In elementary school, D.A.R.E. week was always terrifying. An adult would stand in front of a room full of third-graders, telling you that, soon, all of your best friends would be offering you illicit drugs. “It’s always your best friend,” they would tell you grimly, and you would look around suspiciously at your peers, wondering which one would reveal themselves to be a narcotic. 

One day in middle school, I was standing by my locker when a girl I didn’t know came up to me and asked me if I had any “candy.” I was scandalized, sure that “candy” was code for “drugs.” I slammed my locker and ran away indignantly. I now had confirmation that the D.A.R.E. people were right: drugs were everywhere, and I would have to be vigilant to stay safe. The whole world was against me. It was Greta vs. The Druggies. 

Strangely, this incident in middle school remains the only time someone has ever asked me for drugs. I suppose the candy girl told all of her friends that the tall blonde girl who carried a bunch of books with her everywhere was definitely NOT a drug dealer. I cruised through high school safely and drug-free; thank goodness. 

All this changed for me last Tuesday around 11:20 a.m. I was going to the RFC because #fitnessisalifestyle, and as I was walking in the south entrance, something caught my eye: a little brown vial with little white pills inside of it, lying on the ground, forgotten. My interest peaked. I scooped it up nonchalantly, tossed it into my pocket and headed inside. 

The vial nagged at me all day. I had fantasies of discovering that it was a highly illicit and dangerous drug, and that this discovery would kickstart my career as a detective. Finally, I could drop out of college and pursue a life of adventure and mystery! All because of my keen observation skills! Things were looking up. 

For my investigation, I decided I needed to get a professional opinion. A little disclaimer: I am not a science student. I have been in the science building probably four times in my life, but I was sure that someone in there could help me. 

I walked in, and right by the entrance was a sign that said “Chemistry, 3rd Floor.” That was exactly what I needed. I ran all the way up the stairs, clutching the vial in my fist, the truth just moments away. 

And lo! Just as I reached the top of the stairs, a chemistry professor, who shall remain anonymous, emerged from their office, wearing a lab coat and goggles. I approached, explained my situation and thrusted the vial into their hands. 

“Hmm,” they said. “It would be pretty difficult for us to identify what this is. We would have to send it away to get it tested…You know, this bottle looks very sketchy. Maybe it’s illicit.”

I told them that I had a similar thought process. They looked at it more, and then said words that stopped my heart cold: “I’m going to give this to Student Life. Maybe they have someone who can identify it.”

I knew only one thing at that moment: I could NOT lose possession of this vial. It was the only thing keeping me going! If my investigation was taken away from me, I would be lost. So, in a stroke of genius, I flipped the script. 

“Or I can just give it to them. I see Student Life people a lot.”

I watched as their mind processed and made an eventual decision. They nodded slowly, said okay and gave My Precious back to me. Hallelujah. 

So I was stuck. The chemistry department couldn’t help me, and none of my peers could either. It was time to take matters into my own hands. 

I went to the safest, best place I know: the Harold and Wilma Good Library. In a secluded corner, I examined the small white pills closely. On it was a small N. A clue! I turned to my number-one research assistant: Google. 

“Small white pill with N.” 

The moment of truth. What could it be?!? I was about to make a breakthrough. I knew it!! I held my breath as Google responded: Nitroglycerin. 

Nitroglycerin, according to, is used in the treatment of angina, heart attack, angina pectoris prophylaxis, high blood pressure and heart failure. A big disappointment. 

Then I googled “nitroglycerin abuse.” Nothing! You literally cannot abuse this drug. It is 100 percent not illicit. I was crushed. 

It has been a week since my initial discovery, and although I am still distraught about the lameness of my investigation, I am more concerned for whoever lost their heart medicine. Are you okay? I hope you are still alive, and if you are reading this, I have your medicine. Shoot me an email and I can get it back to you.