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good for what ails you?

you can look but you can't touch
It's not surprising if you haven't heard of desoxyn. it's never prescribed as a first line medication to treat any ailments and even when it is used (it's not even approved for use in canada, so you'd have to get a prescription from another country), it's done under heavy monitoring and usually for extremely short periods of time. many doctors are suspicious of using it and the process for getting it is onerous even with a prescription. potential patients have to go through a thorough screening and if there is any history of problems with drugs or alcohol, you can pretty much kiss any chance of getting a prescription goodbye, no matter how suitable a candidate you might otherwise be. you cannot get a renewal on a prescription, ever- your doctor will need to fill out a form and sign every time you get another bottle. furthermore, pharmacists have their own special precautions they must take when dispensing it, even with a legitimate prescription, so you can pretty much expect to be treated like a criminal during the entire process. and at a price of nearly $600/g, it's one of the most expensive medications you can buy. the drug is so controversial, in fact, that its manufacturer, abbott laboratories, doesn't even mention it, much less provide detailed information on their web site.



nonetheless, the few who persevere and use it call it a holy grail. patients swear it is the most effective drug you can take for adult adhd and as an added bonus, it doesn't have nearly the side effect profile of similar medications. the limited information available suggests that its ability to greatly increase the flow of dopamine, norephedrine and serotonin in the brain makes it a miracle worker with treatment-resistant depression. it's a highly effective treatment for obesity and the lone study conducted (back in 2006) showed that it may have potential to regenerate damaged brain tissue in stroke victims. those who like it, like it a lot.

the u.s. drug enforcement administration and the united nations treaty on psychotropic substances classify desoxyn as a schedule ii controlled substance, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, but that it also has limited medical applications. this is not an uncommon classification for powerful prescription drugs. after all, there are many highly addictive drugs that are prescribed on a regular basis for a variety of health issues, so it isn't that which makes desoxyn so suspect. the problem with desoxyn is that it's crystal meth.

i don't mean it's related to crystal meth, or that it's chemically similar to crystal meth. it is crystal meth, produced in a sterile lab and it is very quietly available in the united states and a handful of other countries.

information on the effectiveness on the drug is unprofessional at best. despite the fact that a brief internet search turns up a surprising number of testimonials from current or former users who claim it is a panacea, there are very few clinical studies and it's hard to find them as a lay person. even those who have heard of the drug's golden reputation have trouble talking to their doctor about it, because not all doctors are going to be open to the idea of deliberately putting a patient on the current pariah of the war on drugs.

there is such a level of paranoia in the united states about the prevalence of meth abuse that you can't even walk into a drug store and pick up allergy medication (pseudoephedrine/ ephedrine, which unstuff your nose and dry out your sinuses are also ingredients used to manufacture meth in home labs). you have to go to the pharmacy counter and give them your name and address, so that they can track your purchases and make sure that you aren't buying suspiciously large amounts of claritin. the legislation that put these stringent measures in place, called the "combat methamphetamine epidemic act", is part of the much-debated patriot act, which most lay people link only to issues of terrorism and national security. the federal government even declared november 30, 2006 to be national methamphetamine awareness day, although i very much doubt this was intended to foster a discussion on the apparent medical successes of desoxyn on a variety of conditions.

although none of them would be crazy enough to say it, given the hysterical rhetoric that surrounds drugs in north america, i suspect that big pharmaceutical (that's what you call drugs when they're legal) manufacturers would drool at the opportunity to be able to patent and sell currently illegal substances. after all, it's easy money that requires no research and in a lot of cases, they work better than what's been developed.

other drugs categorised as schedule ii in the united states might sound familiar- quaaludes are an effective pain reliever, as is morphine, opium is an antidiarrheal, cocaine makes a good topical anesthetic. in fact, even drugs in the schedule i category- those that are seen as purely recreational, with no medicinal properties- are often used as medications in other parts of the world. heroin is administered to severely ill cancer patients. marijuana, which seems like it must have been included in schedule i by mistake, has a range of medicinal properties that are well-documented.

in fact, the huge majority of drugs have some medicinal value and it's possible that those that don't simply haven't had their properties fully investigated. availability isn't even necessarily an indication of addictive potential. all sleeping pills are addictive to some degree, but that doesn't stop them from being doled out like candy on halloween. but whether it's an inborn suspicion of anything that people take to have fun or a fear of admitting that hugely expensive drug policies have been a colossal failure, the unwillingness to revisit existing drug policies and classifications is profound and very nearly unanimous among those in position to do something about it.

a happy handful each year will take their carefully audited desoxyn prescriptions to get filled, while a much larger number will make do with the less effective and more side-effect prone ritalin (also a schedule ii substance, by the way), because the stigma of handing over crystal meth as medicine is too high. it's simply one more example of a lost opportunity for serious medical study and potential advancement. the people making the rules (and the people who put them there) need to be able to admit that the rabid condemnation of recreational drug use is blocking pathways to those same drugs being put to use in public health. they need to take a pill.

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