Officials Discuss New Ways to Battle the Spread of Meth Labs
By Bob Fowler
Published: June 11, 2013
KINGSTON — Tennessee has jumped back into the top spot in the nation in what prosecutors and police officers say is a loathsome category: the number of methamphetamine labs found by law enforcement agencies.
That dubious distinction, and how to address it, was the subject of the annual meeting of the 9th Judicial District’s Drug Task Force.
Lawmakers, prosecutors and police personnel from a multicounty region convened Tuesday at the Kingston Community Center to hear new developments in the war against meth.
The popularity of the one-pot, or the shake-and-bake method of making meth has exploded, attendees were told, but efforts to curb the spread of the drug are also on the increase.
Pseudoephedrine, a medication now available behind the counter at pharmacies, is the basic building block for meth cooks, but a next-generation medication that could replace it is now available, officials were told
Nexafed, which went on the market in December, provides the same relief to nasal and sinus congestion sufferers but disrupts the conversion of pseudoephedrine into meth.
In another development, State Senator Mike Bell said he plans to introduce what he called compromise legislation in the next General Assembly that is intended to further curb the use of pseudoephedrine for meth-making.
Bell said that proposed bill would require either physicians or pharmacists to write prescriptions for pseudoephedrine cold medication before it can be dispensed.
Allowing pharmacists to write such prescriptions would reduce the cost to cold sufferers of doctors’ visits, Bell said, but it would also require those seeking the medication to describe their symptoms, “to look some health care provider in the eye and say, ‘This is what’s wrong with me.’”
Source:Knox News Sentinel