Narcotics for migraine confiscated by TSA

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Old Feb 12, 19, 10:07 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
I have no idea what caused this situation to happen, I was not there, and I have no other information aside from the OPs post. We see passengers coming through with rollaboards of nothing but medications, especially if they are traveling to or from treatment. I will not defend someone doing something against the SOP/Regs, so if that was indeed the case here, then there is no excuse.

I agree with you that the passenger should be able to come in, and get the same rules applied during screening. The only reason I include the TSA Cares info, is because if they are aware ahead of time, things tend to go a bit more smoothly because they can plan for it.

Just like most things in life - if you have prior notice, you can prepare ahead of time for them. If it is feasible, you can use a closed down lane with minimal staffing to give the passenger any special assistance they need - if they are unable to prepare, shifting resources around to accommodate can take time. It is simply suggested to help streamline the process for the passenger, and by extension the TSOs.
I'm confused why this passenger would need prior notice since they had nothing that needed extra attention/resources from TSA? 240 or so capsules would easily fit in one large medicine bottle but even then that is not a concern for TSA if it isn't LGA's.

You seem to completely ignore that narcotics were claimed to have been confiscated by TSA screener(s). What possible reason could a TSA screener present to do such a thing?
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Old Feb 12, 19, 10:42 am
  #17  
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Originally Posted by T-the-B View Post
I understand that you are sincere about helping MigranePatient avoid a repeat of the experience of the next trip and I commend you for that. What I don't understand is the need to coordinate ahead of a trip with TSA in order to get them to simply follow their own rules. Quite frankly, if they can't manage to do that why should anyone believe they are competent to provide effective screening?

Of course the unspoken assumption of everyone is that the drugs were seized due to incompetence. It seems equally likely to me that they were seized for resale or recreational use by the screeners.
For the record, I have been with someone (wheelchair-bound, partially paralyzed) who arranged for someone from TSA Cares to meet her at the checkpoint twice and got stood up on both occasions. No one at the airport had any way to contact the local TSA Cares person directly.

YMMV, good luck if you try to arrange one. I believe that's the type of person who eventually over-rode checkpoints TSOs who were violating policy with Stacy Amato.

Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
I'm confused why this passenger would need prior notice since they had nothing that needed extra attention/resources from TSA? 240 or so capsules would easily fit in one large medicine bottle but even then that is not a concern for TSA if it isn't LGA's.

You seem to completely ignore that narcotics were claimed to have been confiscated by TSA screener(s). What possible reason could a TSA screener present to do such a thing?

No reasons are necessary and the screener follow published TSA warnings. The screener always has the final say.

What I disagree with is the disposal of the drugs. OP did not say LE was summoned and the allegedly illicit drugs were turned over to the custody of LE, who would have properly disposed of the drugs so they didn't end up in our waterways and drinking water.

Last edited by TWA884; Feb 12, 19 at 1:37 pm Reason: Merge consecutive posts by the same member; please use the multi-quote function. Thank you.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 11:02 am
  #18  
 
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OP - welcome to FT.

there are a lot of important facts missing and what is provided just doesnt make sense: what airport? Was it actually even in the USA? as asked above, was this really TSA? or some other agency's hacks? TSA folks just dont throw items away - the passenger has to decide whether to put the items in the conveniently located trash receptacle or check it through, or mail it, or..... and when the gubmint's minions confiscate/seize/detain items in a normal process then some sort of receipt is given or record created... so considering the above and this is the first and only post by the OP - I am not buying this story as is.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 11:16 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post
OP - welcome to FT.

there are a lot of important facts missing and what is provided just doesnt make sense: what airport? Was it actually even in the USA? as asked above, was this really TSA? or some other agency's hacks? TSA folks just dont throw items away - the passenger has to decide whether to put the items in the conveniently located trash receptacle or check it through, or mail it, or..... and when the gubmint's minions confiscate/seize/detain items in a normal process then some sort of receipt is given or record created... so considering the above and this is the first and only post by the OP - I am not buying this story as is.
(bolding mine)

Sorry, I have to respectfully completely disagree with the bolded statement. I have never had a screener allow me to put a confiscated item in the trash myself and the receptacles have never been situated where I could directly access them anyway.

In fact, I've never been allowed to touch my bag or belongings while they're being searched and no screener has ever let me touch an item about to be confiscated. That is a sensible safety practice if you think you might actually be confiscating dangerous items.

I have never had a screener ask me if I would like to take an about-to-be confiscated item and ship it home. On a couple occasions in the past, I have stopped a screener from discarding an item, even pulling it out of the bin once, and insisted on being escorted outside security to dispose of it myself. On those rare occasions, it was clear the screeners weren't used to such a request. I had to listen to a spiel about someone having to be summoned to finish my screening before I was escorted out and it probably would 'take some time'. I got a full bag search and swab and a full-body intimate blue-glove frisk, and eventually I was led outside the checkpoint to dispose of my item myself.

Frankly, I would think it would be a security issue to have the checkpoint disposal bins accessible to pax because a deft-fingererd pax transiting the checkpoint could lift something dangerous out when screeners were distracted.

I have encountered one exception to this rule. I was not given the opportunity to finish screening and be escorted out of the sterile area with my nitroglycerine pills. My medicine was treated just like I imagine a firearm confiscation is handled. Screeners don't see a firearm and allow the pax to be escorted out of the checkpoint area to give the gun to a friend or put it in their car.
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Last edited by chollie; Feb 12, 19 at 11:58 am
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Old Feb 12, 19, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post
OP - welcome to FT.

there are a lot of important facts missing and what is provided just doesnt make sense: what airport? Was it actually even in the USA? as asked above, was this really TSA? or some other agency's hacks? TSA folks just dont throw items away - the passenger has to decide whether to put the items in the conveniently located trash receptacle or check it through, or mail it, or..... and when the gubmint's minions confiscate/seize/detain items in a normal process then some sort of receipt is given or record created... so considering the above and this is the first and only post by the OP - I am not buying this story as is.
I call horsehockey on the highlighted phrase. Why in heavens name would TSA take the time to give anyone a receipt in light of the fact that TSA claims that items that are confiscated can never be returned? Has anyone here EVER received a receipt for an item confiscated at a checkpoint?
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Old Feb 12, 19, 12:14 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post
OP - welcome to FT.

there are a lot of important facts missing and what is provided just doesnt make sense: what airport? Was it actually even in the USA? as asked above, was this really TSA? or some other agency's hacks? TSA folks just dont throw items away - the passenger has to decide whether to put the items in the conveniently located trash receptacle or check it through, or mail it, or..... and when the gubmint's minions confiscate/seize/detain items in a normal process then some sort of receipt is given or record created... so considering the above and this is the first and only post by the OP - I am not buying this story as is.
Unless the narcotics were taken to re-purpose later.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 1:02 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
I call horsehockey on the highlighted phrase. Why in heavens name would TSA take the time to give anyone a receipt in light of the fact that TSA claims that items that are confiscated can never be returned? Has anyone here EVER received a receipt for an item confiscated at a checkpoint?
Heck, that would be thousands of receipts just for the confiscated leatherman pocket tools that were confiscated by TSA and sold on Ebay.

Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Unless the narcotics were taken to re-purpose later.
No narcotics should be discarded with ordinary trash - not at the airport or anywhere else.

Last edited by TWA884; Feb 12, 19 at 1:39 pm Reason: Merge consecutive posts by the same member; please use the multi-quote function. Thank you.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 1:25 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
No narcotics should be discarded with ordinary trash - not at the airport or anywhere else.
I'm not suggesting that the narcotics went out with the trash. I'm suggesting that they went out the front door.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 1:39 pm
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TSA has no authority to confiscate them. TSA also had no basis upon which to ask you to surrender them. Suggesting that a screener wanted them for personal use or resale is pure speculation, but nonetheless within the realm of possibility.

While TSA is not supposed to be on a fishing expedition for items besides weapons, explosives, and incendiary devices, if they found a quantity of medication which appeared to easily outnumber the quantity prescribed on the Rx label, then it would have been possible for them to summon a police officer. You may not have wanted to be in a position of trying to explain to a police officer that pills you were carrying in excess of the quantity on the Rx label were, indeed, legitimately prescribed... after all, from the evidence in front of them, you're carring narcotics for which you don't have a prescription, and they may be quite reluctant to take your word otherwise. So in this case, even if you were telling the truth, escalation may have not worked well in your favor.

To avoid a similar issue in the future, always carry a prescription bottle that has the prescribed quantity printed on the Rx label, and don't carry more than that. This alone should be sufficient to deter any challenges from either TSA or law enforcement.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 1:54 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by javabytes View Post
TSA has no authority to confiscate them. TSA also had no basis upon which to ask you to surrender them. Suggesting that a screener wanted them for personal use or resale is pure speculation, but nonetheless within the realm of possibility.

While TSA is not supposed to be on a fishing expedition for items besides weapons, explosives, and incendiary devices, if they found a quantity of medication which appeared to easily outnumber the quantity prescribed on the Rx label, then it would have been possible for them to summon a police officer. You may not have wanted to be in a position of trying to explain to a police officer that pills you were carrying in excess of the quantity on the Rx label were, indeed, legitimately prescribed... after all, from the evidence in front of them, you're carring narcotics for which you don't have a prescription, and they may be quite reluctant to take your word otherwise. So in this case, even if you were telling the truth, escalation may have not worked well in your favor.

To avoid a similar issue in the future, always carry a prescription bottle that has the prescribed quantity printed on the Rx label, and don't carry more than that. This alone should be sufficient to deter any challenges from either TSA or law enforcement.
Do we know if OP had more pills than his script provided for?

Even if TSA suspected something illegal was going on their only legal course of action was to summon police. As stated that did not happen.

OP's story is short on detail but that doesn't mean things didn't happen exactly the way OP states. I'm not sure what OP's purpose was to post here unless just to rant. Would be nice to have a follow up so questions could be answered.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 2:18 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by javabytes View Post
TSA has no authority to confiscate them. TSA also had no basis upon which to ask you to surrender them. Suggesting that a screener wanted them for personal use or resale is pure speculation, but nonetheless within the realm of possibility.

While TSA is not supposed to be on a fishing expedition for items besides weapons, explosives, and incendiary devices, if they found a quantity of medication which appeared to easily outnumber the quantity prescribed on the Rx label, then it would have been possible for them to summon a police officer. You may not have wanted to be in a position of trying to explain to a police officer that pills you were carrying in excess of the quantity on the Rx label were, indeed, legitimately prescribed... after all, from the evidence in front of them, you're carring narcotics for which you don't have a prescription, and they may be quite reluctant to take your word otherwise. So in this case, even if you were telling the truth, escalation may have not worked well in your favor.

To avoid a similar issue in the future, always carry a prescription bottle that has the prescribed quantity printed on the Rx label, and don't carry more than that. This alone should be sufficient to deter any challenges from either TSA or law enforcement.
(bolding mine)

It should be enough but it is not always. My pills were confiscated. They were in a clearly labelled prescription bottle, quantity did not exceed what was on the label, the prescription was current (ie, drugs not expired, although that should be none of TSA's business). They weren't even narcotics: they were nitroglycerine tabs.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
(bolding mine)

It should be enough but it is not always. My pills were confiscated. They were in a clearly labelled prescription bottle, quantity did not exceed what was on the label, the prescription was current (ie, drugs not expired, although that should be none of TSA's business). They weren't even narcotics: they were nitroglycerine tabs.
I presume you didn't have enough time to press the issue without missing your flight, because that's 100% wrong. You could have even pointed TSA to their own article and their own words specifically on nitroglycerin:
Nitroglycerin tablets and spray (used to treat episodes of angina in people who have coronary artery disease) are permitted and have never been prohibited.
https://www.tsa.gov/blog/2014/09/05/...ing-medication

Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Do we know if OP had more pills than his script provided for?

Even if TSA suspected something illegal was going on their only legal course of action was to summon police. As stated that did not happen.

OP's story is short on detail but that doesn't mean things didn't happen exactly the way OP states. I'm not sure what OP's purpose was to post here unless just to rant. Would be nice to have a follow up so questions could be answered.
I read 260 pills in a 100 pill bottle... kind of hard to follow the exact details here though.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by javabytes View Post
I presume you didn't have enough time to press the issue without missing your flight, because that's 100% wrong. You could have even pointed TSA to their own article and their own words specifically on nitroglycerin:


https://www.tsa.gov/blog/2014/09/05/...ing-medication
On another thread on this forum, someone recently cited the regulation that covers certain 'substances' and that is the rule that was applied. You will note that the website makes it perfectly clear: the screener always has the final say. This was backed up all the way up to suits. I am grateful that nothing happened on the flight and that the meds aren't expensive to replace.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
I call horsehockey on the highlighted phrase. Why in heavens name would TSA take the time to give anyone a receipt in light of the fact that TSA claims that items that are confiscated can never be returned? Has anyone here EVER received a receipt for an item confiscated at a checkpoint?
okay, point taken, I could have been more careful in what I meant so some clarification.

The highlighted sentence was referencing when actual real law enforcement (gubmint minions) seizes/confiscates items - not TSA. As pointed out by others, TSA has no authority to seize and technically, legally, the TSA does not confiscate/seize/take items - the passenger forfeits or surrenders the item(s) to the TSA and the TSO then puts it in a container for later disposal. When the gubmint does technically seize/confiscate/take an item it must give a receipt. Since TSA does not seize/confiscate then it does not need to give a receipt when a person forfeits/surrenders/leaves an item at the checkpoint. So yes, you are correct, TSA does not ever give receipts for the millions of nail clippers and soda pop bottles and other benign items it has protected us from by not permitting them past the checkpoint.

In practice, pax typically do not have the flexibility to make alternate arrangements for an item that will not be allowed past the checkpoint, especially considering they must continue the inspection process before being able to leave the checkpoint, retrieve the item and implement alternate arrangements (and who has an extra bag that can be checked or can find a mailbox/post office close by!?!?) and so it absolutely, sure as hell feels like the item(s) have been seized/confiscated/taken. But they technically have not been seized and the courts agree they have not been seized.

But it has happened to me personally, and recently, at an airport where I am not credentialed and do not know security personnel, where I was able to make alternate arrangements for items not permitted through the checkpoint (packaged food items - Ghiradelli chocolate sauce - I was able to give back to family still waiting at the airport). Generally TSA does not allow retrieval of prohibited items for alternate arrangements due to operational reasons and in some cases federal law does not allow it but in my case it occurred at a relatively small airport (SJC) and at a very slow time; I got lucky the TSOs exercised their discretion, liberally.

I am still not believing the story as is.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 7:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Section 107 View Post
okay, point taken, I could have been more careful in what I meant so some clarification.

The highlighted sentence was referencing when actual real law enforcement (gubmint minions) seizes/confiscates items - not TSA. As pointed out by others, TSA has no authority to seize and technically, legally, the TSA does not confiscate/seize/take items - the passenger forfeits or surrenders the item(s) to the TSA and the TSO then puts it in a container for later disposal. When the gubmint does technically seize/confiscate/take an item it must give a receipt. Since TSA does not seize/confiscate then it does not need to give a receipt when a person forfeits/surrenders/leaves an item at the checkpoint. So yes, you are correct, TSA does not ever give receipts for the millions of nail clippers and soda pop bottles and other benign items it has protected us from by not permitting them past the checkpoint.

In practice, pax typically do not have the flexibility to make alternate arrangements for an item that will not be allowed past the checkpoint, especially considering they must continue the inspection process before being able to leave the checkpoint, retrieve the item and implement alternate arrangements (and who has an extra bag that can be checked or can find a mailbox/post office close by!?!?) and so it absolutely, sure as hell feels like the item(s) have been seized/confiscated/taken. But they technically have not been seized and the courts agree they have not been seized.

But it has happened to me personally, and recently, at an airport where I am not credentialed and do not know security personnel, where I was able to make alternate arrangements for items not permitted through the checkpoint (packaged food items - Ghiradelli chocolate sauce - I was able to give back to family still waiting at the airport). Generally TSA does not allow retrieval of prohibited items for alternate arrangements due to operational reasons and in some cases federal law does not allow it but in my case it occurred at a relatively small airport (SJC) and at a very slow time; I got lucky the TSOs exercised their discretion, liberally.

I am still not believing the story as is.
Citation, please.

Highlight 2: So you are saying that if you were credentialed at that airport and/or if you knew security personnel, you would have been allowed to take through security an item that the Average Joe could not. Is that correct?

Last edited by petaluma1; Feb 13, 19 at 9:32 am
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