Next week drugstores and supermarkets are banned from selling jumbo packages of paracetamol. Reason for this legislation is the rise in suicide attempts using paracetamol. Recorded cases have doubled since 2001 in the Netherlands.
I’m seeing some problems with this legislation.
For one; who’s going to stop me from buying multiple packages in one go? There’s no rule that says I can only buy 1 package. So instead of 1 package containing 100, I can simply buy 2 packages containing 50. I’d still end up with the same amount of pills.
Secondly: Who’s going to stop me from visiting multiple stores to get more packages? In my hometown there are at least 7 stores that are selling paracetamol. If I’d go to all of them and buy 1 package in each store I’d end up with 350 pills in one go. Do that again the next day and you’ll easily get enough if you want to commit suicide.
Thirdly; Not too long ago we had a woman with Alzheimer in our carehome. She went out to buy a package of paracetamol. She came back with 15 packages of 100 pills… Nobody at the store where she bought them stopped her. Now I know she had a habit of getting very angry when someone tried to reason with her, but this was just ridiculous…
So, you see, there’s really no way to stop people from buying as much as they want. In my opinion this legislation is just a farce. Something that makes us feel safer, but isn’t really doing anything.
Picture by Leach84: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arleach84/7727106004/