ID this stash
March 11, 2006 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Help identify my daughter's friend's stash

I found these after my 16 yr old, grade 12 daughter had a group of about 15 friends over, someone had dropped them, contained in an old aspirin bottle, into the dog basket.

The pink pill has 'wake up" embossed on it (must be ecstasy?)

The white gel caps have a very fine brown powder in them - see pic.

The black gel cap has a very very fine black powder in it. Its actually a clear plastic gel cap, the powder makes it look black. Couldn't open it easily so poked a little hole in it.

The pink oblongs have 205 stamped, I think they might be legit cold medecine or something

The Yellowish pill looks like a vitamin pill or something commercial, very well made and sealed, whereas the pink "wake-up" pill is slightly chalky

There were two tylenol 500s as well in the bottle.

Any IDs of this stuff? I want to know what I am dealing with before I talk to my daughter about it, but I don't want to risk busting her by going to the cops and asking. In any case, I really don't think they are hers, but if her friends are doing this stuff, she is at least exposed to it.

[also posted at metachat]
posted by Rumple to Food & Drink (55 answers total)
Is there any particular odor to the stuff in the caps?
posted by bhance at 12:52 PM on March 11, 2006

(ps the pink 205's are generic benadryl)
posted by bhance at 12:53 PM on March 11, 2006

Pink pills with "205" might be diphenhydramine (Benadryl) (reference).

[also posted at MeCha]
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 12:53 PM on March 11, 2006

bhance - the black is odourless, the brown smells very sweet, like molasses or brown sugar.
posted by Rumple at 12:55 PM on March 11, 2006

The pink 205 pills are probably benadryl - this thread has a similar question. You might also be able to get some help from folks at the Pill Identification Forum.
posted by pmann at 12:56 PM on March 11, 2006

I have some Echinacea/goldenseal in caps that I just popped open for a whiff - mine have a slightly musty, sweetish tinge to them, I don't know if I'd say 'molasses' but it's close, with a slight organic mustiness to it. You might find one for comparison. I don't have any ephedera around, but along that track (vitamin, benadryl, etc) this might just be some kids's I-wanna-stay-thin-and-not-sneeze stash.
posted by bhance at 1:04 PM on March 11, 2006

I know I've had "wake up" brand caffeine pills before (with the rooster on the package) and I seem to recall they looked like the ones pictured. Although those kids and their X these days, it could be a knock-off ecstasy pill I suppose.
posted by loquax at 1:04 PM on March 11, 2006

Hmm, I never thought of caffeine pills, this is suggestive. It actually does say "wake ups" not "wake up" on the pill. Thanks for the suggestion!
posted by Rumple at 1:15 PM on March 11, 2006

According, Wake-Up is a Canadian brand caffeine pill: Wake-Up @
posted by mto at 1:19 PM on March 11, 2006

This is a guess and is probably not helpful, but have you considered that the black "soot-like" powder is, in fact, activated charcoal? I only suggest this because, so far, it doesn't appear that any of the drugs identified so far is illicit, and it might be a good starting point to assume that the others aren't either.

Consider also that a pill stash like this could be used to "brag" - I don't know about teenage girls, but I do remember having quite a collection of airplane liquor when I was younger, amassed specifically to impress my friends. Ah, the folly of youth....
posted by aberrant at 1:21 PM on March 11, 2006

Here's a guide to see if anything has been marketed as or tested for ecstasy. You can get a drug test kit if you're really concerned.
posted by glibhamdreck at 1:22 PM on March 11, 2006

Can't see any correlation between the name Wake Ups and ecstasy - if we're going to jump to conclusions here, I think speed would be a much better conclusion to jump to.
posted by forallmankind at 1:23 PM on March 11, 2006

Wake-Up is a Canadian brand caffeine pill

Yep, shoppers drug mart, 11.99, saved me during exams!
posted by loquax at 1:23 PM on March 11, 2006

The brown stuff looks like ginseng to me.
posted by fshgrl at 1:28 PM on March 11, 2006

Looks like you've identified everything but the gel caps. To me those look like energy/diet herbal supplements-- big, clear gel-caps filled with misc. powdered herbs & spices.
posted by cosmonaught at 1:31 PM on March 11, 2006

I happily volunteer my own body to determine what they might be. You can post them over and I'll pop them down, one at at time, and follow up with a report on what happens.
posted by soiled cowboy at 1:32 PM on March 11, 2006

The white gelcaps look like bulk echinacea.
posted by Jairus at 1:44 PM on March 11, 2006

The charcoal fits in with the benadryl - apparently it's an emergency measure to help prevent anaphylaxis in people with peanut allergies.
posted by bhance at 1:47 PM on March 11, 2006

I might recommend that you don't tell your daughter about finding this stuff and doing the investigation. I think it might upset her that you seem so distrustful. ....You'll just come off looking like a big jerk.
posted by fireflies to stars at 1:52 PM on March 11, 2006

Thanks everyone, keep the ideas coming.

forallmankind, I jumped to the conclusion it was ecstasy because I google around for pink pills and found so many images of ecstasy tablets looking similar, with embossed slogans or symbols.

So I am 99% sure those are caffeine pills. And, it was around final exam time, end of first semester, so that makes sense, and we are in Canada.

The black caplet is almost like soot. The best linkable picture I could find of activated charcoal (thanks aberrant for the tip) really does seem similar. That capsule was sealed so tight it seemed more professional than the white ones.

General background, my daughter is semi-edgy, her friends are of the cool-poser, black rimmed glasses, dreadlocks variety - vegetarians or vegans. I've "busted" my daughter for pot already (heh, never leave your MSN logs open on the desktop, kids) and picked her up from a party with a bucket, towel and washcloth after the obligatory beer extravaganza. Both normal enough and not a big deal for me. But this bottle with unmarked or amateur-looking pills freaked me out a bit. Still concerned over the brown powder capsules. I'd say the powder is slightly moist, if that helps.
posted by Rumple at 1:57 PM on March 11, 2006

You just assumed it was ecstasy, huh?

A number of clues would point to these not being illicit drugs, for instance the fact that it was brought to a gathering and thrown in the trash.

A google search for "pill identifier" brings up a number of sites that have automated diagnostic aids. Hope this helps.
posted by Hildago at 1:59 PM on March 11, 2006

My wife is a forensic chemist. She analyzes drugs all day long. She says "the pink 205s are diphenhydramine -- they're just cold medicine", "the capsule that's broken open just looks like some sort of herbal energy pill, but it's hard to tell", "the wake-ups are probably a caffeine energy pill", "it's hard to tell about the other things, but this just looks like a bunch of stuff to help a person stay up all night".
posted by jdroth at 1:59 PM on March 11, 2006

fireflies to stars if this stuff turns out to be benign then I won't tell her I found the stash. However, I don't think it is distrustful to do the investigation, I mean, it is hard to really get to know your teenager's friends and while I have a great relationship with my daughter, if one of her friends or acquaintances were to be doing (as it appears they weren't) fairly hard drugs then I think I have a responsibility to try to intervene. But in general, yeah, trust is hard to get and hard to maintain so I have been keeping this whole thing under my hat rather than confronting her or even asking her. I am pretty happy it looks so far like her general good sense and good judgment is confirmed, again.
posted by Rumple at 2:01 PM on March 11, 2006

Agreed Rumple, you're being cautious but not panicky. Your actions seem like the perfect medium between the overzealous parent who freaks out immediately and the distant, uncaring parent who would do nothing in this situation. Nice work on keeping an even, rational temperament.
posted by baphomet at 2:08 PM on March 11, 2006

Thanks jdroth for asking a pro. That pretty much seals the other opinions.

And thanks everyone for those opinions. I am feeling very good now that this is all pretty above board allergy, caffeine and herbal supplement thing. The drug ID sites are great, but when confronted with a plain capsule that looks home-filled with brown powder, its hard to know where to turn for an answer. Other than AskMefi, that is: I bow to the swarm intelligence.
posted by Rumple at 2:13 PM on March 11, 2006

You are right, Rumple and baphomet. It sounds like it's going well and you are being really conscientious and just. I'm sorry I was being harsh, earlier.
posted by fireflies to stars at 2:14 PM on March 11, 2006

It's a moot point by now, but I'm wondering if the 'black' sooty substance is actually green - spirulina. I take compressed tablets of it sometimes and it is a very very fine dark green powder.

Plus what baphomet said.
posted by different at 2:20 PM on March 11, 2006

Activated charcoal prevents hangovers.

I keep a stash on me at all times.

But, know. I'm an alcoholic with a job.
posted by Tennyson D'San at 2:20 PM on March 11, 2006

I disagree with the people who are saying don't tell your daughter. If the pills are in fact harmless, she could probably tell you what they are and it would provide you with a good opportunity to *briefly* warn her again about why you don't want her using drugs.

If I were in your daughter's position, I'd much rather have my dad ask me right away than perform a secret investigation about my friends.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 2:40 PM on March 11, 2006

If it makes you feel any better, I carried around a similar collection of pills when I was in high school. The pervasive stink of perfume and cologne aggravated my allergies, and someone was always passing around a head cold.
posted by cmyk at 3:19 PM on March 11, 2006

It looks like a simple pill toolkit for whatever situations she might be in. I don't think there's anything harmful in there and it certainly isn't a cornucopia of street drugs. Looks like you did the right thing by asking around first.
posted by furtive at 3:54 PM on March 11, 2006

Heck, if it hasn't been very long since you found the bottle, might as well give it to your kid, saying "Hey, I found this after the party; must be one of your friends' medications and supplements."
posted by five fresh fish at 3:59 PM on March 11, 2006

Pop 'em yourself, its saturday night.
posted by verisimilitude at 4:21 PM on March 11, 2006

General background, my daughter is semi-edgy, her friends are of the cool-poser, black rimmed glasses, dreadlocks variety - vegetarians or vegans. I've "busted" my daughter for pot already (heh, never leave your MSN logs open on the desktop, kids) and picked her up from a party with a bucket, towel and washcloth after the obligatory beer extravaganza. Both normal enough and not a big deal for me. But this bottle with unmarked or amateur-looking pills freaked me out a bit. Still concerned over the brown powder capsules. I'd say the powder is slightly moist, if that helps.

If it helps to put your mind at ease with a bit of a generalization, this might help. As a former/semi-current member of a (slightly older) version of that very same demographic group, chemical drugs like Ecstasy are pretty rare in that particular youth subculture. The "drug" scene is mostly pot and booze. They look like an assortment of pills meant to tackle colds, tiredness, etc.
posted by generichuman at 4:30 PM on March 11, 2006

I doubt the benedryl is for colds. If the friend is taking that many pep-pills and energy supplements, she's going to have to have a way to go to sleep when she is ready (before the caffeine wears of).

Maybe you should just tell your daughter that you found the pills. Chances are, she'll be concerned that you are suspicious of the unmarked pills and tell you what they are (if she knows).
posted by necessitas at 4:58 PM on March 11, 2006

Though apparently legal, I'm not so sure those pills are innocuous. Some kids take a lot of Benadryl's all at once in order to hallucinate. However, that dosage usually knocks them out--hence the caffeine pills, which they take simultaneously so they can stay awake and enjoy the show.
posted by Asparagirl at 5:30 PM on March 11, 2006

See also: Erowid's archive on Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) experience reports.
posted by Asparagirl at 5:33 PM on March 11, 2006

>must be ecstasy?

Okay, stop being a narc for two minutes. Relax. Be sensible. The world isn't some big opium den

That much OTC stimulants is usually for reserved for people trying to lose weight or stay in shape. Every pill identified so far can be found in anyone's gym bag. Teen girls like to stay thin and use OTC drugs.

The only abuse I can think of here is if there is a significant number of thoe benedryls and if they contain ONLY DXM. If then that's a trip. I know in Canada you can still get only DXM pills.

So far it looksl ike its just Diphenhydramine, which is not something you can trip off like DXM.
posted by skallas at 6:37 PM on March 11, 2006

General background, my daughter is semi-edgy, her friends are of the cool-poser, black rimmed glasses, dreadlocks variety - vegetarians or vegans. I've "busted" my daughter for pot already (heh, never leave your MSN logs open on the desktop, kids)

...and picked her up from a party with a bucket, towel and washcloth after the obligatory beer extravaganza. Both normal enough and not a big deal for me....

Rumple, you don't sound like a very sophisticated parent to me. You've typecasted your daughter's friends based on their clothes and eating preferences, suspected them of being criminals and violated your daughter's privacy by reading her IM conversations.

Second, you seem terrified by the possibility of using uppers, but you're totally nonchalant about your daughter abusing a substance that (a) kills people regularly, (b) causes dependency, (c) kills brain cells, to the point that she's vomiting uncontrollably. She's binge-drinking, dude! Alcohol is dangerous! Have a good talk with her about this, and stop drawing parenting inspiration from NSA.
posted by ori at 6:40 PM on March 11, 2006

I miss the days when respondents used to just answer the questions in ask.mefi, instead of barfing up their personal politics.

From the link above:
When I came back, I saw something on my desk. It was like a little ball. I looked at it closer and it unrolled and turned into a huge bug that resembled a praying mantis with wings. I grabbed a roll of paper towels and tried to hit it, but it hissed at me. This freaked me out (I screamed like a little girl) and turned on my light to get a better look at it. It turns out that it was a Halls Defence Supplement Drop wrapper. I laughed, because this was my first real trip.

This guy took 400mg, much more than was in the container you found.
posted by craniac at 6:48 PM on March 11, 2006

The white gel caps have a very fine brown powder in them - see pic.....the brown smells very sweet, like molasses or brown sugar.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that it is brown sugar.
posted by neuron at 7:20 PM on March 11, 2006

As an employee of a food co-op for several years, I can vouch that there are an incredible range of herbal supplements which come in clear/white caplet form without any markings, and have a wide range of colors, textures and odors when popped open. If it looks like there's a ground up herb in there, there probably is.

Valerian, especially, has a sickly-sweet odor. It's used as a sleep aid.

Plus, vegan-types like to hang out at health food stores, where they're apt to encounter an herbal-supplement pushing staff member.
posted by pullayup at 7:46 PM on March 11, 2006

I should probably add that while valerian isn't without the potential for abuse, taking too much just makes you loopy and tired. It's fairly innocuous.
Do you have a cat? Cats sometimes respond to valerian like it's catnip. Give your cats a whiff of the brown powder, and let them do the ID for you!
posted by pullayup at 7:53 PM on March 11, 2006

When I saw the brown powder, the first thing I thought of was St. John's Wort. However, I'm pretty sure that a large number of herbs would look like that if ground up and encapsulated.
posted by Clay201 at 8:05 PM on March 11, 2006

Oh, and St. John's has a sort of tea like smell. i rather like the scent. Valerian, on the other hand, stinks.
posted by Clay201 at 8:06 PM on March 11, 2006

Oh, for God's sake ori, ONE beer extravaganza in the past != "she's [current tense] binge-drinking [exaggeration]". If he's not picking her up in that state every weekend, this sounds much more like typical teenage alcohol stupidity. Most of us learn better very quickly.

People come here for help. Let's not get so kneejerk and judgemental about their qiestions, OK?
posted by rosemere at 9:44 PM on March 11, 2006

However, I don't think it is distrustful to do the investigation

It is the very definition of distrustful to do the investigation. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but if you trusted your daughter you wouldn't feel the need to surruptitiously try to ascertain if she might be doing drugs - don't fool yourself. Of course, kiids shouldn't be trusted, ever, with anything - being distrustful is a natural (I typo'd that as "nutural" first off and on preview, that works too...) parental state.
posted by benzo8 at 11:06 PM on March 11, 2006

ori: she had one beer binge and so far as I can tell, she has been very moderate or even abstinent since. Many kids have that one experience and never repeat it. I think she falls into that category. I have not had a whiff of pot for months. I don't believe it is a betrayal of trust if she leaves her MSN open on my computer - more like leaving me a note, frankly. Furthermore, I was shorthanding her friends and, you know, teenagers actually do tend to hang around in groups, and do stuff together, and stuff like that, just like all of us, only with more visible tribal markers. As for suspecting them of being criminals, after finding a bottle of such pills after a party of teenagers has left your house are you likely to think "oh, activated charcoal and echinacea and herbal supplements how healthy" or "ecstasy and something else, unknown, uh oh"? Frankly, your whole comment is just noise.

As for jumping to the conclusion the pink pill was ecstasy, take a look at some of the first images to come up on a google search and see if you think there is any resemblance to the pill I found.

And regarding the comment about trust, well, maybe. But consider this: 1. I did not and do not think they were her pills, as stated in the post, and therefore asking her might not be productive of any real answers (i.e., she probably wouldn't know) except indeed to make her think I did not trust her to make good decisions and 2. I waited several weeks, obviously trusting that SHE was being sensible, it was her friends I am worried about. Knowing now, having done research (you call it investigation), what I am up against, I may well discuss this with her.

Thanks for the valerian idea, puyallup. This whole health supplement - charcoal - allergies thing really seems to fit with her and her friends' lifestyle, much better than hard drugs. I appreciate the comment from asparagirl that this might not be 100% benign, but I don't think it is the red flag I thought at first.

Again, I really appreciate all the help with this. I will probably approach her now with the bottle, say I know its a caffeine pill and some allergy medicine, ask her to see if they want it back, and then use the opportunity to repeat a casual word about not getting into drugs.
posted by Rumple at 11:42 PM on March 11, 2006

I try to keep all my meds in the original bottles, but I bet that this kid just had an emergency stash of pills for whatever illness may befall him or her.
posted by k8t at 12:20 AM on March 12, 2006

Fenugreek looks similar to that brown powder as well, and smells strongly like imitation maple, very sweet.
posted by Cricket at 6:41 AM on March 12, 2006

Rumple, you did right. Don't sweat the comments.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:49 AM on March 12, 2006

Rumple, I wish my mom had been as cool as you, back in the day.
posted by lemur at 10:01 AM on March 14, 2006

I think you over-reacted. The idea that your daughter would have 15 people over to your house to do drugs, and there wouldn't be any evidence except a bottle of pills left in plain view is a little far-fetched. Likewise, the idea that you trust your daughter because you didn't immediately call the cops, but instead brought up her business with a group of strangers on the internet is a stretch.
posted by Hildago at 5:22 PM on March 14, 2006

Hidalgo: where does it say she had 15 people over to do drugs? She had a party. Someone (I suggested not her) dropped their pill bottle, not in plain sight, but in the dog basket. Read the post, or, better yet, read the post and answer the question. As for bringing her business up with a bunch of strangers, if she is anonymous, how is it "her business"? If they aren't her drugs, how is it her business? It is anonymous business. You have your opinion, but it is ill founded and wrong and just more noise.
posted by Rumple at 11:16 PM on March 14, 2006

The clear implication of your question was that you assumed one of your "semi-edgy" daughter's friends was doing drugs in your house. Your first assumption was not the reasonable one (that they were completely legal) instead you jumped to an irrational conclusion. The reasons why this was an irrational conclusion were given in my previous comment (the tone of which you clearly didn't get, which is maybe my fault).

I consider the question answered. We know you were wrong about the "stash". The issue I have now is with the statements made at the end of the thread implying that your behavior in this was "cool" -- on the contrary, I appears to me to be paranoiac and unsupportive. My point is that I think you should consider the nature of your relationship with your daughter. If you'd been right, you would have read her the riot act, but now that you're wrong, what are you going to do?
posted by Hildago at 4:56 PM on March 15, 2006

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