Tag Archives: Drugs

Stealing daddy’s spotlight…and mommy’s pills

Ready to be happy?
This morning, catching up on the goings-on after a week in blazing hot and muggy Mexico, I read on CNN.com that Al Gore III was arrested recently on charges of possessing — in addition to marijuana — Vicodin, Xanax, Valium and Adderall. Oh my! The article pointed out that prescription drug use is becoming more prevalent among the young than even good ol’ pot.

Prescription drug abuse is particularly common among upper middle class students, according to Lisa Jack, a clinical psychologist at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “It just goes to show that where you’re from doesn’t matter,” Jack said. (I hope she isn’t speaking geographically).

The article goes on to admonish parents to lock our medicine chests so that vulnerable offspring will be adequately protected from evil.

Okay, done. But it seems to me that a better question would be, “Why are upper middle class bathrooms filled with an array of pretty-colored mood-altering pills in the first place?”

Welcome to the world of the upper middle class housewife. We take Adderall (basically speed) to get through the morning rush and the long list of daily chores. Valium (a tranquilizer) around 3 p.m. to take off the remaining Adderall edge and get through the afternoon kid activities with a smile. Xanax before stressed-out husband walks through the door assessing performance and demanding moral support and a lovely dinner.

After the kids are safely tucked in, Vicodin (an opioid) gives the same buzz as the 2 or 3 glasses of wine that we used to be able to handle easily, but which now lead to belly fat which, face it, is not only unsightly but downright unhealthy.

What the young ones apparently haven’t discovered yet is that Ambien at bedtime puts one into a nice dreamless coma that lasts until the alarm bell goes off and the cycle begins again.

I bet that you wish you could be-e-e half as lucky as me-e-e.

Posted by Marie Walden on July 08, 2007 at 01:44 PM

Comfortably Numb

lights on
Sitting in a puffy leather Barca-lounger, jacked full of Valium and Demerol, God Doctor enters the room. He squats down so that we are at eye level, introduces himself (as if I don’t know who he is..I’ve driven to Denver three times so far to see him), stares into my nearly blind eyes and says, “Did you take something or are your pupils always this huge?” Even in my half-drugged state I had the presence of mind to say, “I took a handful of ‘ludes before the surgery; I hope that was okay.” He stands up without a word and walks out of the room.

Shit. Here it comes. We are so sorry, Ms. Walden, but we can’t do your surgery. You are destined to stumble around, squinting, creating giant furrows in your brow that even Botox can’t touch, ignoring friends and family waving at you, generating hurt feelings and animosity everywhere you go. People! I am not unfriendly (okay, sometimes I am, but only to stupid and/or boring people and for that I won’t apologize). I am blind! I don’t see you. If I did….I might wave back. I really really might.

Fortunately, within moments, in comes a cute Asian scrub nurse in a blue surgical hair thing (I am wearing one too…which, I must say, totally proves my point that sexiness is very very very related to hair…more on this later). She takes me into a room, puts me under a huge frightening contraption which is going to make a completely computerized laser cut on my oh-so-thin cornea. THIS is the new technology. In the past, the corneal flap has been created by a blade and has been the source of nearly every resultant complication of laser surgery. The actual corneal correction has been done by laser. The cut…by a BLADE….like skinning a squirrel. This new technology is so precise….they are talking microns….MICRONS. Three MOTHER FUCKING MICRONS. Me likey the precision.

After this first step, I am nearly blind. Kind over-sized women gently guide me to another dark room, put me on yet another comfortable chaise, pillow under my knees so there is no pressure on my lower back. Let the correction begin! Here’s where it gets a bit sci-fi. A soothing voice narrates as I am experiencing Laserium…on drugs…like at CU-Boulder back in the day.

You will see a green light within a white circle ….. Is there anybody out there? ..Try to focus on the green light even when it disappears… There is no pain you are receiving ……Then you will see flashing red lights…..A distant ship floats on the horizon……..Try to focus on the red light. It will appear to move, but that is an illusion…..You are only coming through in waves……Very very good, Marie…halfway there……Your lips move, but I can’t hear what you say…..Now you will see a series of dots…keep looking straight ahead…very good, Marie….When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse….Almost there, Marie. Keep looking straight ahead….Out of the corner of my eye.…Very very good. Now we will move to the next eye…I tried to look but it was gone…Marie, shift your shoulders a little to the left….I cannot put my finger on.…Very good, Marie…now focus on the green light again… a child is born, the dream is gone….We are done…you can relax now, Marie….I have become comfortably numb.

Within minutes of beginning, I am back in my Barca-lounger, drinking Gatorade, feeling no pain. Cute Asian nurse comes in…sees me with my wild blond hair everywhere and says, “Oh! I didn’t think you would look like that!” I have no idea what any of this means…maybe she thought my features were so average that I should have a June Cleaver haircut…..can’t really contemplate the comment but I still think it proves that hair is an important part of a woman’s appearance.

Okay…so I am 2 days out. 20/20…..I got glasses in second grade…have struggled with vision my whole life. Have been told by countless opthamologists that I’m not a candidate……Thin corneas, large pupils, astigmatism, poor vision.

If anyone out there is similarly afflicted, Dr. Jon Dishler in Denver….he brought this technology to Colorado…he holds patents on many treatments…..He is internationally known for Intra-Lasik. Usually $4600 for both eyes…through August…because of his 25th anniversity….$3000 for both.

I am not his marketing gal…he doesn’t even know my name…I just know the struggles that I’ve had…and if you have complicated vision, or you know someone who does….let me share this gift with you. I am COMPLETELY AMAZED. And happy as heck.

The planted pot

The worst thing that the supposed ‘War Against Drugs’ has done to Americans is that we can all become guilty (in a split second) until proven innocent by sum of having large amounts of money that most of us never have actually had that would have to be paid to lawyers (if we actually did have the dough). In other words, the police can you screw you over in a heartbeat by merely planting illegal substances on you. And that’s what they did with this 92 year old woman they murdered.

I need a joint

I need a joint, but religious people won’t let me have one. I need a joint at times because I suffer from the itch (pruritus, caused by mild pedal edema and skin allergies). No seriously, I do, really and it can be quite uncomfortable.

Marijuana relieves this condition but I won’t smoke it as long as it is illegal and my smoking it could put me in jail, wreck my ability to hold a license to work in my profession, etc. There is another medicine available fo this condition, but it is not over the counter for the same reason that marijuana isn’t over the counter legally. Religion makes for bad medicine, that’s why.

Religion has a long tradition of practicing medicine without a license. Look at all thee food laws in the Torah, Bible, etc. Think of what Hindus are not allowed to eat? Muslims prohibit pork amongst the meats because infested pork causes disease. If you are a Muslim, any medicine such as a ham sandwich is prohibited. Not even with a doctor’s prescription may you have one. Similarly, alcoholism is prevented theoretically for Muslims, by being flat out banned. Uh, for good health reasons I am sure. Hindus are not even allowed good chicken soup! Food is medicine and all religions practice medicine, often quite bad medicine, with their food fetishes. But they practice medicine in other ways too.

Christianity is just as bizarre as the other faiths are in regards to their ideas of what is good medicine. But at least with God’s food laws Christians don’t seem to obey them much anymore. But Christians do yank coca out of coke, the codeine out of cough syrup (despite it truly being the best drug for the condition of having a cough), and marijuana out of personal use and paper making, and make Atarax (a great med for itch of throat and skin) prohibited without an expensive visit to a doctor’s office.

Strangely enough, almost anything that reduces affliction in an effective manner is viewed with paranoia by Christians! Notice how ‘drug stores’ no longer are called that? That’s because drugs DO work, so our new word for drug distribution centers is now the word ‘pharmacy’. That’s because prescriptions most often don’t work, so they are considered superior to what does actually work within our overly religious society! That would be drugs chosen through one’s own efforts, rather than the efforts of the priestly docs.

Have you ever noticed how the major industrialized country with the most religious Christian nuttyness, the USA, has the nuttiest, most preposterous medical system in the entire industrialized world? It is not a mere coincidence. Lots of medicine here is considered good only because it hurts like Hell, delivers you to a Hellish-like state, are delivers you directly to Hell. Not a mere coincidence. Christians like Hell more than they like good medicine. That was a fact way before the Prohibition Era.

Well, since I don’t have the money to get a $5 drug (Atarax) with a $150 visit to the doctor’s office, nor have the illegal mota at hand, tonite I will just whip my feet with thorned branches in the manner of some wild extreme Christian penitent once again, as the itch comes across me after the swelling of my feet and the itch begins, shortly after the socks come off (pedal edema). And if I have a hard cough from a cold then I’ll do without the codeine, all because my Christian neighbors are all so damn nutty as Hell. They’ll let you rot ’till half dead, then spend a million dollars keeping you half alive. I need a joint. It’s too depressing thinking about it.

Is hell for real?

OK, first, this is not another post about Iraq or Palestine. What it is is a post about yet another crazy religious doctor like James Dobson.

Dobson is a pediatrician, and this madman Maurice Rawlings is a cardiologist. And I know that he would certainly give me a heart attack if I were to have him as my heart doctor. But I don’t. Instead I just take a baby aspirin a day, and Thank God.

Is Hell for Real? Be sure to check out the experiences folk have had in Hell that are listed here.

Want yet more info about Doctor Maurice Rawlings? Then check out what Pastor Eugene Pee Harder (real name, I swear I didn’t make it up. He did!) has to say about this man of medical science. Doctors are scary, and when they get into theology, too? Well, they are twice as scary!

Remember Dr. Frankenstein. Imagine if he had also gotten a theology degree at a Southern Baptist seminary! Scary, isn’t it? Before you get medical treatment, ask your doctor is he believes in God. If he does, then get off the stretcher and run like Hell!

I have a weed problem

Unsavory charactersI don’t watch the Sopranos so I don’t know whether this kind of thing happens everyday on television. Authority figure / love interest / recurring character / moral compass on the TV show Weeds gets driven summarily into a garage and killed.
Sitting in his car outside a drug deal gone awry, he is asked by a girl to roll down his window. She releases the locks and two goons slip in beside him from both sides and turn the car into an awaiting garage. The garage door lowers to the soundtrack “time to die.” Did I mention he was a cop?

The other thing the cop character representated was the show’s least morally compromised character. He was a narc who lapsed in a self-interested act, to protect his lady friend pot dealer, with the hope that she then get out of the business. When she does not, and in fact ramps up her activities to become a grower, he rebels at her decision, ultimately forcing estrangement. Then she betrays him and it gets ugly.

And what happened when loverboy died? Our Miss Dealer, in the midst of a multiple gunpoint drug deal standoff, interrupts to wander, to wax, glassy eyed and aimlessly about the kitchen, repeating “he’s dead?”

That scene captured two incongruous aspects of the show: the heroine’s empathetic innocence, walking around in bemused bewilderment at what happens to her, and two, the comic non-violence (dead copper aside) of the suburban drug world.

To its credit, Weeds teaches nothing of the real world of pot growing, distribution, addiction or law enforcement. In the same way that it is too idyllic, it is also thankfully uninstructional. Pickups are mere social calls, a grow house is tended as neighbors coming in to feed the fish while you’re away. There is no question of unreliability that in real life always marks a Keystone Cops constabulary of pot heads. Dealing is never shown. Our heroine is a “natural” at dealing, we’re told, but we never see what that would be actually. Sort of like we never saw interior design practiced in Designing Women.

We see pot fetishism, even an implied popular support for pot smoking by a suburban majority, and addiction is never shown. Unless you count our heroine’s addiction to the business of easy money and notoriety. The series started with a sudden widow facing an insurmountable suburban house payment, who is dropped into pot dealing as a last resort.

I’ve wanted to address the problem of Weeds. Everyone’s quirky. Because we become familiar with them, we do become empathetic. You could say they are all flawed but real human beings. I’ll assert they are not even. All the characters are opportunists and hedonists and worse than a non moral tale. They tell an immoral tale.

NotMyTribe drinking policy

We’ll spell it out just for the formality: this blog has a strictly enforced drinking policy.
Drink what you want — more on this in a moment — but if you’re going to drink and type, be nice. To what degree this means showing respect and decorum is really up to you. Remember to write as if your mother is going to read it, because in fact she is. There is also the possibility of impressionable children seeing it too.

Experience has taught us the need for extra vigilance in the face of mean drunks. On a public blog they can spoil the fun and camaraderie for everyone. If you find yourself under-capacitated for gauging what constitutes sufficient propriety, website admins will facilitate by restricting your authorship access until you can be trusted to behave. Not a problem, hopefully it will not be recurring.

In the meantime NOTMYTRIBE will continue to work with WordPress, Foxfire and Sun Microsystems to develop a sobriety-check browser-plugin laptop-attachment for validating a user’s lucidity before any data entry is permitted. This should provide discrete assistance if you prove unable to assess your own state of mind.

NOTMYTRIBE will also keep logs of all profane, inutterable drunken attempts at picking fights. These recorded comments and posts will be released privately to the offending user at a later time for their sober review.

We thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Yes, about the recommendations: Newcastle Brown Ale, Isenbeck, Pilsner Urqel, the new Jamaican Microbrew, Irish Guinness draft; any Bordeau claret over $20, Pomerol, inexpensive Shiraz; Clocktower Port, Chateau Yquem, and of course Tokaj Aszu 6ptns; if you’re inclined a Cohiba or Romeo Y Julieta.

Pot smokers rejoice!

maryjaneColorado Amendment 44 would legalize possession of an ounce of marijuana by individuals 21 or older. If it passes, it could be a first step in a long journey toward a rational and effective federal drug policy. It could generate a national debate about drugs, about civil liberties, about lots of important things.

A few days ago, I said to myself, “Oh, Marie. Don’t get your hopes up about 44. This is Colorado. This is the land of the God Squad. The permanent homeland for a buttload of Jesus freaks (not the cute hippie-types). The promised land for tens of thousands of self-righteous nimrods (a biblical place, by the way). There is no way in hell that this will pass.”

Then, in what can only be defined as an act of divine radicalism, or perhaps it was cosmic libertarianism, Mike Jones happened. And everything changed.

Perhaps this coming Tuesday, as thousands and thousands of the Colorado flock are still wringing their hands and lamenting Chief Ted’s vision quest along the straight and narrow path (wink, wink), they’ll feel too sheepish (ha! I’m slayin’ myself) to pull the little “no” lever. Perhaps at the Holy Spirit’s prompting they’ll experience a new sense of tolerance, of empathy. The scales will fall from their eyes as they wrestle with the complexity and difficulty and joy and pain and duplicity and faithfulness of fallen humanity. Maybe an ounce of pot won’t seem like such a big deal.

Party at my house.

An addict unmasked

Let me tell you how to spot an addict: their singular focus on drugs. Every pleasure with an eye on the next hit. That’s an addict.

Obsessing on the drug, wearing its motifs, professing idolatry with posters and magazines would be obvious clues, but maybe innocuous at face value, in the absence, naturally, of behavioral problems as a result of drug use.

Another trait, the voracity of the addict’s need to get instant satisfaction. Like a child who wants something in the store, he’ll disregard propriety, your feelings, a normal sense of proportion, to get what he wants. No holds barred. Kids will be kids, but luckily their weapons are few and manageable. The adult child has a wealth of manipulative techniques.

Another, addict radar. Drug users can spot other users. It’s in the behavior, in their communication. Recovered addicts are especially good at pegging other addicts.

I had an engagement lined up with two friends, one a recovered addict and the other a full on addict. I was hoping to glean, among other things, my recovered friend’s take on what the other was using.

When the current addict learned that a veteran would be present, he refused to come. “I don’t want to hang out with no tweaker” is what he said. Hmm. He no doubt wouldn’t prefer to hang out with you.

Drug test. That’s the painless method. Not because you suspect something by his behavior, but as a matter of routine. Agree to regular, but unannounced drug tests. It could be the deterrent to keep him honest.

If you are a drug user and you recognize these behaviors, you are an addict. If others around you can see these behavior traits, you are unmasked.

Parents and the teenage drug dealer

I sympathize with parents who have a child on drugs. I’m thinking not so much about the child who’s doing fine in school, or has ambition and is moving forward. I’m thinking more about the kid who isn’t, who’s discovered a rut of drugs and complacency and nothing but drugs and instant gratification. I’m thinking the two are mutually exclusive, but that may be my prejudice.

It’s one thing to indulge that child, and quite another to endanger everyone else’s.

Maybe the parents think that drug use is okay. Maybe it’s cute, or harmless. Maybe it reminds them of their youthful experimentation. I’m not sure those parents are in touch with today’s controlled substance options.

I wish all parents could attend just one Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meeting to hear about what addicts these days are up against. Hear how drugs destroy families, or preoccupy lives or derail ambitions or usurp the joy to be found in just everyday things. Sometimes the chemistry of addiction overtakes a person’s every daily thought until they die.

It’s not simply pot, mushrooms and cocaine nowadays. Today there are all variations of meth, crack, heroin, ecstasy and speed in deadly combinations. Pot heads may argue that they only abuse pot, but marijuana today is laced with any of the above ingredients as fortifiers. The old pot high may still satisfy That 70’s Show, but kids today expect a more potent hit.

But to discuss the issue of dealing. Maybe some parents are proud of their child’s entrepreneurial initiative. Maybe they see it as making the best of an otherwise unprofitable fixation.

Maybe it’s like being the parent of a bully. The problem is not my bully, the self-assertive domineering chip-off-the-old-block, the problem is that the other kids are submissive and lesser and thus deserving. It’s survival of the fit, of my DNA. Maybe parenting a drug dealer is like that. The problem is not the dealing, we think, it’s the other kids who need the drugs and can’t arrange clever dealing setups like my kid.

What’s a parent to do? Call the cops on their own kid? Jeopardize the child’s academic career, give him a criminal record to haunt him until always? That would be my argument to call the cops before he turns 18, so his record as a minor will be expunged. Otherwise, the option certainly does seem extreme.

On the other hand, to do nothing is off-the-chart selfish. Selfish. Your kid is not dealing to 30 year-old opium addicts in the big city. Your kid is dealing in school! High school, junior high, grade school, wherever. Your kid is turning dozens if not hundreds of other kids onto drugs. Many of whom will follow his sorry footsteps and cause anguish for their parents. Were you feeling lonesome in your anguish? How thoughtful of you to share your bad parenting.

If you’ve set your kid up in his own unsupervised apartment, you’ve given your neighborhood a drug den. A place for other kids to hide and get into trouble. I’ve seen how accounting for a kid’s time works, you’re diligent, you expect other parents to be diligent, thus supervision for every kid’s activities is accounted for. Enabling a drug den is worse than going on vacation and not telling your friends that your house or child will be unsupervised. You’ve created a full time unchaperoned oasis. Did you have that as a child?

If your drug dealer begins to report vandalism to his car or house, which he says can only be random, you’ve got a whole lot of possible suspects. It could be the neighbors who resent living next to a house from which carloads of kids come and go at all hours of the night. It could be an angry parent who’s caught their child there. It could be rival students who resent the drug-dealer swagger that interrupts the otherwise traditional jock-based hierarchy of a school class. But clearly someone wants your child to move. I say move him!

It could be a rival drug dealer who’s been pushed out, or who’s trying to push in to the territory. The territories being the schools remember, however many schools are involved. It could be a distributor to whom your child passes money. Or fails to pass money. This isn’t Weeds where all the money changing, if terse, is convivial.

Is it going to take a panicked phone call in the middle of the night to convince you? A call from your child dealer asking you for $6K as soon as the bank opens to pay off some goons who will otherwise kill him, because the money’s gone lost, or there’s some misunderstanding, but “trust me, these guys won’t listen to reason.”

I don’t think it’s such an unselfish thing to ask of a parent, to keep a child clean, and to do their part to keep drug dealers out of the neighborhood. If you’ve got more children coming up for example, it’s not unselfish at all. Or if you think of your children’s friends as your children, as precious and delicate as your own.

Are you really thinking, if my child doesn’t deal it, somebody else will? Well social responsibility really doesn’t work that way. Yes somebody else will. Let it haunt their conscience.

James Frey wrong guy

I’m crossing my fingers that this James Frey guy gets what’s coming to him. James Frey has written a best-selling memoir called A MILLION LITTLE PIECES and thanks entirely to Oprah’s shrewd endorsement, has become an inspiration for a suburban nation in the grip of a drug addiction epidemic. The trouble is that Mr. Frey’s memoir has been largely invented. THE SMOKING GUN went looking for Frey’s police records, as is their thing, and found Vanilla Ice basically.

Oprah holds that her man Frey is still a beacon of light of a bad boy redeemed. I would maintain he is not.

Frey may have thought that he’d covered his bases. He killed off every co-conspirator in his book, he had his real police records, or lack thereof, expunged, and he’s claiming artistic license for whatever discrepancy may be left. Now in spite of what TSG has brought to light, Frey continues to defend his criminal street cred. This is not someone who has redeemed himself.

I don’t have any trouble with the fact that he has slandered real people. While Frey was in reality let off lightly for a drinking offense, he maintains those cops beat him mercilessly à la King, and later one of the cops contracted Frey’s cell mate to deliver a further beating. (Frey was never jailed.)

I don’t care if he’s traded on the memory of a small Michigan town’s high profile teenager-train-wreck tragedy, insinuating himself non-grata into several parents’ recollections of painful loss.

I don’t care that he’s taken a vacuous manuscript, rejected 18 times in its previous incarnation as a novel, and parleyed it into a small fortune and himself into a prominent role as recovery guru.

I don’t care that Jame Frey wasn’t the bad-ass he claimed to be, or thinks he remembers.

Except as it relates to Mr. Frey’s recovery from drug addiction.

The detail to which I attach a great deal of significance is Frey’s recovery, which may or may not be true. He says he did it without Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact he belittles them.

Plenty of addicts recover without the assistance of AA or NA, but the greater majority by far need the help of fellow addicts. And tragically, the chief hurdle to bringing addicts into recovery is every last addict’s misconception that they can do it themselves.

So here you have a Mr. Frey who wants to paint himself as the baddest dealer ever, as the most reprobate junkie ever, who hit bottom like no parent should ever hope to see their child hit bottom, and who then got clean, all by his own self, won Oprah’s book club lottery, the end.

If that’s true, congratulations to him. If it’s not true, what kind of hope is James Frey offering the millions of suffering parents and addicts? That they should count on such unlikely odds as winning the lottery?

NA is not for everyone, but it’s nothing to avoid in any case. Every day millions of Americans get together in ad hoc meetings to fight and claw their way out of addiction. Some need the comfort of believing in a “higher power,” some don’t. Whatever. There’s no administrative cost, there’s no hidden agenda, there’s no proselytizing. The meetings are just people who share a common problem, helping each other to overcome.

Middle America is being overtaken by the drug problems that have long plagued the urban poor. Oprah’s handlers may have been urging her to find a way to address the addiction epidemic and help her audience to navigate the dangerous waters. I hope she has the wisdom to admit she may have chosen the wrong guide.