Report: 26,354 Pseudoephedrine Purchases Blocked in AL in 3 Months

By: Denise Bradberry Email
By: Denise Bradberry Email

It's getting harder for drug dealers to make methamphetamine thanks to a national electronic log.

Now Alabama counties can see just how much meth is being stopped at pharmacy doors.

The National Precursor Log Exchange System is an electronic log that keeps track of who is buying how much of the over the counter drugs used to make meth.

The system has been up and running across Alabama for three months now and the numbers released by the Alabama Drug Abuse Task Force are shocking, especially here in the Wiregrass.

You may have noticed you can no longer, run into a pharmacy and pick up a box of Sudafed… or any other over the counter drug that contains the active ingredients ephedrine or pseudoephedrine.

Those have been moved behind the count.

“Methamphetamine is made by a combination of a number of different things to include acetone, rat poison, battery acid, the alkaline in the batteries, and pseudoephedrine is one of the last ingredients to go in methamphetamine before it can be strained out through a coffee strainer and made into meth,” says Dothan Police Drug Recognition Expert Scott Owens.

To purchase these cold and allergy relief medicines, you have to show photo ID and an electronic system logs your name, address, the time, date, product name, and amount.

“It’s allowed there to be more communication between the pharmacies where logs are combined and they’re taking that information they’re gathering, they’re sharing it with one another and they’re compiling collective lists,” says Dothan Police Corporal Rachel David.

According to the report in just the past three months over 64,000 grams of the pseudoephedrine purchases were stopped for being over the legal limit.

When you consider that 1 gram of pseudoephedrine can make a gram of meth with a street value of $150, that comes out to $9.6 million dollars of meth that was never made.

“Now with this new system in place it just makes it a lot more convenient and a lot less time for us out on the streets trying to track down this information,” Houston County Sheriff’s Office Captain Antonio Gonzalez.

Let’s look at the local numbers.

When the report compares the amount stopped to the county’s populations, the Wiregrass has four in the top 15.

Geneva County came in at third in the state, Coffee 9th, Houston 13th and Pike 14th.

“As big as Houston county is at 580 square miles we know there are some rural areas that we just can’t get into or see at this point that’s why we always ask the community to help us out,” says Gonzalez.

The National electronic log is now being used in 97-percent of Alabama’s pharmacies and is required by law.

If you’d like to take a look at the full report, click on the document icon at the top of this story.


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