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The regulation of pseudoephedrine

It is no secret that America is dealing with a methamphetamine epidemic. The use and manufacturing of this illegal drug has exploded in the last few years, and Iowa has not been left untouched by the direct and tangential problems associated with meth use and distribution.

As a result of this societal plague, lawmakers in a variety of states, and in the federal government, have passed legislation to help reduce and prevent the sale and manufacture of meth. One approach has been to regulate access to pseudoephedrine.

Pseudoephedrine can be used to create methamphetamine. Although it is not the only ingredient needed to concoct this illegal drug, it is the most important ingredient for certain recipes. And, although pseudoephedrine probably sounds like a strange medical term, the fact is that most Americans have probably ingested this particular substance at some point in their lives - it is also a key ingredient in many medications you can find at your local pharmacy that are used for sinus and congestion relief.

A federal law that has been on the books since 2005 mandates that all medications containing pseudoephedrine must be kept in a secure location inside any retail location where these medications are sold. The medications can only be sold from behind the counter. Beyond that, there are both daily and monthly limits on how much of these medications a person can purchase, and anyone who purchases these medications must show a valid piece of identification and sign in on a logbook - which can be viewed by law enforcement officials at will.

Source: chpa.org, "Pseudoephedrine," Accessed Aug. 14, 2015

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