Hazmat crews clean up an Upstate meth lab. (File/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
Angie Steadman is a former meth addict who has turned her life around.
"Once I tried it, and got into it then it was very addictive. I was addicted immediately," Steadman said.
Users said the drug is easy to get and easy to make. They make meth by using pseudoephedrine, which is a decongestant found in cold medicine.
"I got caught up in a pretty heavy, heavy duty situation as a result of some of those things. As a result, I was involved with people that were involved with meth manufacture," Steadman said.
"I was doing things I would have never done in my right mind," Steadman said. "Then it got to the point where you could only buy two at a time."
And now to try and crack down on meth makers, Upstate Sen. Mike Fair, R-Greenville, introduced a bill that would make all medicine with pseudoephedrine prescription only.
"It isn't the product, it's the chemicals the products combined with that can be extrapolated and used," Fair said.
Back in 2010, lawmakers passed a bill that put limits on how much pseudoephedrine can be bought by one person. Customers must show ID and their information is put into a database.
"According to leadership and law enforcement in South Carolina, it isn't working and we still have the problem," Fair said.
Fair said meth causes crime rates to go up.
"Anything that's illegal is right there with the drug addiction or the drug usage. The cleanup is very expensive. It costs the state approximately a million dollars a year," Fair said.
He said most importantly the drug ruins communities.
"The expense for the lives of families is the greatest expense," Fair said.
Right now, many pharmacists use the National Precursors Log Exchange System, or NPLEX.
"The thing that you cannot legislate is morality," Ken Rogers said.
Rogers owns Stone Plaza Pharmacy in Greenville and uses NPLEX at his store.
"It goes over all the different products that contain pseudoephedrine," Rogers said. "It just lets us know whether it's safe to sell or OK to sell that particular product to that particular patient."
Rogers said not all pharmacists have access to the Internet and don't use the system.
"So, they don't actually do that or maybe they track their sales at the end of the week," Rogers said.
Statistics show meth users get around the system by shop hopping and using fake IDs. The report shows meth lab incidents increased by 65 percent last year in the state. However, Carlos Gutierrez, senior director of State Government Affairs with the Consumer Health Care Products Association, said the NPLEX system blocks illegal sales each month.
"We are adamantly opposed to any attempt at changing the status of over the counter medicine," Gutierrez.
He also said customers don't want the added expense of a prescription.
"To the consumer, the costs are taking time off from work, going to the doctor, paying a co-pay for that doctor, then going to the pharmacy and paying a co-pay for that," Gutierrez.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 3:40 PM EDT2013-05-22 19:40:35 GMT
Minutes after the tornado reduced an Oklahoma elementary school to rubble, a photographer captured the courage and selflessness that overcame adults at the school in the moments after the devastation.More >
Minutes after the tornado reduced an Oklahoma elementary school to rubble, a photographer captured the courage and love as a scared little boy jumped into the arms of his next-door neighbor. More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:42 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:42:42 GMT
Everyone has seen food permits hanging inside restaurants, but what does it really say about the establishment. Now, people can check if their favorite hotspot made the grade faster than they can cutMore >
Everyone has seen food permits hanging inside restaurants, but what does it really say about the establishment? Now, people can check if their favorite hot spot made the grade faster than they can cut into a steak.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 3:29 PM EDT2013-05-21 19:29:04 GMT
For months, concerns had been raised about the welfare of Lucas Webb. Born Jan. 3, 2008, Lucas knew much pain and suffering in his four short years. More >
State records released Monday show how Missouri social workers failed to adequately pursue allegations of abuse involving a preschooler. Lucas Webb, 4, would die five days after the state closed the abuse investigation.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:21:12 GMT
(RNN) - British officials are saying one man is dead and two others were injured in a possible terrorist attack in London on Wednesday.According to BBC News, eyewitnesses said man was attacked in a streetMore >
One man is dead after two men attacked him in broad daylight with knives and meat cleavers. More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:56 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:56:01 GMT
(RNN) – Of the 24 killed in the EF-5 tornado that decimated Moore, OK, 10 are children - two of which are infants according to a release by the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner's Office. All the childrenMore >
The last of the missing from Monday's massive tornado that tore through the town of Moore, OK, have been accounted for. More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:32 PM EDT2013-05-23 01:32:31 GMT
ORLANDO, FL (RNN) – A man with possible ties to a Boston Marathon bombing suspect was shot and killed after the FBI interviewed him early Wednesday. The FBI confirmed a special agent fatally shot a manMore >
A man killed Wednesday during questioning by the FBI said he and Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev were accomplices in a 2011 slaying. More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:16:48 GMT
MOORE, OK - The Oklahoma County Sheriff's office tweeted a photo of a frightened, muddy dog Monday after the deadly EF-5 tornado ripped through the town.The comment accompanying the photo said, "scared,More >
A heartbreaking photo of a little dog guarding the body of his owner, who was killed in the Moore, OK, tornado, is going viral.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:50 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:50:06 GMT
Shawnee police searched along westbound Interstate 70 in Kansas City, KS, Tuesday afternoon, looking for a gun used in a murder that occurred three years ago. Captain Bill Hisle with the Shawnee PoliceMore >
Shawnee police searched along westbound Interstate 70 in Kansas City, KS, Tuesday afternoon, looking for a gun used in a murder that occurred three years ago.More >