WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, today released a Government Accountability Office report: State Approaches Taken to Control Access to Key Methamphetamine Ingredient Show Varied Impact on Domestic Drug Labs.
The GAO report examines the effect of prescription-only laws and electronic tracking for pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the clandestine manufacture of methamphetamine. The report found a decrease in meth labs in those states with laws that require a doctor’s prescription to obtain products with pseudoephedrine.
“The findings in this report support an expansion of prescription-only laws in the fight to combat the serious epidemic of meth production,” said Feinstein. “We need to be a step ahead by increasing controls on the availability of pseudoephedrine products used in the manufacture of this deadly drug in California and across the country.”
The report examines the effect of prescription-only laws in Oregon and Mississippi. Between 2006 (the year the law was implemented) and 2011, Oregon’s number of meth labs decreased from 67 to 11. In Mississippi, the number of labs decreased from 937 to 321 between 2010 and 2011. By contrast, states with electronic tracking for pseudoephedrine products saw an increase in meth labs in recent years.
“Prescription-only laws attack the problem at its source by preventing meth manufacturers from obtaining the basic chemicals to produce it,” Feinstein added. “It’s time to redouble our efforts to prevent these products from falling into the wrong hands by expanding these common-sense laws to all 50 states.”
The entire report can be found here.