Smaltz: Meth lab busts down 36 percent in Indiana

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Monday, October 24, 2016

STATEHOUSE (Oct. 24, 2016) – Indiana State Police (ISP) statistics indicate statewide meth lab seizures have declined 36 percent during the third quarter of 2016, according to State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn).

From July through September, ISP reports 209 meth lab busts occurred in Indiana, representing a 36.3 percent drop from the 328 incidents during the same period in 2015. In addition, the number of children removed from meth lab environments decreased 55.3 percent between those two periods. Year-to-date, child removals from Indiana meth labs are down 43.7 percent compared to 2015.

“These statistics signify the hard work of law enforcement and the effectiveness of recent reforms passed by the General Assembly to curb meth production,” Smaltz said. “As a lawmaker whose community has felt the devastating effects of meth, one of my top priorities is to eliminate meth labs and reduce the number of children affected by them to zero. Seeing these numbers continue to decline in Indiana confirms we are on our way to achieving that goal.”

Over the past three years, Indiana has led the nation in meth lab incidents. During the 2016 session, Smaltz championed a new law to combat Indiana’s growing number of meth labs. Smaltz said the law makes purchasing large amounts of pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient used to manufacture meth, more difficult for meth cooks or those selling to them.

Under the law, Hoosiers who have a patient relationship with a pharmacy can continue purchasing medicine that contains PSE without a prescription. If they do not have a patient relationship, a pharmacist would be able to sell them an extraction-resistant formulation of PSE or a package of 24-count 30mg regular PSE. Only an individual who refuses these various options would be required to obtain a prescription. Smaltz said these reforms maintain legitimate consumer access, while empowering pharmacists and law enforcement to keep PSE out of the hands of criminals and meth cooks.

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State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) represents all of DeKalb County, and portions of Steuben and Allen counties.

A high-resolution photo of Smaltz can be downloaded by clicking here.