Should Stopping Meth Abuse Start at the Drug Store

drug storeMethamphetamine is one of the hardest illicit drugs on the street. The drug depresses the body in multiple ways, including making the user lose weight, their teeth, and their mental aptitude. Stopping the drug epidemic has been an uphill battle from the beginning, but might the war on meth be simpler than originally thought? Could defeating meth start at the pharmacy stores?

In West Virginia, a single company had astounding meth product sales. Rite Aid, the region’s equivalent to Walgreens, is under extreme pressure from the DEA about their sales of pseudoephedrine containing products like Sudafed and Allegra-D. The DEA’s Tactical Unit requested hundreds of reports, dating all the way back to 2006. They found some questionable sales. In 2013 alone, a Rite Aid store was responsible for over 7,000 pseudoephedrine sales, a total ranking second-highest in the state. It was found that for the last few months, the Rite Aid had six times the amount of pseudo sales than that of the CVS that was mere blocks over. But sales are not the only facts raising eyebrows among the state. Reportedly, in 2012 a former pharmacist of the company told a legislative committee that Rite Aid awarded bonuses to employees based on pseudo sales and the chain drugstore also allegedly designated certain cash registers for pseudo sales. This is less telling than it would appear. Bonuses could have been awarded for low numbers, and registers could have been assigned to limit the number of sales of pseudo products, as well as to monitor the sales closer. However, the opposite might be true as well.

Rite Aid has made efforts to stagger the numbers. In March the Charleston East End had sold 826 transactions involving pseudoephedrine. In November, the number was 17. That specific store has since stopped selling the product, though the newly released, meth-resistant cold medicine Zyphrex-D is still available. Rite Aid has pulled back even more and limited the pseudo sales to one box per visit per customer.

The Source of the Meth Problem

It calls into question the source for overcoming the environmental meth problem. Are stores being too lenient on meth producing products? Pseudoephedrine has been long known as a key ingredient of meth and pharmacy companies everywhere have tightened the reins when it comes to sales.  But not every ingredient can be controlled in this manner. Other household items, such as Drano and lighter fluid are essential items – given the task at hand. Are the matchbooks going to be taken behind the counter as well to limit the red phosphorus, another key ingredient in meth production?

Wait…what about the “gateway drugs”?  After all, if people were not given drugs in the first place, there would be nothing to become addicted to, right? Studies have shown that people with ADHD are five times more likely to develop a drug problem. Children diagnosed with ADHD are more likely to use alcohol and marijuana in their teenage years. Have we dug our own grave with the boom of Big Pharma?

America has become a medicated society. It is no longer a startling fact to learn that your neighbor is prescribed for his blood pressure, ADHD, or some other behavioral problem. The problem with drugs, any kind of drug, does not start at the drug stores. It starts with the greed of Big Pharma. Prescribing a medication to beat another drug habit is not the way. Producing medications that have key ingredients that cause other harmful addictions is not the way. Educating the public on what other alternatives can be taken to avoid a drug habit. Through proper awareness, a people can learn about their deficiencies and productive methods of restoring their bodies to optimum health.

References:

WebMD – http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-and-substance-abuse-is-there-a-link

West Virginia Gazette – http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201312210059?page=2&build=cache