Friday, June 15, 2007

Runny Noses and Paper Pushers

Both my kids are sick with pretty decent colds right now. I'm doing all the usual 'home measures' to keep them comfortable, but this afternoon it was time to bring out the drugs for some proper relief for them. So I took them to the grocery store and requested a pediatric decongestant.

I haven't had to buy a decongestant since all the mularkey about preventing meth manufacturers buying it in bulk came in so I was a tad surprised at the red tape I encountered just to get a small bottle of medicine to make my kids feel better.

Having filled in all my ID information and handing over my drivers license, I was then allowed to pay for and get my hands on said medicine. I understand why these measures are in place, but I'm still left a little puzzled by the whole process. The pharmacy assistant took down a big paper file with lots of forms inside it - where I filled out my information. Paper, in a file, on a high up shelf- hmm. How exactly is this supposed to help track people purchasing pseudoephedrine for dubious purposes? It won't I suspect, and I am pretty sure since every law enforcement agency claims stretched resources, that there isn't an army of people visiting pharmacies to check up on these ledgers.

I am no expert in policing illicit drug manufacture and use (and happily so) but it just strikes me that in this age of prolific technological networking, don't you think an online database, connected to, oh, I don't know, the POLICE, would be more effective? Somewhere where suspicious purchases of this material could be monitored and acted upon, in real time, and result in prevention of meth production to some degree? As far as I can see the only purpose the form filling I did today could possibly serve is to act as evidence in the event that someone left a paper trail behind them if they are caught manufacturing meth. Which is all well and good if it puts some meth making, drug pushing scumbag in jail - but what a missed opportunity to flush out all his buddies?

4 comments:

Kimberly said...

Good point! How often things are done for the look of the thing, rather than because they're actually effective!

Shauna said...

I know. The thing that I find most annoying is that I'm not allowed to buy more than 2 products with pseudoephedrine within a 30 day time frame. And since I always get sick when the kids get sick, we're all supposed to manage on only two products within 30 days? I don't think so.

Absolutely Bananas said...

you're so right- it is a crazy system! and it drives me CRAZY since pseudoephedrine is the ONLY thing that works on my allergies; so I constantly have to deal with the rigamarole. Also I find it hard to believe that the trace amounts found in Children's sudafed is really worth restricting. How many bottles of cherry flavored syrup does it take to create meth? Must be at least 50...

Brillig said...

SUCH a dumb system! i couldn't agree with you more! What a joke.