walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Helping People Do the Right Thing: prescription drug edition (and guns)

I finally gave in and gave the Boston Globe money so I could access all of their articles. I do sometimes wonder just how much I'm ultimately going to wind up forking over per year for digital access to things. Then I remember back in the 1990s, when I used to actually subscribe to paper magazines, newspapers, journals, blah, blah, bleeping blah. That was _really_ expensive. Also, created an enormous pile of stuff to dispose of.

So this is okay.

In the Boston Globe, there is very minimal coverage of a western Mass effort by police to help people dispose of their non-liquid, non-sharp, not-chemotherapy prescription medications. This is great! People always complain about how we shouldn't throw them away or flush them down the toilet and we're poisoning our waterways and our fish aren't reproducing and the frogs are switching gender and so forth -- but they don't give us a positive option. I'm a huge believer in positive choices (that is, tell me what _to_ do, rather than what _not_ to do, or, ideally, tell me why some choices are better than others, type of thing) ever since, well, why go there. I just am.

Is this a Thing? This is a Thing!

[ETA: Predictably, Bay Area is thinking about making Big Pharma pay for disposing of unused meds. More power to them. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Alameda-County-to-vote-on-drug-disposal-3726864.php]

San Diego's program, with a picture, from the Sheriff's website:


In Benton County, Arkansas:


I will say one thing. If libraries every go all-virtual, at least the people who make a living designing media return boxes will have a line of business that lasts ... well, a lot longer.

There's an advocacy group:


National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI)

Or perhaps two!


Mt Pleasant, Michigan:


I already grow tired of picking links off of google. Feel free to play along on your own time:

drug drop off box prescription

was my search string (not in quotes).

The NADDI site has a search box you can type a zip code into.

Savage, Minnesota (great name!) doesn't want your sharps, but you can turn in illegal drugs in their drug turn-in box:


They'll even take liquids, if they are sealed up, and they don't say anything about no chemo meds.

This may be a state-wide program, branded "take it to the box":


These programs are often the result of multiple agencies/advocacy organizations cooperating. The ones run by/focused on the environment are, frankly, the most useless (as near as I can tell, some of those don't even take prescription pain meds). The ones that involve meth lab task forces (in part) seem really cool -- but may not work in all areas, if the box itself risks becoming a target of theft (so you can let people turn in illegal drugs in a box in Minnesota, but perhaps not in Chicago).

I've been listening to various advocates of gun buyback programs, and then reading coverage in which people line up around the block and they run out of gift cards or whatever, and I can't help but feel like there ought to be programs for turning in your unwanted guns without pay -- sort of like hazardous waste disposal day programs that some towns run. Maybe I'll search on that next.


Aha! Private gun buyers surf lines for buy-back programs to "save" guns that will otherwise be destroyed. And there's a bit of a movement to ban buyback programs that promise destruction as well. There are some interesting tradeoffs here. Roman property law let you use the thing (rape your servant), the fruits of the thing (take the resulting baby away from her and sell it separately) and abuse the thing (beat up the servant, right up to killing the servant). We don't do things that way; we respect some limitations on what you can do with your property (also, you don't get to own people, even if they are female, and increasingly, we are not treating children as if they are property either, altho we have a ways to go on that). We designate some things "historic", type of thing. But generally speaking, we let you destroy something if you own it, even if we complain about it endlessly (people breaking up ancient books of maps and selling the individual pages, etc.).

While I find it entertaining when a right-winger wants to prevent someone from destroying their property, it's not _that_ entertaining, because it's too easy to find libertarians who want to limit speech and/or access to contraception and so forth. Fish. Barrel. Blah, blah, bleeping, blah. I was very happy to find this:


Which in classic, Olympia, Washington style, has tried to be all things to all people. Want to get rid of an unwanted gun? We'll designate a day. Want it destroyed? Just tell us that. Don't care/don't want it destroyed? We'll give it to an FFL in exchange for much-needed ammo for the department.

Reuse. Recycle. (Use the proceeds for the benefit of the public.) Respect property. Sounds like where I came from.

ETA: Less an event, more a policy. Advocacy organization in Oregon acting as a connection point to law enforcement for year round turn-in.


Part of NJ has an amnesty program:


You don't get a gift card -- but they don't use it as evidence to prosecute you, either.

Albuquerque will return stolen guns to owners; doesn't otherwise specify. Every Saturday in January, ongoing alternate Saturdays thereafter. No additional incentives.

Chicago is Short and Sweet:


"Turn in a gun.

No questions asked.

Don't Kill a Dream, Save a Life."

And then a link to a find-a-turn-in-location. Which when I tried it, didn't work. Ouch. Looks like the domain is available.

Greensboro, NC has arranged to have gun turn ins at _churches_. 18 and older only. It's hard to know where to start, but there is this mysterious statement: "The weapons will not be returned." Any ideas what that means?

To be fair, there was a church-located turn-in event on Cape Cod, too:


I mention that, even tho it is a buyback, because Northeast, church and I was kinda shocked by the Greensboro church thing (looks like it's another grocery card, sponsored by Shaw's).

And I've now lost interesting. It's nice to see the buyback excitement start to turn into something that's less of a one-off event (which has zero chance of really impacting the prevalence of inadequately maintained and unsafely stored guns in our society) and more of an ongoing solution of what-the-heck-do-I-do-with-this, which is really what we need.

My last remark is that apparently King County's destruction program intends to use the metal as rebar in construction projects.

Tags: our future economy today, politics
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