Buyer beware! Cold medicine could turn you into a meth producer

Okay, perhaps a little hyperbole in that statement. But reality caught up with me today as I went to purchase some cold medicine at Rite-Aid. To be honest, I don’t pay a whole lot of detailed attention to the news anymore. It’s just too depressing. I’ll skim the Yahoo! headlines a few times a day, clicking on mostly the science-related articles and ignoring completely the political ones. I know that makes me a poorly informed citizen, but I think I’d rather been poorly informed than chronically depressed.

I digress. Somewhere, in the last several months, I seemed to have missed the news that cold medicines containing pseudophedrine have been taken off the shelves and reformulated. I worked in a pharmacy in high school, and I know what I am looking for when I go into a drug store. When I couldn’t find a cold medicine with pseudophedrine, I grew mildly annoyed. Even the name brand product Pseudophed now uses a “new formula”. I rolled my eyes in dismay, and, looking up, saw that I could still get the originally formulated products if I took a card from the shelf and brought it to the pharmacy. Of course, the pharmacy was closed. So I picked up Tylenol Cold Head Congestion, which, instead of pseudophedrine, contains phenlephrine. Fine.

I brought it to the checkout counter for purchase and when I was checking out, the clerk asked to see my driver’s license so she could enter my birthdate. When I asked why she needed to do this, she explained it was because “people make drugs out of this.” I pointed out that this product does not contain pseudophedrine and she simply said she had to do it or she could get fined $500. Well, fine; she’s not responsible for this nonsense anyway.

After I got back home, I went back and read some news articles on this. From what I gather, pseudophedrine is used by some as a component of methamphetamines. Naturally, using the logic of the FDA, because a few people do this, the rest of us must do it. Yes, FDA, you’ve figured us all out. We are all buying up Pseudophed in droves, not because of the colds we have (for which we can’t get treatment because we don’t have medical insurance), but in order to produce meth.

Give me a break!

At the very least, make up your mind. Take pseudophedrine off the shelf and replace it with some other decongestant. But don’t make us have to provide ID for that (safer?) product. Isn’t that the point of removing the pseudo-meth from the shelves.

My real concern is: where does it stop? Pretty soon, we’ll have to show ID to purchase chewable Flintstones vitamins!

Or worse! Soon Big Brother will be banning the posting of How To Make Meth With Pseudophedrine online; and who knows what else! Well, in a Puckish, and somewhat rebellious moment, I looked up online just how meth is made with pseudophedrine. I have no interest in the least in even attempting to make meth. Nor do I endorse the making of the drug. But because I’m so annoyed with the stupidity of the whole thing, those interested in just how meth is made from Pseudophed can find that information here.

In the meantime, I sigh and revert to my mantra: “Against stupidity, the very gods themselves contend in vain.”