The Government is NOT Your Friend – Part sixtyquajillion

Due to the fact that I am an idiot, and don’t know when to quit working and playing, and rest so I can get better; the cold that our oldest took home from school with her two weeks ago (and everyone else is already recovered from), has in my case metastisized into a lovely sinus and upper respiratory infection (which I am currently, slowly, recovering from).

I’m in the middle of the nastiest case of the crud I’ve had in over a year. I’ve been sicker, in that I’ve had fevers and whatnot, but I havent had this level of chest and sinus congestion in a while; thus why I call it “the crud”, as in what is completely filling every breathing passage of my body at least 50% of the time.

I’m staying upright and breathing due to the wonders of modern pharmeceuticals; a combination of Sudafed, and Oxymetazonline. Of course when the oxymetazoline wears off the crud slingshots back worse; but that’s livable, so long as I’m taking the REAL Sudafed, or it’s generic equivalent.

Let me just note, the new, fake, sudafed works… for about 20 minutes, no matter how much of it you take.

Pseduoephedrine hydrochloride, is the most effective nasal decongestant known to man; and it doesnt cause rebound rhinitis. Phenylephrine hydrochloride, the ingredient manufacturers are substituing for PsE-Hcl, to put it mildly, is not as effective… or even 1/10th as effective for that matter; and it DOES cause rebound rhinitis.

Of course, pseudoephedrine has some nasty side effects, including increases in blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate, perspiration etc…, as well as vascodilation to a significant degree.

But that’s not why its a “problem”; its a problem, because it’s also the primary ingredient in Methamphetamine; and therefore the government has declared war on it…

…declared war, on a nasal decongestant.

The war on some drugs has made getting the actual medications that work, a lovely process where you must give your drivers license to a clerk, where they record and report on your purchases; and in most stores in most states, you can’t purchase more than 1 weeks worth of recommended adult dosage at a time.

Of course the so called adult dosage is calculated so that a 90lb woman can take 4 times the recommended dosage four times as frequently as recommended and not hit the LD50. For a 370lb, highly drug tolerant man, the amount required to obtain the desired result is… significantly higher shall we say?

I used to be able to get 90mg pseudoephedrine pills, mail order, in bulk; take 1, and be good for 4 hours. Now, because of the “meth war”, the strongest I can get at my local pharmacy is a 24 count box of 30mg each, which don’t even make a dent, so I have to take 4 of them. The pharmacy will only sell me 1 box per week, or 3 boxes per month.

I can order them over the internet for a 48ct box of 60mg each, but again, only one box per order, and only one order per week, or three boxes per month.

A federal law, snuck into a terrorism bill, says that I, an adult; may only purchase a maximum of 3.6grams of pseudoephedrine per day; and a maximum of 9 grams per month, or 7 grams if buying by mail order.

So, in order to obtain relief, I take 120mg two or three times a day (yes, it only lasts full effect for about 4 hours, but I can live with that); for 240mg to 360mg a day; and I’ve been sick for 12 days, with probably another 3 or four days to go. Lets call it 15 days, for a total of 3.6 grams.

So, by federal law, I, as an adult, can purchase one course of treatment for myself in one day; if I can get a retailer to sell it to me.

However, those retailers are paranoid about being persecuted in the drug war, so I can’t buy a full course of treatment; the most I can buy in my local pharmacy is actually two or three days worth. So after my two or three days are up, can I go buy more? Nope I have to wait until next week to buy another two or three days worth.

If I buy on the internet, I can get a weeks worth, or maybe even two weeks if I limit my dosage.

But what if there’s more than one sick person in my house? What if I want to stock up for the winter? what if I want to buy in bulk to save money?

I buy most of my OTC medications in bulk from Costco, because it’s a heck of a lot cheaper. I can by as much dextromorphan, or diphenhydramine as I want; in fact I buy it from Costco in 300ct bottles of 50mg each. Both drugs are halucinogenic in large quantities; both drugs are euphoric and stuporific in large quantities, both drugs have a large potential for abuse etc…

So I can buy these “dangerous’ drugs, in 300ct bottles; but I can’t do the same with the most effective nasal decongestant known to man?

Nope, federal law also says that each individual dosage must be packed in blister packs; because it’s more work for someone trying to make meth to pop them out, then to pour out a bottle of mini-thins.

Mini-thins are tiny little 25mg pseudoephedrine pills that used to sell in 120ct bottles for $8 mail order. They were the most popular brand of pseudoephedrine for making meth; because you could buy them by the palletload online, and they had less binders and fillers than any other brand, so you got more of the drug for the bulk of the pills.

They were specifically targeted by congress, and the legislatures of several states; so the manufacturer added guaifenesin to it; which makes it useless for meth (it’s a very strong expectorant that can’t be cooked out in the meth manufacturing process. If you took meth made with it, you’d drown in your own bodily fluids. It’s happened a few times). They also repackaged it in 144ct blister packs, for $30 a bottle.

Blister packs are bloody expensive in case you didn’t know. It was $8 for 120 pills; now, it’s $8 for a 24 count pack of 30mg of pseudoephedrine each, in little individual blisters (and that’s the generic). Each of those pills now costs 35 cents, vs. 7 cents each.

Also, have you ever tried to get your pills out of a blister pack when you’re really really sick? I’ve been sick enough that I could just barely do it; and I’m a big strong man. What about it you have severe arthritis?

So let’s review: I am a grown man, a legal adult, licensed to drive a car, fly a plane, and carry a concealed weapon… I am a parent, trusted to raise my children (well.. that’s another rant for another day). I can buy as much alcohol as I can carry away with a forklift. I can go into a home depot and buy enough poisions to kill thousands of people should I so wish…

…but I can’t buy enough decongestant to relieve my sinus infection for a week?

…and people actually support this policy?

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra