Tag Archives: drugs

Conversations with Crazy

21 Jul

I was walking to my bus stop and I noticed a homeless guy sitting on the sidewalk, waving his hands, like he was dancing to his own tune. Then I got closer and the crazy began.

I try to give eye contact with most homeless folks, simply because it gives the minimum of decency. I see that you exist. He pointed to his wrist, so I thought, “oh, he wants to know the time.” So I tell him the time, he shakes his head, so I take off my headphones, and proceeds to tell me how foreign intelligence agencies are omnipresent and destroying Arizona.

Now the difference between a conspiracy theory and a crazy person is all in the cadence. A conspiracy theorist will stay on topic, explaining in a step by step way that microchips are getting smaller and smaller, that they are able to put them on smaller things, and they’re cheaper. So they can put them on anything, so the COVID-19 was an excuse to get people to use more hand sanitizer, which has tracking chips, and now the government has chips on all of us.

This guy started on foreign intelligence, then switched to tracking, then switched to being a good Christian, but believing in freedom of religion… And that point, my bus arrived, and I was able to apologize and leave this conversation that was going no where.

I used to think it must be fun being crazy… You can dress how you want, dance and shout, and people give you wide berth. On the train, I’ve noticed at least once a week one of my fellow passengers can’t stop moving. Not just walking or pacing, no… Jerking and dancing around. It’s unsettling.

Which made me think… Imagine if I couldn’t stop moving. Something in me makes it impossible for me to sit down. Maybe it’s nerve damage, maybe it’s a belief that the chairs are full of disease, maybe I’ve taken so many drugs that I can’t sit still for more than five seconds. What a hell that would be. If I literally thought that foreign agencies were after me, and that it was up to me to stop them, yeah… I wouldn’t be able to sleep in the same place every night. I couldn’t stay in the same place every hour!

I have great sympathy for the homeless, but I’m not blind to the fact that many of these are on drugs or mentally ill. We should fund mental illness treatment far more than do. You can’t help someone who believes that aliens from Zardoz are trying to kidnap him. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to stop taking his drug. That’s where we need to focus our help.

But I could be wrong… What do you think? Is our freedom of religion under threat from Zardoz? Let me know in the comments below!

Medication and Self-Medication

24 May

I know a little something about medicating yourself. Life can be difficult to handle, and with the variety of legal and illegal substances to play with, why would you want to stay unaltered? Well, as I like to say, there are no solutions, only trade-offs.

I happened to be scanning my blogs and ran across an interesting set of links on Struggle Street‘s page, including one of about the use of psychedelics in therapy in Texas. Now this is using medications that are “unusual” (and usually illegal) to effective use against patients with PTSD. These are what I consider “real problems” and I’m in favor of anyone using anything that works. My father-in-law had Parkinson’s and there was serious evidence for using medical marijuana to help with the shaking. Unfortunately, he never got a chance to try it out because of… well, things got too bad before they had to admit him.

I think it’s interesting trying to use MDMA (molly or ecstasy) to treat folks with serious psychological conditions. I can believe that different drugs can have different effects on different people; Ecstasy for most people usually ends up with bad results–but when your normal life has bad results, you might as well try some serious uppers.

Now in my life, I have “minor problems.” Dealing with ADHD is part of that, but that doesn’t make me different than 5-10% of Americans. You have to try different concoctions to see what works best. I went to a psychiatrist to get a prescription to help with that–he ended up giving me an anti-depressant that made me angrier and more twitchy. So much for that. Then I discovered supplements which are much cheaper. A combination of GABA (for concentration), 5-HTP (for calming), and Omega-3 pills (for emotional stability) works for me… but probably wouldn’t work on a different person with ADHD.

However, I don’t take those on a regular basis–not anymore–because a) my job has stopped being so stressful and detail intensive that I need it, and b) because it makes you feel emotionally numb and sexually deficient. So I only take it when I need to be at my top game at work… or when I know I’m walking into a stressful situation at home.

Plus I discovered bar culture. I’ve talked about how bar lives matter, but thanks to my ADHD, I’ve generally avoided most bars because they’re too noisy. Then I discovered several dive bars and day drinking where the crowds are small and I can actually hold a conversation with someone. Alcohol reduces the effect of my supplements and gives me a temporary high. But just like meds, different liquors have different effects. Whiskey and gin make me angrier, rum makes me happier, beer makes me gassy… but it’s different with different people.

At the moment, I’d rather have the temporary high then the emotional numbness, but because my wife is on the “high health” kick, she had made her displeasure with my drinking at the house clear. So I vowed only to drink at the bar… which means I find more reasons to sneak to the bar. That was strangely more difficult when I worked from home, but substantially easier now that I’m working in an office.

Of course, now that my life’s improved, I’m going a lot less, because there’s less need for self-medication. There’s no guarantee that will be good in the end. But what do you do to get through life’s hard places? Let me know in the comments below! Then check out one of my books. However, if $1.99 is cutting into your beer money, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. Then have a drink on me.

The Evil Weed

27 Apr

Before all these new laws were passed, I used to joke that I only take the legal drugs: alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine. I still don’t take marijuana, not for lack of access, but personal preference. But I’m still concerned that it’s still a federal crime.

Marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I Narcotic, which puts it in the same category as heroin, peyote, ludes, and ecstasy. For those who are not familiar with drug categories (as I wasn’t), these were established by the Drug Enforcement Agency which was founded by Richard Nixon back on July 7th, 1973. (Fun fact: he resigned one month and one day later.) However, the former president had a real passion for breaking the drug culture in America, which is how this whole thing started. See when Elvis became a federal narcotics agent.

So the newly founded DEA has to ask itself the question, “What should we focus on?” After all, there are lots of drugs out there. Congress categorizes them–you can check them out yourself–during the 1970 Controlled Substance Act. So they focus on the top ones… and make doctors fill out extra forms for the rest.

The difference between Schedule I and Schedule II appears to be “does it have a accepted medical use?” Schedule II meds are just as bad, just more useful. This includes the big winners in the abuse column like oxycontin, meth, cocaine… and interestingly enough, Adderall.

Then things get more interesting with Schedule III, which includes Tylenol with more than 90 mg of codeine. So you want this over the counter, you have to go to Canada, where they have the 222 mg of codeine. Also, anabolic steroids fall under this category. Then Schedule IV is “drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence” like Ambien. As we learned from Tiger Woods, “low” does not mean “never.”

Like many federal laws, such as abortion, when advocates get frustrated trying to go through Congress, they go through the states. There is now 15 states where it completely legal, six states where it completely illegal, and the other 29 are in various states of legality. This can make it very frustrating if you’re a casual user, a serious user, or a businessman dealing in hemp. Take Colorado, completely legal, which borders on Nebraska, where it is decriminalized. It’s not legal there, just not going to throw a possession charge if they find a joint or vape pen on you. What they will do–as my sister who lives on the Colorado-Nebraska border will tell you–is bust ANY truck that is carrying a trailer full of marijuana. It may be passing through, it may be reaching the dealers in the Cornhusker state, but it’s busted when it crosses the border.

The DEA was busting California dispensaries just five years ago, where it was legal by state law, but as mentioned, illegal under federal law. I guess we can thank the Trump administration for that… also, there’s now a lot more states where it’s legal, so the DEA may not care about state laws, but they care about public opinion. Too much bad press means they lose funding; see Border Patrol. That’s why there’s the “prescription” fig leaf; if a doctor says you can have it, well, no problem, right? After all, that’s why doctors have licenses to prescribe under the DEA.

So there’s this strange dichotomy with weed being legal and illegal at the same time. Can’t take it on a plane (TSA is federal), can’t take it on a train (Amtrak Police are federal), but you can smoke it at home. At a time where smoking tobacco is socially disdained, smoking marijuana is preferable. This is ridiculous to have this double standard. Of course, I could be wrong–what do you think? Sure, marijuana isn’t addictive, but it can lead to a lifestyle that where do you don’t do anything else. Is there a reason we need to keep focus on this drug? Let me know in the comments below! Then check out one of my books; my characters aren’t usually addicts. However, if $1.99 is going to put a dent in your marijuana budget, go ahead and download one of my stories for free.

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