I have a secret blog (which you'll never find, so don't even bother looking) where I posted some pretty good tales of woe. Since I never post there any more (too difficult keeping track of different usernames, passwords, and whatever) I thought I'd start porting over some of the good material over here. Besides, sometimes I would mention something here that I had posted over there and nobody knows what the hell I'm talking about, and neither do I.
So, based on a facebook rant from one of my friends, here is my take about OTC meds you can make crack from:
Its allergy season, and my allergies are a’ raging. So I go to the local CVS down the road and look for some Zyrtec-D. I have Zyrtec, but I’m so stuffed up I can’t even breathe so I need something to unstuff me.
I recently blogged about the fact that Zyrtec is now much easier to purchase since it went Over The Counter (OTC) meaning I don’t need a prescription for it. Of course, this ease now requires me to pay three times what I use to pay for it. I searched the pharmacy aisle for it and found a little note that said that I have to get the Zyrtec-D at the front counter. Hmm. That’s odd.
What I failed to take into consideration is that the Zyrtec-D contains a nifty little ingredient called pseudoephedrine, which is one of the ingredients used to make Meth. In order to keep people from buying it by the case and dumping it into their bathtubs (along with other vile and disgusting things) and making Meth, most states require that anything containing pseudoephedrine be kept under lock and key and doled out by employees of the pharmacy.
Ok, this seems a bit silly, because if this drug is that potent that it can be used to make an addictive and dangerous drug, shouldn’t be doled out by prescription only? Wouldn’t that solve a lot of the problems with illegal drugs?
Oh, but that wouldn’t make getting it “easy” for those of us with REAL allergies that need the medication. Silly me, I would never consider asking my doctor for a prescription for something that I needed in order to breathe, that would be complicated and difficult. Once again, the bad people do something, and to keep bad people from doing bad, they make new rules and laws that hinder and rip away the rights of law abiding good people. Go figure.
So, I wait in line and when its my turn, I ask the 16 year old girl wearing multiple piercings, tattoos, and hair dyed with green streaks for a pack of Zyrtec-D. Its good to know that such a dangerous drug is being guarded by professionals. She asks for my driver’s license. Um, ok, sure, I’m assuming she’s just checking to make sure that I’m old enough to purchase it, because all meth makers are underage or don’t have driver’s licenses. Oh no, she actually SCANS the barcode on the back of my license. I’m stunned. First of all, what information is on that barcode of my license? Why is she scanning it? Where does that information go? What agency? How secure is their computer system? What happens if someone misuses that information? Why on earth do they even NEED that information?
I’m then required to electronically sign a statement saying that I’ll be personally swallowing this medication myself, I won’t sell it, and I won’t dump it into a bathtub with other chemicals and sell the residue to Meth addicts for profit.
I left there feeling somewhat soiled and guilty, all because I woke up this morning and couldn’t breathe without making a funny noise through my nose.
As I drove home I couldn’t help but kick myself for not grabbing back my license, insisting they purge all information from their computers and take their Zyrtec-d and shove it... well, you get the idea. Now I’m wondering what sort of database I’m on, will I be immediately pulled over by the police and arrested for driving under the influence of Zyrtec-d? Will someone contact my employer to let them know that I’m taking Zyrtec-d? If I try to buy more Zrytec-D before this dose runs out, will SWAT teams break into my house and inspect my bathtub?
Curious, I went home and looked up pseudoephedrine and Maryland on Google, and why, sure enough, a law was passed that requires any store selling anything with pseudoephedrine to safeguard it behind the counter, dole it out one at a time, obtain certain information from the purchaser and have them sign a statement that they will only use it for legal means. Of course there was nothing on there about what recourse I would have as a consumer if CVS sells my information, misuses my information, loses my information, or uses my information for means other than just recording that I have allergies and needed a decongestant.
Its bad enough that store cards are marketed as “ways to get stuff on sale without the use of coupons” actually track everything that you buy and send you coupons for “things you may want on your next purchase”. Dear Ms. Smith: we noticed that on your last shopping trip you purchased some sanitary napkins. Our database has determined that your next menstrual cycle is approaching, so please enjoy these coupons for some New Stay Tight maxi pads, which we feel will fit your body shape better than the last brand that you purchased, and for your particular flow.
I had a sick dog and needed some bland food, so I purchased some baby food for her. A week later I started getting coupons from the store for diapers and more baby food. The I received an announcement flyer stating that I was automatically enrolled in their baby program. I don’t have a baby, I told them, take me off your baby program. They told me they couldn’t. Everything was autogenerated from their massive brainiac computer and stuff was sent out whether you wanted it or not, whether it applied to you or not. I pointed out that Mr. Al Gore would have brain matter spewing out over the fact that companies were killing trees to print out coupons for things that people didn’t want or need, then spewing toxic fuel fumes by having those coupons delivered to my house. They didn’t care. I still get the stuff, and I toss it in with the regular garbage, not the recyclables because if they don’t care, why should I.
You are being tracked, every minute, every second of the day. From navigation systems, to credit cards, to mobile phones, to decongestants, they are watching you... and you’ve done nothing wrong, but they sure do make you feel like you have.