Last night I went out, to try and buy some drugs. This didn’t work out as I thought… Turns out it’s not so easy
Here’s how the whole thing went. I was wandering round the local supermarket, feeling very stuffed up, and wondering if perhaps hot whiskeys were in my future. Then I spotted Lemsip. Into the basket went the Lemsip, and I also noted that there was a good deal on generic paracetamol. Into the basket with that.
At the checkout the cashier looked at my stash, and said “sorry, you can’t buy those two together. You cant get Lemsip and paracetamol.” I looked at her, and she was serious. “It’s the law, because of paracetamol poisoning you know”
The guy behind me shuffles, shifting from side to side as he tried to get a more comfortable stance. His discomfort was probably caused by the fact that he was carrying two full slabs of strong cider. Behind him was a middle-aged couple, with what would be best described as a trolley full of drink – a half dozen bottles of wine, a good clatter of craft ales, a bottle of Bushmills and a bottle of vodka.
I’m sure that paracetamol poisoning is a big problem, and I am also sure that the Irish medicines board takes what can best be described as an idiosyncratic approach to drugs. One can wander into a pharmacy in most parts of the continent of Europe and purchase stuff over the counter which is either not available here or which is restricted. Perhaps they have stronger constitutions in Germany, Spain, France, and Italy. We have extremely restrictive approaches towards common medicines, and, perhaps not coincidentally, we have amongst the highest medicine prices in the European Union.
I would safely say without fear of contradiction that alcohol-related poisonings and alcohol induced suicide occur far more frequently than do paracetamol related.