Powered by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Updated: 8:36 a.m. Friday, July 27, 2012 | Posted: 9:28 p.m. Thursday, July 26, 2012

Son's death inspires father to get drugs off street


Son's death inspires father to get drugs off street photo
A pill-drop box at the Douglas County Sheriff s Office collected an estimated 15,000 pills in two weeks and two days.
Son's death inspires father to get drugs off street photo
Dakota Dyer was in the 8th grade at Bremen Middle School, where he played football.

By Alexis Stevens

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It would have been easy for Lance Dyer to let his grief create a wall between him and the outside world. But, deep down, he knew that isn't what his 14-year-old son would have done.

After Dakota Blaze Dyer died March 10, his father vowed that he would do all he could to try to prevent other families from feeling that kind of pain. Dakota had tried synthetic marijuana once, and then shot himself.

Now, it's those drugs, even the legal ones, that Lance Dyer, of Bremen, wants to get off the street. And his plan to do it is already in the works. It turns out old metal mailboxes make perfect drop-off spots for people needing to dispose of pills.

"If just one handful of those pills prevent a child or parents from going through what we went through, it was a day well-spent," Dyer told the AJC.

It's not just a handful of pills that have been collected. A drop-off box placed at the Douglas County Sheriff's Office earlier this month collected at least 15,000 pills, including controlled substances, in just more than two weeks. And the stash continues to grow.

Currently, there are eight drop-off boxes. The former U.S. Postal Service boxes have been painted red and have signs to indicate their purpose. But since word has spread about the project, Dyer said, he's gotten requests for nearly 400 more.

"We want to have one in every county in the state of Georgia, and one in every major municipality, hopefully by the end of October," Dyer, who runs his own business, told the AJC.

If the red boxes were to be stashed as far as Montana, he'd be thrilled, Dyer says. So far, supply isn't meeting the demand.

The former mailboxes, damaged or taken out of service for another reason, were donated. "The Postal Service crushes these things, and we've gotten them to donate them to us," Dyer said.

Re-purposing the boxes saves taxpayer money and police officer time and avoids having drugs flushed away and possibly contaminating water supplies downstream. Plus, it accomplishes a bigger purpose — keeping the items out of the wrong hands.

It's his family's way of giving back to law enforcement, too, Dyer says. And it's a mission that he vows he'll continue to tackle head-on, just like Dakota would've done. Dyer says his wife, Deanna, and three daughters are all part of the project.

"Bring the rain," was one of Dakota's favorite quotes from the Transformers movie, his father said.

And though nothing will bring his youngest child back, Dyer says the boy's spirit lives on in his efforts against drugs. "You may not see him there, but he's there."

More News


Today on MyAJC.com

UGA student profits off shirt with Gurley's name on it

How to make a profit off an NCAA athlete’s name

Late Monday afternoon, University of Georgia student Peyton Bennett drove to a post office in Athens.

Comments  (1)  

Classic car in Cuba

Photos: Check out Cuba's classic cars

Relics kept running with fabricated parts are a draw for tourists.

Is this World Series a sign that Small Ball is back?

Is this World Series a sign that Small Ball is back?

If you hated the the 2014 Braves, you might love the 2014 World Series. The Braves drove us to distraction and brought “termination” to Frank Wren, the general manager who built them, by swinging big, missing big and spitting the bit in September.

Subscribe to the AJC on your device

24-hour Digital Pass: Flashback

See Flashback Fotos on myajc.com for only 99 cents. Visit the MyAJC archives for a historic look at Atlanta from Midtown in the 70s to Auburn Avenue and even life here before traffic jams on the interstates.

In your community

Annual Woofstock event in Suwanee

Volunteering in Atlanta

Learn how to volunteer in Atlanta and north Georgia, browse volunteer events and search local groups who need volunteers in the arts, community, food programs, housing, animal rescue and more.


Mark Arum Weekend Construction Outlook

Updated every Friday, Mark Arum tells us where we can find construction, events and anything else to slow us down on the roads this weekend.

Today's top news on ajc.com

Jury continues to struggle for verdicts in trial of DeKalb CEO Ellis

Jury continues to struggle for verdicts in trial of DeKalb CEO Ellis

11:11 a.m. — Attorneys rushed into the courtroom when a blue light that announces a jury question began flashing as the jurors deliberate for the 11th day in the corruption case against suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis.