Law enforcement officials in Tallapoosa County say efforts to combat meth are working. They say overall, meth production is down across the county, thanks to more cooperation between pharmacists and law enforcement.
The Tallapoosa County Drug Task Force started in 1995. Law enforcement officials say they take all drug use seriously, but cutting down on meth is important, because of just how dangerous the drug can be.
Law enforcement leaders say it's difficult to combat meth production because most of the ingredients it takes to make it are available in any store.
"All the drug problems are serious that we look at. We just know that the meth is probably the most dangerous that we're doing with the new methods of them making the meth and everything--it makes it easier for the individual that's using the meth," said Sheriff Jimmy Abbett.
Pseudoephedrine is one key ingredient. You can find it in many cold medicines. That's why it's illegal to buy more than 3.6 grams a day or 9 grams in 30 days. The Tallapoosa County Drug Task Force works with local pharmacies and a program called NPLEX, which measures how much one person buys.
"If at this point they've exceeded their limit that we've talked about, either their daily limit or their monthly limit, it then rejects the sale and it tells them or it tells us on our screen that they have exceeded their limit," said Stacey Benton, an Alexander City pharmacist.
Tallapoosa County officials say the system means about 600 illegal sales of the drug have been blocked county-wide.
Law enforcement officials say meth lab busts in Alabama are down from 720 in 2010 to about 150 last year.