Alabama sees second largest reduction of pseudoephedrine sales as meth labs decline

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CULLMAN – Data from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) shows in 2014 Alabama has seen the second highest reduction of sales of pseudoephedrine (PSE) in the country. PSE sales are declining as Alabama rounds out its third year in a row of meth lab reductions.

PSE is a primary ingredient used to manufacture methamphetamine (meth). The sale of PSE began being monitored in Alabama in 2012 with the NPLEx system. The most recent NPLEx data shows in Alabama, the technology has blocked the sale of 56,050 boxes of medicine containing PSE since the start of 2014, a 31 percent reduction from the number of blocked sales in 2013. So far in 2014 the NPLEx system has been responsible for keeping 138,225 grams out of the hands of potential meth criminals.

According to NPLEx data, in Cullman County, in 2013, over 4,200 boxes of PSE sales were blocked. This kept 10,598 grams of PSE from potentially being used in meth production in Cullman County.

Alabama had the second largest reduction of PSE boxes and grams sold in the country, with 15 and 14 percent respectively, compared to the same period in 2013. The number of individual purchasers was reduced by 12.46 percent, also the second highest reduction in the country next to West Virginia.

"Alabama is stepping up efforts to take the fight directly to meth criminals, and NPLEx is proving to be an integral part of that," said Charles F. Cichon, executive director of NADDI.  "With a strong foundation provided by tough anti-meth laws, the state has already made some great gains in this battle.  These NPLEx numbers show meth cooks and their associates are taking notice. “

As the sales of meth decline in Alabama so have the number of meth labs. Since passing some of the nations toughest anti-meth laws in 2012 there has been a steady decline of meth labs found in the state. According to a report by the Alabama Drug Task Force meth, lab seizures in the state dropped over 78 percent from 720 in 2010 to 154 in 2013.

While Alabama’s 2012 legislation was some of the toughest ever passed, it has kept PSE readily available to law-abiding citizens. In Mississippi PSE is only available by a doctor’s prescription, and citizens of Mississippi cannot purchase PSE across state lines in Alabama without a prescription.

The 2012 legislation has greatly reduced the production of meth in Alabama; it has not eliminated the demand. Upwards of 80 percent of meth seized is Mexican made meth called “Ice.”

“As NPLEx helps Alabama law enforcement officials curb domestic methamphetamine production, they will be able to focus further on the even greater threat of imported meth from Mexico" says Cichon.