Friday, July 8, 2011

Street Drugs

No, Jansjems isn't offering another product.  This is just my latest healthcare/health insurance rant.

Scenario: Mom injures her back, needs to move into assisted living, and has to take narcotic X for the pain.  She subsequently gets sent to the emergency room and is admitted into the hospital.  Those doctors think narcotic Y is a better fit for her and after treatment send her back with a prescription for Y.  I have to take the leftover X home because assisted living doesn't want to be responsible for it.  A week later she again gets sent to the emergency room.  This time for pneumonia.  They treat her and send her off to rehab where, after dealing with her pain issues, they try narcotic Z.  They send her home with a prescription for Z.  I have to remove what's left of Y.                                                                      

I now have 4 blister packs of narcotics with a pretty high street value.  These were all paid for by the insurance company as Mom's co-pay was only $3 for each prescription.  And no one seems to wonder where all the unused pills have gone.

Responsible citizen that I am, I trot over to the pharmacy and ask if they'll take back the unused pills.  They legally can't.  I ask how to dispose of them.  They suggest the local dump.

The dump doesn't want them because they will find their way into the ground water no matter how I package them.

You can't flush them as sewage treatment doesn't remove the drugs and animals who drink the treated water will still be harmed.

I happened to be at the fire station asking how to dispose of some really old traffic flares I found.  While there I asked if they knew anything about drug disposal.  They sent me to the Board of Health.
BTW, the FD couldn't tell me what to do with the flares.  Said they'd get back to me after they talk to the EPA.  I'm still waiting. 

The Board of Health didn't have a clue about drug disposal either but thought the police might have a "drug take back day".  So I stopped at the police station.  They said they might have one in the near future (no date as yet)  and I should watch the local access channel for a date.  Well, this is all taking place in Mom's town.  I'm there a couple days each week cleaning out her house. I don't watch the access channel.  And  I don't subscribe to the local paper.

So I told the cop at the desk that I was going to set up a stand on Main St.  I was sure I could be rid of these drugs in 10-15 minutes and would make some descent money for my trouble.  He smiled and told me that was illegal.                                                        

We all want clean water and a healthier environment. But  sometimes it takes a lot of research to do the right thing.

On a positive note: Last week I took an SUV filled with 60 years worth of oil based paints, weed killers, bug sprays, turpentine, and cans too rusted to read to the dump for their toxic waste disposal day.  I called Casella, they gave me the date, I arrived, and my car was emptied for me and the contents sorted on the spot.  Quick, easy, convenient.  Everything should be like that.  But they don't take flares and they don't take drugs.  And this is why people put into the trash so many things they're not supposed to.                    

Well, before one of you comes looking for me with a wad of cash, I brought the drugs back to my home town and stopped at my police station.  I was told that because we have a transfer station rather than a traditional dump, everything gets incinerated. So drugs in the trash bags are acceptable.  The drugs have been sent off to be incinerated.


  1. WOW!! Just try to do the right thing nowadays!!...Just try!!! UGH!...Your situation is more serious than what I'm about to say, but it reminds me of one time when I was at the laundry mat and had forgotten my detergent at home. I put money..50 cents...into the little dispenser machine to get a small box of it, and 2 boxes came out. I took the extra box back to the counter to leave it, and got 'chewed out' by the counter girl! She said that those machines didn't belong to them, and that if I left it I'd have to fill out a paper saying that I left it! she wanted to know why I was making a big deal out of it, and why I didn't just take it!! I asked if I could at least give her the extra 50 cents then....and she said emphatically: "NO!!!" She didn't want to have anything to do with it!! {She laughed and looked at me like I had 2 heads or something!} UGH! So...just try to do something 'right' in this world!!!...On the other hand, you might get applauded for doing "bad"!!! *smh*

  2. I remember the days when we flushed them and didn't care, but you are right. Things have changed. Glad you found a solution.

  3. Amazing effort, most people wouldn't have gone to the trouble. Thanks for persevering - and for the entertaining post! ;)