Lafayette

May 21, 2013 7:53 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

Tracking Over The Counter Drugs


You may have been asked for your license recently for the same cold medicines you've bought for years. That's because police and pharmacies are tracking your purchases.

The common ingredient in these drugs is Pseudoephedrine, which can be broken down and used to make Meth.

"On the last Meth lab we did, the Meth lab was actually inside the trailer which is behind someone's home. In most Meth labs they'll look similar to this just real trashed out," Lafayette Parish Police Captain John Babin said, showing photos of a Meth lab operation busted by the sheriff's office back in January. This happens several times a year

"You'll go to a location where someone is producing Meth and you start looking through the trash and garbage, and you'll see the packets," Babin said.

Which is why, purchases with Pseudoephedrine are no longer your personal business.

"It's kept in the back, and we have to scan it and it requires a driver's license, and they are allowed just a certain amount per month to buy which it keeps track of," pharmacy tech Laurie Bourque said.

Police and pharmacies need to know when you buy over the counter drugs that contain Pseudoephedrine. With a couple scans, a national database tracks everything.

"Before someone could walk into any store and clear the shelf out. They can't do that anymore. Now, if you want to do it, you actually have to work for it," Captain Babin said.

Louisiana was the second state to join the tracking system. Captin Babin says it helps, but Lafayette Parish still cracks down on five to seven Meth labs a year.

"It's not as bad as it used to be, but we do see where individuals will use the Sudafed to use the Meth here," Captain Babin said.

So it may take a couple of extra minutes at the checkout, but police say the tracking system is making a difference.

"As before, you could go in one store and just clean out the shelf and then go to all the stores and clean out the shelves. So yeah it helps. Is it perfect? No, but it helps," Captain Babin said.

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