Brett Blume

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOX) –  St. Charles County now requires prescriptions for the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the making of methamphetamine.

So what’s behind this year’s increase in meth-related incidents in St. Charles County?

Sheriff Tom Neer says he has the answer to that question.

“Smurfers, the people who go get the pseudoephedrine pills for the cooks, just cross the river and go into St. Louis city and St. Louis county,” Neer explains.

Neither St. Louis city nor county have adopted restrictions on cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine, but St. Louis County police chief Tim Fitch says he now favors enacting a countywide prescription ordinance.

“Now that other local areas around us have passed this ordinance and really, seriously pushed this issue into St. Louis County, clearly it’s become our problem to deal with now,” Fitch tells KMOX News.

But it may be easier said than done to shut down the Blanchette Bridge relief valve for pseudoephedrine-hunting “smurfers”, according to Sheriff Neer of St. Charles County.

“The pharmaceutical companies, of course, are against it,” he says. “And there are people who think that it’s going to be too much of a burden on those individuals who use pseudoephedrine products to have to get a prescription.”

It’s like putting together a puzzle, Neer continues, with St. Louis city and county currently representing two big missing pieces.

“So until we can get all the parts and all the pieces of the puzzle together, we’re just kind of pouring gasoline on a forest fire,” he says.

Neer’s among local officials who will be heading back to Jefferson City next session to push for a statewide prescription law.


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