State Rep Plans to Draft "Meth Prevention Act"

By Leigh Mills

(MADISON) -- Some over-the-counter medications may be harder to get if new legislation passes.

A Wisconsin state lawmaker announced Friday he plans to draft a “Meth Prevention Act” to limit access to ingredients used in making methamphetamine because of the alarming increase in the production and use of the drug in rural Wisconsin.

"It's very easy to put together, very easy to make, and very hard to track," says Representative Scott Suder of Abbotsford, "So we are trying to limit access and find a way to track usage of those commonly used products."

Products with pseudoephedrine, like Sudafed.

"It may involve putting those products behind the counter, it may involve some type of tracking and it may involve limiting the amounts individuals are able to purchase of products like Sudafed," continues Suder.

Dean Drug Info Pharmacist, Grace Chen, says, "We hear about people coming in and buying quantities of 30 boxes of pseudoephedrine at one time and that would be suspect to me."

According to a study done in Wisconsin by the PAXIS Institute, the number of methamphetamine offenders in the state has skyrocketed in the last eight years, particularly in the state's 12 western counties.

"There was a relatively high rate of meth use by juveniles," says Dr. Dennis Embry, President of the PAXIS Institute in Arizona, "Which does not bode well because typically the peak rate of addition is around 24, 27, or 28."

Dr. Embry is assisting Rep. Suder as he drafts the Meth Prevention Act. But he says reducing access to pseudoephedrine will only help in the short term.

"We have to get really aggressive about getting people into treatment and remember that most of the people are not on welfare but most are employees."

Embry says anything that can make a person completely transform, both physically and mentally in only four years, needs immediate attention.

"Act now, do not delay. This is an emergency, it's a public health emergency."

Thursday, the PAXIS institute submitted a proposal to the federal government for funding of meth treatment programs in Wisconsin's 12 western counties.

Rep. Suder says they will start hearings on the prevention act in mid–February.

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