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Indiana Nabs Top Spot For Meth Lab Seizures

The Hoosier State leapfrogged over Tennessee and Missouri in 2013, but only because those states saw drastic drops in seizure rates.

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By Shawn Dwyer

04/07/14

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According to state and federal statistics, Indiana now leads the U.S. in the number of methamphetamine labs seized last year.

Statistics from 2013 showed that around 1,800 labs were seized in Indiana, as compared to 1,500 in Tennessee and 1,400 labs in nearby Missouri. Missouri saw a 25 percent drop in seizure rates that was attributed to the state requiring the sale of pseudoephedrine by prescription. Pseudoephedrine is the active ingredient in decongestants that homegrown cookers use to make meth.

“I think there are a lot of labs out there. It’s too easy to get your hands on those chemicals,” said State Police First Sgt. Niki Crawford. But Crawford refused to say whether or not the state police backs prescriptions for pseudoephedrine, saying instead that it’s up to the public to work with their elected representatives.

Indiana state Sen. Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury) believes that requiring prescriptions for the drug would be ineffective at best. “I think it’s a knee-jerk reaction to the problem,” he said. “It will inconvenience a lot of people who need this product without accomplishing its goals.”

Yoder admitted that knocking out local meth labs would do little to stem the tide of meth flooding Indiana, noting that much of the drug being sold now makes its way into the states from Mexico. A lesson that Tennessee learned not long ago.

“It’s a much wider problem than some people suppose,” Yoder said.

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