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The abuse of prescription products is a long-standing problem of great concern to the federal government and individual states. Medications such as tramadol and hydrocodone were shifted to stricter schedules as evidence of their widespread abuse accumulated. However, there is also growing awareness and considerable alarm over the less well-recognized problem of abuse of nonprescription drugs and products.

This issue is perhaps more compelling for two reasons. First, unless states act to control their sale, pharmacologically active nonprescription products can be purchased in any quantity in thousands of nonpharmacy venues, such as gas stations, hotel lobbies, and airport shops. Second, pharmacists are not present to monitor sales at these locations. Instead, anyone can sell these potentially addictive drugs, regardless of age or educational level. Some items can be purchased from vending machines, and there is little or no control over Internet sales of various addictive substances.

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U.S. Pharmacist





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