The war on drugs is not always fought with bullets and arrests and warrants and raids.
Sometimes, it's a battle best fought in a laboratory, where pharmaceutical company scientists seek to limit the capabilities of the illegal pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Such is the case with the sinus drug pseudoephedrine. Long a staple of the medicine cabinet of the chronic sinus condition sufferer, it's also a mainstay of the meth lab, one of the ingredients in illegal methamphetamines that are the scourge of communities coast to coast.
For a few years now, it's been the case that a person with a sinus condition has been made to feel a little like a criminal just for having to try to buy pseudoephedrine. The drug is no longer on the counter with other sinus medicines. Instead, the purchaser takes a card to the counter and has to show identification. There are limits on how much may be purchased at once and limits on when more can be bought by the same person.
Meanwhile, illegal meth runs wild, made in part from the very sinus pills the legal user needs to clear their inflammed and blocked sinuses.
To relieve one form of human misery took a product that provides another kind of human misery.
Now comes the next generation in the pseudoephedrine tablet, a product called Nexafed. The product is touted on its website to contain materials that limit the potential for cooking it down into methamphetamine.
Kroger is stocking the product, hoping to give customers peace of mind in preventing pseudoephedrine abuse and theft while still giving relief to their sinus troubles.
And, though the molecular structures apparently deter the meth cooker, it will be only a matter of time before the illegal meth cookers move on to some other product.
It was only a few years ago that the common kitchen scrub sponge was an item to be monitored because of its use as a crack pipe filter.
So long as there are illegal drugs, there will be human misery inflicted on various levels.