Stopping meth makers hasn't stopped Oklahoma's meth problems

Friday, July 29th 2005, 11:15 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ State drug agents say a new law that led to a dramatic drop in the number of methamphetamine labs has not reduced overall meth use.

And state Bureau of Narcotics director Lonnie Wright says many meth addicts are now using a Mexican-made version of the drug known as ``crystal ice.''

Wright says the number of meth labs found in the state is down 90 percent since a law went into effect 15 months ago that restricts the sale of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a prime ingredient in meth.

But he says the amount of crystal ice found in the state has increased by five times.

Police say the trade-off may be worth it because even though people are still using meth, the danger of a meth lab exploding is greatly reduced.

Oklahoma City police Lieutenant Tom Terhune says investigators are also not spending as much time looking for one or two small meth labs and instead working on breaking up the Mexican drug trafficking rings.