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Toys R Us, Pawn Shop Problems, and More Addicts Looking for Recovery

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Toys R Us, Pawn Shop Problems, and More Addicts Looking for Recovery

Combating controversial symbols of drug use and monitoring pawn shops, and a look at the increase in people seeking treatment

Toys ‘R Us Action Figures

The Breaking Bad TV series may have ended, but it has given marketers like Toys “R” Us a perfect opportunity to make money. In October, there was a ruckus when the chain was selling figures from the popular series along with fake meth and a bag of cash, online and in its stores.

I wondered if public opinion would be strong enough to persuade the company to stop selling it, and lo and behold, it was. Actually, one mother started the ruckus, and it got interesting when Aaron Paul, the Jessie character in the series, jumped in to say that the dolls were meant for adults, and Barbie dolls harm kids more. Now people are signing petitions to bring the action figures back.

Toys R’ Us said that the figures were in an aisle of all adult figures, which may satisfy some people. But I can see others asking, “Still, even if they’re for adults and away from children, the figures, the meth, and the bag of cash are glorifying illegal drug use.” In any event, they’re gone.

I can’t wait to see what happens down the line. Toys “R” Us says the toys are on indefinite hiatus. Will they bring them back or think better of it?

Monitoring Pawn Shops

I’ve mentioned several efforts aimed at stopping drug abuse in this blog, such as including the news Pawn signthat some funeral homes are handing out cards warning people about the dangers of prescription drugs (a sad but highly applicable venue). That same post mentioned music festival organizers who were attempting to stop drug use at festivals.

Here’s another effort that recently caught my eye: monitoring pawn shops. In my state, one prosecutor is approaching towns, especially those with serious drug problems, to change their ordinances regarding pawn shops. He’d like to see the shops be forced to participate in a computer database that will help the police track stolen goods. Drug addicts often pawn stolen goods to support their habit, the article said. It’s not a revolutionary idea.

More People Seeking Treatment

In a bit of good news (or a good-news, bad news type of item), a year ago the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids quoted the Associated Press as reporting that the number of people seeking addiction treatment could double under the Affordable Care Act because they’ll be eligible for insurance. It could well strain the system if it happens, however.

I’d like to see a followup and learn if more people have indeed been able to get treatment since October 2013, and what they have to say about it. Are there also people needing treatment who are in worse shape since then because of Obamacare?

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