The number of illegal methamphetamine labs destroyed in Kentucky has increased in the last 18 months as meth “cookers” have found ways around efforts to limit production of the dangerous, highly addictive drug, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader. A 2005 change in state law to restrict access to a key ingredient needed to produce meth drove down the number of makeshift labs police found, but only for a while.
The May 30 death of a 22-month-old boy who drank drain cleaner his parents allegedly were using to make meth grabbed local and national headlines at a time when the number of labs is going up. When the number of labs started going down a few years ago, “We thought, ‘Great, we’ve beat back the tide,’ ” said a state police official. “Now the tide’s kind of turned and is coming back in again.” Meth producers have adapted to efforts to restrict access to pseudoephedrine, which is found in over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines and is needed to make meth.