Let's make a clear distinction between "research" and "experimentation". What the FDA does when it determines that a drug such as Methylone causes vasorestriction, that's research. When a "Pharmonaut" pops some pills after reading about in on the internet, that's an experiment based on a wildly optimistic hypothesis.
Personally, I consume somewhere in the area of 200-300 mgs of Dilaudid daily. Do I take that by mouth, as directed.... I will only say to one half of the people listening, that I am an idiot, and to the other half of you, that I am NOT an idiot. Depends on your perspective. Do I flush 75% of the drugs down the toilet that is my digestive tract and deal with the pain by gnashing what teeth I haven't already ground to dust while accepting a more limited mobility, or do I flush my life down the toilet that is dangerous and stupid behaviour and might land my ass in prison, end my doctor's interest in my case, destroy my body further, build drug resistance faster and eventually kill me. I am an idiot in once sense. I am not an idiot in the other sense. The question remains who is the bigger idiot, me myself or I.
In any case, I obtain all of my pills from my doctor. I am a chronic pain patient of ten plus years.
My gateway drug was physical "fitness" (weight-lifting) and working as a human forklift. (Not to mention hippy-dippy eastern medicine and chiropractic care for ten years before finally becoming so screwed up it was either I see a western doctor and ask for pills or jump off a bridge.) While I experimented with any and all drugs when I was between the ages of six to sixteen, beginning with booze and pot in elementary school and trying acid and pills in junior high, I was clean and sober and a non-smoking vegetarian in a committed relationship for nearly ten years before I was injured. Perfect criteria for doctors to have no reservations about handing over the pills, and for the first five years I kept myself chronically under-medicated for pain. So there has been little oversight let alone fore-shadowing of my current predicament. Unless you saw how the Western Canadian province where I live completely gut it's health-care system right when I turned to it. But that's all beside the point.
Being on this side of the drug issue has certainly broadened my perception of the predicament addicts find themselves within. Though, I spent two weeks cold turkey off a 100mg per day oxycontin habit before I broke down and asked my girlfriend to loan me ten bucks to pay for my prescription, so I have little understanding of why so many little old ladies get mugged so that a few people can avoid flu symptoms. Still, it has opened my eyes a bit, as I used to have a much more negative view of the behaviour that had nearly wrecked my own teen-aged life. It took about six months for the dregs of a chronic four times daily hash habit to leave my system, and low and behold I literally felt my I.Q. jump to double what it was on hash. It was difficult to see what it was doing to me at the time, but I would later see it as a real problem which I was happy to have used young enough to not see it interact with too much of my sex life, my road-worthiness as a motorcyclist, my long standing school records my work life or any other realms of adult life. Where many of my generation associated drugs with adulthood, I associate drug experimentation with childishness, and I thank the misguided hippies who raised me for that serendipity.
Of course all drugs should be legalized, and at that point the people who choose to market them would be held accountable legally for any damages they may cause. But at least we wouldn't have so many harmless people rotting in jail.
All I have to say to people about my current situation is to treasure your sobriety. I truly have been cursed for something I said as a kid to the effect that I wanted to be high for ever. You know that feeling where you're hung over from a weekend's drinking and you want to get off, well that's where I am at with narcotics. I haven't screwed up my relationships because of drugs. My last girlfriend let me raise her kid as a house-husband knowing from the day she met me what my drug problem entailed, and to this day my mom is happy to drive me down to the paraphenalia exchange. I certainly have to admit that I have taken liberties with my doctor's prescribing rights, which is my greatest regret among what effect this all has on others, aside from my step-daughter seeing me nod off so many times which is my shame.
In a sense, as the neutered house-cat version of an addict, I have been spared all of the adventures which fiction romanticizes for yet more generations to emulate, so I can say I can evaluate these drugs without all of the cultural or political problems which people normally decry as the eventual result of drug addiction. And I will probably just die of some complication before I have to freak out about paying money to a dealer. Of course, this way the real drug dealers have made more money off my predicament than any street cartel could ever hope to. Street addicts suffer more from poverty, violence, and the negative effects of shooting up too much baby aspirin, than they ever will from the drugs themselves. So it is from within a bubble that best suits the drug legalization utopia hypothesis that I can say that this shit is pure garbage. A necessary evil, the lesser evil than the pain I would otherwise be stuck with even more of every moment of each day. I am not talking of ennui or existential angst, I am speaking of a good chunk of my spinal cord being crushed and demylienated for too long a time while I waited for the penny pinchers' gate keepers to approve my surgery, though I have the greater blame for putting off treatment and denying there was a real problem with my back for too long.
For all the time when these drugs have robbed me of consciousness I might as well have been put in a coma for five years or more.
I can certainly understand curiosity, and even the argument that people seek out drugs to escape from a boring humdrum or even painful existence. The fact is, like pain, boredom and sadness are your friends. Even my doctor, who has given me more giant prescriptions than handshakes, when I asked him for anti-depressants during my first divorce, said to me "Why would you want to feel good about a bad situation."
I should have taken the pain I was feeling for ten or fifteen years prior to seeking help as less a challenge and more an indication I was abusing my body. So too, boredom should be taken as an indication you need to do something different. And sadness an indication you need to change what makes you unhappy or seek out something which brings you happiness. Even when your life is in the shadow of some horrible trauma in your past, the nervous breakdown that is the impending result of all of that is healthier than popping pills to avoid that eventuality. Modern life is certainly horrible if you give in to it's soul-less industrial monotony, but we don't have to stay in our grey cities and pick through the trash of it's urban nightmare or even more frightening suburban wasteland. People need to discover more to nature than a couple of weeds and mushroom species that are hauled in baggies to them by the cartels or the pharmaceutical companies. That "pot is natural" argument is pure twaddle. So is syphilis.
I know that the anti-drug message sounds like ingenuous bullshit. That's because it's like an evangelical tract trying to compose a sound-bite describing trancendant spiritual enlightenment. To understand why "just say no" makes such perfect sense, you have to have said yes until no is the only reasonable answer that remains. That's the real reason it has been championed by the likes of Tipper Gore and Nancy Reagan. I mean, these women lived through the years when Valium was called "mother's little helper" and all the while were married nuclear family values style to political opportunists and outright fascists. If you don't think that they spent the entire sixties and seventies lost in an incoherent haze, enslaved to their own personal pimp, just look at their record on the Feminist scene or their support for freedom of expression. Zip, Zilch, Zero. They don't have to do a poster for the Betty Ford clinic for me to see that look in their eyes. Trust me, Nancy knew what she was fucking talking about. "Just say no."
In all seriousness though, people need to cherish their sobriety. "Expanding" your consciousness through drug experimentation, talk about Gilding the Lily. A mind isn't just a terrible thing to waste, it's all you've got that you can call your own. It IS you. Of course, the same can be said for all other forms of equally dangerous recreation. Though, I hasten to add that the real danger with motorcycles is all of the sleeping cagers on the road, watching the world through the TV screen that is their windshield. Perfect analogy for drug use and society's effect upon the drug user. You might be "speeding along" when some straight square (Volvo station wagon) takes a right hand turn into you. As in, to keep you off Heroin they throw your pot smoking ass in prison. Indeed, the one problem that is wasting more lives than drugs would be the drug war itself. To combat the drug warriors, we need more coherent, intelligent people, non pot smokers that is to say, leading the charge for legalization. And it's true, it's the taboo that attracts so much attention to drugs in the first place. Legalization is the first logical step in reduction of drug use overall. Prison-industrial-complex dollars would more than pay for medical treatment of this medical problem, though properly re-educating the guards on how to coddle the pricks who keep ripping off their car stereos and officiate over group therapy sessions rather than six-on-one billy-club beatings; I will have to leave that problem for somebody else to figure out.
That said, yes boredom ennui etc, yes the drug war legalization blah blah blah, yes arsenic comes from nature: still. You people need to find a new hobby.
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