Ind., Ill., attorneys general meet about meth, synthetic drug abuse

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today convened an interstate summit to tackle the region’s growing threat of small-batch methamphetamine production and increasing use of synthetic drugs. They said coordinated strategies will better protect the public.

For more than a decade, Illinois and Indiana authorities have enacted measures to crack down on the sale of the key ingredient in meth, pseudoephedrine, and strengthen penalties for those convicted of meth-related offenses.

While those measures have resulted in significant decreases in meth production, drug users are adapting by making smaller batches, which allows meth cooks to use legal amounts of pseudoephedrine to mix smaller amounts of the drug in two-liter plastic bottles.

This method is both more dangerous and more difficult to detect because the production can be mobile as opposed to being made in an established lab.

The attorneys general also addressed growing numbers of teens and young adults using synthetic drugs, which are chemically laced substances akin to marijuana, cocaine and meth.

Synthetic drugs are divided into two categories, cannabinoids that are synthetic THC, or marijuana, and cathinones, known as “bath salts,” whose composition mimics the effects of cocaine or meth. Both are dangerous because their effects can be even stronger than the original drugs.