1960s Narcotics & Dangerous Drugs Identification Kit

Well before Nancy Reagan was pushing the “Just Say No” anti-drugs campaign in the 1980s to the nation’s youth, a company named Winston Products for Education was creating “Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Identification” kits for schools, scouting organizations, and law enforcement agencies to get the word out back in the late 1960s.

There is little information to be found on this identification kit but the Wiley Online Library points to the following description of New Instructional Materials from the June 1969 Journal of School Health:

The Dangerous Drugsā€”Identification Kit contains harmless facsimiles of the more commonly abused dangerous drugs. The Kit was designed to be used primarily as an instructional aid in educational and training programs directed toward combating the existing narcotics and dangerous drugs problem. It consists of a plastic container which is transparent and durable. Plainly visible within the container are facsimiles of amphetamines and barbituates, reproduced with exacting fidelity in terms of color, size, shape, and other distinguising characteristics.

This particular kit is part of my personal collection and I have been told, though I cannot prove conclusively, that Winston Products for Education was backed by R.J. Reynolds’ Winston cigarettes brand.

photos by Rusty Blazenhoff and Ken Dashner