
Barren County Drug Task Force

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.

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10:05 am
Wed May 23, 2012

In Tennessee, a Mixed Bag When it Comes to Crime Rates

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.

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3:58 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Group Opposed to Kentucky Meth Bills Spent Record Amount on Lobbying

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.

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Series on Meth in Kentucky
3:34 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Barren County Man Reveals Realities of Meth Addiction and Recovery

Chris Thomason, former meth addict and Barren County Drug Court graduate

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.

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Fighting Meth in Kentucky
1:00 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Meth's Damage to Mind and Body Unlike Any Other Drug

Meth can be smoked, swallowed, snorted, and injected.

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.

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2:23 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Effort to Restrict Pseudoephedrine Sales Up for House Debate

A proposal to restrict the purchase of pseudoephedrine-containing medicine is now up for discussion in the Kentucky House. The medicine is a key ingredient in meth production.

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Fighting Meth in Kentucky
8:17 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Compromise Anti-Meth Bill Hits Roadblocks at Kentucky Legislature

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.

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Fighting Meth in Kentucky
1:32 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Bill Limiting Pseudoephedrine Purchases Gets Early Support

A supposed compromise on a bill aimed at cracking down on meth production in Kentucky is once again making its way through the state Senate. The bill passed committee quickly Thursday  morning.

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