The recent death of Katlyn Collman (killed because she accidentally stumbled across a meth lab) has thrust Indiana’s methamphetamine problem into the spotlight. Methamphetamine production has become widespread in our state, and I am committed to doing everything I can to help curb this criminal activity.

Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant, which means it is dangerous and has high potential for abuse. It is commonly referred to as meth, crank, or speed, and produces physical effects similar to cocaine; however, the long-term damage to a meth user’s body is much worse.

In 2003, Indiana law enforcement seized 422 methamphetamine labs, a figure higher than any other Midwestern state, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. While Mexican-produced methamphetamine is the most prominent throughout the Midwest, home labs are on the rise in rural areas of Indiana. This can be attributed to the ready availability of anhydrous ammonia, a common agricultural fertilizer, which is used in methamphetamine production.

It is difficult to catch methamphetamine producers. All of the ingredients needed to make meth can be purchased legally, and are relatively inexpensive. For example, an investment of $1,000 in easily purchased ingredients can produce $20,000 worth of methamphetamine.

So what can we do to fight our methamphetamine problem? The Indiana General Assembly is discussing several legislative initiatives to combat methamphetamine production.

Senate Bill 444, which was sent to the House of Representatives last month, regulates the sale of over the counter drugs containing pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant that is widely used in methamphetamine production. House Bill 1223 offers several other approaches to fighting Indiana’s methamphetamine problem, including regulating fertilizers such as anhydrous ammonia.

I believe that methamphetamine has become a significant problem in Indiana. The spread of this drug is having a major, long-term, devastating impact upon Hoosier society, and we have no choice but to fight back with every available weapon. As your state senator, I will continue to support any legislation that offers sensible ideas to beat this terrible problem.

The Waynedale News Staff

Sen. David Long

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