Methamphetamine drug use has been on a constantrise across East Texas. The rise of the drug has caused law enforcement andpharmacies to look at new ways of combating the addictive drug.
Lufkin's Brookshire Brothers Grocery storechain thinks they have found the latest way to stop the drug from ever beingproduced.
The company hopes the drug Nexafed will beable to prevent meth cooks from making the powerful drug.
Nexafed is used to fight nasal congestion.The main ingredient is pseudoephedrine. The drug works like the popular Sudafedbut cannot be broken down to be used in methamphetamines. Nexafed is currently theonly medicine of its type on the market that is approved by the Food and DrugAdministration.
"They are trying to be the next generationof pseudoephed products," said pharmacist Matt Baker. "When meth cooks goand extract the pseudoephedrine from the tablets in order to create the meth,it forms a gel and it is unable to be extracted."
Angelina County Lt. Sergio Luna said thatmeth usage has soared in East Texas over the last 15 years.
The 2013 National Drug Threat AssessmentSummary by the U.S. Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administrationsaid that Texas is one of the states with the highest usage of meth.
Brookshire Brothers added Nexafed to its fiveLufkin area pharmacies a couple of months ago and their hope is to help thecommunity and law enforcement.
"I know selling that product; it's not goingto turn into anything else," Baker said. "It's going to go and be a straight decongestantfor those customers, and from the customers perspective they know that if thatgets in someone else's hands than there is nothing they can do with it."
Luna said that law enforcement appreciatesthe new medication.
"Any narcotics investigation, actuallyputs a strain on your department and local agencies," Luna said "Any pharmaceuticalcompany that can assist in preventing the manufacturing or distribution of methwill be greatly appreciated."
Baker hopes Nexafed is only the start inrevolutionary medicines that help eliminate meth usage in East Texas.
Nexafedis a product of Acura Pharmaceuticals. According to the company's website, portionsof the proceeds will be donated non-profit Meth Project as a way to raiseawareness against meth usage.
Formore information on Nexafed, you can visit their website.