Police cracking down on illegal use of cold medication

Cold remedies in their purest intention were created to assist patients in their recovery when feeling sick.

If you go to your local drug store to purchase cold medication when battling a nasty cough or flu, you’ve probably noticed it’s not as easy as it used to be.

“Sudafedrin is the main ingredient in   Methamphetamine, which is meth. They buy the cold medicine then they extract the sudafedrin from those cold medicines then they start the process of making methamphetamine,” Marquette City Police Patrols Operations Captain Blake Rieboldt said.

Providing a Drivers license or some sort of ID is mandatory and your name and information is entered into a local database.  You are allowed to purchase 3.6 grams of cold tablets each day.  One package can contain anywhere from .6 grams to 3.6 grams which could  put you at your limit for the day and you cannot exceed 9 grams a month.

“When we go to a pharmacy we can look up what and who is purchasing the sudafedrin or cold medicines, we can go to each pharmacy and produce those records,” Rieboldt said.

Along with the tablet form, cough syrup has also become popular for use in a street-made drink called “Sizzurp,” “Texas Tea”, or “Purple Drank.”

“What’s so frightening about this form of getting high is that a few innocent items found in your household cabinets such as cough syrup, lemon–lime soda and a few hard dandies can lead to very disastrous results.”

Celebrities, music videos and songs such as “Sippin’ Codeine” and “Sippin’ on some Syrup/Sizzurp” have popularized the concoction.

“There are a lot of people who abuse cough syrup just to get hi and because they think it is cool. Three 6 Mafia is a pretty popular group and I think they are the main ones promoting it,” Jeremy Jones said, who knows people who have tried Sizzurp.

“I’m over age so I can purchase alcohol legally.  I’d rather go do something that I am legally able to do on the weekend,” Dana Smolinske said.  “I’d rather concentrate on my studies than go out and get high.”

Police say since they started tracking purchases of cough syrup, arrests have gone up and illegal usage has gone down.