ST. LOUIS COUNTY - It's a huge milestone in the fight against methamphetamine.
For the first time Missouri is not the top meth-producing state in the country. Statewide meth labs are down by 25 percent.
Police say it's because so many cities and counties have made medicines with pseudoephedrine available by prescription. Pseudoephedrine is the key ingredient in meth, and until just recently Fenton was the place to get it.
Jefferson, Franklin, and St. Charles counties all have laws that require a prescription for pseudoephedrine. St. Louis, St. Louis County, and Fenton do not. But a number of cities that surround Fenton require a prescription, leaving Fenton as somewhat of an island.
Now the two Walgreens stores in Fenton have joined the prescription-only crowd.
In a statement, a spokesperson told NewsChannel 5's Grant Bissell: "We believe that addressing drug abuse will require all parties. We are committed to working with all parties to make our communities safer and our medications accessible for legitimate medical use."
In Franklin County, meth labs have dropped since Walgreens made the change.
"Most of the meth labs here in Franklin County had pseudoephedrine that could be traced back to Fenton," said Jason Grellner with the National Narcotics Officers Association.
It sounds like a win. But maybe not for people who suffer from allergies and rely on pseudoephedrine to handle their symptoms.
"Nationally, one in 12-14 people suffer from asthma and allergies. Here in St. Louis it's one in five," said Joy Krieger, R.N., executive director of the St. Louis Asthma and Allergy Foundation.
Police say the only way to curb meth is to make pseudoephedrine prescription-only across the country.
"When you control pseudoephedrine you control meth labs," said Grellner.
But allergy sufferers say Missouri Senate Bill 625 is a better alternative.
"This is the newest attempt to make pseudoephedrine remain behind the counter and accessible to people," said Krieger.