ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Tracking the crime trend of methamphetamine abuse News 4 found out the finger points in two directions.
Tuesday we’re asking some city leaders why they refuse to play ball and take the one step that some say could make a big dent in the problem.
The numbers we have show just where the problem is the greatest. Through July of 2012 the highest number of meth-related incidents is in Jefferson County at 212. St. Charles County is next at 100, followed by Franklin County with 83, St. Louis County with 75 and St. Louis city at 29.
The numbers show where towns and counties require a prescription to buy cold medicine the meth incidents are down- except Jefferson County. Narcotics officers blame neighboring communities.
“Jefferson County is going to have a huge number of meth labs and they are a prescription only, the problem is Fenton, Missouri,” said Franklin County Detective Jason Grellner. “When you’ve got a town of 4,800 selling nearly 6,000 boxes a month there’s a problem.”
One Walgreens in Fenton sells more cold medicine than any store in Missouri. Police say meth makers are pouring into drug stores in areas without prescription ordinances and paying people to buy medicine.
We wanted to ask the four Fenton aldermen who voted down a drug prescription ordinance why they won’t help battle meth with a proven tool, but none returned calls.
Just Monday police arrested a man and woman who tried to buy over the legal limit of cold medicine at a Walmart in Kirkwood and they admitted that they planned to take it back to Pacific to manufacture meth.
For communities that don’t have a meth problem, and therefore don’t pass prescription laws, police warn those going to other communities to buy cold medicine also commit other crimes. Sergeant Grellner says if these areas would enact restrictions, methamphetamine production would drop dramatically.
“If St. Louis County and St. Louis city would go prescription-only, by this time next year you’re looking at a 65% - 75% drop in meth labs in the sSt. Louis metropolitan area,” he said. “95% of what’s going on in St. Charles, Lincoln, Franklin and Jefferson County all of those labs are being fueled by pseudoephedrine coming out of St. Louis County- and the numbers are through the roof in those border communities.”
Alderwoman Dionne Flowers has submitted a proposal to require prescriptions in St. Louis City, but in St. Louis County officials worry a prescription will drive up the cost, forcing too many to go without.
However many in St. Louis County are hoping a new formula of cold medicine with pseudoephedrine that hits the market next week will help curb the problems. The new formula touts that it cannot be made into methamphetamine.