As much as I like to think that drugs are the answer to all of life’s problems, if I’m being realistic about it, there are definitely a lot of things that suck about the drug culture. As I’m sitting here pinning over the fact that I’m not using meth, (“Oh poor me, I can only slam heroin all day long and get stoned.” Life sucks. Yeah, I know how lame that sounds.) I figured I’d focus my energy elsewhere. So, ready or not… the second incarnation of Things I Hate About the Drug Culture!
1. People who don’t think that they’re junkies just because they don’t mainline, or even use heroin.
If you are addicted to opiates, you are a junky. Pure and simple. You don’t need to IV to be a junky. You don’t even have to use
heroin to be a junky. If you are addicted to Oxycontin, Methadone, Morphine, Vicodin or Codeine, you’re a junky. But if you are addicted to Vicodin or Codeine, you should probably switch to something that doesn’t have Tylenol. Otherwise, you will fuck up your kidney’s permanently. Either that, or do what I do when I suddenly find myself with 25-75 Vicodin. Do a cold water extraction. The taste is bitter, but it’s fairly simple and you remove all of the Tylenol. But don’t kid yourself about being a junky. If your day revolves around how and when you are able to cop and use opiates of any sort, you are a junky.
2. People who go on Methadone maintenance but continue to use heroin, yet still tell you that they’re quitting.
No you’re not. Methadone intensifies the heroin high. If you are using both you aren’t following the program. You are just getting more bang for your buck. So if you do find you are using less to start, it’s just because you need less. But that tolerance will go up as well, and then you’ll be addicted to two different opiates and a Methadone detox takes much longer. You are just hurting yourself, and you’re not fooling anyone.
3. Actually… Methadone in general is a pet peeve of mine. Especially when people try to push Methadone on you when it’s
easy enough to go to a Suboxone doctor to get a script. Suboxone has so many advantages over Methadone. Suboxone removes the ability to get high, or at least makes it much more difficult. (I’ve certainly circumnavigated the effects of Suboxone with enough heroin, but that option is not financially feasible long term.) You can’t OD on Subxone. It’s much easier to wean yourself off of and doesn’t require medical supervision. If you are serious about quitting, Suboxone is by far the best option. And don’t be nervous about going to the doctor just because you’re a junky. That’s what the Suboxone doctor is there for. He had to go through specialized training just to be able to prescribe Suboxone. He is sympathetic to the needs of IV drug users, otherwise he wouldn’t have bothered to go through all that hassle. And with all the money you are saving from cutting out your largest expense, you should definitely be able to pull together some cash for a doctors visit.
One thought keeps leading to the next today…
4. Doctors who AREN’T sympathetic to the unique needs of IV drug users. You took the Hippocratic Oath. You made a promise to treat ALL patients and to act in their best interest. It’s like some doctors just don’t consider junkies people. One time, the hospital advertised for the treatment of abscesses and other drug related problems. But when I went in to have multiple abscesses looked at, I was given ample amounts of attitude and was told it was my own fault. Yeah, well… I know that. But I’m still here and I still need treatment.
(Side Note: After that incident, we just started treating abscesses ourselves. It’s easy enough to do. Just keep draining it and sanitizing it. You can even buy the appropriate antibiotics from an online pet store. The exact same antibiotics they prescribe for abscesses are used for birds and fish. You just need to calculate the correct dosage.)
Another time I went to the ER for something totally unrelated to my drug use. Once the doctor saw my track marks, he told me I had a stroke due to my drug use (by the way…. I was trying to quit at the time, so I hadn’t used in a couple of weeks). He wouldn’t touch me – it was like I was a leper or something. He barely spoke to me – just about me loudly to the other medical staff. He wouldn’t even consider that it could be anything else. He almost demanded that I stay in the hospital to be monitored – even after the CAT scan results came back negative. I’ve rarely met anyone so thickheaded, stubborn and self-righteous. By the way, after a second opinion, it turned out I just had some nerve damage in my shoulder. I have never felt so subjugated and menial. A doctor should never make you feel that way – no matter what life choices you make.
5. Cigarettes are still a drug, so I’m including this one…. People who want to ban the use or sale of e-cigarettes. This is so infuriating it makes my blood boil. E-cigs have helped countless people quit smoking. New York wanted to ban them because people might view smoking as social acceptable. Since when does the government have any right to dictate what is social acceptable? In Los Angeles, they are banned anywhere smoke is. So I’m not allowed to walk my dog in the large outdoor park next to my apartment (Pershing Square, DTLA). That’s completely insane. No one is allergic to them. No one can smell them. They aren’t bad for your breathing. They cause zero pollution. It’s WATER VAPOR people! I should be able to smoke an e-cig in an airplane if I want. (I’m not. I tried the last time I flew. You can do it in the bathroom though. No one will ever know because they don’t actually smoke!) People have called them started cigarettes. Total Bullshit. No kid is going to think that e-cigs are “cooler” to start than regular cigarettes. But even if that was the case, the government cracked down on flavored tobacco because it was more appealing to kids. So if you must, do the same thing with e-cigs. Ban all the disgusting fruity flavors. But don’t try to make them out to be worse than regular cigarettes! Alright, nuf said about that. But… if “they” win and e-cigs are banned, I’m suing someone.
6. People who can’t handle their acid. Unfortunately, I find this happens much more with women than with men. I took some acid on a plane ride once with my boyfriend. When we were partying later that night – with one of these girls – she gave us an unusually hard time about taking the acid on the plane. She kept rambling on and on about how terrible it would be, blah, blah, blah. I felt like I had to defend my actions. It brought the whole trip down. Why shouldn’t I do that? Just because you flip out and become crazy on LSD? Let me trip how and where I want. That same girl, along with another one of her friends, also tried to suck me into this conversation about how you just “need a good cry” on LSD. What? No I don’t. Why would I want to do that? Leave me alone, don’t pull me into your bad trip. I love LSD. All the time. In any situation.
7. People who only do psychedelics for the “spiritual experience”. I had been trying to get my best friend to take mushrooms with me forever. Turns out her psycho boyfriend kept feeding her all these lines about how they should only be used to experience a higher plain of existence. Finally I talked her into to taking some at a show with me. She loved it and it wasn’t a spiritual experience at all. Sure, I like to use psychedelics in that manner too sometimes. But more often than not, I use them for fun. It doesn’t need to be this whole big religious ceremony to “properly” experience them. They are recreational drugs, after all. This is something you see A LOT of in the DMT community. Many people on DMT Nexus will be happy to preach to you about the only “right” way too use DMT. It’s all horse manure. Use psychedelics any way you want. Personally, I think a balance between recreation and spiritual mind expansion gives you the best of both worlds.
8. People on the streets who pressure you to buy from their guy. They will either try to 1.) collect a fee. Or, 2.) ask for a cut of your stash. Leave me alone. Stop following me. I’m not giving you anything. Chances are, if I’m out scoring on the streets, I don’t have a dollar more than what I’m trying to spend on drugs. Yes, I know I stick out like a sore thumb trolling the streets of Skid Row. It’s like the lyrics from that Lou Reed song “I’m Waiting For My Man” – “Everybody’s pinned you and nobody cares”. Everyone knows what I’m doing down there. The same thing that everyone else is doing. But just because I’m white and female, people think they can make a dollar off of me, or get a free fix. Junk is not cheap on the streets. One balloon will barely get you well. There is no way I’m going to split my balloon with you. Scram. Leave me alone. I’ll find it myself.
9. Old addicts who want to impart their wisdom on you. I have come across this countless times. Last week at the needle exchange some old guy was yapping about how I shouldn’t use 29 gauge needles. I told him I have small veins, so a small needle does less damage in the long run. He went on and on about how if I would just go for a run every day I wouldn’t have that problem. Or that I should shower before I use, yadda, yadda, yadda. First, going for a run is not going to magically make my veins bigger. My problem isn’t circulation…. actually I don’t have a problem. I just have veins that are different than yours, so I do things a little differently. I don’t need your old junky wisdom. Once, a lady actually tried to pull a needle out of my hand while I was attempting a shot, because she knew that she could hit it better. That’s absolutely not cool. Besides the glaring fact that I know nothing about your hygiene or what diseases you might have… I know my veins inside and out, what works and what doesn’t. If you think you see something that will work better, chances are I’ve tried it and it doesn’t. I’m not some doe eyed innocent who happened to find herself on the floor of a bathroom in a homeless shelter on skid row with a needle sticking out of her arm. I promise, you won’t find a vein any easier that I will.
10. People who use NA as a substitute for their addiction. You see them in every meeting. They are usually the first ones to talk, the loudest ones in the room, and the ones who refuse to believe that anything but this program can work for anyone. Sure one addiction might be better for your health and have a lower risk of death then the other one. But don’t fool yourself into thinking you are more evolved than the addicts who still struggle with drugs. NA is not the solution for everyone. Just because it worked for you, doesn’t make it scripture. Nobody’s addiction is the same. We use for different reasons. We quit for different reasons. Our rock-bottoms are all different. No cookie-cutter program will work for everyone. I don’t want to substitute taking drugs with talking about not taking drugs. I know NA has helped a great number of people. I personally am thankful for it. But if you are just substituting one life-consuming addiction for another, are you really in recovery? Shouldn’t the goal be to life that’s not centered around drugs?
Along those same line- I’ll just make this little addition about NA. People who use NA to wield power over others and take advantage of their authority over new comers. I knew this one guy who used to lie all the time in NA. I heard him tell the same stories time and time again, but with different endings, depending on the point he was trying to make. He was trying to use real-life examples of what would happen if you didn’t follow the program as it was designed. He was misleading a very vulnerable group of people. Some people use NA as a substitute for what is now missing in their lives. And some people need to feel powerful. If they are powerless over their drug use, they will find power somewhere else. Let me tell you something Mr. Big Shot. Having power over people who are trying to get clean for the first time is not impressive. They are probably the most vulnerable, least confident, easy to manipulate group of people there is. Why don’t you volunteer at an ICU for infants? Would that make you feel powerful? They’re just about as easy to control as the newly clean trying to pickup the shattered pieces of their broken lives. They want to believe anything you tell them if it comes with the promise of a better life. Don’t use your leadership position to control others. That’s an addiction in itself. And the worst part was that so many of the “lessons” he was trying to teach were complete hogwash. Like, if you drink non-alcoholic beer, within the night you’ll be slamming dope.
Again, a disclaimer: I have found NA to be very helpful and I don’t belittle all the wonderful things that it was done for people in recovery. But like any organization that is run by humans, it’s not perfect. But the world is certainly a better place because of its existence.
Pft. I could keep going, but I think I’ll end my little rant here. I actually do feel much better.