Sunday, August 06, 2006

So much for my meth lab plans....

I'm reading: So much for my meth lab plans....Tweet this!

I ran to the local CVS pharmacy to pick up some Benadryl and had my first experience with the laws created to stem the abuse of such over-the-counter cold remedies. Benadryl and similar cold medicines have an ingredient that is key to creating the dangerous and addictive crystal meth. Where one would expect to find the product on the shelf, there instead was a little card I had to take to the pharmacist. But before she could even give me the product I had to hand over my driver's license and sign off on my purchase. Sheesh.

I also noticed that they had condoms under lock and key. Well, just the male condoms, not the "female condoms" because no one buys them anyway, so why bother? One of the main themes of The Girls who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade, is how difficult it was to obtain birth control in those times. According to the book it wasn't even legal for unmarried people to purchase birth control in the US prior to 1972.

As long as I was talking to the pharmacist, I asked her about the security measures. She said they locked up the condoms because they were getting stolen. Hmmm. I'll have to check around at other local pharmacies.

In one of my former lives I developed and ran an HIV/AIDS peer education program for teens. The agency I worked for also had a medical unit where teens (mostly girls and sometimes their partners) or just guys alone would come to get information and services related to sexuality issues. They could get related medical care (STD testing/treatment, birth control pills) and always, always counseling. Teens who used the service were not chastised or judged for their choices, but they were given accurate information and encouraged to make healthy decisions. I think we did good an important work.

The teen leaders in my HIV prevention program had to buy condoms as part of their training. For many of the teens this was quite an embarrassing homework assignment. But they did it and they knew they'd be capable of doing it again, whether it was for themselves or their friends.

As a 30 something year-old married woman, I'm not be keen on asking the pharmacist to unlock the case for me, so I can't imagine the average teen taking to the task anymore eagerly. The fewer barriers to condoms the better.


jen said...

Hi Kim,
Other retail pharmacies (especially large chains) do have the condoms under lock. Some walgreens even have prilosec locked now since theft is a problem. crazy, isn't it! It does put a new spin on the access to medicine issue much debated about now with pharmacists not wanting to fill some "plan b" prescriptions....
a pharmacist

Kim Moldofsky said...


BTW, people can read more about Plan B and how it really works (I hear there was quite a bit of misinformation presented by Barbara Walters on The View recently)and even by Plan B t-shirts at:

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