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ISP - Dramatic Drop In Meth Lab Busts
Updated February 2, 2018 8:56 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Data from Indiana State Police shows a dramatic drop in methamphetamine lab busts in the nearly two years since legislators made one of the drug's key ingredients harder to buy.

Once dubbed the meth capital of the United States, Indiana has long battled a stigma with methamphetamine. Lawmakers started restricting the amount of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine that customers can purchase in stores in 2013--both drugs are common ingredients in cold medicine and a key ingredient in methamphetamin.

Then in March 2016, then-governor Mike Pence signed a bill into law giving pharmacists greater discretion over who can purchase pseudoephedrine.

The law was meant to curb methamphetamine production by making pseudoephedrine harder to purchase. It gives pharmacists discretion over who to sell to, limiting the quantities of medicines like Sudafed to patients without a prescription and without symptoms. It also allows pharmacists to check customers against a drug offender registry.

"We decided to attack these people in their pocketbooks," said Indiana Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-District 52), "so we just made the pseudoephedrine more expensive, made it much harder for them to afford to be able to make methamphetamine."

Rep. Smaltz said he was motivated to get behind the legislation to combat meth related crime and protect the shocking number of children found in meth lab environments.

"So the numbers have been dramatically reduced," Smaltz added. Data recently released by the Indiana State Police show noticeable drops in the number of clandestine meth lab busts and the number of children identified in dangerous meth lab environments since the legislation went into effect.

Meth Lab Seizures:

  • 2017: 371 clandestine labs seized
  • 2016: 943 clandestine labs seized
  • 2015: 1452 clandestine labs seized
  • = 74.45% drop from 2015-2017

Children Removed from Meth Lab Environments:

  • 2017: 49 children identified
  • 2016: 153 children identified
  • 2015: 291 children identified
  • = 83.16% drop 2015-2017

Types of Labs Discovered (ISP) 2017:

  • 87% One pot
  • 9% Birch Reduction (Nazi)
  • 1% Red Phosphorus
  • 3% Unknown

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