It has been one month since the state passed new laws restricting the sales and purchasing procedures of over-the-counter drugs containing a certain form of pseudoephedrine. Here’s a look at the new laws.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently signed two pieces of legislation aimed at reducing methamphetamine use and production in Texas. Retail sales guidelines require any store that carries pseudoephedrine-based products to place the products behind sales counters or in locked cabinets. These chemicals and other ingredients can be mixed together to form the drug methamphetamine. To purchase these drugs, customers must now request the drug from a sales clerk with access to the product.
“Methamphetamine is spreading like a plague across Texas, endangering thousands of lives and the safety of our neighborhoods,” Perry said at the public signing of the bills. “These new laws will make it harder for drug dealers to poison our citizens, empower Texans to take a more active role in combating meth use, and protect innocent children exposed to this dangerous drug.”
According to the Texas Dept. of Public Safety, meth lab seizures have quadrupled in recent years. The number of meth users entering treatment centers in Texas has increased from 1,800 in 2000 to 11,200 in 2004 — a six-fold increase.
A break down of the law
Consumers searching for certain over-the-counter decongestants may not find them so easily on store shelves anymore.
The law’s retail sales guidelines require any store that carries pseudoephedrine-based products to place the products behind sales counters or in locked cabinets. These products contain ingredients that can be used to make methamphetamine. To purchase these drugs, customers must now request the drug from a sales clerk.
Examples of products to which the law applies include Tylenol Sinus, Sudafed, Claritin-D, Advil Sinus, Alka-Seltzer Cold, Coricidin Cough & Cold, and Dristan Sinus.
Texas House Bill 164, limits each customer to six grams (two packages) of the products per month. Retailers are now required to track customers’ purchases by recording the purchaser’s name (verified by a driver’s license), date of birth, purchase date, the product name, and the number of items sold. Records are not entered into a database but are maintained for at least two years after the sale.
|House Bill 164|
|Senate Bill 66|
“The Meth Epidemic in America,” a study by the National Association of Counties (July 2005), reports the Southwest is the leader in methamphetamine problems. According to the study, the Southwest leads the nation in meth related arrests with a 96% growth in reported arrest numbers in the past three years.