Columbia, SC — As a mother of four and longtime South Carolinian, I am concerned about our state’s methamphetamine problem. We’ve all seen the news reports and heard stories about the highly addictive drug and what it can do to users, families and entire communities. Whatever our leaders decide to do, there’s no question that we must all work together to get the meth cooks out of our state.
However, I believe efforts to curb meth production and abuse should balance the need for aggressive law enforcement techniques with the basic rights of law-abiding taxpayers. I’m particularly concerned about efforts by some law enforcement officials and lawmakers to require all South Carolinians to obtain a doctor’s prescription before buying certain cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine.
Before our legislators go down that path, I hope they will consider the needs of their constituents, many of whom rely on affordable access to cold and allergy medicines, including pseudoephedrine products.
I have a young daughter with severe asthma and allergies. She is on a variety of anti-histamines, some prescription and some over-the-counter. Without each of these medications, she cannot function like a normal child on a daily basis: difficulty breathing, no running, no keeping up with her friends.
Like all working parents, I have a lot on my plate. Given my work schedule, it would be tough to leave work and take my child to the doctor every time her allergies are acting up. In addition to being a huge inconvenience, it would create significant costs on an annual basis. These medications are expensive enough, even at over-the-counter prices, and are often not covered by insurance.
But that’s what we would have to endure under the pseudoephedrine prescription requirement being discussed at the State House. Given today’s increasingly challenging economic environment, I believe a prescription mandate is the last thing our lawmakers should be debating. While I applaud those bringing this issue to the public’s attention, I firmly believe that we can make progress against the scourge of meth without making life considerably more difficult for honest South Carolinians.