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DEA to incinerate 16.7 tons of prescription drugs

  1. SmokeTwibz

    SEATTLE — The Drug Enforcement Administration gave KIRO 7 an exclusive look Tuesday at a major haul of what, officials said, is behind many issues in western Washington. Drug Take-Back Day netted 16.7 tons of prescription drugs, 7.4 tons in Washington alone.

    The drugs were voluntarily dropped off by people throughout the region who don't want them to fall in the wrong hands. Police say that's smart, because having extra prescription drugs in your cabinet can make you a target.

    It happened to Bob Haugins at his Mason County home. Burglars allegedly broke in, attacked him and stole prescription drugs, among other things.

    "They kicked me in the rib pretty good," Haugins said. "I got a bunch of stitches in my mouth from where they kicked me there."

    There are also high-profile cases, such as that of former WSU and NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf. He's currently serving a five-year sentence in Montana after he admitted last year to breaking into a home to steal prescription painkillers.

    The drug abuse often starts with the willing or unwilling participation of someone close to the abuser.

    The DEA cites the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The survey showed that 70 percent of people abusing prescription drugs got them from a friend or family member, and that included raiding the cabinets.

    Apparently people in western Washington are getting the message. This year's take-back of prescription drugs brought in two more tons than last year.

    It is all now headed to an incinerator.

    John Knicely | May 14, 2013

    Author Bio

    My name is Jason Jones. I'm from Rochester, MN and I'm 35 years old. I scrap metal and work as grounds keeper at a local trailer park. In the winter, I shovel a bunch of driveways and sidewalks to make some extra money and to stay busy. In my free time, I try to find interesting articles about the war on drugs that I can post on Drugs-Forum, so that the information can reach a wider audience.


  1. Akanaro
    Sigh...I can just imagine.

    Thug: "Alright buddy, stick em up! Now I'm only here for the Valium see? So hand it over and nobody needs to get hurt."

    Meh, humans are becoming a bunch of loonies. :p
  2. Baba Blacksheep
    Well done DEA!
    A well deserved pat on the back as I said it would be construed!
    I wonder actually how many of those precriptions would be desirable recreationally.
    Additionally the standard of hand-writing on that bag reminds me of pre-school.
  3. Potter
    Make you a target HOW? Who besides medical professionals would know what you have in the US? HIPPA law would prevent that sort of information from falling into the hands of criminals.

    Rich people have better healthcare then the poor, they tend to get more drugs, because they see doctors more often. Thieves will target areas of a house where valuables are kept, hence them stealing drugs. People breaking into houses looking for drugs aren't targeting anyone, they are going about it systematically looking for the house with the drugs.

    I would think owning a big house would make you a far more likely target for thieves, who have no idea what drugs you have and have stocked away.
  4. baZING
    Actually, Potter, you'd be surprised. How hard is it for someone to get your name and address off a prescription bottle that you tossed without blacking out? Or even if you do?

    You know very well addicts do desperate things to get drugs. I could easily see how someone who found an old oxy bottle with my name on it would assume I have more at home, and they'd be right. Even if they were wrong, well, those aren't the cases that we hear about.

    That said, obviously you're right that the rich get better healthcare and more drugs, and that a large house is probably more likely to be broken into than a trailer. All I'm saying is that a thief who is either an addict or otherwise hoping to make some good money can basically use a carelessly discarded prescription bottle as directions to which home to ransack... and people carelessly discard empty bottles all. the. damn. time.
  5. Moving Pictures
    I was in the pharmacy one time, a guy next to me keep talking about that he's filling his Dilaudid. Talking to another person, he keeps talking about his Dilaudid, mentions it at least 5 times. I didn't do it, but the thought came in my head: wow, someone could follow the motherfucker and see where he lives and rob his ass. To a drug addict, hearing someone say they have Dilaudid is practically the same as saying they have heroin.

    I've also heard pharmacists telling a customer about their 'script, naming names and sometimes it's narcotics. Plus, most people know when their neighbor has surgery or has cancer or something.

    And I'm not gonna lie, whenever I go to someone new's house, I check the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. You'd be surprised, probably amazed, how many people with nothing seemingly wrong with them have narcotics.

    But yeah, I think the DEA is fixing to incinerate about 16.79999999999999 tons of totally non-recreational drugs.
  6. socialblacktarfly
    Its funny how the story makes it sound like the were after the prescriptions and then stole others things...lol

    "It happened to Bob Haugins at his Mason County home. Burglars allegedly broke in, attacked him and stole prescription drugs, among other things."

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the robbers were after something specific and got lucky with the drugs. So after I just thought that, I googled "Bob Haugins, home invasion, mason county" and guess what I found
    What a joke. The media sure has a way with words. Anywho, they do that here in Orange County, Ca every once in awhile to rid homes of expired pills etc. no questions asked which is a good thing but to try and make a new theory out of an old story is a bit farfetched.
  7. ianzombie
    Is there not people who could benefit from these medications?
    Is burning/destroying them really the best solution?
    Seems stupid to me.
  8. jakemoe
    The DEA can kiss my fucking ass!! So they got rid of some stale drugs, it doesn't make up for the shit they put people with chronic pain through. It doesn't make up for all the drs. that are afraid to be truely compassionate because the dea will audit their files and question them about their scripts. Fuck the dea, I hate it when anybody has anything good to say about them, especially on a drug forum. What the fuck is the matter with some people?
  9. Baba Blacksheep
    Can't see anyone saying anything good for them, sarcasm generally.
  10. jakemoe
    "Fuck the dea" is quite a logical and relatable comment for a site like this if you ask me. Maybe I'm in a passive agressive twilight zone.
  11. SmokeTwibz
    There are many other ways of showing an overall dislike of something. Saying "fuck the DEA" is fine with me, but it is important to be able keep an even keel while doing so. Flying of the handle and losing your composure because of misinterpretted sarcasm doesn't really add to the discussion here.

    To me, it seems like an outrageous thing to do with all these drugs. These could have gone to people who can't afford them, or they could have been sold at a discounted price to people that could afford them, then the money could have used for something beneficial for everybody.

    This story sounds like something that a public relations person would come up with trying to make a certain organization, in this case the DEA, seem more legitmate.
  12. PurpleBlunts
    Shit. I should have hijacked the truck or some shit. Seattle is like, 20 minutes away. No, but really. Why incinerate them? These should have gone to people who need these drugs but can't afford them. Sent back into distribution. Or at least at a discounted price.
  13. Potter
    BaZing: Peel the label off. Put the bottle in a garbage bag and not on the very top of your recycling can. Yes, You make a point that it IS POSSIBLE to target people that way, I have a hard time seeing that happening more then people breaking in for valuables and also stealing drugs.

    If they were concerned, they could point out removing labels and shit like that. But then I guess they'd have less crime to profit off of?

    Ian: Contamination issues, breakage, cleanliness. For the same reason why we don't send old candy back to the factory to get re-sold.

    And god, the sorting, imagine someone dropping look-a-like pills, like those new "fake oxys" we've talked about, into a bottle, thinking it would be funny. Who would be able to sort through 16.7 tons of pills to make sure only whole, real, clean, pills were being given back out.
  14. baZING
    Yeah, I started taking off the label from my bottles a long time ago. I just meant that most people don't really think like that, and either black out the labels or worse, just toss them. I used to black out the labels before I was on monthly prescriptions and simply didn't really think about it.

    I also think users of this site (well, and drug users in general) are more likely to be in-tune with proper disposal of drugs. Yes, common sense is common sense, but I know people who are totally and completely clueless about recreational drug use. A lot of these people are legitimately shocked to find out that not only do some others enjoy "that stuff" they got after their appendix exploded, but actively seek it out, spend huge amounts of money for it, etc. And yes, they are still bewildered even with how often this stuff shows up on the news. These kind of people are simply less likely to take off the label of their "good drugs" because they're unaware any drug they would be prescribed might be desirable (you'd be amazed) and assume they're no more of a target than all those other people who are tossing out their useless prescription bottles.

    Hell, my grandmother once threw away a whole bottle of Percocet after her gallbladder taken out. The pills were in the bottle, the label wasn't removed. She had somehow gotten it in her head that those types of pills are invariably dangerous and worthless and all she knew was that she wanted nothing to do with them. She probably smiled smugly to herself as the garbage truck pulled away. We almost put her in a home after that...

    But you are right, I was only making the point that it is possible, not that it is responsible for the majority or even a significant percentage of break-ins. I certainly didn't mean to suggest those situations happen more frequently than people breaking in for valuables, so I'm sorry if my other post came off that way.

    IMO pharmacies should be actively promoting proper label disposal.
  15. socialblacktarfly
    Why do people keep replying about how wasteful it is to do this with the pills? Aren't we suppose to be encouraging harm reduction here? If these pills are expired etc then off to the furnace they should go in case they get into the hands of some not so smart kids who will eat just about anything to get high nowadays and get sick from who knows what they have accumulated after they have been sitting on grandmas shelf for 10+ years...lol just a thought :)
  16. Potter
    BaZing, don't apologize, we're just arguing for the sake of arguing, no? Someone has to play devil's advocate.

    Butterfly: I think it's because a lot of us know that for the vast majority of pills don't actually go bad and those dates are mostly to get people to toss their drugs and not stockpile them. Not saying it justifies some of the loony responses, just explains where people are coming from.

    You know what I find really fucked up, they CHARGE for this service! At the pharmacy yesterday they wanted $3US for an envelope that would hold all of 4 small bottles, if that! Who the fuck is going to pay money for a service they already get for free?

    I would argue they should have a reward for sending in bottles of pills, but then I mostly want to send my empty script bottles with a few asprin each for some spending money.
  17. gal68
    I found this article doing a little research, I thought it would add to the discussion here. I am finding this thread to be very interesting, I appreciate everyone's opinions here. Anyways, here is what I found on the web. (this is just a general example of one type of medication) I know this is from wiki but the facts show some promise so I felt it could have some relevance).

    Can antibiotics expire?

    The fact of the matter is almost all antibiotics are good for many years beyond their expiration date!! The introduction of expiration dates by the FDA was genuinely a scam to make people throw out perfectly good medications and buy new ones just so the manufacturers could make excessive profits.

    Read what the Harvard Medical School says about expiration dates.

    " Drug Expiration Dates - Do They Mean Anything?

    With a splitting headache you reach into your medicine cabinet for some aspirin only to find the stamped expiration date on the bottle has passed - two years ago. So, do you take it or don't you? If you decide to take the aspirin will it be a fatal mistake or will you simply continue to suffer from the headache?

    This is a dilemma many people face in some way or another. A column published in Pyschopharmacology Today offers some advice.

    It turns out that the expiration date on a drug does stand for something, but probably not what you think it does. Since a law was passed in 1979, drug manufacturers are required to stamp an expiration date on their products. This is the date at which the manufacturer can still guarantee the full potency and safety of the drug.

    Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military. With a large and expensive stockpile of drugs, the military faced tossing out and replacing its drugs every few years. What they found from the study is 90% of more than 100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, were perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration date.

    So the expiration date doesn't really indicate a point at which the medication is no longer effective or has become unsafe to use. Medical authorities state expired drugs are safe to take, even those that expired years ago. A rare exception to this may be tetracycline, but the report on this is controversial among researchers. It's true the effectiveness of a drug may decrease over time, but much of the original potency still remains even a decade after the expiration date. Excluding nitroglycerin, insulin, and liquid antibiotics, most medications are as long-lasting as the ones tested by the military. Placing a medication in a cool place, such as a refrigerator, will help a drug remain potent for many years.

    Is the expiration date a marketing ploy by drug manufacturers, to keep you restocking your medicine cabinet and their pockets regularly? You can look at it that way. Or you can also look at it this way: The expiration dates are very conservative to ensure you get everything you paid for. And, really, if a drug manufacturer had to do expiration-date testing for longer periods it would slow their ability to bring you new and improved formulations.

    The next time you face the drug expiration date dilemma, consider what you've learned here. If the expiration date passed a few years ago and it's important that your drug is absolutely 100% effective, you might want to consider buying a new bottle. And if you have any questions about the safety or effectiveness of any drug, ask your pharmacist. He or she is a great resource when it comes

    to getting more information about your medications.

    November 2003 Update

    Article link: http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update1103a.shtml

    You should also read this Article By LAURIE P. COHEN Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

    detailing the scam;

    Again, it was interesting to me, even though its an old article. Thanks for reading.
  18. jakemoe
    My initial posts in this thread are angry but for a reason. It took me over ten years to get good pain care and at least part of the reason for that delay is the DEA along with Dr.'s attitudes about drug seekers. I could go on and on about this but it just comes down to a freedom of living a pain free life that has obstacles put in place by laws enforced by the DEA and the Drs. affected by the laws. There are limitations put on the medical industry and when those limitations are exceeded it prompts audits by the DEA and pressures to stay within the limitations. It's sort of impossible to conform to these guidelines sometimes.

    Anyway I finally got decent pain relief after being referred to a pain clinic. Pain clinics do nothing but assist people with pain and are set up to conform to all the extra required paper work, testing and reporting that the DEA requires. Most regular Drs. just don't have that capability. So, if the DEA is going to exist we need more pain clinics available to those that need them. We also need more Drs. to refer patients to these clinics instead of just brushing them off.

    More pain clinics or less dea and less paranoia about drug seekers. That's my calm and rational opinion.
  19. longwalk
    Well done. Excellent information, from multiple sources. But how they are stored can make a difference, and liquid forms are especially subject to contamination.

    I never took the expiration date seriously, until about 25 years ago, when a kid ended up in the hospital because his foster parents gave him some 10 year old medication that went bad. (They were arrested, but I don't remember what ultimately happened.) Since then, I have been a stickler about not using drugs that are more than one year past the expiration date, if they are liquid (like cough syrup).

    Even OTC pills and especially herbs can seriously lose potency in a moist bathroom, so I toss them when they are more than 3 years past the expiration date. I know that's arbitrary, and they are probably fine, but who wants to take a 50% effective med, when a few bucks will get you full strength? The only exception is my stash of antibiotics. I know they do not morph into anything dangerous, and I would rather take 75% effective antibiotics if I get some random foot infection on the trail, than cut my trip short and go to the doctor.
  20. coolhandluke
    actually nice houses are much more likely to have alarms, attentive neighbors who know each other, well patrolled by police.

    depending on what the thief is looking for would dictate who their targets would be. drugs would most likely be elderly peoples homes id think, jewelry would be in wealthy houses, big screne TVs, computers, shit like that would be college type ares.

    yea i agree saying that keeping old perscriptions around is not going to make you a target for robbery unless you tell people, have parties with a lot of shady people, or do something to make it known your on a lot of narcotics, its not like walking down the street and being able to see a flat screen tv through the window.
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