If there is no rest for the wicked, the wicked make sure to have a stock of melatonin ready on their bedside table. If said wicked live in Iceland, however, it might turn out to be a little bit more complicated than that.
As the Grapevine has previously reported, melatonin is sold in Iceland at a very high cost and only under prescription from a doctor. In fact, unlike in the United States where it is identified as a supplement, Icelandic law classifies it as a medicine. To avoid paying such a high price for a good night’s sleep, some individuals have therefore taken it upon themselves to source melatonin not from local pharmacies but rather from the United States through various online stores.
Landing on Icelandic shores marked as a supplement, it is then sold on Facebook groups at a much lower price than you would normally find it. It sounds fool proof, doesn’t it?
As RÚV reports, about 60 shipments of the drug have been confiscated by Customs since the beginning of this year—a number previously unheard of in Iceland. It’s still unclear why its imports have increased exponentially since the years before. According to a department head from the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, it might have to do with its increasing availability online as opposed to only in physical stores, as well as with customers’ ignorance. This doesn’t necessarily mean people are not doing their research when it comes to this hormone and its effects on the body. Instead, the problem seems to be that the body of information regarding the impact melatonin can have on the nervous system on the long term is almost inexistent. The Department of Health is therefore especially worried about young adults who might make too liberal use of melatonin without first consulting a doctor.
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