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Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

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Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

I did not catch all of the item on the early morning BBC breakfast show this morning... but it seems some research has been done that proves the reduction in the number of tablets in paracetomol packs has contributed to the lowering of suicide by paracetomol poisoning in Britain.
Now the same guy who was interviewed about it, is saying he wants a further reduction in the quantity of tablets in a pack, OR a reduction in the actual quantity of Paracetmol in the tablet,.... to help reduce the number of suicides even further...
Personally, Paracetomol is as useless as a pain killer as boiled sweets, so my preferred headache remover is Anadin Original...
Now... I have known about the reduction theory for some years now. and there is a restriction on the number of packs of these tablets that you can buy.  i.e. max two packs of the smallest size (usually 16 tablets) per person per purchase.
However.... I went into Morrisons the other day, to top up my "home supply".. ( I have some downstairs, some upstairs and some in the car.... I also carry some in my pocket ! -------- just in case I have a headache ! )..  On the shelf, the packs of 16 are priced at just over £1.... however at the pharmacy counter, there is the availability of buying a larger pack of 32 for just under £2.... the actual saving is about 30p..  So I asked the assistant for a pack of 32..... "sorry... can`t sell them to you , the pharmacist is at lunch.... but I can sell you two packs of 16 "...  Roll eyes  Now that is the law... and it is plain stupid... 
If I were suicidal, I, and I am sure many other suicidal people, could work out that...... If I go to the local chemist and get 32 tablets this morning, and then on the way go to morrisons/sainsburys/tesco/aldi/asda/lidl and any other corner shop, I can get another 32 tablets at each of them.... and be dead in the morning....
what cloud do these people who carry out the above mentioned research live on?
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

It gets even dafter...
Sometimes when shopping with my mother we often combine our shopping into one bill if I'm only get a few items. Occasionally she would buy 2 x 16 paracetamol tablets and I would buy 16 Anadin for SWMBO. Each time the assistant would refuse to sell them so I just put a Next Customer divider after our shopping and place the Anadin on the other side. Same number of people buying the same number of tablets but no problem that way.

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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

Been that way for a long time, you can buy a max of 3 packets of tablets over the counter, if you go to the pharmacy then you can buy 200 or more at once as long as the pharmacist is there - usual Q is "have you had these before?"
As to paracetamol being "useless" my (now sadly deceased) mate used to take them for his CANCER pain, he said they were better than the strong ones the doc gave him.
I prefer co-codamol tablets, over the rest however the strong ones the doc gave me for my arthritis causes side effects  Cry (time for the senacott's  Shocked) I used to find these dealt with flu etc quite effectively and a box of 200 was only about £2 then (a few years ago now, I now get a free flu jab)
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

locally there are several shops in row where I can buy paracetamol, so the potential to buy 96 paracetamol in less than 5 minutes..
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

@ dvorak  /////  Exactly my point ! .. somehow missed by the researchers !  Roll eyes
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

Co-codamol, effervescent, is about the only thing that helps when I have a migraine (tackles both the pain and the stomach upset) and hits the spot quite quickly.
My mother used to take the paracetamol for her arthritis but they didn't have too much impact so she switched to co-codamol tablets which she finds gives her better relief but she refuses to take the full 8 she can in a day. I have suggested she talks to her GP about getting the stronger dosage but she is afraid of potential side effects.
@shutter and dvorak In a large supermarket there is the potential of going to several checkouts within the same store. Let's face it if someone is determined to commit suicide these silly rules wouldn't stop them one bit.

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kmilburn
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

Quote from: Mav
Each time the assistant would refuse to sell them so I just put a Next Customer divider after our shopping and place the Anadin on the other side.

It's not necessarily the assistant refusing,  beyond the fact that 'the computer said no',  and it happens every time,  so no point trying again!
You've also got to watch out for other remedies (like lemsip) which contain paracetemol,  as they count to the two packet limit too.
And when you can go to the pharmacy and buy a pack of 96, double dose tablets with ease,  it does seem somewhat pointless.
However,  they're probably working on the fact that most of these workarounds require effort, so it'll reduce the spontaneous suicides.
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

Here's a novel idea...
If they made the tablets bigger - as in size of tablet not quantity of painkiller - then you would be 'full' before you took enough painkiller to do any harm. Though I imagine they would then put a limit on the number of indigestion tablets you could buy. Smiley
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

Quote from: kmilburn

However,  they're probably working on the fact that most of these workarounds require effort, so it'll reduce the spontaneous suicides.

Er... no.... I don`t think it will reduce the number of "spontaneous suicides".... people will still jump off bridges, under trains,  etc....  if they want to be "spontaneous" about killing themselves...
Going down the route of "pill kill"... requires some degree of pre-meditation on the part of the person who is suicidal.  Presumably this is the point the researchers are trying to advance... however,... if someone has got to the depths of despair, they will probably already have a good quantity of pills ready for the moment they can pluck up the courage to do the deed.
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

Until my recent hip replacement I took co-dydramol. Since my op I have taken Paracetamol if needed.  @Shutter, you will find they only cost 15p for 16 at Tesco.  I think if someone wants to commit suicide they will always find a way and these restrictions will not prevent it happening.  I wonder how many Paracetamol are needed to commit suicide Undecided
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

33? Undecided

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Razer
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

If people want to kill themselves and barriers are put in their way with regards to Paracetamol, they will either go to the effort of buying in several shops or they will find another way. They may also have already stock-piled supplies precisely for the purpose of suicide at some future date - and such stock-piling, I think, is more likely to be much larger supplies of POMs.
Quote from: artmo
I wonder how many Paracetamol are needed to commit suicide Undecided

Variable. It depends upon the person, weight, current state of liver for example, any other drugs taken, food eaten etc.
MJN
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

Quote from: shutter
what cloud do these people who carry out the above mentioned research live on?

The one where they don't jump to conclusions based on intuition but actually stop to assess the facts and draw conclusions from actual observation?  Wink
I heard this story on Radio 4 this morning where they covered the issue in further detail.
Whilst intuitively you might think it absurd that simply reducing paracetamol pack sizes won't have any effect whatsoever (I must admit that's what I thought!) - because as has been mentioned multiple packs can easily be bought - the fact of the matter is that statistics show that paracetemol-related suicides have dropped significantly in those countries that implemented the strategy.
The theory is that the suicides avoided are those that are somewhat spur of the moment, and that the very act of subsequently having to go out to purchase tablets in bulk would cause sufficient distraction to mitigate the feelings at that point in time - perhaps never to return again. By definition, buying multiple packs in advance obviously does not apply to these spontaneous attempts. Similar studies have also shown that putting the tablets in blister packs has also reduced deaths given that the time it takes to pop each one out gives that window of opportunity for a rethink compared with downing a whole bottle in one go.
Of course, these strategies may likely have no effect whatsoever on pre-meditated suicides but then no one is claiming it necessarily does.
There have apparently been other measurable observations related to barriers being put on tall structures or simple posters advertising the Samaritans at locations considered 'risky'. Whilst there are always other ways to commit suicide that is completely missing the point as such measures do appear to have a measurable overall effect and are not merely pushing the incident count and/or cause elsewhere.
Suicide is often labelled as a 'cry for help' and so presumably that is why making it even slightly more difficult to do is actually an effective strategy because even if the attempt is made it is less likely to result in death.
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

As you say, shutter, you didn't hear all of the 'Today' report.
As MJN states, research shows that ANY contrivance which makes the person contemplating suicide have to put in even a little extra effort reduces the number of deaths significantly.
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Re: Reduce the size of Paracetomol packs will reduce the number of Suicides !

Quote
Whilst intuitively you might think it absurd that simply reducing paracetamol pack sizes won't have any effect whatsoever (I must admit that's what I thought!) - because as has been mentioned multiple packs can easily be bought - the fact of the matter is that statistics show that paracetemol-related suicides have dropped significantly in those countries that implemented the strategy.

Fine, if suicides in general have dropped. But, have some people moved over to easier to obtain drugs ?
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