Making pseudoephedrine a prescription-only drug would go a long way toward reducing the number of dangerous meth labs in the state, recovering meth users and drug cooks say.
Improving Oklahoma’s electronic pseudoephedrine registry to track sales of the anti-allergy medicine in bordering states would also help, they say.
But people who have lived in the meth culture say that if the state really wanted to do something about the problem, then it would stop locking up addicts and start spending money on the cheaper alternative – drug treatment.
The Tulsa World interviewed 11 recovering methamphetamine users with the help of a variety of local programs, including St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and Redemption Ministries, Life Gate Inc., Exodus House, His House Outreach Ministries and Tulsa County Drug Court.
All of the recovering users have been through the court system, most several times. Most say they not only used the drug, but also made it. Almost all of them eventually ended up in prison, some more than once.
Requiring prescriptions: The Oklahoma Legislature is considering a bill that would require a prescription for pseudoephedrine – a key ingredient on most illegal meth labs in the state.
Gayla Payne, 40, will celebrate her fourth year of drug freedom on Jan. 18. She emphatically supports the prescription restriction.
“I think that is the best idea I’ve ever heard,” Payne said.
As long as the allergy drug can be bought easily, the area will struggle with drug lab problems, she said.