30 May 2006

One Bad Apple Ruins It for the Rest of Us

Medical Equipment by Svadilfari CC-BY-ND

It's allergy season. So, I stopped by Walgreens last week to buy some Sudafed. Not only is the stuff sold from behind the pharmacy counter, but now you have to provide your driver's license in order to make the purchase. I haven't a clue where the records will be sent to or who will be tasked with keeping track of my two boxes. If you don't know, Sudafed (and its generics) can be used along with other ingredients to make meth. As a way to curb meth, sales on Sudafed are restricted. But this seems like a little much. How many people are out there cooking up meth compared to those with allergies, flu symptoms, or other inflammatory issues?

Did you have a chemistry set in your youth? Don't expect to get one now for younger family members. As an article in this month's Wired reports, even model rocketry enthusiasts are going on terrorist watch lists. Want to fertilize your garden? Don't count on having access to anything with ammonium nitrate anymore. "It is illegal in Texas, for example, to buy such basic labware as Erlenmeyer flasks or three-necked beakers without first registering with the state’s Department of Public Safety to declare that they will not be used to make drugs."

Doesn't this seem a little overdramatic?


Amerloc said...

Overdramatic indeed.

The Grandson just finished K, and has an increasing interest in "experiments," most of which involve, eventually, unidentifiable molds (as most of the ingredients come from the fridge).

It'd be nice if there were something available to nurture and expand that 'satiable curiousity, but this being Texas, we're lucky if we can find some off-the-shelve test tubes.

Unknown said...

Makes me insane that I can't buy Claritin-D or the generic equivalents that I take everyday without providing my id and making an extra stop at a drugstore as my supermarket as simply stopped carrying them. I asked my doctor about the alternatives and she said that they don't work. Lovely.

HappyChyck said...

I posted on this annoyance last fall:

The there's a dead link that was a news article about a teacher who had recently been arrested for cookin' up some meth. Other than her, we're good people who just want to breath, KWIM?

You know what cracks me up? When the pharmacist asks you how many boxes you want of this drug they are trying to regulate. Sheesh.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Meth labs explode from time to time. That said, I am ticked off that I have to go through that rigmarole to buy sudafed, which I've taken for years in a law-abiding fashion. Cough syrup that does anything is hard to come by, too.

Here are some cool science things you can do at home. We did some of them. The red cabbage juice pH indicator was especially fun.

Also, amerloc, check out pet stores for aquarium testing kits. My daughter did a kick-butt science fair project, testing water from local rivers and streams for ammonia, heavy metals, chlorine, dissolved oxygen, and so forth, and correlated the results from her check points with the location of industries in the area. If your grandson is just out of kindergarten most of this may be a bit much for him, but it's still fun to do that lab stuff.