Acetaminophen, the main active ingredient in certain non-NSAID pain medications, available to adults and children without a prescription in neighborhood stores throughout the United States, is suspected by Ohio University researchers of causing its users to experience an acute psychological reaction: to lose positive empathy during the time they medicate with the drug. That would make acetaminophen the yin to MDMAâ€™s yang.
It might also be an instigator of many social and international problems. A quarter of all US adults consume a drug containing acetaminophen every week.
In a time when scientific research is making great strides in understanding the biological origins of emotions and behavior, the emergence of strange scientific phenomena is guaranteed to offset various presumptions and the industries or governments that thrive upon them. Some call it creative destruction. Others have more derogatory names.
How the US government and the news media handles the acetaminophen revelations will reveal much about their respective priorities and whose side theyâ€™re on when it comes to drug enforcement. This should be interesting.