DIARY: I woke as normal feeling a bit flat, thought about how heroin would make me feel better and then got on with the day. I had so much work to catch up on and the pressure of only one paying job made my work laborious. By mid morning I felt even worse and I noticed my methadone had not really kicked in so when luchtime came around, any normality that I was going to experience for the day had definitely gone. I eagerly made lunch hoping that some food and an episode of Bill Mayer's Real Time might pick me up. It didn't except for the funny moments in Real Time and I went back to work after 15 minutes. I thought maybe pouring through the online newspapers might inspire me but that was the worse idea I had. I went to the Herald-Sun and waiting for me was a huge police mugshot of Wayne Carey and some headline about Carey's fall from grace or the shame Carey had brought on himself. It was just sickening ... so much hyped up moralising and typical media parenting from some bunch of holy noble knobs. Then Andrew Bolt ... man he's a fuckhead ... always antagonising, always moralising, always looking for an angle, forever obdurate. Cynical of anyone thoughtful or clever, demoralising those who want to fix this crumby world and give it some shine, always on the lookout for those naive losers who feel we need to balance our natural resources. How depressing. Next newspaper, there's Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church wanting to picket Heath Ledger's funeral with "He's in Hell" banners. There's The Daily Telegraph wanting to explain dual diagnosis / mental health and drug addiction in a few paragraphs that will help Amy Winehouse get better. There's bozzo, Christine Nixon dribbling about something else that makes no sense but somehow a few of the newspapers turn it into a national referendum question. Oh stop right now ... no more. Things did get worse during the day but finally I was able to get some medication. I don't care about cutting back anymore just like I don't care about dropping my methadone. If I had the money I would simply go off methadone and use heroin. My life would become so much more manageable and the dark feeling of depression would be replaced with a level of normality that I crave for so bad.
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Today I realised something. I was able to quantify how long I felt normal for ... one - two hours. After taking my methadone at 9:05am, I was feeling the best I would feel all day at 10:30am. This is where I sit in front of my PC and try to soak up as much good feeling as I can before it runs out. Today I was more tired than normal so I nodded off a few times. I think I try to do this subconsciously because snapping out of a nod is like waking up from a 15 minute 'power nap'. You get about 5 seconds of being super refreshed before the reality of chores ahead start filling your thoughts.I use this time to do work normally but being the weekend, I get to catch up on some favourite sites and try to focus on this feeling of well being. I watch the time carefully realising the more you watch time, the slower it gets. I get disappointed when 30 minutes fly by as it is getting closer to the dark cloud arriving that takes away my elated feeling of normality. Well it's nearly over now and I can feel that familiar cloud of depression approaching. It's like when you have had a few drinks ready for a big night and you have to go home. There is some kind of disappointment that one more drink would fix until it's time to leave again. It's like having a bad toothache and taking a pain killer. As the pain killer takes hold, you can feel actual relief. It's a great relief from the pain and you can feel the waves of relief working until the pain is gone. After a few hours, you start to feel the pain again. Waves of the opposite this time ... waves of pain breaking through. Each time the pain breaks through you desperately wait for it to go away and the pain killer takes over again. This gets less with each cycle until you are back to the misery of pain. This is my day ... everyday.
Saturday, 26 January 2008
I often read really scary comments from readers in the feedback section of the local newspapers. Of course my speciality is drug policy and the many brainwashed opinions of our misguided population. The last pinnacle was the 'drugs in sport' period where John Howard needed some sort of 'Children Overboard' type issue to catch a few redneck votes. The opinions came in fast and furious as every sports star became reluctant ambassadors for our children's morals. It became quite easy to catch support as Ben Cousins kept the debate alive and Andrew Johns meek drug confessions kept the moralist pumped up for more media preaching than we deserved. Funny thing is now that Howard is gone, so is the all so important issue of drugs in sport. Even Marion Jones copping jail only got limited coverage in this so called sports mad nation Howard kept telling us we lived in. The death of Heath Ledger has reinvigorated those suburban drug experts and they're back out in force giving us their wisdom in the online feedback pages. Below is a cross section from several papers of those those thoughtful, well informed and compassionate comments:
Sunday, 20 January 2008
The US sure are good at war - Vietnam war, Afghan war, Iraqi war, war on terror and my fav ... the war on drugs.
The only reason these opium poppies have a value is because of drug prohibition that is so strongly enforced by the US via the 'War on Drugs'. An estimated $400 billion is made by drug criminals each year. Put that in prospective - 8% of world trade is illicit drugs and over the next 10 years, 4 trillion dollars will be made by organised crime illegally selling drugs. A lot of money available to be used by terrorists if so pursued.
I wonder if the brains trust in Washington can get past their moral convictions and weigh up whether treating drugs addicts is more important than terrorism. The problem and the solution is simple. Give heroin addicts prescription heroin and organised crime selling heroin will go out of business. No more opium fields, no more opium drug lords, no more sqillions of dollars available for terrorists. What really amazes me is that other countries do it now yet it's the US who keep these drugs lords in business. Canada, England, Switzerland, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany give their long term addicts prescription heroin. Even Iran has taken on board help from the Swiss and might be prescribing heroin as a treatment. Results for addicts health and social integration has been stunning and drug related crime has dropped significantly. Also, dealers are losing their main cliental to prescription heroin so they stop supplying it ... Result: very few new users and no profits for drug lords. So what's the choice ... Treatment or Terrorism?
The idea that funding for terrorism from opium can be slowed or even halted must be tempting? Yet why do they stick to their unrealistic drug policies so tightly but demand the world follow their lead on fighting terrorism ... at any cost. The US have a reputation for avoiding the root a problem and use words like 'democracy', 'freedom' and 'liberty' to justify their often controversial actions.
The lesson learnt from Afghanistan poppy fields and the attempted annihilation of cocaine plantations in Latin America is that it can't be stopped. No amount of money or intervention will do it. Crops just move from one place to the next. Turning these poppy fields in Iraq & Afghanistan into a legitimate business for the worlds addicts would create economic growth for the farmers and related industries. It would earn tax revenue and help stabilise the area with a unique product that doesn't have a huge value on the black market. That would win more hearts & minds for the US than burning down their farms, that I am sure of.
The 'War on Drugs' is hindering the 'War on Terror'. The question is, which is the more important?.
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Diary: The People You Meet...The other day as I was picking up my methadone, some guy ran up to me and asked for $4.60 because he was short for a prescription. I instinctively said "no money" and made up some lame excuse. Hang on, I wasn't making an excuse ... I had no money. Well actually I had $5 for petrol and for some reason I gave it to him. I followed him into the chemist to make sure and he went straight to the methadone dispensory. Oh, I thought, that type of prescription. I was glad I helped as I know a day without methadone is the worst hell there is. Everything has a price though and returning home without petrol only to get an earful from Angela was that price.Anyway, I went to get my methadone as usual today and he was there. I had a quick chat and another methadone patient got in on the conversation. This was a surprise as after nearly 10 years of getting methadone, I had never spoken to another patient ever. Each of us had such different backgrounds and yet we were all in the same situation.One guy was 60 years old with a speed and diazepam history. He went to heroin to kick his speed habit. Speed is my choice of drugs if I had to take one but having to use it nearly everyday would burn your brain out. He was more in need of a partner than anything and told us "love is a drug too, y'know".The other guy was a single Dad and was considering a computer/business course. I asked how having a young child would complicate matters when prioritising money over heroin but he seemed a bit confused as if there was no alternative to being a father first. He then mentioned that if he hadn't taken over custody, his child might be dead by now if left with the mother. I had seen this guy regularly for years but never knew one thing about him. Now after 2 minutes, I knew the most important things in his life. He then told me his name, shook hands and left.That's the irony of drugs, like HIV/AIDS, there are no boundaries in place. The much publicised images of junkies with dark eyes, laying in gutters is the work of politicians and moralists who cannot except that 'normal' people can be inflicted because they are stronger than junkies.
Friday, 11 January 2008
Great Article in the Herald-Sun
At last, some well researched artciles are starting appear in some mainstream media. Beware of booze on the brain , has Dr Greg Whelan discuss how addicts have different brains from non addicts and if exposed to drugs or alcohol, "it can be a life sentence and source of physical, social and economic problems. Dr Greg Whelan is the Professor of Addictive Medicine at Melbourne and Monash Universities and is Medical Director of Victoria Addiction Centre.
More Great Artciles
Firesnake and DFA Watch are excellent sites blogged by the Paul Gallagher. Very insightful stuff and compulsory reading.
These wonderful articles on the religious right are available at Firesnake website.
Even More Great Artciles
Every now and then you read a summary on why drug prohibition is failing. I stumbled on this and was blown away with the clarity and logic for all to comprehend a complex issue.
The Drugs Menace and its Solution by Elizabeth Krantz
I had a hit last night. Mmm a nice and yummy shot of heroin cut with god knows what, made in some dubious jungle laboratory in Burma. It was great, I felt dreamy for about 1 minute and then I felt human for the rest of the evening.
Today though... urrrr. I get this every time now I use heroin. I get hot/cold and feel like shite. The only cure is sleep, so I slept on and off until nearly 4pm today. My dealer says it's a dirty hit but I cleaned everything very carefully, washed my hands etc. I now get scared every time I use ... more shit to deal with!