Georgia Considering Law To Let Police Monitor Any Medicine You Buy

from the that's-not-how-to-stop-meth dept

There are plenty of communities that have problems with meth, but it seems that law enforcement keeps overreacting to the problem. We've already made it difficult to buy the cold medicine that works (the kind that has pseudoephedrine), leading to ridiculous situations like the grandmother arrested for buying two whole boxes of cold medicine for her grandkids. Now it seems that lawmakers in Georgia are going beyond even that. Radley Balko points us to a story about proposed legislation in Georgia that would give law enforcement full access to a list of all medication you've bought -- including over-the-counter medicines. The idea, of course, is to stop meth production by letting law enforcement see if any individual has bought enough of this or that medicines to make meth. But does anyone really believe that law enforcement officials won't abuse the ability to see what kinds of (perfectly legal) medicines lots of people are taking?

In the meantime, Balko is also discussing the impact of those laws to make over-the-counter cold medicine hard to get. The end result? Meth use has increased (by 34% in the last year) and more people have become criminals:
But an Associated Press analysis of federal data reveals that the practice has not only failed to curb the meth trade, which is growing again after a brief decline. It also created a vast and highly lucrative market for profiteers to buy over-the-counter pills and sell them to meth producers at a huge markup.

In just a few years, the lure of such easy money has drawn thousands of new people into the methamphetamine underworld.
So the answer is now to make the problem even more ridiculous by letting the police spy on every pill you buy?


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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 11:31am

    I watched a PBS documentary on the history of meth in the U.S. and boy is it ever a sad story. What's clear, though, is that the people behind ridiculous proposals like this are well-intentioned: it's just that they operate entirely in a world of meth and the damage it does, which makes it easy to lose touch with the broader implications of things.

    Sadly, though, the constant attempts to cut off the source of pseudoephedrine (and previously just ephedrine) have made the situation worse at almost every turn. The whole "exploding meth lab", for example, is not a myth but it's also not a result of the actual process of making meth: it happens because of the huge vats of alcohol used to break down cold pills to get pure pseudoephedrine. Previously, when plain ephedrine was coming illegally from Mexico (and later Canada), there were no explosions - and while the crackdown on those illegal sources of ephedrine did reduce meth usage overall, it also increased the dangers associated with production and use, and hugely increased the presence of "bad" (chemically imperfect and thus even more harmful) meth on the streets

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

    Not too keen on this one

    I would only let my Doctor or Pharmacist have access to medical records and medical-related records and purchases.

    Letting Joe Policeman, who lacks formal training in the medical field have access to records seems like a scary prospect. How will they be trained? It seems Law Enforcement is already running plenty of cell phone location traces, and I haven't seen many results of how this has made us safer.

    How about we see some results from that before handing more civil liberties over?

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

      Re: Not too keen on this one

      "Letting Joe Policeman, who lacks formal training in the medical field have access to records seems like a scary prospect."

      Screw Joe Policeman, can you imagine the way Officer Bubbles is salivating at the thought of getting this law passed in his jurisdiction?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    I believe all should be allowed to commit to their mistakes and learn from it and not be shielded by misguided attempts to stop it from happening.

    That means, if people want to take drugs they should be allowed to do so and live with the consequences, in time society will create a culture around it that will truly discourage such acts.

    Even law enforcement people already realized that.

    L.E.A.P. - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

     

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      Christopher (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 3:54pm

      Re:

      What consequences? The fact is that there are VERY LITTLE TO NO consequences from using drugs, when it comes down to brass tacks.
      Hell, 6 of the 10 highest ranking students my graduating year from high school were light to HEAVY drug users.

      So, it's bullcrap that there are 'consequences' from using drugs, unless you are talking about using them while you are pregnant.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 5:52pm

        Re: Re:

        You are an idiot that is all I can say, drugs can destroy your life if you are not capable of handling it, is just like alcoholism, a lot of people can drink, but there is a significant part of the population that can't handle that.

        For every bright drug user there is, I can show you in the streets tens if not hundreds of failed people.

        That doesn't mean it should be prohibited though, they act as a warning sign to everyone who wants to delve into that life and that the consequences will be severe, no need to make it more severe using law enforcement to do it.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 6:09pm

        Re: Re:

        Your ten colleagues didn't end up in the "Meth Faces" but a lot of others did.

        There is no consequences right?

        Go an fill your ass with meth and see where you will end up.
        Before that do this experiments to understand some things.

        - Get a boiled egg and put that immersed in a meth solution to see what happens to the calcium.

        - Get a steak and put meth on it to see what happens over night.

        Meth will melt your teeth away(a.k.a. Meth Mouth) and attack every tissue it comes in contact with, not to mention the psychological problems it amplifies and causes.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 8:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Go an fill your ass with meth and see where you will end up.

          You know that the military uses it to enhance performance, right?

          "Meth will melt your teeth away(a.k.a. Meth Mouth) and attack every tissue it comes in contact with, not to mention the psychological problems it amplifies and causes."

          Meth mouth is the result of the dry mouth meth causes. Other drugs or diseases that produce dry mouth can cause the same thing.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 11:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Do you know any meth head with 10 years that doesn't have bad teeth?

            Even the coke addicts made fun of that.

            You know that the military uses it to enhance performance, right?


            You know that a lot of pilots in the U.S. army are paranoid because of it and keep shooting anything that moves.

            Have you ever been awake for 2 or 3 days?

            You start hearing voices that is no joke, you reasoning gets impaired and it gets harder to make decisions and somehow you get jaundiced for some reason I don't exactly know why, but it can't be good for your liver.

            What do you think will happen to someone that keeps using that crap for ten years?

            Just look at the photos of people who keep doing that and you will see what happens, if that is not enough for you, go try it, I don't care and I believe the government shouldn't care either, I'm informing you that bad things will happen and I'm telling you exactly what will happen in no uncertain terms, it is your choice to go ahead and used but you will need to live with the consequences.

            Even little exposure(a year) to that crap can damage your heart and circulation and you will feel the problems not in your 20's or 30's but when you are 40, your skin gets all messed up, sores appear from nowhere, brown patches of skin and all that circulatory related problems starts to pop up when you are not in your prime physical condition anymore, is that what you want? fine go ahead and do it, just don't say it doesn't have consequences, it does and they are severe.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 8:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Do you know any meth head with 10 years that doesn't have bad teeth?

              No, because they all get dry mouth. But, they're not the only ones. A friend of mine is a dentist and he has seen lots of patients with bad teeth and gun disease caused by dry mouth from things other than meth.

              What do you think will happen to someone that keeps using that crap for ten years?

              Yeah, all those ex-Air Force pilots look really messed up.
              /s

               

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

        Re: Re:

        Meth also will cause your heart to get bigger, which will lead to heart problems in the future.

        Drug abuse is like alcohol abuse it will lead you to a self-destructing path that most people can't handle, but some do, there are some functional alcoholics, but eventually every heavy drinker will end up in a bed jaundice screaming, go to any hospital and ask to see a terminal Cirrhosis patients to see if it is pretty.

        The same way most drug addicts end up on the streets, commit suicide, stop grooming themselves, stop caring about the world and themselves.

        Still, the government should not prohibit the drugs that causes that, but inform the population of what can happen and help society build their own cultural defenses against it. People should be able to fail and learn from that, and we should be there to help them pick themselves up if needed.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 12:34pm

    The Raid Map from the CATO institute just shows how bad things can get with this type of laws, there are many people being raided and people are dying anyways and a lot of them innocent people.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

    So how does it stop a few junkies from buying ingredients separately and then pooling them together? Goth... Those lawmakers don't understand the rule #1 of computer security: you shouldn't think about protecting your stuff. You should think about how to break in and steal your stuff -- and then block the break-in route you've just devised. Repeat.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

      Re:

      That's exactly what I was thinking. I don't do meth or make meth, but if I were to I'd make sure that I had an operation consisting of several people (at least one with a history of bronchitis or some other chronic lung thing that keeps them coughing half the year) and we'd buy in a 100 mile radius. Every time I heard someone cough I'd tell them about the great OTC drugs I've taken that cure my cough so that word of mouth spreads about how great the products I'm using to make meth are. I'd keep the cottage mobile...a camping trailer or something that I could tow behind a truck if I got word that the fuzz was out a-lookin. I'd also make sure it was never ever seen in my yard.

      I don't know what the answer is, but what they're proposing is easy enough to get around. Next time: my mobile hydroponics station.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 7:13pm

      Re:

      Well you don't even need multiple junkies to pool it all together, just one with a few fake ID cards.

       

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    John Doe, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 12:45pm

    Has any form of prohibition ever worked?

    We are a country doomed to repeat our mistakes. Prohibition failed miserably, the outlaw of drugs is failing miserably and outlawing firearms would fail just as miserably. Maybe its time for people to realize the government isn't here to be our daddy? Where do they get to right to tell us what we can do to ourselves? They should only be here to govern what we can do to others.

    BTW, I am not condoning drugs, alcohol, firearm abuse. Merely pointing out reality that laws don't prevent actions, they only punish actions when caught.

     

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      Krusty, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

      Re: Has any form of prohibition ever worked?

      "Where do they get to right to tell us what we can do to ourselves?"

      Uh, because they have more guns and people that can use them than you do?
      Srsly, they are going to protect you even if they have to kill you to do it.
      I mean just look at the insanity and drivel these mostly clueless chuckle heads spew on a regular basis.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    they did manage to destroy a cooking cottage industry that was thriving across the US, we saw domestic lab seizures go down dramatically when pseudo went behind the counter.

    However all that did was allow the cartels to step in, take over, and expand dramatically throughout the united states.
    It did cause a drop in the quality, which led to greatly increased violence at lower levels. ( desperate tweekers react badly to shitty high priced dope)
    I guess that's a victory...right?

     

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      FormerAC (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

      Re:

      "they did manage to destroy a cooking cottage industry that was thriving across the US, we saw domestic lab seizures go down dramatically when pseudo went behind the counter." Try reading the article Mr. Coward. "The increase was higher in the three states that have electronically tracked sales of medication containing pseudoephedrine since at least 2008. Meth incidents rose a combined 67 percent in those states 34 percent in Arkansas, 65 percent in Kentucky and 164 percent in Oklahoma." Any decrease in domestic production was temporary until the producers figured out how to work around the problem.

       

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    Not happening, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    It won't happen...

    This would be a clear violation of the federal HIPAA act and get gunned down.

    Police don't need everyone's medical information. Anyone who says differently can goosestep their way back to the Motherland.

     

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    Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    Georgia Sheriffs?

    -
    Wayl, now see here, boy, it's lookin' like you mighta boughta few too many of those pansy oh-tee-cee medi-KAY-shuns. Mebee we otta getcha over to the jayl-house and SERCH yer person, hmmm? Oh, anya gotta tayllite busted here, too (sound of taillight shattering). That'll be another week in jayl...
    -

    Does anyone else hear "Deliverance" music playing faintly?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    >>>>Georgia is going the wrong direction on this.
    1) Because as the AP story shows -- It doesn't work.
    2) Its more government surveillance.

    Consider what Oregon has done -- Prescriptions required for Sudafed.
    I know a lot of you would hate the inconvenience, but here are the results in Oregon:
    "191 meth incidents in 2005, the year before the prescription-only law. By 2009, it had 12".

     

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      jjmsan, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

      Re:

      That they caught

       

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      Matt (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

      Re:

      So the solution is to have everyone pay for a doctor's visit just because they have a cold?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

        Re: Re:

        There are other decongestant medications that do not include pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) which remain nonprescription in Oregon -- and happen to work just as well.
        No need for a doctor's visit just for a cold.
        BTW, Sudafed wasn't necessarily the first, and best choice to treat a cold anyway.
        It just happened to be one of the most successfully marketed drugs a generation ago and the brand name became and enduring asset for it's manufacturer.
        Obviously the manufacturer (McNeil) was not too pleased with Oregon.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Fair enough, although that doesn't explain evidence of a causal link between the restriction of that product and the drop in "meth incidents". Is there any evidence, or just an assumption based on correlation?

          I have no love for the pharmaceutical industry as a whole, but if all they had to base the restriction on was "this might be used to make something else that's illegal", I'd be pretty pissed too...

           

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          bjupton, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Those other OTC medicines that do not contain pseudoephedrine are a joke.

          Phenylephrine has not been shown to be an effective decongestant. Two recent studies showed no difference to placebo.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Phenylephrine wasn't exactly where I was going with this.
            First of all, I think daily extended use of any decongestant is a bad idea. It raises your blood pressure, and it doesn't treat the cause of the problem.
            If you are treating a cold, this is a short-term problem, and other more effective short-term solutions exist. If you have more than a short-term problem you should indeed see your doctor.
            Short-term relief can be achieved with oxymetazoline spray which works better than pseudoephedrine.
            Yes oxymetazoline has its own problems, and it does need to be labeled better IMO, but as I said, it is the best short-term solution for a short-term problem.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Frqnkly I've used your drugs that work just as well and you know what? They don't. In fact they suck. Which might just explain the enduring demand for the one that does work.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          There are other decongestant medications that do not include pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) which remain nonprescription in Oregon -- and happen to work just as well.

          List and citation, please.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 4:43pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          You do realise that Phenylepherine (what these preparations have replaced Pseudoephedrine with) has been clinically proven to be as effective as a placebo when taken orally?

          I believe the numbers are something around 38% the bioavailability of PDE, sure it works as a nasal spray but good luck with that when you have a cold...

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 6:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "You do realise that Phenylepherine (what these preparations have replaced Pseudoephedrine with) has been clinically proven to be as effective as a placebo when taken orally? I believe the numbers are something around 38% the bioavailability of PDE, sure it works as a nasal spray but good luck with that when you have a cold..."
            Yes, --well aware of the doubtful benefit of Phenylephrine -- even when used as a nasal spray

            Perhaps you should read more carefully.
            The medication is Oxymetazoline.
            I'll not give the brand name, but it is well known.

            Much could be said here about medications to use with a cold, but then we're getting waaay off TD topics so I'll just leave it at this --> If Oxymetazoline can't open a nose, there is absolutely no chance that Pseudoephedrine would be able to open it either.
            The caveat is that you just can't stay on Oxymetazoline, it should only be for a few days.

            Now, back to the central issue of today's post. The reason I brought up the Oregon experience is that in my line of work it is easy to encounter individuals who have torn themselves up with many different substances -- legal and illegal.
            It is my subjective, and totally anecdotal observation that the Oregon law has reduced the numbers of people I run into who have been actively destroying themselves with Meth.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 8:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The medication is Oxymetazoline.
              I'll not give the brand name, but it is well known.


              Actually, it's used in at least half a dozen products.

              The caveat is that you just can't stay on Oxymetazoline, it should only be for a few days.

              Like about 3 days. Which means it is of limited usefulness and is also why it can't be said to "work just as well".

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 5:52am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                3 days is the conservative number on the box. It can be used for 5 days without the nose getting dependent on it.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 11:35am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  3 days is the conservative number on the box. It can be used for 5 days without the nose getting dependent on it.

                  Citation, please.

                   

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          John Fenderson (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 7:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There are other decongestant medications that do not include pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) which remain nonprescription in Oregon -- and happen to work just as well.

          There are? Please, please tell me which ones they are, as I haven't found them. As an Oregon resident and severe allergy sufferer, the law requiring a prescription for pseudofed is something that pisses me off to no end. I haven't found anything that offers anything like the relief I get from it, and doctors are not even able to write a single script that will carry me through the allergy season. So, not only do I get to pay extra for a medically unnecessary doctor consultation, I get to do so three times per year.

          Also, the OTC medication that worked the best for me, Drixoral, is not available in Oregon AT ALL anymore, prescription or not, since the law reduced their sales to the point where it's not even worth addressing the market, period. I curse the lawmakers every allergy season now.

          What do we get for that? Nothing much -- there isn't any visible reduction in our meth problem.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 9:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            John:
            Allergy is a chronic problem. OTC decongestants are not intended to treat allergy, nor are they capable of treating it. They may be able to tide you over by quieting the worst of the symptoms, but they leave the problem that provoked those symptoms just as strong as ever. Colds on the other hand, are a short-term problem for which decongestants are appropriate.
            Further, how wise does it sound to chronically use a medication which has been documented to increase blood pressure when that medication doesn't even treat the basic issue causing your problem? Note that even incremental increase in blood pressure is associated with incremental increased risk of heart disease and stroke over the long-term.
            You say your doctor is treating your allergies with a decongestant and then expects you to come back 3 X a year for a new prescription?
            Go see and Allergist or an ENT who treats allergy.

             

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              John Fenderson (profile), Jan 13th, 2011 @ 6:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Thanks for your recommendation, and believe me -- I have indeed been to several such specialists over my lifetime and sought treatment. Such treatment was effective enough to keep me from requiring hospitalization, but not effective enough to keep me comfortable. I know first-hand that there are many, many people just like me.

              I would suggest that perhaps your blanket suggestions are just that, and that there are people such as myself for whom there is no effective long-term treatment. For such cases, there is absolutely nothing wrong with relieving the symptoms and calling it good.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "I would suggest that perhaps your blanket suggestions are just that, and that there are people such as myself for whom there is no effective long-term treatment. For such cases, there is absolutely nothing wrong with relieving the symptoms and calling it good."
                Fair enough. It's true that statements about "most people" don't necessarily apply to a given individual.
                Unfortunately, drug laws usually apply to "all people".

                Well if it's any consolation to those here who experienced consternation at my suggestion that maybe Oregon's Sudafed law might be a good thing, I have to say I was surprised by the statistics linked to in the comments to this post. The statistics showed that, newspaper articles and public official statements notwithstanding, Oregon does not seem to be winning the war on meth, and probably the benefit from the law has been much less than hoped for.

                 

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              John Fenderson (profile), Jan 13th, 2011 @ 6:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              OTC decongestants are not intended to treat allergy, nor are they capable of treating it.


              OTC medications certainly were intended to and could effectively treat allergy symptoms, at least until these idiotic laws were passed.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2011 @ 12:20pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Hmm.... and Percocet treats chronic backache.
                Well, I think you can agree that "treat the symptom" isn't the best strategy for most people's problems, but I accept what you say about your situation. There are indeed instances where you just have to "relieve the symptoms and call it good".

                 

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 11:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            There are? Please, please tell me which ones they are, as I haven't found them.

            Can't do that. It's secret.

             

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

      Re:

      "191 meth incidents in 2005, the year before the prescription-only law. By 2009, it had 12"
      Wow! Proof positive the tweakers learned how to stop getting caught.

      Care to work on your causal effect hypothesis?

       

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:09pm

      Re:

      I wonder what "meth incidents" includes. Seems a little vague for me.

      I also wonder what mitigating circumstances there were. Did the police actually do their jobs and shut down the larger local producers in that 4 year period, for example? Did other drugs become more prevalent? Lots of explanations come to mind that don't involve forcing uninsured people to pay hundreds of dollars for cold medicine (as I understand your healthcare system anyway).

       

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      The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

      Re:

      As far as I'm concerned, sudafed and a whole bunch of other OTC drugs should be prescription only. It's not like they're all perfectly safe to take without limit, and most people are not knowledgable enough to determine if any of them are safe for them personally. Having a long history of cardiac rhythm problems, I found out the hard way that sudafed was not a good medication for me to take, and if I had understood that beforehand, I would not have been so foolish.

      There are many OTC drugs that people treat like Tic-Tacs, and many are not without the potential for significant morbidity and mortality, whether it be due to drug interactions with other drugs, alcohol, etc. or the accidental overdose threshold is very low. Nobody ever reads the fine print labels or the package inserts, and the classic American medical belief is that if one pill is good, then maybe four is better. People overdose routinely on things as mundane as aspirin (yes, I did that, too - when pain gets bad enough and you don't have any percocet or vicodin, you'll pound as many aspirin down as you can to stop it).

      The question still remains, which drugs can be sold OTC without significant adverse outcome effect potential, and which cannot? I sure can't answer that, and it seems the only determinant of that is the FDA and the all-powerful drug lobbies. I don't really know what the best approach is, given the never ending debate about it within the medical community, but that particular drug has enough misuse and abuse potentia, and a long history, l to warrant making it RX only.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

        Re: Re:

        You tackle those things informing the public not forbidding it.

        People need the chance to fail to learn something, trying to stop failure is the best way to assure it.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 2:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Maybe you should try something really dramatic like being informed. Even aspirin will kill you if taken in overdose. Education not big brother is much more effective. What we don't need is a few more billion added to health care costs because people like you would rather whine that someone didn't prevent them from being stupid.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 4:47pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What we don't need is a few more billion added to health care costs...

            No, according to those getting the money, that's exactly what we need. You can never be too rich.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 5:44pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Now that is just bizarre, why you repeat the same thing I said to you to me?

            So we agree that what people need is information to make their own informed decisions right?

             

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          JEDIDIAH, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 7:51pm

          They say there is a reason for it all...

          > You tackle those things informing the public not forbidding it.

          The prescription drug system exists for a reason. Either you buy into that reasoning or you don't. If you do, the obviously there are a number of OTC drugs that don't belong in that category. They're just too dangerous in the hands of laymen.

          That's what this is all about. Drugs that are "dangerous in the hands of laymen".

          OTOH, plenty of people think that drug prescriptions are bogus and are aware of the history behind this.

          Assuming that just because it's managed to be made OTC that all is sunshine and daisies is just rediculously naeive.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 8:19pm

            Re: They say there is a reason for it all...

            Anything is dangerous in the hands of laymen people, but now we have something called the super highway of information where you can educate yourself about those things you don't need to make those drugs difficult to get, just need to get more information with it and let people kill themselves if is that they want to do so.

             

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 9:18pm

              Re: Re: They say there is a reason for it all...

              The system exists to protect the lowest common denominator in the population, not the smart ones, such as would likely include you.

              Yes an un-managed system would give you more freedom, but it would also mean that some at the other end of the spectrum would (not might) die.

              Used unwisely medication can indeed be dangerous.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 11:32am

                Re: Re: Re: They say there is a reason for it all...

                Any medication used unwisely can be dangerous, there was this case of somebody OD'ing on antiperspirant cream.

                Should antiperspirant be controlled?

                The problem wasn't people it probably was sales people who sold anything to people by lying to them and they trusted those people.

                Want to see something amazing?
                The same drugs you buy for humans you can buy for dogs without prescriptions or regulations is the biggest hole ever, if you can't get it in a drugstore just go to a pet store and it probably won't change because if anybody tries to mess with antibiotics for animals they probably face the biggest crowd of angry farmers they ever saw.

                In a sense metropolitan people are sheep, they just do what they are told and don't question things that is bad.

                There are bad things that could happen if you misuse, miss mix or take the wrong drug or dose but that is the risk of living and I don't believe the majority of the people are in the "dumb zone".

                To not say I don't see nothing good about it, I see that it helps to keep pharmacists and doctors honest, but that is it, it doesn't have an effect on determined people who want to acquire something, it doesn't have an effect on dumb people who OD but it does have a great effect on people who need medication through legal means.

                 

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 8:45pm

            Re: They say there is a reason for it all...

            The prescription drug system exists for a reason.

            To make money for some at the expense of others.

            Either you buy into that reasoning or you don't.

            Hey, isn't what government is for?

             

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 7:51am

        Re: Re:

        As far as I'm concerned, sudafed and a whole bunch of other OTC drugs should be prescription only. It's not like they're all perfectly safe to take without limit, and most people are not knowledgable enough to determine if any of them are safe for them personally.


        By this reasoning, there should be no OTC medications at all, since every single one of them will harm you if taken improperly.

         

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          AMA, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 11:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          By this reasoning, there should be no OTC medications at all,

          That's a good idea, thanks for the suggestion. We'll get our lobbyists working on that right away.

          AMA

           

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          PaulT (profile), Jan 13th, 2011 @ 12:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          *Water* will harm you if not taken properly. Anyone who uses such a vague criteria to restrict useful drugs truly is a fool.

           

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Retail/drug stores already have software at the register in place to track how much you per driver's license.

    They're not connected of course, hence sometimes if you're whole family is sick you buy cold medicine at CVS and then walk across the street to Walgreens.

    What's this new system going to do that the old one doesnt? Corporations have already invested a lot of money into these systems.

    Of course, I guess, as with any IT system, there are bugs as CVS and their $75MM fine found out (http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/10/15/130585355/cvs-pseudoephedrine-meth-smurfs)

     

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    NullOp, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:07pm

    Cops

    I have a dear friend with terminal cancer. She had a huge amount of trouble over the last couple of days getting her pain meds due to STUPID laws like the one proposed here. The only thing laws like this one does is to stop people who need medication from getting it. Remember to vote out ALL incumbents during the next election. Its a start...

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

    How could this not violate HIPAA or some other healthcare privacy laws?

     

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      The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:30pm

      Re:

      It does, but law-breaking by law-makers is routine practice in this country. This is only one example out of thousands and thousands. The government always has the best interest of the governed at heart, so if breaking existing laws by creating other laws is deemed proper by them, they will do it. Most of the slack-jawed morons who propose pointless malarkey like this honestly have no idea how stupid it is, and neither do their constituents. We have become a nation of docile sheep, lapping up whatever BS our favorite politicos shovel at us, because thinking critically is just too damned hard for most, and it detracts from watching NASCAR, NFL, and MLB, etc.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

    This sounds like the gun laws in california. It's really only a problem for law abiding citizens since criminals bypass the ten day wait law and buy off the streets. Ask the cops who were murdered in Oakland in 09 by a convicted felon who is barred from gun ownership how effective these laws are.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 5:04pm

      Re:

      It's really only a problem for law abiding citizens since criminals bypass the ten day wait law and buy off the streets.

      Kind of like laws in general, eh? Should we just get rid of them all since criminals are going to ignore them anyways? Hey, then there would be no more criminals! Crime problem solved!

       

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        JEDIDIAH, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 7:55pm

        Ask why, not why not.

        Yes.

        Laws that serve no useful purpose should be ELIMINATED. They only serve to interfere with respectable citizens trying to protect their rights and those of their loved ones.

        Every law should have to justify it's existence or face removal.

        Of course the real world doesn't work that way.

        It also doesn't help that you have far too many people happy to see mindless feel good measures that have no positive impact and many unintended negative consequences.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 8:49pm

          Re: Ask why, not why not.

          Laws that serve no useful purpose should be ELIMINATED.

          I'm pretty sure that most every law serves a useful purpose to *someone*, even if only lawyers.

           

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    This might be a little shocking to some but...

    war on drugs is a FALIURE. If there was ever a deserved F, it is the war on drugs.

    Instead of trying to keep people from buying cold medicine and having police search through data to 'find suspicion' we should setup a system where using is legal and controlled.

     

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      The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:43pm

      Re:

      Just so long as you set up a system where you keep the drug users caged up, and away from access to things like car keys, weapons, and other people's money, fine! You OK with that? I sure don't want to share the road with meth-heads, crack-heads, pot-heads, and junkies of every stripe, and the only way they should ever be given access to weapons is for suicide, where they only can pull the trigger, not hold the weapon. Since they would doubtless have to pay for these drugs, then they should not be in a position where they could steal the money from the usual collection of defenseless, elderly and disabled, and once they run out of money, they should get to spend the rest of their worthless, addled lives trying to cadge another hit of whatever from one of their fellow druggies, until they too run out of cash, or simply kill them for being so annoying. When they're all out of money, they and the remaining dope should be bulldozed into a compactor, pressed into bulk cardboard packaging, put onto barges, taken 100 miles off the coast, and sunk. Problem solved! Now that's a modest proposal. You could take the same principles and apply them to other societal parasites, such as the multi-DUI convicted, innocent bystander-killing drunkards and losers, and whatever other dregs of the world you can dredge up. The possibilities are endless.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

        Re: Re:

        "I sure don't want to share the road with meth-heads, crack-heads, pot-heads, and junkies of every stripe"

        Well, you already do share it with those who escape detection, as well as alcoholics, those on other legal but equally intoxicating drugs, those with mental instabilities and people who plain just can't drive... Want to stay 100% safe on the roads? Get yourself off them.

        "You could take the same principles and apply them to other societal parasites, such as the multi-DUI convicted, innocent bystander-killing drunkards and losers, and whatever other dregs of the world you can dredge up."

        Not to defend anything here, but I can almost certainly name hundreds if not thousands of current and former drug users who are more successful than you.

        I wish some people would stop seeing the world in black and white, stop assuming that "drug user" = crackhead and maybe insert some actual intelligent debate into this issue. Some of the richest people in your country are drug addicts, and some of the people rotting in prison haven't done anything worse than cultivate naturally growing plants...

         

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        identicon
        bjupton, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:53pm

        Re: Re:

        "Just so long as you set up a system where you keep the drug users caged up, and away from access to things like car keys, weapons, and other people's money, fine! You OK with that? I sure don't want to share the road with meth-heads, crack-heads, pot-heads, and junkies of every stripe"

        You are aware that you already share the road with these people, right?

         

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        Christopher (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 4:43pm

        Re: Re:

        Then we should also keep anyone who has an interest in computers, fine dining, etc. away from money!

        Your argument is STUPIDITY, and all of those things could happen if the person in question was NOT a drug user!

        Your 'societal parasites' argument is also moot, because jackasses like yourself LOVE to use to in order to refer to people who are living their lives in a way that you dislike, when they are usually working as hard or HARDER than you do!

         

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 4:48pm

      Re:

      Not 100% accurate, there was ONE case where supply-side enforcement worked, Methaqualone. But this is just because the precursors to it have essentially no other use, so by clamping down on supplies they were able to effectively reduce supplies of the drug and essentially eliminate it.

      However when they did so those who were cooking Methaqualone just switched to Methamphetamine manufacture instead...

      You are correct, the "right" way to handle this is through legalisation, regulation and enforcement, for a case study look at prohibition.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 5:05pm

      Re:

      war on drugs is a FALIURE. If there was ever a deserved F, it is the war on drugs.

      No, it has been a stellar success. You just don't understand the true purpose.

       

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    Shawn (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    As of Jan 1 Massachusetts upped list of drugs that require ID beyond Schedule 2 drugs such as OxyContin or Percocet. Now, drugs classified in Schedules 3, 4, and 5, which can range from cough medicine with codeine to anti-anxiety pills, require a photo ID to be recorded to purchase.

     

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    bdhoro (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

    Illegal Drugs = Big money = Dangerous

    Its a simple formula. The only way to make drugs less dangerous is to make them less illegal.

    Its pure economics. Supply and demand - there's a demand for drugs, when they're legal, there's plenty of supply and the price is low. When they're illegal, they're harder to get and the price is high, making the dealers of illegal drugs rich. Then the rich drug dealer protects their investment with guns and violence.

    Making meth illegal doesn't stop people driving around high on meth. It does however increase gang violence, and the ability of gangs to fund themselves.

    Someone was saying that these laws are well intentioned - who cares? Communists are well intentioned also, but just because something sounds nice doesn't mean it's practical or would work in any way.

     

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      Christopher (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 3:45pm

      Re: Illegal Drugs = Big money = Dangerous

      Actually, communism WOULD work if any country in the world had actually had communism. Instead, China and U.S.S.R. had something akin to a plutocracy, and China still does.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 5:12pm

      Re: Illegal Drugs = Big money = Dangerous

      Communists are well intentioned also, but just because something sounds nice doesn't mean it's practical or would work in any way.

      That's king of hard to say since it's never been actually done.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

    Drugs where something of a epidemic in the 80's everyone was using it, nowadays it has fallen out of fashion and many people started to frown upon the practice in some social circles, society will develop its own culture around it if it gets too bad, laws are not needed and as it was proven it is ineffective and causes serious side effects to the population even law enforcement agents have realized that that is why they founded LEAP(Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) and they do a great job showing how many raids go wrong each year with innocents being raided and killed, this is not just inconvenience about getting medication that can also be fatal but about the incentives it creates to outsource all our medical systems to places where there is no such things and they spend their money trying to improve things.

     

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    ofb2632 (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 2:35pm

    Here is a thought

    A man is on medication for split personalities. He does something stupid and is arrested. While in short term lock up he freaks out and kills someone. Since the police had immediate access to his medical records, he (or the victims family) sues because the police should have known better.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 2:59pm

    How long after use will they be monitoring the pills? It gets invasive fairly quickly.

     

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    Christopher (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    As I keep on saying, the BEST thing that they could do would be to just LEGALIZE the drug trade, regulate the dosages of drugs, and move on.
    We have tried prohibition and it's time to realize it's a RESOUNDING FAILURE and move on towards legalization.

     

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    identicon
    abc gum, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 5:18pm

    Let's make it public record what the cops are taking.
    You know alot of them are taking steroids.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2011 @ 5:59pm

      Re:

      "Let's make it public record what the cops are taking.
      You know alot of them are taking steroids."

      Doesn't work that way. The watchers hate to be watched.

       

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    Chris in Utah (profile), Jan 11th, 2011 @ 7:44pm

    same question

    I think it bares repeating.

    Anybody know why we allow government to collect information on drugs in the first place? Spare me on the war on drugs.

    copied from
    Free Speech vs. Medical Privacy Hits The Supreme Court

     

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    Gary (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 5:33am

    Does HIPAA apply to OTC meds?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 7:09am

    Great just because I am required to take medicine I will be monitored. And they wonder why we use our guns?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    The real Oregon stats

    I'd love to know what a "Meth Incidents" is, but the number of death from Meth in Oregon in 2009 (87) were only 20% lower than 2008 (106) and its the third highest number since 1998. So much for prescriptions making a difference.

    http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/NEWSRL/news/04_05_2010_2009_drug_death_stats.shtml

    The supposed huge drops in "incidents" are from a news paper that's notorious for its questionable stats when reporting on the subject.

     

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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Jan 12th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    A related side-note

    I read in the newspaper recently (yes, really, a newspaper!) about a thriving grey/black market for pseudoephedrine products. People go to store after store and buy up to the 'limit', then resell the products to the drug manufacturers at something like 500% markup!!! A real business opportunity there.

    Mississippi recently enacted the "prescription for Aleve Cold and Sinus" law too.

     

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    Debbie H (profile), Jun 13th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    pseudafedrine laws ga

    I have had severe allergies since childhood and require medication, including pseudafedrine during peak pollen seasons (in Ga March-Oct). Dosage is 2 tabs per day. So, if the police are going to monitor my purchases, which would be 4 bxs(10 pills)per month, am I going to have to sue someone when I get arrested? The meth is coming across the border of Mexico by the tons. Now the pharmacist has to sign off on all purchases in addition to the DL info and signature required in GA. Yet there is still a major meth problem. Obviously, it is not the citizens of GA buying through the pharmacies that our cooking the meth. I am sick to death of our government screwing with the voters of this country, when they can't keep a handle on the real drug problems in this country. It is typical and knee-jerk reaction we have come to expect from the dim-witts we elect. It is also a HIPPA violation to disclose medication and health info. I can see that barcode tattoos are in our future very soon.

     

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