Originally created 08/19/04

Medicine for colds might be limited



ATLANTA - State leaders vowed an all-out fight against methamphetamine production and abuse Wednesday at a summit devoted to the topic and recommended new restrictions on the distribution of some kinds of cold medicines.

"This battle will be waged with legal, economic, social, medical, psychological and even spiritual tools," Gov. Sonny Perdue said in his second address to the two-day conference. "We'll fight this battle county by county, community by community, home by home, life by life. And God help us, we will win."

The governor announced an agreement between the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Division of Family and Children Services on how to deal with children found at meth labs.

Under the "memorandum of understanding," the bureau will give DFACS advance word when it plans to take down a meth lab. The child welfare agency will look for any contact it has had with the family and attend GBI briefings. DFACS and the bureau will work together on interviews with children found at the site, along with the parents or guardians.

One of the more radical recommendations was a proposal to place added restrictions on ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, ingredients in cold medicine and one of many accessible substances needed to make meth. The summit recommended restrictions similar to those in Oklahoma, where customers get the medicine from behind pharmacy counters.

After closing the summit, Mr. Perdue noted that some might consider those rules an infringement on their rights. But he said the restrictions appeared to be working in Oklahoma.