Despite restrictions on pseudoephedrine sales, Indiana law enforcement officials are seeing a steady growth in methamphetamine production and sales. According to the Indiana State Police, 1,437 meth labs were uncovered by law enforcement in 2011, an increase from the 1,395 labs found in 2010.
Just in the past three weeks, police have conducted four meth lab busts around South-Central Indiana—two in Bloomington, one in Bedford, and another in West Baden Springs.
Bedford Chief of Police Dennis Parsley says the process of making meth has been simplified in recent years, and he believes that has contributed to the increase.
“It’s become so easy to manufacture the stuff, and the finances are there,” he says. “You can take a few dollars worth of components and literally turn it into hundreds of dollars worth of product in a very short time and a very simple process.”
Indiana State Police Sgt. Curt Durnil says he realizes the severity of the situation, noting instabilities in production often stem from the fact that many of the people making the drug are addicts, and are likely instable themselves.
“We’re not talking about a science laboratory here,” he says. “This is not a controlled situation. These are not professionals that are dealing with chemicals.”
But it is not just the police who are joining the fight. Several city mayors have called for a crackdown on the drug, and two bills going through the legislature tighten controls on cold medicines that are key ingredients in methamphetamine.