District Attorney General Mike Bottoms gave an update on the fight against Methamphetamine (Meth) in our region. Several initiatives have helped to turn the tide against this highly addictive, illegal and dangerous drug.
The State of Tennessee has restricted sales of epinephrine, pseudoephedrine and related over-the-counter drugs that are used in the manufacture of Meth. These drugs are now kept behind the Pharmacy counter, require identification and signature for purchase, and quantities are limited. This has resulted in cutting the number of clandestine Meth labs in half. In addition, the US Congress just passed legislation to limit control sales of these drugs in all other States that do not have these safeguards in place.
Mike stated that the most important things citizens can do to help in this effort is to educate themselves about the dangers of Meth, and be the "eyes and ears" of the law enforcement community. The awareness program has already begun in the schools, with over 9,000 students in an eight-County area seeing the film "Meth is Death", with many hearing first-hand from a recovered Meth addict and suicide survivor David Parnell.
Citizens and property owners should also be aware that Meth "labs" are often set up in rural areas, in homes, trailers, barns or even in vehicles. The chemicals used to manufacture Meth are dangerous, and those with rental property should be aware that contamination sometimes results in condemnation and often the buildings cannot be salvaged. If you suspect Meth-related activity, contact 1-877-TNN-METH for further investigation. You can also get more information at the website www.methfreetn.org.