Rep. Smaltz: Legislation to address Indiana's scourge of meth labs heads to the governor

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, March 11, 2016

STATEHOUSE (March 11, 2016) – A bill sponsored by State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) to curb meth production in Indiana now moves to the governor’s desk.

Indiana has led the nation in meth lab seizures for the last three years, with more than 1,500 incidents in 2015. In the same year, 323 children were found and removed from meth labs, where they are often exposed to toxic chemicals and substances. 

“Communities all across the state have felt the devastating effects of meth labs, especially among our most vulnerable,” Smaltz said. “My proposal would work to reduce the number of meth labs in Indiana by keeping pseudoephedrine out of the hands of criminals. The common Hoosier consumer who needs to purchase these types of medications at their pharmacy would still be able to do so.”

A small number of cold, flu and allergy medications contain pseudoephedrine (PSE), a key ingredient used to manufacture meth. Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 80 allows Hoosiers who have established a patient relationship with a pharmacy to continue purchasing medications that contain PSE without a prescription. If an individual does not have a patient relationship with a pharmacy, the pharmacist would be able to sell them an extraction-resistant product or a package of 24-count 30mg regular PSE. An individual who refuses these options and requests regular PSE would be required to obtain a prescription.

“There are many known costs of meth labs in our communities, but after all my research there is one number above all others that has my attention and that is the number of children rescued from meth lab homes,” Smaltz said. “I will not take my eye off this issue until that number is at zero.”

For more information on SEA 80, visit iga.in.gov/.

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State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) serves as the chairman of the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee. He also serves on the Public Policy Committee, Roads and Transportation Committee and the Committee on Joint Rules. Smaltz represents all of DeKalb County and portions of Steuben and Allen counties.