If you think the good guys are winning the war on drugs, you don't have a sinus problem.
The removal from the shelves of West Virginia Rite Aid stores of products with pseudoephedrine as their main ingredient is a sad and perhaps necessary step in trying to curb the runaway damage caused by methamphetamine manufacture and sales in the Mountain State.
One of the easy ways to make meth involves using the drug that, when used properly, is a great relief to those who suffer with sinus troubles.
A couple of years ago, it became difficult to buy pseudoephedrine products in an attempt to curb meth manufacturers. Instead of simply walking to the cold and flu aisle in the drug store, consumers have faced a set of rules aimed at keeping them from buying too much of the product at once, providing ID or not buying more within a few days. Heaven help a household where mom and dad and a couple of adult kids all needed pseudoephedrine at the same time. They were made to feel like criminals.
And all the while, apparently, the real criminals were continuing to buy up the drug and cook it into their meth stew.
While we applaud Rite Aid for the effort at fighting the drug problem, we worry about the long-term implication. It is the removal of a legal product from the shelves to protect idiots from themselves while people with a legitimate need suffer.
And while taking the product from the shelves completely may seem to be a viable solution, we wonder about its impact. Even if the drug went prescription-only, abuse would continue. One needs only look at the pill mills cranking out scripts for pain killers to know that's true.
And the meth cookers will simply work a little science to come up with ways to get their necessary chemicals out of other pills and substances.
Anyone who would put anything from bug killer to detergent to pharmaceuticals into combo for human ingestion won't be letting go of the business anytime soon.