Jailed for buying Sudafed her Instructor told her to get

Discussion in 'Scuba Related Court Cases' started by DandyDon, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. DandyDon

    DandyDon ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    For this story, the references to Sudafed mean the old pseudoephedrine medicine, not the other med now being sold OTC under the Sudafed brand name.

    This hits close to home for me as may have pushed the limits on buying pseudoephedrine at times solely for shopping convenience. The various pharmacists I've asked about the limits really weren't very informative, and it seemed like they were just trying to enforce requirements without actually understanding the various aspects. One I used to buy from would sell me several boxes of 24 count, 30 mg at a time, but now I know that Texas has a vague 2 package/day limit regardless of contents. Selling Pseudoephedrine Products That pharmacist kept a handwritten record and reported monthly so I hope I didn't raise any flags.

    That link also lists federal purchase limits of 3.6 grams/day and 9 grams/month. I take hay fever meds daily and like to stock up on my monthly trips to Lubbock where I can find such cheaper than in Plainview, but I seldom spend the night so that won't work. I don't use more than 4 grams/month I don't guess, but I like to keep plenty on hand. Wow, this is all so detailed compared to the first several decades I took similar meds.

    The state laws are stricter for this weird story and her son's actions complicated it a lot. Several newspapers are carrying a shorter version of the story that omit some important details, but I want to offer the longer one: Woman says innocent trip to Ala. spirals into meth charge | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com
     
  2. mike_dippert

    mike_dippert Angel Fish

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    It's a shame our society has reached this point.

    I worked at a CVS in Indiana for 3 years. We always had people getting denied for Sudafed b/c they reached the monthly limit (in grams). Some looked legit, but most looked like they had a lab in the kitchen. It may be wrong to profile people, but meth users have certain physical characteristics that give them away. I've personally seen someone who looked like an addict come in with an older woman (looked like grandma), she bought the largest quantity of the CVS branded Sudafed along with her RX. I am certain the guy (grandson) was going to use it for drugs.

    People who haven't been on the enforcement/prevention side of the OTC drug epidemic think its black and white. It's not. Those making meth do everything they can think of to get their ingredients. Sometimes innocent people get caught up in it. What she did was illegal by Mississippi law. What the trooper did is very wrong. A good lawyer should be able to keep her out of jail.

    Here in Indiana, the RX has scan the back of your driver's license to ring up anything containing Psuedaphedrine. The date and qty you purchased goes in a state wide database. This country needs a national law and system like this to keep situations like this from happening. If you need more than the OTC legal limit, get a prescription.
     
  3. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

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    For some reason, after reading this article, I have my doubts about her story.
     
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  4. DandyDon

    DandyDon ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Having used decongestants for decades, I initially viewed the restrictions to my daily OTC meds as a worthless inconvenience. I usually don't keep track of how much I bought and when, there is no way for me to look that up on the records used to bust someone, and my home dive bud even had me pick up pills for him at times. The companies can't market the meds like they used to so the choices have become limited and more pricey, and I really didn't think it'd slow the meth makers down much - altho it does seem to be helping. I still don't understand why combination pills with PSE + antihistamine are covered as I don't think the meth makers could use those, but maybe they could. :dontknow:

    I guess it's high time for me to learn to cooperate with this system. The locally owned store that kept hand written records with monthly submissions really left me open to unintended abuse, but they're long gone now - so I guess I'll be safe only buying at the bigger stores with instant electronic tracking.

    For this lady's story, we're only getting one side of course. From it, one would think that any lawyer could get her off, but she was convicted. Allowing the cop to search the vehicle was unavoidable with the children onboard, and I can understand her desperate feelings beyond that. All pretty messy.
     
  5. BDSC

    BDSC Great White

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    Yep. Sad case all around.
     
  6. Tao of the Dive

    Tao of the Dive Rabid Otter Spotter

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    Wow...I'm at a loss. I really doubt the validity of her claims. For her to say the officer told her to put in her statement that htey were going ot cook meth, and she did it...highly unlikely. Of the 15 years I worked as a cop, 2 of those years were on an undercover drug unit. More years than i care to rememebr were working major cases in CID. And whenever anybody was making a statement, it was their statement. We no more would suggest what to put in that statement, than we would tell them a good atorney that would help them get off the charges...it just doesnt happen. It sounds like her son left her dangling in the wind, and now she has to fight her way out and pick up the peices.

    @Dandy Don- I use a generic OTC allergy pill from Wal-Mart that I use before dive trips. It's even safe for anybody who has high blood presure. It's a little yellow pill, and you can buy as many bottles as you need, at least at my wal-mart you can. Might be a suitable repalcement for the pseudofedrine.
     
  7. k ellis

    k ellis Divemaster

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  8. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

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    First off, I'm with the person who said they doubt the story. It's just too convenient that she was in a car with a drug addict son, and it makes no sense that they ALL bought Sudafed "because they had no health insurance".

    I work in an ER in a meth-ridden part of our state. Methamphetamine is by far and away the worst recreational drug there is -- it's worse than cocaine, and cocaine is bad. Meth causes strokes and heart attacks that disable young people. It causes stunning premature ageing, and meth addicts lose all their teeth. It also causes irrational behavior and aggression, and it is more powerfully addictive than heroin. The manufacture of meth is hazardous; the chemicals and the careless handling render properties which have been used for meth cooking hazmat sites, and I have seen more than one case of horrendous burns from meth house explosions, which often involve children. Although I am a Sudafed user from time to time, and I don't particularly ENJOY the process of having to go sign for the stuff, I approve wholeheartedly of efforts to make it more difficult to manufacture this ghastly material.
     
  9. koozemani

    koozemani Surface Interval Member

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    The way a pharmacist here in AZ explained it to me was that even though each pharmacy maintains a log, the log is not shared with other pharmacies of other chains. Therefore you could buy a box at walmart, a box at cvs, and so on without raising red flags. I think meth is a terrible blight, but when you're trying to stock up for a dive trip...
     
  10. Magnolia3

    Magnolia3 Manta Ray

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    I have ADD... ephedrine in any form makes me like a gerbil on crack. I think the pill you are refering to is called Chlor-Tab its a generic form of Chloratrimeton. That is the same pill that is in my bee sting kit. Cost is $2.72 for 100 pills totally legal. DD might want to experiment with the dosage though. I take one pill but I am five three, 120lbs. My 6 foot tall 160lb son takes two and sometimes three to dry him up.

    Like others I find this woman's story quite suspect, or as we say in the South, that dog don't hunt.
     
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  11. DandyDon

    DandyDon ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Yeah, we're only looking at one side of the story, as reported by a journalist - and there are certainly some weak spots to it. Whether true & innocent, a victim of some poor judegements and an overeager cop, or otherwise - it still bears considering. Many Instructors and fellow divers have encouraged others to use pseudoephedrine, the generic name of the drug that gave original Sudafed its name, also called PSE - me included, and we've shared meds and shopping at times. Times are getting tougher, with Alabama requiring a doctor's script and from other sources Kentucky considering the same. If the program really is reducing the meth problem, then more states or even the feds requiring patient prescriptions is the next logical step I suppose.

    Yeah, I have read news stories of meth gangs doing just that and getting arrested. I'm not going to try it. The law specifically limits daily purchases to 3.6 grams or 60 - 60 mg pills. If instant electronic tracking is integrated thru a state clearing house, then over buying will be prevented. If totals are compared later tho, and the possibility of clerical errors plays in, what if some bored official notices where you bought at two stores the same day, over buying the limit, and sends the DEA after you? Innocent until proven guilty, but handcuffs, police booking, jail, news stories, lawyer fees, etc, still required. Actually, I may have overbought at times from that local store that kept handwritten records, and I may have bought there and at Walmart the same days - but I won't again! (That local store was closed a few months ago by the DEA by the way - for more serious problems, and bought out by CVS.)

    My favorite pill for the last 20 years is the combination of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride 60 mg as the nasal decongestant and triprolidine hydrochloride 2.5 mg as the antihistamine originally sold as Actifed. When my local store closed, before shopping the chain stores - I tried buying some from a Canadian pharmacy, which did limit purchases to 7.2 grams. Now I am a little nervous that that business might report that December purchase in January, the same month I bought a 48 ct Wal-act box in Lubbock - which I discovered had better prices, but I can only buy one box a day. :shakehead:

    It really amazes me how many people are taking antihistamines and/or decongestant but seem to not know what they are or the differences. It does seem to be a very common lacking. The lady in the story was buying combination pills with both I think, as I mentioned above that I prefer, but Chloratrimeton is an antihistamine, not at all similar to PSE. See
    Decongestants - definition of Decongestants in the Medical dictionary - by the Free Online Medical Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    vs
    antihistamine - definition of antihistamine in the Medical dictionary - by the Free Online Medical Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    But if that antihistamine works fine for you, cool. :thumb:

    I used to carry a bottle of ephedrine liquid as a cowboy to administer shots in the field to cattle trying to die on me on winter pastures. It'd get one up on his feet so I could load him for transport to sick pen and saved many. One in particular went down on me again after transport, it was dark and snowing, and I was desperate to get him out of the trailer and into the sick pen for food, water, and antibiotics - so I gave him a second shot. Seemed to work ok, but then I found him dead the next day where he'd jumped halfway thru a wall. Never overdosed one again. :shocked2:
     
  12. k ellis

    k ellis Divemaster

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    I agree with Tsandm. I have been in the field and worked in a hospital and man the effects of Meth are just totally unbelievable. I saw a girl come into the emergency room and cause a stir when we ended up having to arrest her I thought she was about mid 50s. Turns out she was only mid 20s. I have dealt with people who were on cocaine, marijuana and much much more but nothing can compare to the ill effects of Meth. I just cant fathom why people go and buy products that explicitly warn about human ingestion and then mix them all together just to get some sort of high.

    and if this aint bad enough then check out this video link Tulsa Police Meth Explosion - YouTube
     
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  13. Magnolia3

    Magnolia3 Manta Ray

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    True but I am not a kid, and over the years I have tried them all at one point or another. Chlorpheniramine maleate aka chlor-tabs do not have the gerbil on crack effect on me. I really hate that feeling of having drank 10 dble shots of expresso one after the other. Others around me are not fond of me when I am in the throws of some antihistimines either.

    My comment was based solely on the fact that more and more antihistimines are becoming prescription only. This particular brand is not and is fairly inexpensive. OTOH, what is legally available to you out of the US? I know I buy cinnazine (sturgeron) when I am in the bahamas for motion sickness, swear by the stuff but it is not even sold in the US.

    I don't take a lot of the stuff in any case. My usual triggers are cold dry air, where my body tries to over compensate for the lack of humidity. Some perfumes and the occasional cold or when the lugustrum bloom in spring.
     
  14. koozemani

    koozemani Surface Interval Member

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    I generally use an OTC product for diving. I believe it's called "allerclear". It dries me out just enough. I haven't used any of the controlled products* for some time, but they did pep me up quite a bit.

    *controlled but legal, ie sudafed
     
  15. DandyDon

    DandyDon ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Oh, I'm sure that Meth is a major problem, and I guess I should be more supportive since the law seems to help reduce it...

    Ok, you are still confusing the two types of chemicals. Decongestants are not Antihistamines, very different, but you are using the words interchangeably. It does seem that you should avoid decongestants, while antihistamines work well for you and are all you need. That's great, but knowing the differences and using the correct names is preferable.

    Cinnarizine is an antihistamine of sorts but more, not allowed in the US. There are some cautions about it, so you might want to read up on it.

    Scheduled is the term I think. Allerclear is Loratadine, from which Claritin originally got its name. It's an antihistamine, altho you might have taken AllerclearD at times which is a combination with PSE. Several in my family take one 10 mg a day of that antihistamine and I found 400 for less than $20 including postage at Amazon.
     
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  16. ben_wilson3301

    ben_wilson3301 Scuba Instructor

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    She did have stuff for crack in the car. I would have arrested her too. If the son gets convicted she should be in the clear if she was able to pass a drug test.
     
  17. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

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    Just because I can't resist education . . . Nasal or sinus congestion can have a variety of causes. Some congestion is due to viral illnesses, and some is due to allergies which cause tissues to release substances that cause blood vessels to dilate and become leaky, resulting in swelling.

    Antihistamines go to the root of allergic problems, by preventing the interactions that cause the blood vessels to become dilated and leaky. They are completely ineffective in treating congestion related to viral illnesses or chemical irritation (eg. pool water chlorine).

    Decongestants like pseudoephedrine are vasoconstrictors. They make the blood vessels constrict and get smaller, thus relieving swelling. As such, they can be effective in BOTH viral problems and allergic problems. Because they are sympathomimetics, which means they're related in their action to adrenaline, they can produce some of the same effects as adrenaline -- raised blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and a feeling of shakiness or anxiety.

    TOPICAL decongestants, like Afrin, are also vasoconstrictors, and very powerful ones. They are also effective in both kinds of congestion. They have fewer systemic side effects, because the dose is concentrated where it's needed. They do, however, have a very BAD side effect, which is rebound. The constriction of the blood vessels they cause is severe enough to starve tissues for oxygen and nutrients. As a result, the tissues produce tons of mediators designed to cause vasodilation, and when the drug wears off, the congestion is often worse than it was to begin with. With repeated use, this gets worse, which is why the labels always say not to use the drugs for more than 3 days.
     
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  18. PansSiren

    PansSiren Single Diver

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    If someone was on a mission to get Sudafed for the purpose of making meth.... they would have gotten a lot more than 3 boxes. I believe her story. For one, who thinks of SCUBA diving on the spot to cover up a lie? I can also see the "oh, why don't you buy a box because you don't have insurance?" - They see how it's prescription in one state, so a normal person would think it's because it's strong and that it probably works good. Innocent unknowing people won't assume it's to regulate meth production. So no insurance to pay for a doctor when you're sick and get a script for meds, might as well get a box of magic for the future while you're at a place that sells it.

    Having paraphernalia in the truck totally screwed her, and I'd probably make an arrest if I were the cop, too. BUT I still believe her story and think she should have won in court. Users often carry, and she even said upfront that her son used (wrong move), so why would there not be a pipe laying around? She also wouldn't have brought that up if she was on a mission to make meth.

    The police report thing is pretty crazy, but unfortunately, I would put my money on it being the truth. After going through the system once myself, I've experienced and heard all sorts of similar things. I used to trust and believe in the system - until I've personally seen how FILTHY and CORRUPT it really is.

    I could be wrong, but the story is all completely plausible in my opinion. The kickers are the 3 boxes of it - they would have had more if they were making meth, and she wouldn't have said her son was an addict BEFORE the cop found a pipe.
     
  19. formula1mb@aol.com

    formula1mb@aol.com Barracuda

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    Did the scuba instructor ever confirm he told her to buy sudafed? If he can back up the story, I imagine that would really help her case.
     
  20. DandyDon

    DandyDon ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Good point, Sans. If they were out to make meth, they'd have bought a box for each person. You are limited to buying one box/day, but if the stores don't check with each other? Like I said above, I've read of gangs doing that - buying a box each in different stores.
    Another good point.
     

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