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How Your Allergies Support The Global Drug Trade

In it's infinite wisdom, the Federal government decided that one of the best ways to combat the methamphetamine problem was to severely restrict your ability to purchase over-the-counter medications containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, which are "precursor chemicals" used in the production of crystal meth. The restrictions are working, as both legitimate users and meth cookers have a hard time getting the Sudafed (and other brands) they need. For allergy sufferers there's no end in sight for their miseries, but the meth industry has easily adapted by shifting production overseas.

Comments (8)

D**n NAFTA. All the good p... (Below threshold)

D**n NAFTA. All the good paying jobs going overseas! It's all Bush's fault!

Just a quick comment for th... (Below threshold)

Just a quick comment for the male readers of this post. Sudafed taken in excess will cause your prostate to clamp down. Causing you to retain urine and generating pain and discomfort. How do I know? Well I work in an emergency department and have seen numerous elderly (60's plus) fellows with the same MO. Head cold that just won't quit, Sudafed in a larger then recommended quantity and BAM prostate door slammed shut! Then 5-6 hours later rush to the ER and whimper. But don't fear, we squirt viscous Lidocaine into the penis to numb it before we insert the foley cath.
Have a nice day.

Closing the border will hel... (Below threshold)

Closing the border will help ... being one of the suffers, it has turned into the usual government program, punish the harmless users, let the real problem go.

Hell I didn't even know it was used in drug production until I had to give a drivers license ID to buy 10 tabs. BTW, where is the ACLU, don't they think a photo ID to buy 10 harmless tablets is a bit much. The shame of the poor with no photo ID comes quickly to mind. What are they going to do?

Personally I think the process would be better served by requiring photo IDs to vote.

Steve,Thanks for t... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


Thanks for that info. Rather than waterboarding terrorists to get information from them, we could just use the procedure you described. After all it’s just a medical procedure, not torture, so the left shouldn't have a problem unless we charge for the service.

If governments really wante... (Below threshold)

If governments really wanted to tackle the meth problem (and drugs in general) they would do the following:

Legalize them.

Tax them out the wazoo.

Demand that their manufacture conform to FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (the same ones that govern all pharmaceuticals sold in the US regardless of origin).

Sic the product liability attorneys on anyone who makes a defective batch.

This was what killed the bootleg booze industry. I see no reason why it could not work again. Until then look forward to more failed attempts like the linked article that impacts the public far more than the pushers.

Though I'm against the war ... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

Though I'm against the war on drugs, I wouldn't be to thrilled to being living near a meth lab. If someone has to be brewing up some homemade meth, better that the home is in Mexico.

As an allergy sufferer, I t... (Below threshold)
Chris M:

As an allergy sufferer, I think that Pseudoephedrine is crap. The side effects are worse than the alergies they are supposed to treat. All it's good for is clearing your nose when you have a bad cold. I have no problem getting one box of Sudafed for this purpose. My wife can still get Sudafed at the store, she just needs to show ID. A legitimate user does not need more than one box at a time, while a meth-cooker does. Seems like the new restrictions are working just fine. What miseries are the allergy sufferers supposedly suffering? Anyone with real allergies wouldn't take this crappy drug anyway.

Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) a... (Below threshold)

Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) and oral antihistamines help a little for some allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis symptoms. That means they help a little for itchy, congested noses and eyes. Sudafed and similar meds are vasoconstrictors - they clamp down on blood vessels that are enlarged by chemicals released by the allergic reaction. The most useful condition above the neck for the sympathomemetics is when there is Eustachian tube dysfunction - inability to clear the ears or fluid behind the ear drum.

The sympathomimetics also raise blood pressure, increase heart rate and tighten the bladder sphincter. And cause constipation. Bad things for most of us, and especially those on Medicare. People of all ages have died from side effects of these sympathomimetic drugs. Rare, but it happens, usually when overdosed in an attempt to get the medication to work when it isn't. Anyone who is foolish enough to use Afrin for more than 3 days has experienced the rebound swelling in the nose that can last for weeks (and there's no short cut to avoid this side effect from prolonged use). A weaker rebound can happen with oral sympathomimetics.

Most allergy experts recommend topical therapy with antihistamines (at least for the eyes as drops), steroids (Nasalide or Flonase, for example) or anti-inflammatory agents (cromolyn or ketorolac) rather than sympathomimetic agents (Sudafed by mouth, Afrin nasal spray, etc.).

Of course, old fashioned salt water eye drops, nasal spray or nasal wash can help too.

So clamping down more on the pseudoephedrine market isn't necessarily bad. You might be forced to find a better treatment for your allergies.

Countdown to testimonials about how great Sudafed is:







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