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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Meth problem needs to be immediately addressed, officials say

Friday, February 11, 2005

A methamphetamine problem exists in Clay County that needs to be combated immediately, according to several Clay County officials.

"[The use and sale of methamphetamine] is the most serious public issue, in my opinion, facing Clay County and Indiana," said Clay County Superior Court Judge Blane Akers.

Akers made a recommendation to the Clay County commissioners to look into adopting a methamphetamine ordinance like Vigo County did last month.

Akers said he would like to use Vigo County's ordinance as a starting point, but does not necessarily want to duplicate it. He said he wants to do what's best for the people of Clay County.

"The ordinance provides a mechanism to fight the growing epidemic of methamphetamine use," Akers said.

County Commissioner Daryl Andrews sides with Akers.

"There is a problem in Clay County [with methamphetamine use and sale]," Andrews said.

Andrews said he thinks the problem is concentrated the most in the southern part of the county because it's a more rural area.

In Vigo County, customers are limited to two packages of cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine and must present a photo ID and give a signature to purchase the medicine.

"That's personally how I would like to see it," Andrews said.

Most people in Clay County understand the importance of fighting this problem, he said.

However, Akers said, "There are law abiding persons that this will create an inconvenience for."

Both Akers and County Commissioner David Parr said they plan on speaking with local pharmacies soon to get their input on the best options available.

Along with mentioning Vigo County's ordinance they also mentioned Oklahoma's policy.

Parr said Oklahoma began selling the cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine behind the counter and have seen a 50 percent decrease in methamphetamine arrests since then.

"If we can make it difficult for them to get ingredients...even if we slow them down, it's got to help," Parr said.

During this information gathering process, Akers said it's important to look at this as an educational process.

All of the officials are optimistic that Indiana will pass a state law regarding methamphetamine, but are being cautious until something at the state level happens.

Andrews said, "[An ordinance] won't stop it [methamphetamine use and sale]. It won't eliminate it, but it will slow it down."

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