Wilson meth-related stats on rise
Caitlin Rickard email@example.com
Dec 15, 2015 at 2:57 PM
A pharmacy in Wilson County ranks among the top 25 in the state in sales of pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used to make methamphetamine.
According to a report from the Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force, the Walgreen’s at 1303 W. Main St. in Lebanon ranks in the tops in the state in pseudoephedrine sellers.
The report, which collected data through May, shows the Lebanon Walgreen’s location, the only store in Wilson County on the list, had 2,347 transactions that included pseudoephedrine, with more than 5,000 total grams sold, averaging 2.13 grams per sale.
The Lebanon Walgreen’s ranked No. 6 on the list of most pseudoephedrine sold, just after Walgreen’s locations in Memphis, Chattanooga, Collierville, Clarksville and Dickson, respectively. The Memphis location tops the list with 6,492 total grams sold through May.
Of the top 25 pseudoephedrine sellers in the state, 22 stores were Walgreen’s locations across Tennessee. There was one instance of a CVS in Powell and two instances of Walmart pharmacies, one in Covington and one in Kingsport.
Locations with stores that appear in the top 25 multiple times include Knoxville with four different stores, Memphis with three different stores and Nashville with two different stores.
It’s a battle that we are fighting every day,” Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen said. “Hopefully the change in the law that took effect July 1 will have a significant impact on the illegal pseudoephedrine purchases or ‘smurfing.’ It was shocking to me to see a local store in the top 10 in pseudoephedrine sales. I believe it definitely plays a part in our problem.
Additionally, TMPTF also released a report last month of Middle Tennessee-region meth seizure totals through May.
According to the report, which is totaled by county, Wilson County had a 116-percent increase in total seizures compared to the same time last year.
Through May 2013, Wilson County had six seizures. Year to date, the county’s seizures more than doubled with 13.
Wilson County is just under Giles and Putnam counties in the Middle Tennessee region, which both had 17, and Hickman County, which had 14. However, Putnam’s seizure numbers were down 55 percent, and Hickman’s seizure numbers decreased by 39 percent.
Wilson County also showed one of the top increase changes from 2013, just under Williamson County, which increased 250 percent, and Marshall County, which increased 200 percent, in reported meth task force seizures.
“We have seen a huge increase the first six months this year compared to last,” Bowen said. “Hopefully the last six months will tell a different story.”
Overall, the entire state is down 36 percent from the first half of 2013, the report showed.