State applauded for Meth crackdown

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Tennessee state Representative William Lamberth (R-Cottontown) applauded Tennessee law enforcement for their work in reducing domestic methamphetamine production in the state. According to a report released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), meth labs in Tennessee have reduced by 69% since 2012 - the same year the state adopted the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) - a system that blocks the illegal sale of pseudoephedrine (PSE) at the point of sale, in real-time, and across state lines. PSE is an ingredient in popular cold and allergy medications that at times is used to make methamphetamine via dangerous meth labs.

"Just a few years ago, Tennessee held the unflattering distinction of leading the nation in meth labs," said Representative Lamberth. "Today, due in large part to the work of law enforcement at all levels, our state is on a three year downward trend that has reduced meth labs nearly 70% since 2012. In fact, we witnessed a 42% reduction in meth labs in the last year alone." Meth labs are highly volatile and can pose danger to individuals exposed to them.

Since 2012, the Tennessee legislature has passed several pieces of legislation addressing the diversion of PSE in an effort to reduce the number of illegal meth labs produced in Tennessee including adopting NPLEx and banning the sale of PSE to known drug felons. The NPLEx system, adopted by 33 states across the country, aids law enforcement professionals by blocking unlawful purchases of medicine containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) at the pharmacy counter. Additionally, NPLEx provides law enforcement officers and narcotics agents valuable information that helps to notify them of attempted illegal PSE purchases. Tennessee is also one of seven states that supplement NPLEx by using the system to ban the sale of PSE to those previously convicted drug felons.

During the first quarter of 2016, NPLEx in Tennessee helped block the sale of 17,058 boxes of PSE from being purchased over the legal limit, totaling 46,924 grams.

"As the nation observes National Police Week May 15 - 21 and we thank the brave men and women that keep our communities safe, I want to take the time to acknowledge our own local law enforcement and the role they've played in this fight against meth," said Representative Lamberth. "Our law enforcement, working hand-in-hand with pharmacists, are keeping pseudoephedrine away from criminals without punishing law-abiding citizens. The latest meth lab numbers confirm that we continue to make progress and the laws on the books are working."

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