DEA Says New Cold Medicine Can be Used to Make Meth

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said this week that a new cold medicine must be kept behind pharmacy counters because it can be used to make methamphetamine. The medicine, Zephrex-D, contains a new form of pseudoephedrine that the drug’s maker says is difficult to use to make meth. Over the past month, pharmacies have started to sell Zephrex-D in all 50 states.

DEA spokesman Rusty Payne said government chemists were able to make meth from the cold medicine, the Associated Press reports. “DEA commends the efforts of companies to develop products that deter the production of illicit drugs,” he said. “While this particular company claims that their ‘drug delivery system provides a new and unconventional approach to combat drug misuse,’ this product can still be utilized to manufacture methamphetamine.”

In a news release, the company that makes Zephrex-D, Westport Pharmaceuticals, says the product cannot be used to make meth with the one-pot shake-and-bake method, in which the ingredients are mixed together in a soda bottle. “The vast majority of homemade meth is now produced this way,” the company notes, adding that the Missouri Narcotics Officers Association said it has not found the product in any meth labs.

Pseudoephedrine must be crystallized in order to make meth. Westport officials say the pseudoephedrine in their product becomes gooey when heated, instead of crystallizing. The officials acknowledge that their product can be used to make meth in very small quantities, but that a single dose made in this way would cost $250 to $500—up to 20 times the street value.

According to the U.S. Combat Meth Act, pseudoephedrine products must be sold behind the counter. A person purchasing the products must show identification and have their names entered into a tracking database. More than 70 cities and counties in Missouri require prescriptions for pseudoephedrine, as do Oregon and Mississippi.

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    December 8, 2019 at 10:21 PM

    This drug has almost killed my son! Stop making it. Stop ruining people’s lives. Stop killing people for money! It’s wrong! What you give out will come back…..

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    Sonny Holden

    December 14, 2016 at 9:53 AM

    The government does what it wants with no regards to citizens… they makes the law’s and are above them…. what you think convert operations,,, classifieds documents,,top secret!!¡! wake up PEOPLE’S we don’t have a clue what the government does….!!!!????

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    July 25, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    I agree the DEA should not have the right to make this Horrible Drug anymore than these Horrible people that are making it ,and selling it . This Drug is ramped, and destroying people, and their family’s. I know it’s around this area, I personally have never seen it.But ppl Talk in this town so yeah it’s definatley here. We all need to work together to get this off the streets, and away from our future generation of kids we have.I have a 19yr old I know she has never used it, but she has been offered to try it, and I am so Happy I raised such a smart child that has enough sense not to try anything offered to her.

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    September 13, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    I wanna make a citizens arrest to the government officials manufacturing meth, citizen or government ITS ILLEGAL EITHER WAY. what good for the goose is good for the government. CITIZEN ARREST

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    September 12, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Who is the DEA to make laws? What powers does the USDOJ have in making laws, why are gofvernment chemists making meth, and not going to jail? Do the laws of this country only apply to some people?

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