Methamphetamine abuse is on the rise, devastating small towns across America. Meth is a drug that can literally be made by a high school student with a basic understanding of chemistry and a few packs of cold medicine containing a key ingredient for the production of Methamphetamine – Pseudoephedrine. In the last three years meth labs in Kentucky have tripled according to ABC.
Fighting the production of meth is a never ending battle despite the fact that Pseudoephedrine is being tracked by pharmacies and they have put a cap on how much cold medicine can be purchased by a single person every month – 9 grams or about 7 packages of Sudafed. In order to combat the new rules on how much cold medicine can be purchased meth producers are recruiting people to buy the drugs which are then sold to the chemist at inflated prices – roughly 1000 percent markup.
Dan Smoot, who leads a taskforce in London, Ky., called Operation UNITE, goes around to pharmacies with a number of other undercover police officers to try to stop what they call “smurfing”, named after the little blue cartoon characters, Smurfs, who are small, but powerful as a team. They see it all the time people going around to pharmacies in groups to purchase as many drugs containing Pseudoephedrine as they can.
Smoot explained that this behavior is an “everyday occurrence” in Kentucky. “We’re now No. 3 in the United States of America for production”.
ABC’s Nightline Show featured this story, watch the segment here.