As the number of meth labs continues to grow throughout North Carolina - six methamphetamine labs have been busted in Wake County and 13 in Johnston County this year - law makers are looking at new ways to limit access to key ingredients. On the table for consideration in 2013 is requiring a prescription for cold medicine that contains pseudoephedrine.
Currently, individuals who buy medication containing pseudoephedrine must be entered into a nationwide database by the pharmacy called the National Precursor Log Exchange. If that person is flagged for purchasing a large quantity of the drug, the pharmacy can determine not to sell the cough or cold medicine.
If the prescription requirement passes, it would require anyone who wanted a former over-the-counter cold medication (such as Sudafed) containing pseudoephedrine to first see a doctor to obtain a prescription.
The Rise Of Meth Labs In NC
The "one pot" method for cooking meth has gained popularity and accounted for 80 percent of the meth busts this year. Still very dangerous, the one pot method has allowed cooks to become more mobile; meth labs are no longer limited to run down or abandoned homes, they are popping up in neighborhoods across the state.
According to the North Carolina Attorney General, the "shake and bake" method for creating methamphetamines is also gaining ground in NC. Slowly disappearing are large-scale meth kitchens.
Also on the list for the upcoming legislative session is the possibility of increasing penalties after a meth-related drug crime conviction, specifically for those charged with cooking meth in the presence of a child.
Source: Raleigh News Observer, "Heroin arrests net two from Raleigh, three from Charlotte," December 12, 2012