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Default 11-27-2007, 08:05 AM

Published November 27, 2007

With pseudoephedrine off the shelves, placed behind counters to curtail abuse, drug abusers seem to be looking toward other over-the-counter remedies.

Area pharmacists are watching the trend, and in some case, are taking steps to head them off.

Those medicines include Coricidin Cough and Cold, Robitussin, and Dimetapp DM and Vicks NyQuil LiquiCaps, which all contain the drug dextromethorphan. And when abused, they can result in a high.

Many Walgreens locations across the country have voluntarily placed Coricidin behind the pharmacy counter, Walgreens corporate spokeswoman Carol Hively said.

Other medicines were not removed because the company found they were not being abused like Coricidin, she said.

So now the medicine has been disappearing from store shelves accessible to shoppers and reappearing behind counters or glass containers manned by store employees.

Hively said people, many of them teenagers, would enter stores and purchase packages of the medicine and swallow most or all of its red tablets. The high is called “Skittling” after the tablets’ close resemblance to the candy Skittles. The product was moved behind the counter if local law enforcement felt it was a problem.

And at all Walgreens locations, no one younger than 18 can purchase the medicine.

Children as young at 14 have been taken to emergency rooms after overdosing on the medicine, Hively said.

In October, two 16-year-old girls were detained at the Brazoria County Juvenile Detention Center after one of them overdosed on the cold medicine.

One of the girls brought 16 pills into the detention center, which the other took. She was taken to Angleton Danbury Medical Center, where she was treated and released.

Brazoria County Sheriff Charles Wagner said the abuse of other over-the-counter drugs such as Coricidin is rising because of the tracking of pseudoephedrine. But the abuse is not an epidemic, he said.

“It’s nothing like the abuse of hard drugs,” he said. “But we are seeing more of it.”

Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office narcotics investigators are working with local law enforcement to curb over-the-counter drug abuse by trying to track who buys certain over-the-counter drugs — mostly pseudoephedrine — using log books kept at pharmacy counters, Wagner said.

“Everybody’s working on it,” he said.

In 2006, a federal law was passed requiring customers purchasing pseudoephedrine, which can be used to make methamphetamine, to sign a log book so retailers can track who is buying it, how much is being bought and how many times.

For Coricidin, Hively said it’s a store-by-store preference depending on local law enforcement.

“Some stores take it off the shelves and some don’t,” she said. “It depends on the area — if there are trends. It seems isolated, so I can’t say it’s a big problem. It’s sporadic.”

Locally at the Clute Walgreens, Coricidin can be found inside a locked glass case, a store employee said.

J.C. Jackson, a pharmacist who has been running the Alvin Medicine Man pharmacy for two years, said abuse of over-the-counter medicines purchased at his clinic is not common because they have been implementing a system much like Walgreens.

“There was a time when you could buy everything on the shelf,” said Jackson, a Seabrook resident. “But it has curtailed a whole lot.”

Jackson has implemented a log book customers must sign and provide their driver’s license number so the pharmacy can track purchases of items containing pseudoephedrine. And if anything strange arises, they offer the information in the log book to police. They do not track medicines with dextromethorphan.

Meghan Glynn, a spokeswoman for Kroger, said any decisions about product placement or removal are decided depending on the situation at hand. And the supermarket chain removes items following legal guidelines.

“It depends on a lot of factors,” she said of having items protected behind counters or glass. “It depends on the issue.”

Spokesmen at Wal-Mart and Target also said they only remove what federal guidelines say to remove.
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D3xDr0DaCl0wn Offline
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Default 11-27-2007, 07:07 PM

Brazoria County Sheriff Charles Wagner said the abuse of other over-the-counter drugs such as Coricidin is rising because of the tracking of pseudoephedrine.
what does psudeophedrine (sic) have to do with dxm?
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Ez.nick Offline
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Default 11-27-2007, 07:18 PM

It was used as a reference to a drug thats already off the shelves, after our country realized how big the meth problem was they started to take pseudoephedrine off of the shelves.
Places are starting to do the same with products containing DXM.

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neko Offline
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Default 12-11-2007, 06:24 PM

Originally posted by gaze of sorrow@Nov 27 2007, 06:07 PM
Brazoria County Sheriff Charles Wagner said the abuse of other over-the-counter drugs such as Coricidin is rising because of the tracking of pseudoephedrine.
what does psudeophedrine (sic) have to do with dxm?
it's also pretty common for people to think DXM products also contain pseudoephedrine or are otherwise used for making meth.

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agentlemon Offline
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Default 12-12-2007, 12:11 PM

There doesnt seem to be as much of a issue with stores securing cold medications here in Canada, I have yet to find a store where I have been either carded or had to retried medicine from behind a counter with the help of a clerk. I am not sure about pseudo ephedrine containg products though. Hopefully this trails off and doesn't catch on as a widespread movement to curtail DXM as a way to get high, fucking young teenagers trying it and not knowing enough about the ill effects and not paying attention to other active ingredients is exactly the type of thing that will bring about DXM's ultimate demise.

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