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Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence Announces Significant Drop in Statewide Methamphetamine Lab Responses
Lt. Governor Pence credits Senate Bill 63

Date of News Release: 11/07/2005

Frankfort, KY: Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence unveiled new statistics today which revealed that statewide methamphetamine lab responses dropped an astounding 75 percent from June 2005 to September 2005. Senate Bill 63, which became law in June 2005, makes producing meth more difficult by requiring stores and pharmacies to place pseudoephedrine in tablet form, the key ingredient needed to make meth, behind the counter.

"I have no doubt that Senate Bill 63 is the main component behind the significant drop in meth lab responses in Kentucky. When it became law in June, criminals could no longer go to any store and purchase countless boxes of pseudoephedrine tablets with the intent of producing this illegal, deadly drug. I want to commend the legislators who helped our administration pass this bill. While we have certainly not solved the drug problem in Kentucky, we have taken a significant step forward."

In April of 2005, prior to Senate Bill 63 becoming law, Kentucky law enforcement had 84 responses to meth labs; an all time high for the state. In September 2005, KSP only had 12 responses.

"Compare those two months, and we have an 89 percent decrease in meth lab responses. The results are nothing short of amazing," continued Lieutenant Governor Pence.

Law enforcement agencies and drug task forces across the state are using the log books on meth labs as an investigative tool to indict criminals who produce the drug. Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy Executive Director Teresa Barton says the early success of Senate Bill 63 is even more significant than she anticipated.

"The cold and allergy medicine affected by Senate Bill 63 do their job when they are used appropriately, but we had to address the fact that criminals are misusing them to manufacture meth," said Barton. "This law is the result of the efforts of many people who are dedicated to combating the serious meth problem in Kentucky. In just four months, the bill has provided the change that it was designed to produce--- fewer meth labs."

Senate Bill 63 also makes it a felony to allow a child to be in the vicinity of a meth lab. Kentucky State Police Commissioner Mark Miller says protecting innocent lives is the main goal when troopers respond to a meth lab.

"While shutting down local meth labs and interdicting the transportation of meth into the state remains a high priority for the Kentucky State Police, we must not forget that children are often the innocent victims of this destructive drug," said Commissioner Miller. "Children from families involved in cooking, dealing and using meth often have physical and emotional problems that must be addressed to avoid long-term damage. In partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Health Services and the Office of Drug Control Policy, KSP has developed special backpacks for first responders who are removing children to more stable environments," Miller explained. "They contain protective clothing and various hygiene products for the responders as well as toys for the children to help ease the transition."

Miller added that KSP is also allocating $30,000 to fund baseline medical exams for these children for the purpose of early detection of any medical complications they might have from meth lab exposure.

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