This year, Indiana has removed more than 100 children from homes where methamphetamine labs were found – on track to be the most ever, reports the Elkhart Journal Gazette. Indiana State Police 1st Sgt. Niki Crawford said the agency hopes a new Web-based program that was years in the making will help streamline efforts to combat the drug. More than a third of the children removed from homes where meth labs are found test positive for the drug, she said. “There is not a drug out there that is more addictive and damaging to people, homes and families than methamphetamine,” Crawford said.
Last year, police seized more meth labs in Indiana than any year before. The highly addictive stimulant is often created by addicts using volatile chemical reactions, and a key ingredient is the common medication pseudoephedrine. Since 2005, pseudoephedrine has been kept behind pharmacy counters and can only be sold in limited quantities, and retailers have had to keep track of who buys it. In most cases, that information was kept on paper logs that officer had to spent hours poring over to find repeat buyers or past offenders. From 2006 through last year, the state police's meth unit made more than 6,800 visits to retail outlets. Indiana is adopting a system from Tennessee that provides the needed software to any agency that requests it. The program allows all law enforcement officers – not bound by state lines – to share intelligence, and it allows retailers to dump their pseudoephedrine purchase logs into the system electronically. The software flags people who make purchases from different pharmacies within a short period and flags associates who have been arrested together in the past for meth-related offenses.