State Crime Lab Reports Meth Numbers Down Significantly

JUNE 3, 2005 - Posted at 4:28 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The number of methamphetamine labs reported to the state Crime Laboratory has dropped 33 percent since a new state law went into effect March 24.  The law requires some common cold medicines to be sold behind pharmacy counters.

Police agencies reported 1,206 methamphetamine labs in Arkansas during 2004.  It was the highest per capita rate nationwide.  But so far this year about 340 labs have been reported.  Chris Harrison, a forensic chemist with the state crime lab, said today in a public hearing at the state Health Department.

The new law classifies over-the-counter blister pack medications containing pseudoephedrine as controlled substances and requires them to be sold from behind the pharmacy counter.  The law is intended to make it harder for methamphetamine manufactures to obtain pseudoephedrine.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)