Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Meth War in DeKalb - When are regulations too much?

Anyone who has been around me this winter knows that I've struggled from one cold/sinus episode to another. I was even knocked out with the flu a couple of weeks ago. Normally I would just go to my doc and get a shot in the hip but it doesn't really work and it still takes me forever to get over... only to have a couple of days of peace before the stuffiness starts again.

So I decided to try something different this time. While searching the Walmart cold relief shelf, I saw the cardboard display for the regulated cold medicines that I could purchase at the pharmacy counter. Having never done that before, I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought I would have to show my license, maybe sign something, but it wasn't that simple. The clerk got my license and took a good five full minutes inputting ALL my information in her computer. Never once did she crack a smile and even regarded me with disdain. By the time I paid her for my perfectly legal purchase, I felt like I'd done something wrong.

It's kind of like trying on clothes at most stores. First you have to check in with an employee who will physically count the number of items you have, then they have to lead you back and unlock the door to the fitting room, and then you see all these large-lettered signs proclaiming, "SHOPLIFTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED!" as if you had no clue that stealing was illegal. And the friskiness of airport security can be attributed to the stupidity of those who have no regard for others.

Don't get me wrong. I get it. I've been in retail. I get that there are people who will not bat an eye at stealing. I even had a cousin one time try to distract me while his friend lifted a carton of cigarettes. There are people out there who have no regard for others. They want what they want when they want it and they don't care who they rip off to get it. Drugs are an even bigger evil. There have been so many people who have had their lives affected or ruined by meth. I read an account from another local blogger last week about how her family had been terrorized because of her father-in-law's meth addiction. I've had police officers tell me how meth is "the devil" and how a large percentage of the calls they deal with are directly and indirectly related to meth.

But at what point do we, as a society, continue to tolerate being treated like criminals? I understand there are no easy answers. Anyone who has been affected by meth (like anyone affected by terrorism, I imagine) would likely not have any qualms about promoting the inconvenience of a few if it meant saving lives. While I can understand that mind-set, something about it still bothers me. Why do I have to be treated like a criminal because others want to be stupid? Why should I have to feel like I'm doing something wrong when I buy a legal substance? It's confusing. On one hand, you want to promote safety and you want these meth makers and dealers ousted, but what price do we have to pay otherwise?  I wish I had the answers. I'm terribly sorry for those who have had to deal with this horrible drug.

Perhaps the first step would be that Walmart inform their employees not to assume that when someone buys a pseudoephedrine product, they are going to use it for nefarious purposes. I understand they have to get that information but they can at least be a little kinder about it.

And as an aside, and I'm not getting paid to say this, Mucinex Max D, while expensive, has made me feel so much better than anything the doctor has prescribed the last few months. It started wearing off about hour 9-10 (it's supposed to last 12 hours) but while it was working, I could actually breathe and my head didn't feel like it was going to explode. I'll definitely be getting Mucinex again once my supply has exhausted.  By then, I may be patted down or followed to my car to be searched.

Peace, love, and relief,


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