Anti-drug advocates are celebrating after a decision by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius kept yet another dangerous drug out of the hands of children.
The drug in question, levonorgestrel (also known by the street name "Plan B"), is typically used to prevent unwanted pregnancies in adults and teenagers who have a prescription. While it is currently available over the counter to adults, some anti-drug activists worry that this "Plan B" would be subject to abuse if that rule was extended to minors.
"'Plan B' is a dangerous and addictive drug," says Susan Carroll, spokeswoman for Parents Against Irresponsible Narcotic Sales, a non-profit dedicated to keeping dangerous drugs out of the hands of children. "We have done several studies that show levonorgestrel has all of the characteristics of a potentially addictive drug."
Indeed, a study by the P.A.I.N.S. Organization found that levonorgestrel could be even more addictive than other prescription drugs like Vicodin. Women who were denied access to levonorgestrel reported feeling 204% more pain than those who had used the drug, revealing the potential for a high that exceeds even most illegal drugs.
Perhaps even more alarming, nearly 100% of teenage 'Plan B' users are sexually active; almost triple the rate of non-users. The drug's strong correlation with high sexual activity has led P.A.I.N.S. researchers to the only reasonable conclusion that the drug heavily increases sexual desires.
Despite this indisputable scientific evidence, many pro-drug activists are claiming that the decision was merely political, and the drug has already become a divisive issue among the Republican presidential also-rans. Gov. Rick Perry today decried the drug as "the worst threat to christmas since gays in the military," while Rep. Michele Bachmann has claimed that Plan B is one of 47 drugs she opposes because voters have told her it can cause mental retardation.
Yet some Republicans have been less critical of "Plan B." Rep. Ron Paul said that the war on drugs has gone too far and has pledged to legalize the drug for young men as well if elected president. When asked for his view on the matter, former front-runner Mitt Romney's campaign said he refused to take a position until there is conclusive scientific evidence that voters in New Hampshire have one.
Regardless of the reasons behind it, Ms. Carroll and all of America's P.A.I.N.S. say every voter should be relieved by the administration's decision. "Thanks to Secretary Sebelius, we know we won't see a segment about kids getting high off of this 'Plan B' stuff at parties on the 6:00 news, something that was quite possible before today."
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