Cold medicine is not just for colds anymore. In the last decade, cold medicine has become the central ingredient in the domestic manufacture of methamphetamine, an extraordinarily dangerous drug that has exploded in popularity across the United States. From its origins on the West Coast, methamphetamine has spread to the rest of the country, where users have started manufacturing the drug for themselves in makeshift laboratories. The manufacturing process utilizes a variety of ingredients, all of which are readily available at any local drug store or supermarket. Chief among these ingredients is pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in many cold medicines. In response, retailers, state legislatures, and the federal government have imposed purchasing restrictions on cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine.
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