Lindsey Bell talks about her family surviving the tornadoes in Oklahoma.More >>
MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -
A crackdown on meth makers is getting results in Alabama.
The state started tracking pseudoephedrine purchases a year ago.
Drug agents said it's helping to keep some meth makers from getting a key ingredient to make the drug.
Drug agents said that in states like Mississippi and Oregon where they've gone to prescription only, the number of meth labs has gone down.
But in states like Alabama with this new tracking system, it enables them better real time tools in helping arrest those planning to make methamphetamine.
In the first quarter of 2012, Marshall County ranked 10th in the state for pseudoephedrine purchases. There were 11, 745 purchases made; 676 purchase attempts were rejected, according to Barry Matson, deputy director of the District Attorneys Association.
The new law that went into effect in 2011 requires pharmacies and places that sell cold medicine with pseudoephedrine to be a part of the tracking system.
The statewide system that's also tied into a national system limits the number of grams of such cold medicine to be purchased each month.
If a person reaches their limit, their next purchase attempts are rejected.
It also gives law enforcement real time numbers on who and where a person is attempting to make purchases.
But drug agents said meth makers are now enlisting innocent people to try to purchase the drugs for extra cash.
"And, of course, someone on a limited income, that might be something they would do. And then that might be something they would do on a regular basis for somebody and might not necessarily know that this pseudo is being used to transform into methamphetamine," said David Chandler with the Marshall County Drug Enforcement Unit.
Matson said they expect to have the yearend totals soon, and they will present those to the state legislature in early February.