Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Law enforcement officers in Mississippi are expressing mixed reactions to a new law signed by Gov. Haley Barbour last week, reports The Hattiesburg American. The Magnolia state is the second state in the union to make pseudoephedrine available by prescription only beginning July 1, the first being Oregon.
The common cold and allergy decongestant, currently available over-the-counter, is a key ingredient in the manufacture of illegal methamphetamine, or meth. Much of the criticism for the law centers on potential increased cost to patients.
"I'm for whatever works but I know there are other options out there," Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel told The Hattiesburg American. "I've heard a lot of criticisms from people on fixed incomes who worry about having to go to a doctor and get a prescription."
Meth presents a serious problem for state law enforcement. In 2009, police arrested nearly 1,000 people for meth-related crimes and seized nearly 600 meth labs, according the the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.
Among the drugs that will become "controlled substances" when the law goes into effect are: Advil Cold and Sinus, Aleve D, Bronkaid, Claritin-D, Mucinex D, Nyquil D, Primatene, Sudafed, Tylenol Sinus Severe Cold and Zyrtec D.