Drug War

Drop Those Drugs


This week police stations in three New Jersey towns (Vineland, Little Falls, and Seaside Heights) set up drop boxes where residents can "dispose of unused prescription drugs," no questions asked. The program, which New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow hopes will spread to every county in the state, is aimed at discouraging nonmedical use of painkillers and other psychoactive prescription drugs. Thomas Calcagni, director of New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs, warns that such drugs (like alcohol-soaked tampons) "are everywhere," especially "for our teens, for our children," who will find that "they are as close as the medicine cabinet." For cops, of course, they are as close as the drop box in the lobby. "If it fills up," Dow promises, "we'll empty it out, and hopefully they bring another carload."

Inspired by Dow's example, I have put a box on my front porch where residents of Dallas are invited to leave their unwanted drugs. For the children.

[Thanks to Charles Novins for the tip.]


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  1. Where can I buy one of those drop boxes?

    1. I am sure some unemployed Occupier can whip one up for a song.

      1. If they were a bit more creative, they wouldn’t be unemployed…

    2. pull up in the middle of the night with a pickup truck and a chain.

  2. Over/under on days before that box of delicious drugs is stolen: 22

    1. That is what I thought too. I guess they have it where it is bolted down and under the watchful eye of the duty officer.

      1. Cool Hand Luke figured out how to get those parking meter heads; someone will figure out how to grab the drug stash.

      2. “. . . under the watchful eye of the duty officer . . .”

        . . . who is as likely as anyone to pilfer its contents!

        1. Beat me to it. That was the first thing I thought of once I saw this.

          1. “If it fills up,” Dow promises, “we’ll empty it out, and hopefully they bring another carload.”


    2. 22 minutes, you mean.

    3. The one thing is that it’s at a police station. Anywhere else and those things would be torn off the building daily. Even the ones at the station will probably get hit up by some particularly bold or stupid people.

      And any guesses as to who will be picking through the contents of those boxes and taking the choicest stuff?

      1. Note to self: Drop off estrogen pills in Vicodin container as often as possible.

        1. Or the viagra container.

      2. Goddamn cops, stealing all of those vicodins.

        You know what kind of people piss me off? The kind that would drop perfectly good narcotics in a fucking ersatz mailbox o’ goodies for the goddamn cops.

        Who throws away pills?

        I bet Jerry “Sandbanana” Sandusky threw away all kinds of pills. He’d whine like a bitch, “I don’t like the vicodin…they make me drowsy.” Yeah, too drowsy for boy-rape you sick fuck.

        Fucking child raping, pill throwing away motherfuckers. Damn them all, damn them all straight to hell!

        And that goes for the rest of you not taking your narcotics or giving them to me bastards!

        1. I know exactly how you feel.

          1. No need for gratuitous jabs at Jerry.

        2. The first drug drop radio ad came on the same day my dentist scripted me for 12 vicodins I ended up not needing. Needless to say, I didn’t show up at the proscribed date to turn them in. I’m collecting anything that might be viable currency when Ben finally finishes destroying the dollar.

          1. It might be worth a lot on the street, if the ballot next November says, “Obama D” “Romney R”.

      3. The same people who put the best weed in the trunks of Crown Vics?

    4. Come on. I’m sure the vast majority of the prescription stuff being dumped is not sexy at all, like antibiotics and diuretics, for example.

      1. I watched a show on the Discovery Channel that had a guy dying from lack of antibiotics after the shit shit the fan. Throwing them away in a drop box is like throwing dollar bills out the window.

        1. I saw that. Dude was even a paramedic. Just to prove that I was paying attention.

    5. Who in the hell is going to do this?

      You want to dispose of your own legally acquired drugs? It’s called the goddamn trash can.

      Want to get rid of your illegally acquired prescription drugs or afraid your kids are going through the trash? It’s called the toilet. No trips to the police station so you can be video taped dropping drugs in the box are necessary.

      1. Actually they started complaining that drugs are getting into our water system and shouldn’t be thrown out. (or flushed down the toilet) What I don’t understand is, the solution suggested is to put the drugs in something like kitty litter or used coffee grounds, because a drug addict would NEVER pick pills out of kitty litter or coffee grounds and use them.

        1. Dissolve them in water then pour it into kitty liter.


  4. What’s New Jersey? Is it that alien place where nobody’s free and tyranny is supreme? I think it is.

    Is this even legal?

    1. There have been drop boxes in Minneapolis (the ‘burbs, mostly) for about a year now.

      Nothing newsworthy has come up regarding the issue.

  5. It’s a better way of disposing of expired or otherwise unused prescriptions than flushing them into the water supply, as any normal person comprehends.

    1. It depends how valuable your time is. Do you think all or even most of those fluorescent light bulbs are going to make it to a disposal location?

      1. The article concerns the disposal of expired/unused drugs. Try to focus.

        1. I was pointing out that any normal person doesn’t really give enough of a shit about either the drugs or the mercury.

          1. any normal person doesn’t really give enough of a shit


      2. Mine all have. The big gray disposal location at the back of my driveway, with wheels on it. City provides it for me.

    2. + 1 to Anyway

      I only clean out my drug cabinet once a year. Flushing drugs down the toilet sends them to the water supply downstream. Unlike most the of chemicals environmentalists panic over, drugs actually do have a biological effect. Heck, drugs are designed to have a biological effect. Studies have found traces of drugs in fish. I haven’t seen any reports of the drugs making their way up the food chain, but if you flush your anti-depressants down the toilet, you might get some happy fish in a lake near you. If you don’t want to go to the drop box, at least throw them in the trash so the drugs have years to break down to inert chemical before they leech into the water supply.

      1. I had heard there was some concern about various drugs contaminating the water supply, so when my father passed away a couple of years ago, I bagged all his and my previously deceased mother’s medications and asked the staff at the hospital whether they could dispose of them for me.

        They told me to take them home and throw them in the trash.

        1. In some municipalities it is either a crime or civil infraction. To dispose of Rx andor controlled substances in the trash. Fyi

        2. same thing happened here!

        3. My sister works at a state run drug addiction center, she went NUTS with my father’s unused drugs after my father died, (body still warm) she put all his unused drugs into kitty litter.
          A few weeks later my mother found some other drugs my father didn’t use, she asked a pharmacist, the drug store and others if there was a better way to dispose of them, they said to just throw them out.

    3. The trash can doesn’t work?

  6. I bet there is a camera somewhere around the box.

    1. As generations of brits have discovered, sunglasses and a hoodie render those damn near worthless.

      1. That is in the UK. Didn’t work for the Unabomber here!

        1. The hoodie part worked for Zuckerberg.

        2. Sure it did. Without his manifesto, they’d probably still be looking for him.

        3. Well, you have to take the damned things OFF when the cops are looking for you.

  7. So, Jacob, are you working with Balko on the police beat now? Because this just seems to invite a SWAT team raid.

  8. How long before some screeching hysteric demands outlawing tampons?

    1. Well, we’ve already tried outlawing alcohol.

    2. I’d rather they cut to the chase and outlaw periods.

      (Damn your eyes, Aunt Flo!)

      1. Goddamn +32947298472239842 internetz to you

        1. How about a few commas to break up that number a little bit? I need to be able to properly interpret my madd internet propz.

  9. You can have Dallas south of 635; my drop box gets everything north of that, up to McKinney. Deal?

    1. Ok, so you get all the meth and crack, and Ihe’ll get the heroin, coke, and pills. sounds like a good deal.

      1. or wait, other way around.

  10. I’m surprised that we don’t have prescription drug machines all over, like Redbox. Not for every conceivable drug, just for the popular ones.

    1. One of our ER docs says we could cut down our ER traffic by a third if we put a Lortab lick in front of the hospital.

      1. See? It’s solutions like this that make America great.

      2. + 1 to R C Dean

        I’m middle aged. By now, I know the conditions I tend to get and which drugs work for them. Doctor visits should just be for getting advice on conditions a patient doesn’t have experience with. Letting patients get anything over the counter would greatly reduce healthcare costs. And yet, this solution never occurred to Obama despite his bragging about using illegal recreational drugs.

        1. Repentant users make the best prohibitionists. “Sure, I got away with it, but I’ll make sure nobody else does!” Works every time.

  11. Both links in the story go to the tampon post, FYI. No link to the source.

  12. Jacob,

    So how should unused and unwanted prescription drugs be disposed of? Other than the exacerbated concern about having teenagers popping leftover Oxy, I’m not sure what the issue is here.

    1. Trashcan -> landfill, which is exactly how the meds in this box will be disposed of (after careful perusal by the relephant authorities).

      1. trashcan -> landfill -> groundwater -> REAVERS!!!!

    2. What is this “leftover Oxy” you speak of?

    3. The issue is that some of us detect a hint of social engineering authoritarianism behind this. At taxpayer expense.

    4. If you really don’t want to use ’em, I’m sure someone does, and that’s a recipe for some quick cash. Or, it would be in a free society where consenting adults can engage in free and voluntary exchange of goods and services.

      1. Of course, in a free society, selling your unused Vicodin would be about as profitable as selling your unused beer.

    5. bring them to the pharamcy, do not throw them out or flush them.

    6. Some pharmacies will take them. Some charge. Some don’t. There are companies that sell little mailin boxes as well. We caught a burglar the other day. Who stole a bunch of stuff. Including NINE bottles of opioid painkillers dating back about 4 yrs. iow, the victim didn’t throw them out and when he got a new script … He would fill it and use what he needed. I suspect many, if not most people operate that way. I suggest to people who have kids… Put them in a safe or whatever.

  13. BTW Jacob, both of you links go to the tampon post.

  14. BTW dudes. I got a job. I start at the Borg, excuse me, Wal-Mart tomorrow night, as a stalker… I mean stocker.

    We had to watch some videos that talked a lot about stopping whatever the fuck you were doing and helping customers. The last video was, interestingly, about unions. They made it clear that you have the freedom of choice to join a union. But, IMHO, they were kind of nice on why unions suck.

    1. Congratulations. I think you could go far there.

    2. Good shit man. Work hard and don’t take any guff from those fucking swine.

      …and if you try to unionize the ghost of Sam Walton will sandbanana your ass, so watch out.

  15. The Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free NJ tells the story of when they ran their first drop-off day in conjunction with local police departments. The DEA threatened to arrest everyone involved because they considered the drop-off box to be unauthorized possession of unlawful substances. Only the personal intervention of the DEA Regional Director prevented wholesale arrests.

    1. Wow.

      That’s what I was expecting when they had drop boxes in our city.

      There isn’t any controversy or cop shennanigans here.

      They sold it from a pollution-standpoint and pretty much ran an honest operation.

  16. This is ridiculous, you can bring them back to your pharmacy who will dispose of them for you. Every pharmacy does this, because if you flush them or throw them in the garbage they could get into the water supply.

    1. The water supply is already a lost cost. I mean with all that taxpayer funded fluoride making our teeth off-white.

      1. I happened to like it when the dentist said my replacement bridge was going to be A1 in color. I’m glad I’ve swallowed all of that teeth whitening poison.

  17. This shit will never get stolen, because no one is ever going to put a single fucking narcotic in it.


    1. Yep. Ten-year-old amoxicillin and cobwebby bottles of hydrochlorothiazide brought in by old widows whose husbands stroked out years ago.

      1. I’m thinking very strong laxatives in bottles labeled as if they were the good stuff. Just to make sure the cops are honest and not using the drugs, yeah?

  18. This actually makes a certain amount of sense, coming as it does from a similar tradition of setting up drops for recyclables and the like. As long as our states are doing that, though, why not have a drop for toxic waste? People have lots of old batteries and lead-bearing CRTs and burnt-out CFLs and stuff they can’t legally dispose of at the dump, you know.

    1. OT, but we have been using CFLs for over a year and we haven’t had a single one burn out. So I’m still anxiously awaiting the discovery of whether I give enough of a shit to cart the burned out ones to Home Depot. Given the mercury and all, I hope so.

      1. I’ve had these in my house for several years. I don’t have any good stats on long they last but I’m not impressed.

        I’ve gotten used to the slow turn-on/brightening time (just like some else I know).

        I’m stalking up on incandescent bulbs. I need them for my external security lights.

        They’re getting short in my local grocery.

      2. I bought my first batch of those lights for my ceiling fan back in 2001. They claimed to last five years. I wrote the purchase date on the bulbs with a Sharpie cause I wanted to see if they’d really last that long. They all did. Most of the bulbs made it well past five years.

  19. I am considering running a black-market incandescent light bulb operation. Who wants in?

  20. In Soviet Russia, Drugs Drop You!

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