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Frightening insight into an evil drug

REPORTS that medicines for the common cold are being used to make crystal meth are chilling. Gardai have launched Operation Shutdown to investigate after pharmacists in Dublin, Limerick and Kerry noticed bulk buys of tablets such as Sudafed.

Drug suppliers are mixing the over-the-counter medications with other substances, such as floor polish and nail varnish remover, to produce crystal meth.

Such practices are not simply suspected -- last month a makeshift crystal meth laboratory was discovered in a house in Tralee, along with Sudafed medication.

This is deeply worrying. Crystal meth is a drug with horrendous effects. Users suffer hallucinations, paranoia and psychotic behaviour. The apparent ease with which the drug can be made, and the low cost of production, make it appealing to unscrupulous dealers.

To their credit, the garda move on this is both swift and serious. All of us should hope it will be effective.