Cold medicine now a controlled substance

  1. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Has anyone tried to buy over the counter cold or allergy medicine lately? A lot of states have just started enforcing a new law that restricts sales of most cold and allergy medicines.

    I just stopped on the way home to pick up a box of Actifed (the best thing in the world for allergies, nothing else works for me) and on the shelf where it would normally be, there was a box of plastic cards saying "take me to the pharmacist", I noticed almost all cold & allergy medicines were removed from the shelves.

    I had to furnish my driver's license, they filled out a profile on me, then I had to electronically sign a HIPAA waiver then electronically sign for the allergy tabs. I was all but fingerprinted and searched. :grumpy:

    I had heard about this new law, but hadn't paid that much attention. According to this article "A key part of the law requires stores to keep a log of people who buy the medicines. That log is intended to be used by police in investigations. Customers will also have to show identification to prove they are 18 or older when purchasing any of the cold medicine."

    Has anyone else tried to buy cold or allergy medicine recently? How do you feel about the fact that your allergy medicine purchase puts you on a police list?
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Obviously your purchase may just indicate that you are part of a massively illusive crystal-meth al-queada operation that plans terrorist attacks. :rolleyes:

    At least they could have given you a card saying: "Welcome to the new police state, are your papers in order???"

    It does seem a bit over the top, doesn't it!?! :uhh:
  4. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I just hope I don't lose these and have to buy more within 30 days. It could put me on their "watch" list. :frown:
  5. Danger

    Danger 9,663
    Gold Member

    You're already on it. If you have a cold, it's obvious that you've been experimenting with germ warfare techniques.
  6. You can still get them here at the drug store, but they moved them to a more secure location. As a matter of fact, you can even get them at the dollar store, 12 in a box for a buck, and no big brother watching you sneeze.
  7. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    It's being implemented state by state, our state just signed on. I don't think it will be long before it's nationwide.

    <note, hypatia can get me actifed> :biggrin:
  8. chroot

    chroot 10,351
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What in the world makes them care about pseudoephedrine?!

    edit: Oh, I see... it can be used to make methamphetamine. I guess it's too hard to actually find the people making the meth, so they decided instead to make everyone give up their civil liberty, privacy, and freedom to buy a harmless box of cold medicine. You have to provide a driver's license to buy cold medicine? What's next? This is atrocious.

    - Warren
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2005
  9. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yes, if we have a problem let's pass a new law. And we all know how well that works.
  10. Well that settles it! Your going to lose them, you'll have to go back to get more, and then you'll be doing the Martha Stewart cell block crochet. Hope you caught her show on using your shim as a decorative centerpiece for your cell dinnette set! :rofl:

    You are probably already on a watch list.
    :bugeye: :cry: :confused: :grumpy: :eek: :yuck: :frown:
  11. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm usually easy going, and go along with laws, but this is downright scary. If you want to buy Nyquil, your name, address, DL#, etc... goes to the police and you're entered into this meth database. :confused: Not that mistakes are ever made...
  12. If you drink too much cough syrup, you'll get a strait buzz. I'm sure that's why they're cracking down on it (instead of crack/cocaine). If there is no statute in your state making cold medicine ILLEGAL than I can't imagine why you can't say during your interrogation, "what can I say, I had a wicked cough!" Without the rest of the meth-lab as evidence, then maybe you just have really bad allergies.

    I would like to know where you live, Evo. This sounds like a Totalitarian state. Here in Illinois there is a limit 2 psuedo-ephedrine meds per visit, but that's it..

    It's like: "this is a possibility. Therefore we must punish everyone." There must be a thread like this in philosophy about "forced will" by governements, I'd love to know which one.. But you can't make cold medicine ILLEGAL, so why the drama about who buys it? I don't understand the government some times.
  13. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There have always been medications regulated in this way. Pseudophedrine is just one that has recently been added because of the increases in abuse. Many pharmacies are doing this voluntarily, before waiting for laws to be put in effect. Pretty much all of the major chains have already implemented this. You're not going to have any trouble if you're just buying the usual amount for allergies. They're looking for people who are trying to buy tons of this stuff for meth labs. Moving it off the shelves also prevents shoplifting, the more common way of it being illegally obtained.

    This method is easier than making all of these products available by prescription only. I've already had to deal with ketamine being regulated. It used to be something that anyone doing research could obtain as long as they had proper documentation, but once kids started stealing it ("special K"), the government cracked down on the regulations and now we need to have a DEA license or a prescription from a veterinarian to purchase it.

    The problem is that meth is really pretty easy to make and all of the ingredients are legal to buy, so the only way to stop it is to restrict purchases of the key ingredient. Stores have already been putting limits on how much you can buy at one time, such as no more than two packages at a time, but that wasn't working well enough, because someone would go in on Monday and buy 2 packages with cash and steal another two, then go to the drug store down the street and do the same, and again at the local grocery store, etc. Then go back Tuesday and do it all again. There was no age limit on purchases, so a bunch of kids would each go in and buy a couple packages. With no way to track who's doing the buying, they could fly under the radar and have quite a meth operation going. We've had a number of local meth labs busted recently out in the most unlikely seeming places, and even the neighbors aren't aware anything unusual is going on until the police show up to raid the place. Usually the tip-offs that there's a meth lab operating locally are things like stolen propane canisters and shoplifted pseudephedrine.
  14. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    One major problem is that (as one article mentioned) internet sales are not monitored. So, millions of alergy sufferers are monitored while the meth producers are buying off the internet.

    And with my luck, they type 2,000 purchases instead of 2 and the SWAT team shows up here at 2am and takes me out. :frown:
  15. Kerrie

    Kerrie 1,129
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    oregon just started regulating cold and allergy medication the same way because of the rampant meth problem we have here. guess all this nature and beauty just doesn't get certain people high. :cool:
  16. In guam you can almost buy anything over the counter
  17. Yeah I just bought 4 kg. of marijuana and took it carry-on to Indonesia.
  18. loseyourname

    loseyourname 3,345
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    I noticed this last night when I went to buy some decongestant. The pharmacy was closed, but no problem really. I just bought a product that had no pseudoephedrine in it. There are plenty of other decongestants out there.
  19. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't even want the psuedoephedrine, the ingredient that works for me is triprolidine.
  20. hypnagogue

    hypnagogue 2,195
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I was surprised to read that they intend to control for distribution of pseudoephedrine rather than dextromethorphan. The latter does not need to be processed at all in order to have potent psychoactive effects, is a growing drug of abuse, and worst of all, can be deadly when taken with some other active ingredients commonly found in cold medicines.

    In general, the US's policy on controlled psychoactive substances does not seem to be principled or consistent at all-- there are several other potent substances on the order of LSD that are legal to use and readily available. Worse yet, the existing policies exacerbate deleterious drug use and surrounding criminal activities while simultaneously hindering or outright restricting the positive and therapeutic potentials of psychoactive drugs. In short, the US drug policies have been a poorly thought out sham for quite some time, so perhaps this latest development is not quite so surprising after all.
  21. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    The decision on psuedoephedrine may stop kids from "making their own", or at least cut the amount down, so now they will be forced to buy it from dealers. I don't see how this is a push in the right direction. When you make one drug hard to get another source is ready to fill the void, and sometimes it's a worse problem. Methadone was suppose to cure heroin addicts, now it's an even wider spread problem.

    Hypnagogue, have you ever used ambien to help sleep. This stuff causes the wildest hallucinations I've seen in ages. Big purple worms flying across the room the first night I took one. You're supposed to take one and go right to sleep, but if you stay up, bizarre things happen. Quite often when I'm typing after it starts to kick in the computer screen turns brownish, with vines and vegetation and the words move around. I know, take it and lay down is what you're supposed to do. I've spoken to others that take it and they experience similar visions, sometimes designs appear with music. It's great stuff for knocking you out quick. It's legal. It does also help clear your head of thoughts. You may want to try some to see if they help.
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