OR Success Requiring Prescriptions For Meth Ingredients May Spread


Oregon in 2005 became the first state to require a doctor's prescription for tablets of Sudafed, Claritin D, and several other common cold and allergy medicines. Intended to stop production of crystal meth – which is made with a decongestant found in those medicines – the law was panned by some as a huge hassle. Still, reports Stateline.org, the number of meth labs found in the state has plummeted from 192 in 2005, the year before the prescription law went into effect, to just 10 last year – even as they've surged in other states. Combined with other anti-meth measures that all states have adopted, such as putting targeted cold medicines behind the counter instead of selling them off the shelf, monthly meth lab seizures have declined 96 percent in Oregon. The decline is important not only because meth use has been linked to widespread crime and addiction, but because meth manufacturing is a dangerous chemical process that can result in explosions, toxic waste, injuries, and death. Oregon's success is reverberating. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour last month signed a bill making Mississippi the second state to require prescriptions for drugs containing pseudoephedrine. At least nine localities in Missouri have passed their own laws, and legislators and law enforcers from Sacramento to Washington, D.C., are paying attention.

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