Kentucky faces a prescription-drug abuse crisis that Gov. Beshear rightly described in his recent congressional testimony as “the fastest growing, most prolific substance abuse issue facing our country.”
That’s precisely why Kentucky lawmakers rightly resisted proposed legislation during the 2011 session of the Kentucky General Assembly to require prescriptions for purchasing cold and allergy products containing pseudoephedrine – an ingredient used to make methamphetamine, a highly addictive and terribly destructive drug.
Why do some law-enforcement officers vow to keep fighting for this misguided approach when, if passed, it would exacerbate one of our most serious drug-abuse problems? The proposed policy would also remove the current real-time tracking system known as MethCheck, which blocks 10,000 grams of potentially illegal sales of meth ingredients each month.
Pharmaceutical companies implemented and funded the MethCheck system, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. While we may not have “won” the meth war, we are containing it as law enforcement officials have the tools to find and shut down more meth labs than ever.
What other answers might the private sector come up with that could offer more success than the government solutions that have failed to curb the prescription-drug abuse crisis?