SEASIDE - A theft of 77 boxes of cold medicine Oct. 24 from the Seaside Rite Aid has Thugz off Drugz Director Alan Evans concerned: Cold medicine contains ephedrine, one of the major ingredients of methamphetamine.

"They walked in the door with two bags from Safeway, pulled it off the shelf and ran out the door," Evans said.

Thugz off Drugz, an addiction recovery program, is working to get stores to become part of Methwatch. The community watch program is designed to make producing methamphetamine harder, if not impossible. Safeway joined the program Oct. 28, the first store in Seaside to do so, and will work to recognize when people are purchasing ingredients for the drug.

Methamphetamine can cause convulsions, strokes, respiratory problems, extreme anorexia, cardiovascular collapse and death. Tom Bergin, the sheriff's department's chief deputy, said drugs contribute to 85 percent of crimes, and methamphetamine is Clatsop County's No. 1 drug problem.

Thugz off Drugz is having a community awareness meeting 3 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Bob Chisholm Community Center at 1225 Avenue A in Seaside.

"Seaside's going to be the first community in Oregon to become a Methwatch community," Evans said.

To donate to Thugz off Drugz, or to find out how to join Methwatch, contact Allan Evans at (503) 717-1425 or stop by 1530 S. Roosevelt in Seaside.

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