I hate this nanny state in which we live.
Last Tuesday I started to come down with a cold. It started as a scratchy throat, then my ears plugged, then my nose became stuffed, and then the cough set in. I haven’t been sick in years, but when I get a cold, it always follows that same formula. As a result, I typically treat myself. Cough drops, over the counter cough medicine, and plenty of fluids and rest.
Last week, I picked up some cold medicine from Kroger called “Mucus Relief DM.” This stuff made me feel like a zombie. I was totally out of it. I did some research on the two active ingredients. One is called Guaifenesin, an expectorant. It makes your cough more productive. The other is Dextromethorphan HBr, which suppresses your cough.
In doing my research, I learned that the Dextromethorphan is the ingredient in Robitussen that people abuse (thank you, shady websites for that little gem of knowledge). It makes you drowsy, and apparently makes you hallucinate if taken in high enough quantity. That was enough for me– I was done with it. All I want is a more productive cough, not to suppress the cough.
So today, I bought the exact same medicine from Kroger, but without the Dextromethorphan. Just to be clear– this is over-the-counter medication. It contains NO ephedrine of any kind. To my knowledge, the only active ingredient– Guaifenesin– is not on any sort of “watch” list or anything like that. There are no restrictions on its sale.
So why is it that I had to show my ID to purchase this stuff? I mean, come on– if I can buy the DM variety, which is regularly abused, without ID, then why do I have to show my ID to buy the ingredient that the abusers apparently try to avoid?
It makes no sense. I am an adult. I am sick. I am perfectly capable of determining what medicines I need to take. I do not need to be needlessly harassed by a grocery store just so I can buy some completely-legal, non-abused cough medicine.
A quick discussion with the manager and the pharmacist confirmed that there are no restrictions on this medicine. Kroger, for some reason, decided to police its customers use of over-the-counter, legal medicine, particularly when I bought some (awful) potentially-abused medicine without ID from the very same store just last week.
Why wasn’t I asked for ID for the menthol cough drops that I bought? How about the chicken soup?
Just sell me the damn medicine, Kroger. I’m a big boy. I can make my own decisions.
That is all.