E. Wright learns about meth in Hawaii

Vance County Commissioner Eddie Wright wasted no time in putting the lessons of Hawaii into use Thursday night.

Just back from his trip to Honolulu for the annual National Association of Counties conference, Wright was the only Vance commissioner among about 35 people who attended state Sen. Doug Berger’s town-hall meeting at the old courthouse.

Wright said he arrived home about 3 p.m., and he reached the meeting by 8, about an hour late.

He quickly brought up the latest drug scourge sweeping the nation, methamphetamine. Wright said one of the valuable things he did during his taxpayer-financed trip to Hawaii was to attend a town-hall-style meeting about meth.

“They call it ice in the islands,” Wright said.

“We have not seen a whole lot of it here, but it’s coming,” he added.

Wright urged more drug education so people are aware of the risks of meth and can spot the signs of its abuse. He mentioned that some states are limiting access to cold medications made with pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in Sudafed. Meth labs turn pseudoephedrine into the highly addictive stimulant.

“Our children are doing everything to get a high,” Wright said.

As it turns out, Wright didn’t need to go to Hawaii to get his education in meth. Berger discussed the drug and the General Assembly’s efforts to fight it earlier at Thursday night’s meeting.

During an exchange with Oxford Road resident Lewis Edwards about crime, Berger said: “Meth is the big thing now.”

The Youngsville Democrat mentioned that people can learn online how to make the drug from Sudafed, and he said only 5 percent of meth addicts are able to kick the habit.

The House and Senate have taken up legislation to move all sales of pseudoephedrine-containing medicines behind pharmacists’ counters as a way to deter mass purchases for meth production. Berger co-sponsored the Meth Lab Prevention Act, which cleared the Senate in April. A House committee Tuesday moved to make the measure even tougher.