Restricting Access to Pseudoephedrine Helps Iowa’s Fight Against Meth

A law restricting access to the cold medicine ingredient pseudoephedrine has helped in the fight against methamphetamine, according to Iowa officials. But meth producers are still finding ways around the law, The Associated Press reports.

The law restricting access to the decongestant went into effect in 2005. Stores moved products containing pseudoephedrine behind the counter and limited the amount a person can purchase.

In 2004, Iowa reported 1,500 meth lab seizures. By 2007, that number dropped to 178. It crept up to 305 last year, the article states.

According to Sheriff’s Sgt. Dale Snyder, Project Director of the Dubuque County Drug Task Force, some meth labs trade meth to get more ingredients from people who purchase pseudoephedrine for them.

The article notes that the National Precursor Log Exchange, a real-time electronic tracking  system used by pharmacies and law enforcement to track sales of over-the-counter cold and allergy medications containing precursors to methamphetamine, has operated in Iowa since September. Data from the exchange indicate that almost 23,000 illegal attempts to buy pseudoephedrine were blocked between September and the end of April.

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