In 2005, Oregon became the first state in the country to require a doctor’s prescription for allergy and cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine. At the time it was seen as an extreme measure. Now, states are admitting the law has worked but are feeling the push from pharmaceutical giants to keep the cold medicines non-prescription.
Since the start of the law in 2005, Oregon has seen a particularly dramatic drop in meth seizures and meth lab busts. According to this article from Stateline.org the number of meth labs in 2005 was 192. Last year, the number was only 10. This is particularly significant because elsewhere across the country, those numbers are rising.
Oregon officials see this as clear evidence that their law requiring prescriptions for pseudoephedrine drugs works. Other states are taking notice. Mississippi just created their own similar law and others have considered it.
The pharmaceutical companies making these typically over-the-counter drugs, however, are pushing for other meth-preventing alternatives and have funded several installations of a software network in states like Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Methamphetamines are seen as a particularly dangerous drug to everyone from law enforcement to mental health professionals. It has a high rate of addiction and is commonly linked to other crimes. The manufacturing of meth is associated with chemical explosions, toxic waste, and injury.
Because drugs are classified under the law by their danger and risk of addiction, methamphetamines are considered a Schedule II drug in Oregon. This means if you are caught in possession of meth, you will likely face felony charges and up to 5 years in prison.
Being accused of manufacturing meth is far more serious. You can face up to 10 years in prison for that charge alone. But, with meth manufacturing, you will also likely be charged with possession of precursor ingredients and if there are children in the home, child abuse.
Meth is a serious drug and is seen as such by prosecutors and judges in this state. If you are charged with a drug offense involving meth, you have every right to be nervous.