Battleground shifting in war on meth in Oklahoma

Tuesday, August 30th 2005, 12:41 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Federal officials say those who make methamphetamine are having to look elsewhere for supplies now that a key ingredient is only available behind pharmacy counters.

Meth cooks are having to cross state borders for unrestricted purchases of pseudoephedrine, a necessary ingredient found in over-the-counter cold medicines.

According to the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the number of meth labs seized in Oklahoma declined from 1,197 to 584 since a new law restricting access to the cold medicines went into effect in 2004.

Narcotics bureau director Lonnie Wright says the sharp decline in the number of meth labs has freed up law enforcement across the state to focus on larger drug-smuggling operations.

Wright also predicts a decline in the number meth addicts in Oklahoma because the costs for making the drug have increased.