Gramma and Drugs

The reason for this particular blog subject is more 'serious than a heart attack'.  I want to reveal to the best of my recollection three events that transpired over the past approximately three years in our family lives that could be of present and real importance in your own current lives.

Event One, Last Weekend ~  Daughter's mother/daughter together project scheduled for last weekend had been Spring cleaning the garage.  The prevailing cooler temperatures here in Green Bay, Wisconsin made that a 'not so much desirable' chore.  We began another together project by sorting through and digging out the linen closet which by chance features the deepest shelf space in our home.  My daughter handed me out a huge, heavy plastic shopping bag that rattled. She stepped off the stool and said "Let me see that."  She gasped when she opened it and croaked out an "Oh, MOTHERRRR" !!!! (She usually calls me Mama as I did my own Mama, "Motherrrr" is alarming and means serious business.)

It was full of old prescription medication, high powered medication, in short DRUGS.  Bottles and bottles and bottles of prescription drugs. The oldest medication was leftover from when I went through some certain years of chronic illness. The rest of the medication was in relation to my now deceased husband's cancer, the majority of that being really high powered pain medication.  Upon very close examination, many of the prescriptions that belonged to my husband were re-filled a brief three days before he passed away, so all those bottles were pretty FULL.

I want to tell you we didn't have hundreds of dollars of street value drugs.  It would have been in the thousands of dollars. Please do understand we are not those people who illegally deal drugs at all! 

How This May Have Happened ~  I lose track of time, but I think when I knew my daughter and Grand were going to be moving in (2 + years back?)  as I was preparing for their move-in,  I may have come across all these prescriptions, put them in a plastic bag and 'rat holed' the bag in the back of the linen closet.  I don't know why at the time I didn't make the time to read and go through them, but I didn't.  I do suspect there might have been that old lady thinking that as far as my own old prescriptions, there might be something I would need again.

Two Vital Things Learned from the Internet ~

 1.  Old prescriptions should not be flushed down the toilet, garbage disposal, put down the sink because they go into the water supply. The particular kind of drugs in prescriptions are not something a water treatment plant is designed to filter out.

 2.   There are teenagers that can cruise their own home, possibly a grandparent's home looking for prescription drugs to take to what they call a "Pharm" party. "Pharm" being short for pharmaceuticals. They drop them in a bowl in which they are all mixed into and they take them. It can cause dire outcome, including death. It gives me the shivers even to be writing this.  Sometimes the pill bowl is referred to as 'trail mix'. Sometimes having pills at a party is referred to as 'party favors'.

I want to note that at present time, I have had no problems or drug indications with my own Grand. I do want everyone to know that even the very best of children and teens can make wrong choices with disastrous results.

The Next Thing ~  My daughter stopped right then and there and went through all of her old prescriptions and added them to the bag.

What Did We Do With These Old Prescription Drugs ~ The fastest, most proper and quickly efficient disposal of these drugs was for my daughter to take them to a special dropped locked box at the Green Bay Police Department who has one available. I did try to find information about it at their website but was unable to locate.  Thankfully, for our community something was quickly available to us on a Saturday morning.

Event Two,  approx 1st Week of November, 2011 ~ An adult having some extreme domestic problems was staying with their parents (our neighbors).  This person came by to use our phone because their parents' phone wasn't working. While here, they asked to use our bathroom.  Using our bathroom was a pretense. After they left, I realized our entire bathroom had been searched.  Cupboards ajar, things out of place searched. The good thing is we have two special places in our home. One is for over-the-counter pain relievers and vitamins. The other is for prescription medication currently being used. Neither special place is in our bathroom. I do have to say this event did freak us out. The person never returned to 'visit' our home again. The parents of this adult happen to be exceptionally good, solid, honest people and wonderful neighbors to us. 

Event Three,  date unknown but within past three years ~  Exact recollection is a bit hazy, but I can get you the gist of it. If I ever make a blog subject about reasons I no longer Face Book, this will be one of them. While playing a game on Face Book a beginning innocent, innocuous couple chats (I think it was) took a disturbing turn for me. It started out with a sports fan of my team introducing themselves, happy they were making a team game room, inquiring if I might have any memorabilia for sale or if I knew where to locate memorabilia for their game room. I had few problems with any of that.

It continues with this person indicating they were having problems with getting their prescriptions and/or money for prescriptions. It took a turn for the very worse when this person began to inquire if I had any old prescriptions and strongly indicated how nice it would be of me to send them to him via either U.S. Postal Service or UPS or FedEx.

No, I am not kidding you at all.  Yes, I am a 'senior' woman and I was not unduly paranoid in this particular instance.  I know when I'm being "wheedled" as in an attempted 'con' which breaks all kinds of laws, morals, and ethics.  I was sick with shock and horror about this one.  I immediately 'uh' what was it called 'de-friended' this person. I believe I confided in a good friend whom I believe gave this person a good chat talking to about all of this also.

In Conclusion ~ I guess you now know where I stand on the abuse or mis-use of prescription drugs or illegal drugs in general. Addiction itself is one of the hardest diseases to understand and have compassion for because it destroys so many, both the addict and the non-using people (friends and family members) around the addict.

I don't hate the addict at all. I do hate the 'addiction' for what it does. I'm so very proud of those who have stood up to their addiction(s) and beat those addictions down. Those folks have my moral support.

This past weekend (I give my daughter HUGE love and credit) we did the best we could do when we found old prescription drugs in our home to get them disposed as quickly and properly as possible. It is vitaly important to keep prescription drugs out of the hands and mouths of those they were not intended for.  It's something every household can do.

I am @grammakaye on Twitter. ALL are welcome to comment. If you Twitter and want me to find you, please leave your Twitter handle (ID) with your comment.

Comments

  1. Wow, had no idea, we to have some old medications from when wife was in hospital, time to find place to properly dispose of them. You're right, we have the soccer star who is 15 and she or her friends may be tempted to mess around with such things. After all illegal drugs are not as popular any longer as pharmaceuticals since their more potent. Thanks Kaye for this blog since it's removing a problem I didn't even think about or was even aware of before something happened, much appreciated, Bill

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    1. Now when prescription drugs are around and accessible, they sure can be a temptation. Kids do peer pressure kids. I'm sure glad all our old stuff is gone and given to people with the proper disposal resources.
      * * *
      No appropriate way to measure, but if this blog keeps any prescription drugs out of the hand/mouth for any one they were not prescribed for. I'll be ok with that. Thanks for visiting Bill.

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  2. Hey Kaye, I also have old prescriptions in the bottom of my drawer. My home is where everyone stays when relatives come to town. I don't know why people, me included, think we will use these drugs later. I have trouble recalling what I was taking them for! I trust my relatives, but the kids you never know. I am going to clean house. I enjoy reading your experiences, and your writing I am sure has opened some eyes. Very well done! Mark @BrewersnPackers

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    1. 1. I think part of it may have been, thinking I would need my own rx for a later time too. If I let the rocks roll round in my brain even further ~ it is so hard to see addressed mail, receive phone calls for your spouse when they have died and have been dead. So I'm thinking at the time, it may have just hurt me bad to see my husband's name on his prescriptions and I couldn't deal with it back then. BUT.....
      2. I now have the clarity of seeing we, in fact, had a potential ticking time bomb of old prescriptions in our home and thanks to my daughter's opinion, immediate action needed to be taken.
      3. Final thing is I could not ~ not write about it ~ felt deeply compelled to tell it. At present, we live in a peaceful, conservative, low-key, family orientated environment even with a Grand who is a young teenager with sometimes 'teenageitis'. HOWEVER, he will enter his first year of high school in the fall with way more students (that we do not know) and way more propensity for various interactions (positive and negative). Always good to be careful. Thank goodness, we cleaned out the linen closet last weekend. :) Thanks for visiting me!

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  3. My son goes to school with a boy who takes anything he can get his hands on. He doesn't know or care what it is. The boy's father is not the type I can approach about it. He is one of those "my child does no wrong and don't you dare say he does" type of parent. I have tried telling him about other things the boy does and he just denies and gets angry. Very sad!

    But, your post is a great one and very informative!

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    1. Oh Ms. T ~ I don't know if my writing process (which always begins like a few river size rocks rolling around in the dryer of my brain) will happen, but I think this comment just inspired 1-3 other possible blog subjects from me. We'll see. THANK YOU for that!
      * * *
      I truly hear the core of what you are saying ~ Parents can no longer have 'blind faith, blind trust' their children are 'doing right'. While parents need trust and faith, they also need to keep their 'radar' up and 'blinders off' ~ they (we) need to keep our eyes and ears open and receiving any possible indications of a downward spiral. In a very busy world where most parents are in demanding workplaces, it gets harder and harder but has to be done. Thank you for coming to visit me Ms. T. I really appreciate that.

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  4. First, Kay, I don’t know how long ago you lost your husband, but I’m truly sorry for your loss. Perhaps at the time it was difficult for you to let go of any of his belongings and the medication fell into that category, so you just tucked it away to deal with it at a better time.

    The pharm party is something I’d never heard of before. How absolutely frightening! It’s difficult to understand how these teens can be so terribly reckless and foolish.

    You were savvy to realize what was going on at Facebook, Kaye. We all must be so very careful concerning online privacy. Unfortunately, there are far too many unethical people who will gladly pose as caring friends, only to get close to someone so that they can take advantage of them in some way. It’s very sad but true.

    This was indeed a wonderful post. I’m sure many reading it will gain important insight into what you’ve covered here, including the importance of proper disposal of pharmaceuticals.

    --Susan

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    1. Thank you for your big gracious wonderful kindness Susan, very much appreciated. Yes, my husband's death created that 'big black hole' and that one took quite some time to come through.

      I know I have indeed experienced some of my own 'wild & crazy' as a young adult, but I've always known how dangerous drugs are and to keep away from them, unless the drugs were actual medicine a person has prescribed and need of. And now this 'new pharm' twist of this type of youthful adventure mind boggled me. It is skeery, I am skeered for them.
      * * *
      Your Facebook paragraph is SO TRUE! When I first came to the internet in 2008, not on Facebook, but on another site, I tripped over an organized group of cyberbullies (cyberstalkers) who were tracking information and people and blatantly causing both harm and humiliation to them. It was a big MESS. I stuck it out until it got stopped. I helped get it stopped. What these folks were doing was WRONG. At the time it kept me in basically one internet site, so as not to allow these folks to chase after me. It left a horrible imprint on my heart of how cruel people can be on the internet. I am cautious and mindful. Facebook was another place of simply TMI (too much information) and was best left to other people (not me). I tell ya, the event described in my blog made me feel like I must have the word 'stupid' displayed right across my forehead for someone to even have attempted this type of 'con' on me. I finally realized it was more about their own desperation to feed their addiction.

      To my credit, I did continue with the internet, tried Twitter, made this blog and kept interacting with people. Only two times since have I seen people take it too far in attempts at wrong doing to attack or get after another person. When I became aware of it both times, I did speak up about it. I really really really appreciate your visit and your comment. I appreciate YOU. Thanks. ~ Kaye

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