Pseudoephedrine

May 26th, 2009 at 8:28 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Prime Minister John Key is proposing to combat the drug P by banning its main ingredient, pseudoephedrine, from use in over-the-counter cold and flu tablets.

Mr Key’s first task for his chief science adviser, Professor Peter Gluckman, is to investigate “whether it is possible for New Zealand to eliminate pseudoephedrine in the making of cold and flu tablets”.

Mr Key said he was surprised by the amount of methamphetamine – known as P – being made from locally obtained pseudoephedrine.

I’d have no idea about how important pseudoephedrine is in cold and flu tablets, but sounds like an ideal first issue for the Chief Science Adviser.

The pseudoephedrine ban Mr Key is considering would supersede the much-discussed option of a national computer register that would alert police to suspicious cold and flu tablet purchases.

Police support such a register, but no progress has been made despite almost 10 years of discussions.

But many committee meetings no doubt!

Pharmacy Guild chief executive Annabel Young said the alternatives to pseudoephedrine were not nearly as effective in dealing with cold symptoms.

She said much of the locally produced methamphetamine was made from Contac NT smuggled in from China and restricting access to over-the-counter pseudoephedrine products would not stop this.

But Gisborne pharmacist David Moore, who refuses to stock pseudoephedrine, gave the Herald a list of 11 tablets using alternative ingredients such as phenyleprine that he said were just as effective.

No surprise there is a difference in views – otherwise no need to have the CSA investigate and report on it.

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71 Responses to “Pseudoephedrine”

  1. billyborker (1,102 comments) says:

    If National were to win an election, how would we know?

    Another sledgemhammer to crack a nut.

    Jonkey is too wimpy to tackle the gangs, much easier to punish the inncoent when they have a cold, than actually take action, isn’t it, jonkey?

    It is time to stop fiddling at the margins and tackle drug policy from the point of harm minimisation. This would see tobacco banned totally, alcohol on a prescription only basis, marijuana, LSD, Ecstacy availabe readilly and P manufacture a life sentence.

    But don’t expect this from the National Socialists – I reckon a lot of their supporters are at the top of the drug distribution tree.

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  2. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    I clearly remember being told by a pharmacist that they don’t need it. And that they regularly get people coming in asking for cold and flu medication, then claiming an allergy to paracetamol. Apparantly there are no actual medically documented cases of people being allergic to paracetamol, so it is a big red flag. And they tend to come in one after the other – because they all get in a car and drive from pharmacy to pharmacy, taking turns to go in and buy the stuff. For someone without much money I believe you can basically sell the stuff for twice as much as you bought it at the pharmacy for.

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  3. big bruv (12,380 comments) says:

    Billy

    Remind me what Labour did about the gang problem over the last nine years?

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  4. billyborker (1,102 comments) says:

    big bruv, in case you hadn’t noticed (and I know its hard) labour is not the government. What they did, or did not, do is not the issue. What the National Socialists do, is.

    Or did you vote National Socialist hoping for more of the same?

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  5. RainbowGlobalWarming (295 comments) says:

    Anyone else noticed that the green/communist league has been out in force on Kiwiblog since the Labour head honchos have effectively deep sixed the standard by launching red alert?

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  6. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    And hes doing it all because hes worried about his kids being exposed to it.

    You know they’re only two votes and they’re not even old enough to use them yet John. Remember us the people who elected you, why not worry about us for a bit… John? …John?

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  7. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    PaulL – I am not allergic to paracetamol – it just doesn’t do anything to me unless I take about a dozen tablets all at once which is not a good thing to do. For me personally I have tried both Phenyleprine and pseudoephedrine cold products and is while phenyleprine is Ok it does not work as well as pseudoephedrine. When I have a cold I want right drug for the job, and it pisses me off that because some junkies want to smoke P I have to use a product that is not as effective. I already have to have pseudoephedrine based remedy tablets signed out by the Chemist, which I don’t mind doing, as long as I have access to it when I need it.

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  8. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    What do we always say about the Jim Anderton… If you can’t formulate sound policy – ban it!

    How many times have you breated Jolly Jim and the Green’s for wanting to “Ban” things DPF ?

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  9. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Can’t see what effect it will have as we would have to search every container or package coming into NZ to have any effect, which is impossible. Might be better to look at the reasons why people feel compelled to take these drugs in the first place- family breakdown, depression, social alienation. These are all difficult problems to tackle- social issues like P always are.

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  10. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    Anybody here ever had ‘P’, Speed, whizz, the fast thing… anybody who knows what they are dealing with?

    Key should be given a good snort of the powder or a good crack at the “P” pipe then he would know what he was dealing with. It’s one thing to say “it’s bad” but unless you understand why some people love it then you have no bloody idea what is going on.

    Jolly Jim and his take on party pills was an excellent example of ignorance and stupidity. “Ban it” becasue I don’t understand it….

    Oh, I’m all for anything that can reduce the influence that “P” has in society and I think one of the issues is the profit the cooks make. Give people a way to turn $1,000 or ingredients into $100,000 worth of product in less than 24 hours and wonder why they do it – it’s not rocket science.

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  11. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    I present phool as Exhibit A burt.

    Dangerous dangerous stuff.

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  12. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    Murray

    Yes agree. But ignorance and fear is not a platform to formulate policy from.

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  13. Sam (493 comments) says:

    You can bet your sorry ass if there was a better product than pseudoephedrine that it would be in popular use – there are alternatives – they just aren’t as effective. And who the bloody hell cares? What happened to the free-market ideals of those formerly of the ‘right’? I don’t see how this is any different to light bulbs or shower heads – legislating against choice = nanny state.

    Put it this way, society suffers because of the impact of drug-related gang activity. National’s proposed solution (under investigation at least), has society suffering form the restriction of legitimate cold/flu remedies, on top of drug-related gang activity (even if it did stop P abuse – which it wouldn’t, there would be alternatives). Thus gangs cause us to suffer twice, via the agency of a heavy-handed state.

    It seems with a more centrist National Party we are being offered the worst aspects of both right and left rather than the best aspects of both… Neato.

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  14. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Its been the greens SOP for a while now burt.

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  15. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    I’ve also just blogged about this. I hadn’t given Peter Gluckman’s appointment a lot of thought last week, but I heard Graeme Hill interview him on Sunday on Radio Live, and after listening to Gluckman explain what his role will be, it’s hard to see a negative.

    I’ve also noted that Labour had nine years to do something about P whereas National is proposing action after barely six months in office.

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2009/05/fusing-politics-with-science.html

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  16. Pistols for Pandas (2 comments) says:

    Perhaps Mr Key and Prof. Glukman could refer to the opening paragraph of the phenylephrine entry in wikipedia.
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenylephrine

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  17. infused (616 comments) says:

    It’s such a pain in the ass to get this crap now. Why not monitor the pharmacies. Obviously they are selling large quantities to people.

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  18. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    FFS! those things are a godsend when ill. sure they only mask the effects of the cold.. but they get me to work dammit!

    its a shame P isnt lethal.. thin the junkies ranks!

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  19. david (2,482 comments) says:

    FFS, stop calling them cold/flu REMEDIES. The drug companies have captured the debate by choosing the language.

    They are SYMPTOM BLOCKERS – no more, usually less and are incredibly profitable for the manufacturers.

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  20. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Anyone else noticed that the green/communist league has been out in force on Kiwiblog since the Labour head honchos have effectively deep sixed the standard by launching red alert?

    Certainly there’s at least three – idiot.

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  21. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    …it just doesn’t do anything to me unless I take about a dozen tablets all at once which is not a good thing to do.

    That sounds…alarming. Did you get bitten by a zombie or something?

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  22. nickle (27 comments) says:

    I so agree with Brian Smaller – I got tricked into taking a PE (phenylephrine) based cold drug last year. It was one that I had used many times as a pseudoephedrine product. I ended up super tired – had to take a 2 hour nap, and no relief to my congestion. I have young children – I don’t have time to take naps willy-nilly, I am very apprehensive of taking that stuff again.

    I already get to ‘feel’ like a crim when I ask for the stuff – the pharmacist pokes his nose up over the counter to give you the good once over, and I have not been asked for my name and address for years (don’t know what happened to that idea). I only feel the need for a pseudoephedrine product 2 – 3 times a year, as my bad colds/sinus problems don’t happen often.

    There are very few pseudoephedrine based products out there at the moment, surely we can manage this some other way, without making a few of us have to pay so much more to get a fairly basic drug, that works wonders?

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  23. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    A few years ago a mate was having his 40th. In an effort to briefly relive some of the heady days of the ‘wild boys’ we once were he decided we needed some nose candy for his party. Having not been in the circles for a while he started his track to procure a month or two before his party.

    Party night… The predominately professional couples gathered and “mate” announces to the selected few that he had trouble getting something to snort but he had this new stuff called ‘Pure’. “P” was generally unheard of at this time, the name was largely unsocialised. None of us had heard of it and we were all a bit excited that with a name like ‘pure’ it had to be good. This gooey looking stuff… what do we do with it… we smoke it…. Waaaaaa hoooooo. This stuff gets you seriously twisted….

    I’ve never had it since and I’m very unlikely to have it again. It was far too nice for my liking and it was real easy to see how people loose the plot with this stuff.

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  24. dimmocrazy (286 comments) says:

    Just going back to first principles here for a second:

    Now assume you would be able to ban all precursor ingredients for P, what is likely to happen:

    1- All junkies simply stop wanting it and everybody making money off selling it stop wanting to make money; problem solved, everybody happy.
    2- Junkies still want it, people making money start importing it or invent something else, continue to make money; new problem created, continue panic.

    That’s a no-brainer isn’t it? What we need is a fundamental new way of looking into this sort of problem, not the tired old prohibition concept that has proven so many times that it doesn’t work. I was told that John Key was a smart and clever chap, but to date he hasn’t yet proven that in my view.

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  25. big bruv (12,380 comments) says:

    When I am crook I like to take the strongest medicine possible, it enables me to continue working and to continue paying fucking tax.

    To ban pseudoephedrine, just because the gangs and low life use it to make drugs is a Green party solution to the problem.

    I don’t give a shit if Junkies kill themselves because they are addicted to “P”, there are far better ways of dealing with the problem than inconveniencing the rest of us by banning a product that 99% of us do not abuse.

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  26. Sam (493 comments) says:

    Sure – cold/flu symptom blockers if you like (to be that anal), but i can assure you that if I take the products early enough they will prevent a common head cold from progressing into a nasty (and sometimes a so-much-pain-that-I-have-to-vomit nasty) sinus infection (which i am particularly prone to). That’s a remedy to me (in fact, a pre-remedy, which is even better), which I do not care to not have available because some f-wits chose to take P for pleasure.

    Also, we really only actually suffer from the symptoms that we feel – so remedying the symptoms is a pretty good solution for something that cannot be otherwise remedied…

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  27. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    infused said “It’s such a pain in the ass to get this crap now. Why not monitor the pharmacies. Obviously they are selling large quantities to people.”

    This, from the Herald story, might answer your question infused:

    “The pseudoephedrine ban Mr Key is considering would supersede the much-discussed option of a national computer register that would alert police to suspicious cold and flu tablet purchases.

    Police support such a register, but no progress has been made despite almost 10 years of discussions.”

    Perhaps Labour was too busy legalising prostitution and civil unions and banning smacking to spend time on this, or perhaps they just didn’t care enough.

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  28. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    Stocking pseudoephedrine is just one more hassle pharmacists don’t need. Dealing with pseudo shoppers is just a pain in the arse and at times can be dangerous. Sure we require ID, sure we record ID, the bloody cops do nothing with the information we record. They have a great system in Queensland but our lot think it’s too expensive to implement here. Plenty of fucking money for Treaty claims. Personally I think the best thing for a snotty nose is a box of tissues.

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  29. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    I2

    Like the ban on party pills – if we remove the potential to make P by banning all imports of pseudoephedrine then what will replace it. People like getting off their heads and will the next chemical coctail be better or worse than “P”.

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  30. infused (616 comments) says:

    Probably Inv2. It just seems backwards banning this stuff over the counter. You need large quantities of this stuff to make P, so a pharmacy has to be selling shit loads to someone. This seems to tell me certain pharmacies are in on the drug making as well.

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  31. fishe (142 comments) says:

    Yeah there are a couple of decent studies showing phenylephrine is less effective than pseudoephedrine for cold and flu symptoms, but it should come down to how less effective.

    It will be a balancing act – impact of legal pseudoephedrine on the market ‘vs’ (possibly slightly) less effective cold/flu drugs.

    What happened to the nationwide pharmacy monitoring solution for drug purchases anyway? Doesn’t seem like an overly complex system – track names/IDs, centralised database, control purchases and bring up a red flag if someone buys twice in one week regardless of the pharmacy. It would be a nice technological solution that may negate the need to drop the drug from the market, removing choice. I’m sure other drugs would benefit from this kind of tracking too.

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  32. Sam (493 comments) says:

    “Stocking pseudoephedrine is just one more hassle pharmacists don’t need.” – there is no requirement for them to stock it (otc at least), and some don’t.

    “Personally I think the best thing for a snotty nose is a box of tissues.” Obviously a medical scholar in our midst…

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  33. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    Sam, it was a personal opinion, not a medical one. You deal with a pack of cry baby wimps with a cold for 20 years of your life and see how much sympathy you can muster. Thankfully I no longer deal with the public.

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  34. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    How long before the nats realise that Prohibition doesn’t work.

    People are still going to want Meth, its just going to become riskier to make, more dangerous to be involved in and probably more violent too.

    Meth should be treated like heroin is in NZ, which is de facto legal in NZ, via methadone.

    Then again, politicians in NZ don’t give a crap about harm reduction, and are only interested in more votes from the ignorant public, hence the BZP ban, when BZP was pretty damn successful in getting people off Meth to a safer legal alternative.

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  35. OldNews (40 comments) says:

    Pseudoephidrine works better than Phenylephrine. It is wrong in principle to penalise the law abiding in this way.

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  36. Grendel (875 comments) says:

    Phenylephrine works fine for me, in fact i did not even know i was not using pseudo. but when i was over my cold two days later, the wife used the Phenylephrine stuff and it did nothing. she got the pseudo based stuff and her cold got a good kicking, and she was able to get back to work.

    i don;t like the idea of banning it, but i think Key is doing it the right way, getting an expert (presumably/hopefully one without an axe to grind), to check to see if its possible. i suspect very strongly they will find its not, and that will be the end of it, but there is nothing wrong with researching an idea. hell if the last lot had done any research we would have a lot less stupid laws now :)

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  37. Sam (493 comments) says:

    Heh – Wikipedia informs us, on the question of effectiveness, that phenylephedrine is significantly more effective than a placebo…

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  38. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    FFS, stop calling them cold/flu REMEDIES. The drug companies have captured the debate by choosing the language.

    They are SYMPTOM BLOCKERS – no more, usually less and are incredibly profitable for the manufacturers.

    I know. Treat a cold and it is over in seven days, do nothing and it is gone in a week. But I WANT the symptons blocked and don’t care about the language used. Pseudoephidrine actually works as stated. Some Pseudoephidrine and an antihistamine means I don’t have to take time off work and can look after my family. Fuck the junkies. Key needs to remember that law abiding people should not be penalised for the actions of crims.

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  39. ernesto (257 comments) says:

    http://news.ufl.edu/2006/07/19/decongensant/ (Despite the spelling, this link seems informative to the overall question.)

    “Phenylephrine is not new to the market. It has been commonly used in nonprescription nasal sprays and in eye and hemorrhoid medicines for years. In these applications, phenylephrine is highly effective. But Paul Doering, a University of Florida professor of pharmacy who teaches about over-the-counter medications, said that phenylephrine has rarely been used in oral decongestants, and for good reason.

    “As pharmacists we have always avoided this drug,” Doering said. “We all know that it isn’t absorbed into the bloodstream well enough.”

    Dr. Miles Weinberger, director of the pediatric allergy and pulmonary division at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, was shocked at the increasing number of companies dropping pseudoephedrine and switching to phenylephrine.

    “It’s taking a moderately effective nasal decongestant and replacing it with an ineffective medication,” Weinberger said.”

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  40. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    Ah, another ban proposed by National. I’ve done a bit of a tally of things National has banned or has proposed to ban since it has been in office.

    Seems the nanny state is alive and well under its new rulers, but scarily, many of National’s bans have been on democratic participation.

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  41. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    toad

    Must make you feel good to be able to point the “ban” stick at National. Takes the heat of the Green party and you can say “we are not the only ones who think “ban it” rather than develop sound policies”.

    [DPF: What Toad classifies as bans are often stopping Councils from banning things. But his efforts are amusing. They won;t work though as at the end of the day you see Green MPs every week advocating bans and proud of them, and this is why the ban meme works against the Greens - because people accept the underlying basis that they do want to remove choice from people in the name of theri greater good]

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  42. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    MikeE, you can not treat opiate “addiction” and meth “addiction” the same. Pharmacologically they are different substances. We give scum sucking junkies methadone, what do we give alcoholics – abstinence, what would we give meth junkies. Similairly cocaine “addiction” is not treated with a substitute.

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  43. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    burt – the government isn’t proposing a total ban on pseudoephidrine as I understand it – just making it “prescription only”, and banning over the counter sales.

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  44. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    infused said “Probably Inv2. It just seems backwards banning this stuff over the counter. You need large quantities of this stuff to make P, so a pharmacy has to be selling shit loads to someone. This seems to tell me certain pharmacies are in on the drug making as well.”

    Without doubt infused – especially in Pukekohe!

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  45. LC (162 comments) says:

    It’s the same logic as trying to stop boy racers by banning the importation of car tyres. Only makes the price of tyres go up, and doesn’t stop the boy racers.

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  46. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    Yes IV2 there are ratbags in the pharmacy occupation (can’t bring myself to call it a profession) just like there are ratbags in all occupations. However I think you will find the main source of illicit pseudo is now importation. Nearly all of the pharmacies that I worked in prior to going to Aus had very strict procedures for the sales of pseudo. We suffered abuse not only from the pseudo shoppers but also from average joe public who resented having to produce ID. Fuck the lot of them, better to not stock pseudo, no abuse, no shit, no time consuming crap.

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  47. Luke H (73 comments) says:

    In regards to the Pukekohe pharmacist, I read those articles and thought, that’s the kind of person we actually WANT to be making drugs. Trustworthy, non-violent, and he used to be a chemist, so he won’t mess up the chemistry and make anything toxic by mistake.

    Pseudoephedrine is much better than phenylephrine, in my experience.

    If John Key is worried about his kids getting on P, he can blimm’in well educate them about the dangers of drugs rather than ban our most effective cold remedy!

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  48. Sam (493 comments) says:

    I’ve worked in pharmacy too, and can’t see how manufacturers are getting ready supplies if the correct protocol is followed. It isn’t be too difficult to track the amount of product bought into a store, and where it went, so either enforcement of pharmacy rules isn’t being adequately monitored, or, much more likely, it is as Murray suggests, due to importation rather than otc sales. I’d suggest Key look at the supply of the criminals as an issue rather than the supply of those who use the substance in a law-abiding way…

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  49. Ross Nixon (599 comments) says:

    Pseudoephedrine has long been a very useful pharmaceutical product. If it is banned, it means that P will just be made using different precursors. If pseudoephedrine is needed, it van be made using yeast and benzaldehyde http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoephedrine#Manufacture. I suppose they could be banned too? Then benzaldehyde can be made from toluene. If toluene is banned it can be made from oil or coal…

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  50. Jim (385 comments) says:

    Better to get the CSA to engineer something even more buzz/high/whatever than P but which is 100% fatal after 3 months of use*. Give it away for free. Then the problem will be rapidly self-limiting.

    * fatality warning to be printed on packaging.

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  51. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    Jim

    Great thinking. Give the fat kids free pies as well. The little shitters will soon learn to control their impulses eh….

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  52. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    Ross Nixon

    Ban the internet and burn the libraries. Then people can’t find out how to make the stuff. ;-)

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  53. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    The best thing to do is ban bans!

    That should do the trick.

    These drugs are as said earlier merely ‘symptom blockers’, if they disappeared in a buying frenzy in China.

    Our world will keep turning.

    The proceeds of this Manufacture should be fully sequestrated when proven Guilty.

    Certainly takes the allure away.

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  54. Sam (493 comments) says:

    This: http://www.inbox.net.nz/tenone/Dec08Congress.htm would seem to suggest that it is the pharmacies that are lax in their sales procedures (and whoever is supposed to be policing the pharmacy sales), and that Key’s proposal is the direct result of NZ Police lobbying.

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  55. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    “MikeE, you can not treat opiate “addiction” and meth “addiction” the same. Pharmacologically they are different substances. We give scum sucking junkies methadone, what do we give alcoholics – abstinence, what would we give meth junkies. Similairly cocaine “addiction” is not treated with a substitute.”

    Murray,

    How many people do you know who a) currently use or b) have used meth in the past, just out of curiousity.

    My cousing was/is a heroin addict, and I’ve got plenty of mates in the clubbing scene who have/do use meth, some recreationally and responsibly (rare, but still happens, occasionally), and others where its ruined their lives. And I’ll tell you straight away that absintence was NOT the way they got off the pipe.

    And their dealers, well they will be rubbing their hands in glee at another excuse to jack up the price and make more profit thanks to the war on drugs. Gangs will love this, as it will mean that they get even more control over the manufacture and sale of P.

    Drugs should never have been a law and order issue. They are a health issue. The minute we stop treating drug users as criminals is the minute NZ will actually be able to tackle the problem of drug abuse.

    It sickens me that some on here would rather see people die from drug use, rather than use more safely – shows how twisted some of the kiwibloggers really are.

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  56. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    Drugs should never have been a law and order issue. They are a health issue. The minute we stop treating drug users as criminals is the minute NZ will actually be able to tackle the problem of drug abuse.

    How exactly?

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  57. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    It sickens me that some on here would rather see people die from drug use, rather than use more safely – shows how twisted some of the kiwibloggers really are.

    Drug users, for whatever reasons, usually end up just another useless eater. I don’t give a shit about them as they made conscious decision to destroy their health and lives. I was offered same opportunities to be a druggie as anyone my age ever was. I decided not to go down that path. Why should I care about those that get into drugs and why is it sickening not to care about people who want to play russian roulette with their lives?

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  58. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Go away John!

    This leftie likes pseudoephedrine cold pills. They are much better than paracetomol.

    This leftie does not want to have to get an $80 doctor’s prescription in order to be able buy a $25 pack of painkillers.

    This leftie would prefer to see the Three Strikes policy apply to manufacture of methamphetamine, or being an accessory to.

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  59. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    Brian Smaller you are so right. I dished out methadone to approx seventy methadone clients for many years. I had known many of them for over 20 years. With very few exceptions they were as you described “useless eaters”. What made it worse was that the local A&D clinic in my opinion encouraged them to be useless. Nothing like looking after your own patch. The disease model of addiction is so patently flawed it ridiculous. Theodore Dalyrymple’s book “romancing opiates” is a good read.
    MikeE I do not hang out with people who use illicit substances, I have no wish to be found guilty by association, if they are using meth sooner or later it will get on top of them. I still believe junkies should be treated like alcoholics, told to dry out and stay dried out.

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  60. Brian Smaller (3,915 comments) says:

    The disease model of addiction is so patently flawed it ridiculous.

    I really don’t know to much about models of addiction but from over forty years of seeing addicts of all sorts, I have come to the conclusion that it is almost always by choice that people remain addicted to whatever their poison is. This refers to drugs, exercise, crazy risk-taking, religious fanaticism, video games etc etc. These are people who over-do anything they try and then claim that they are addicted to it and the object of their addiction gives them a cop out for any actions they take.

    MurrayM – do you think methadone addicts are actually any better off than heroin addicts? They usually look just as fucked up as any h-junkie I have ever seen.

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  61. Sam (493 comments) says:

    Back on topic, the NZ Police suggest that 70% of Methamphetamine production in NZ is manufactured from locally derived precursors. So, it seems that pharmacies are at fault here (and those who are charged with policing the current sales controls). However, the Police have come up with strategies for dealing with P in society, which they were to report back their recommendations back to the Govt. in about March this year – which, of course, include the banning of OTC pseudoephedrine products.

    Thus, it seems to me that Key is responding to Police recommendations that are designed from the viewpoint of reducing the amount of policing that is necessary to keep a lid on the problem rather than actual benefits to society. If the current system was properly policed there would be no issue (as is the case in the majority of pharmacies). The walnut/sledgehammer analogy comes back into mind here… Just do the job properly rather than place restrictions on everyone else…

    I also wonder how accurate the 70% figure is given the large amounts of precursor ingredients being caught at the border (and the potentially larger amounts that are getting through unaccounted for)…

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  62. Cactus Kate (538 comments) says:

    Issue is that pseudo is the only thing that works on colds and flu. In HK they surprisingly don’t sell it over the counter and the drugs we have to fix the sniffles are nigh on useless.

    Personally I don’t care if people blob out and kill themselves on meth, I wish that it was a faster killer. Cold and flu tabs I would imagine contribute to a tiny portion of ingredients, the rest is shipped into the country and straight to the labs. The gangs have become very good at this. The Police wouldn’t know how much is produced locally would they as they don’t catch it all at the border. They think alcohol is a bigger problem than meth.

    Given you need almost a letter from god as a white female to buy even a pack of Codral these days, I don’t see how people are accessing it when they shouldn’t.

    If Key is worried about his two kids he shouldn’t be. They have the DPS to look after them. Something Millie Holmes could have done with years ago.

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  63. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    Brian Smaller, they are totally fucked up and encouraged in their so called “addiction” by the very people who pretend to treat them. Again I refer you to Dalyrymples book. For the majority of clients the methadone program does nothing to improve thier lives, but it does financially enrich the lives of the Doctors, Nurses, Councillors, etc who choose to work in this field, usually because working in another field of medicine is too hard for them. I will never change my opinion that abstinence is the only thing that works. Junkies must be encouraged (with positive or negative reinforcement) to abstain.

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  64. PaulL (5,776 comments) says:

    Toad – I’m not sure that John Key “banned Public submissions on the Electricity (Renewable Preference) Repeal Act 2008″, or that he “banned Employees in workplaces with less than 20 staff right to be told the reason for their dismissal if dismissed in the first 90 days of employment”.

    That is a rather tortuous use of the word ban. Try again.

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  65. fishe (142 comments) says:

    Murray,

    Agree abstinence is the only proper solution, especially for those high on the end of the addiction scale, but it’s more complex than “abstain or nothing”.

    From what I’ve read, methadone can be effective at reducing opiate use and long term rehabilitation, but only in the context of a well-designed rehabilitation programme. It is but part of the solution. The problem it seems is that because it is a drug, it suffers the “drug quick fix now” issue – whereby it can be viewed as somehow having healing properties and other treatment options are downgraded. Similar to antidepressants. A shame really.

    But yeah, by itself it’s just another moderately less harmful drug to abuse. A worse of two evils philosophy which isn’t ideal.

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  66. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    fishe

    So what is more harmful and damaging to peoples health. The consumption of the chemicals or the lifestyles that they lead people into? Spending every cent you have (plus thousands of dollars you are required to steal) to make the gangs rich is probably a bigger issue in the equation of “harmful effects” than the chemical presence in the body.

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  67. fishe (142 comments) says:

    Well, it’s hard to dissociate those two.

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  68. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    Go away John!

    This leftie likes pseudoephedrine cold pills. They are much better than paracetomol.

    This leftie does not want to have to get an $80 doctor’s prescription in order to be able buy a $25 pack of painkillers.

    But that’s Phil Goff’s idea, not John’s. Finally waking up to Looney Labour thinking?

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  69. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    “So what is more harmful and damaging to peoples health. The consumption of the chemicals or the lifestyles that they lead people into? Spending every cent you have (plus thousands of dollars you are required to steal) to make the gangs rich is probably a bigger issue in the equation of “harmful effects” than the chemical presence in the body.”

    I’d say for most of NZ’s recreational drug users (I’m counting ALL recreational drugs in here, including Alcohol and Cannabis) than jail time resulting from illicit drug use is often far more harmful than the effects of the drugs. Remember on a scale of harm, piss is right up there.

    I love the hypocrisy we have in NZ where its socially acceptable for someone to get pissed with their amtes, but consume somethign else and you are scum who deserves to die.

    I think Meth is a terrible substance, but in no way do I think people should be sent to jail for manufacturing, consuming, buying or selling it.

    Prohibition didn’t work in the 30′s and it sure as hell isn’t working now.

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  70. pete (428 comments) says:

    PaulL:

    That is a rather tortuous use of the word ban. Try again.

    It’s obviously a reference to this post where dpf tortured the word “ban” to death.

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  71. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephedra

    Substitute for cold n flue, don’t grow Ephedra Sinicus though, police will hit you with the ban stick.

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