Have you ever wondered why some over-the-counter medicines, like Sudafed, are kept under lock and key in the pharmacy? Unfortunately, there are many misuses for these drugs. Among the known illicit uses, pseudoephedrine tablets are used as one of the primary ingredients in basic meth recipes. The secrets of making meth are easily found on the Internet. Although progress has recently been made in reducing the alarming numbers of drug users, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, methamphetamine’s popularity as an illegal drug remains a concern nationwide. Making meth is relatively easy, when compared to other commonly abused drugs, and young adults are getting involved in the process.
Chemicals and items that can be found easily in a supermarket, such as drain opener, salt, and lithium batteries are other meth ingredients. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) held a public meth lab demonstration in Colorado to show just how easy the process is. Parents, teachers and mentors should be aware of the household nature of making the drug. Purchasing or holding on to large amounts of these products is a potential warning sign. A young woman, age 18, was recently caught supplying such items to a meth cooks in Kentucky. She was able to strike a deal with authorities, but not all teens or young adults are so lucky. Being involved in a meth lab operation can lead to years in prison.
Being aware of the potential misuses of household items is important. Parents should keep chemicals and medications (both prescription and over the counter drugs) in safe locations in the house, and be prepared to talk to their children when items turn up missing. However, it is equally important not to jump to conclusions. Most teens use batteries and take Sudafed legitimately. Keeping communications open and honest helps ensure that if teens do get involved with drugs, they are able to talk to their parents about it.