This is part of a series of journal posts for my drug court project seminar. Enjoy!
I recently got this email from CMU Campus Police:
NATIONAL TAKE-BACK INITIATIVE
Saturday, September 25, 2010
On September 25, 2010, DEA will coordinate a collaborative effort with the Carnegie Mellon University Police Department to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from our homes and medicine cabinets. Collection activities will take place from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. at the CMU Police Station located at 300 S. Craig Street (entrance on Filmore Street behind Quizno’s) . The National Take-Back Day provides an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications for destruction. These drugs are a potential source of supply for illegal use and an unacceptable risk to public health and safety. Flushing expired or unused drugs contaminates our water supplies. All surrendered substances will be disposed of in an environmentally safe manner by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
This one-day effort is intended to bring national focus to the issue of increasing pharmaceutical controlled substance abuse.
* The program is anonymous.
* Prescription and over the counter solid dosage medications, i.e. tablets and capsules accepted.
* Intra-venous solutions, injectables, and needles will not be accepted.
* Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative.
When I first read it, it looked like Central Florida’s fabulous Guns for Kicks program (now in its 13th year). But no. They just want my old Vicadin or Ridalin. Both the pitch and the goal are a lot less sexy than a guns for kicks program, particularly since the DEA is offering nothing in return for my “surrendered substances”. It looks like a dull but potentially good program, though this email is pretty tone-deaf.
That the entire CMU campus received this email speaks to the overwhelming presence of drug issues in our culture. Whether drugs deserve this kind of billing should be open to debate.
“Drugs have taught an entire generation of American kids the metric system.”–P.J. O’Rourke