E-tracking helping in battle against meth

Published 8:47 am Thursday, March 9, 2017

Law enforcement officers work hard and risk their lives each day to keep us safe.
This includes the all-out effort to curb dangerous addictions to opioids and methamphetamine.
Methamphetamine, or meth, is a powerfully addictive, illegal drug that can be manufactured in homes using pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in cold medications.
Our local communities have been especially hard hit by this drug. The safest and surest way to protect our children and communities from the harmful impacts of meth is to stop a producer’s access to the main ingredient.
That is why I led the 2012 effort to have Michigan retailers and pharmacies consult the National Precursor Log Exchange before selling products containing pseudoephedrine.
The real-time, electronic tracking system is provided at no cost to taxpayers or retailers. It is used to ensure buyers have not exceeded purchasing limits for pseudoephedrine and to allow law enforcement officers to identify suspicious purchases of over-the-counter medications.
The system was needed to stop meth producers from skirting the law by going from store to store buying up cold medications in small amounts at each location.
We recently learned about the continued success of the NPLEx system in Michigan.
NPLEx has significantly reduced the amount of illegal purchases of cold medications and has lessened the amount of meth use in our state. In 2016, the number of cold and allergy medicine boxes sold in Michigan decreased by 2.5 percent (or 57,138 boxes), and the number of boxes that were blocked from purchase by NPLEx increased by 11.5 percent (or 8,744 boxes).
The NPLEx system has been effective in combating meth production in Michigan without unfairly impacting a resident’s access to necessary cold medications.
Our dedicated law enforcement officials are using this vital tracking tool to help keep our families safe and decrease the dependence and abuse of meth in our communities.

Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents southwest Michigan.