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DEA Says New Cold Medicine Can be Used to Make Meth

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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said this week that a new cold medicine must be kept behind pharmacy counters because it can be used to make methamphetamine. The medicine, Zephrex-D, contains a new form of pseudoephedrine that the drug’s maker says is difficult to use to make meth. Over the past month, pharmacies have started to sell Zephrex-D in all 50 states.

DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said government chemists were able to make meth from the cold medicine, the Associated Press reports. “DEA commends the efforts of companies to develop products that deter the production of illicit drugs,” he said. “While this particular company claims that their ‘drug delivery system provides a new and unconventional approach to combat drug misuse,’ this product can still be utilized to manufacture methamphetamine.”

In a news release, the company that makes Zephrex-D, Westport Pharmaceuticals, says the product cannot be used to make meth with the one-pot shake-and-bake method, in which the ingredients are mixed together in a soda bottle. “The vast majority of homemade meth is now produced this way,” the company notes, adding that the Missouri Narcotics Officers Association said it has not found the product in any meth labs.

Pseudoephedrine must be crystallized in order to make meth. Westport officials say the pseudoephedrine in their product becomes gooey when heated, instead of crystallizing. The officials acknowledge that their product can be used to make meth in very small quantities, but that a single dose made in this way would cost $250 to $500—up to 20 times the street value.

According to the U.S. Combat Meth Act, pseudoephedrine products must be sold behind the counter. A person purchasing the products must show identification and have their names entered into a tracking database. More than 70 cities and counties in Missouri require prescriptions for pseudoephedrine, as do Oregon and Mississippi.

5 Responses to this article

  1. Laila / July 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    I agree the DEA should not have the right to make this Horrible Drug anymore than these Horrible people that are making it ,and selling it . This Drug is ramped, and destroying people, and their family’s. I know it’s around this area, I personally have never seen it.But ppl Talk in this town so yeah it’s definatley here. We all need to work together to get this off the streets, and away from our future generation of kids we have.I have a 19yr old I know she has never used it, but she has been offered to try it, and I am so Happy I raised such a smart child that has enough sense not to try anything offered to her.

  2. Avatar of Donna
    Donna / September 13, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    I wanna make a citizens arrest to the government officials manufacturing meth, citizen or government ITS ILLEGAL EITHER WAY. what good for the goose is good for the government. CITIZEN ARREST

  3. Avatar of joebanana
    joebanana / September 12, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Who is the DEA to make laws? What powers does the USDOJ have in making laws, why are gofvernment chemists making meth, and not going to jail? Do the laws of this country only apply to some people?

  4. Jason / September 27, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I am not sure what you’re getting at. Clearly the govt isn’t manufacturing methamphetamine for distribution. When determining potential misuse of over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs, they have to be able to replicate the potential use. By saying that the DEA has no right to oversee drug policy, you are saying that they serve no primary purpose. They are the drug enforcement agency, they enforce and develop drug policy. You seem to be pretty hyped up about meth policy, you should cool it on the meth intake. I think that all oversight of methamphetamine is a good thing. Coming from the Midwest, where meth use is rampant, I am all for cutting down on production of this terrible drug.

  5. Avatar of chris braun
    chris braun / March 12, 2014 at 3:12 am

    they don’t make laws, they enforce them and they are making meth to figure out what druggies do in order to get the drugs they need to live so police can see who bought the cough syrup and cross check with known criminals and Juvenal kids

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