Tag Archives: addict

WORSE Jobs Then Mine

17 Feb

In the interest in enjoying MY job again, here is a list of things that would be even worse:

Job at a sewage treatment plant.

Addiction counselor at a homeless shelter.

Working as a janitor at Wal-Mart.  Check that–just working at Wal-Mart.

Past veterinary jobs I’ve had:  Emergency where I would work 12 hour shifts with literally no breaks, AND the doctors would be MIA, Aurora vet hospital with pretentious and entitled clients and cold co-workers, DVVH with a mid-life crises boss who scape-goated me, or even Noah’s Ark where I had to spend 3-6 hours per day walking/cleaning/treating a high volume of animals with irresponsible co-workers.

Any night job.  9 PM-4:30 AM will.  Not.  Work.

Daycare or preschool aide working with toddlers.

Working at the food stamp office, DMV, or any other disgruntled government operation.

Any type of engineer or mathematician.

Sales–especially if travel is required.

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What Genre?

20 Dec

My favorite books to read are non-fiction ones. I like feminist works of course (Egalia’s Daughters and The Beauty Myth), as well as animal facts or stories (James Harriot, Fluke), nutrition kinds of stuff (mostly Marion Nestle), and books about addiction or psychological issues (Ellen Hopkins, and Drinking:  A Love Story).

 

But my very, very favorite type of book is history. But that’s not quite specific enough. I don’t like just any history. War stories bore me to death, any dry, description of dates and events will not work. Instead, I like the stuff controversies and conspiracies are made of. But not hokey, weird fiction stuff that’s unsubstantiated. My favorite reads have just as many reference pages quoting original sources as they have pages of information presented in story form. That’s the problem, I’m unsure what catagory this type of writing falls under.  Oh, I don’t know if I’m making any sense. Maybe if I tell you some titles, you’ll get a better idea (bear with any misspellings or incomplete author names):

The Big Rich:  The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes

Dark Alliance-Gary Webb

Triangle:  The Fire That Changed America

Eight Men Out:  The Black Sox & the 1919 World Series

The Smartest Guys in the Room:  The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of ENRON

The Worst Hard Time-Timothy Egan

Game of Shadows-my sidenote:  (about the BALCO steroid scandal that rocked sports)

The Jungle-Upton Sinclair

A Stolen Life-Jaycee (Lee) Dugard

Doctors From Hell:  The Horrific Account of Nazi Experiments on Humans-Spitz

The Devil in Massachusetts-Starkey

Legacy of Ashes:  History of the CIA-Tim Weiner

In Nixon’s Web-Patrick Gray III

 

Anyone have the genre or category that these might fit in?  If you could comment, it would really help me mention my favorite books in a halfway intelligent manner.  Is there some website where you can pick some book titles and have it generate a genre or another book that is similar?  File under:  Things I need to know!

 

97 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

19 Dec

It’s a given that college drinking, and the way society tolerates and encourages it is a serious problem.  But is it a serious disease?  Are our university campuses crawling with addicts?  Let’s put this in perspective, shall we?

My dad was is an alcoholic, because you can never really 100% recover and be able to drink moderately like a non-alcoholic. I’m much too lazy to look up scientific studies and statistics, but I’ll bet if you did you would find an alcoholic’s brain chemistry is different. I’d also be willing to bet that an alcoholic metabolizes it in a different way than a person able to self-control their drinking. An alcoholic literally cannot stop themselves from consuming too much. They will always drink too much at a time, too often, and become dependent on alcohol to function. Once an alcoholic stops drinking–they can never have another sip of alcohol–or they are right back in the middle of their addiciton and the destructive behavior that comes with it. My dad has not had a drink in about 30 years. If he had one drink today, he might be right back in the middle of his sloppy behavior.

Also, alcoholism is a more serious, uncontrollable disease, very unlike the (poor) choices made by college drinkers. Alcoholics need medical detox to stop drinking. They can seizure and die if they try to stop drinking without intervention. Most college students simply sober up before finals or other important tests. And when they graduate–their habits clean up. True alcoholics couldn’t do that. Without help–they are still drinking abusively.

Saying all college kids who drink are alcoholics discounts all of the above. Yes, drinking is excessive in college. Yes, youth should be held accountable for their actions. But saying they are failing because they have a disease isn’t quite right. . .

It Happens Here

30 Sep
This was a very informative study about sex trafficking.  
I have included just a minimum of interesting statistics from the abstract.  
I found it after being horrified by the semi-autobiographical movie, "Traffic."
http://www.uri.edu/artsci/wms/hughes/sex_traff_us.pdf
The Problem: 
The international women interviewed in this study were predominantly from the former Soviet
Union (13 of 15), and over half of the U.S. women were African American (13 of 25). The majority
of international (80%) and U.S. women (83%) interviewed in this study entered the sex industry
before the age of 25, many of them as children
Many of the U.S. (62%) and international (29%) women are domestically trafficked inside the
United States.
Some women were held captive and some were not free until they paid off accumulated debts.
The majority of law enforcement (76%) and social service providers, advocates and researchers
(71%) confirmed that a large number of women were not free to leave the sex industry.
Pimps controlled most of the money and many of the international (36%), and U.S. women (76%)
had money withheld from them.
Eighty-six percent of U.S. women, and 53 percent of the international women
reported being physically abused by pimps and traffickers
The vast
majority of international (87%) and U.S. (92%) women  used drugs or alcohol to cope while they
were in the sex industry. Half of the women began using drugs and alcohol after they entered the sex
industry to numb themselves to the trauma of unwanted sex.
Twenty-seven percent of the international women and 52 percent of the U.S.
women said economic necessity, drug dependencies and pimps who beat, kidnapped, and/or
threatened them or their children prevented them from leaving.
Suggested Solutions:
Trafficked women should not be treated as criminal illegal immigrants, but as victims of violence
and human rights abuses.
Specific legal measures recommended included car forfeitures/confiscations of men arrested for
soliciting, publication of buyers’ names in the newspapers, and more “johns schools” where first
offender buyers are “educated” about the harm of prostitution to the women, the neighborhood and
themselves.
There should be some way of tracking U.S. men who travel to the same or different countries, and
return to the United States with serial foreign fiancées or wives.
More funding from the Violence Against Women Act should be made available for research,
education, training and services for trafficking victims. The Crime Victims Fund should also be used
to support services and shelters for trafficked women. When assets are seized from traffickers, they
should be used for victim support.

Superficial Overview of “Requiem for a Dream” Part I

21 Apr

The movie is an aesthetic and unflinching look at addiction.  As an avid viewer of “Intervention” I thought I would be desensitized my the material in the film–not so.  Though the word “heroin” is never explicitly mentioned, the implicit consequences of its use is pervasive in the film.  The artistic cutting of the scenes with help from the tasteful instrumental soundtrack lends a dramatic and edgy truth to the four characters portrayed.  The syncopation of both the jerky scenes, illusions of being right opn the action, and irregular melodies of the music focuses the viewer’s perceptions right on the drugs.  Instead of preaching about the deleterious effects of drugs the film leaves this message unuttered.  The tacit “drugs are bad” message is effective because of just that fact–it is implied and evident.

A brief (and superficial) overview of main characters:

The son steals his mother’s beloved television (repeatedly) to pawn for drug money.  The primary motivation is satisfying his constant (selfish) craving for drugs.  His only true long-term aspiration seems to be making a big score to get a lot of money.  He engages in a plot to get more drugs, the machinations to buy his lonely mother a TV, and a vague scheme to become close to his girlfriend.

The mother is lonely despite being shown sunbathing in front of the apartment building with the close-knit community of other aging gals.  She constantly watches a motivational infomercial on TV and wishes to get on TV.  Her main plan is to fit into a red dress–but she must lose weight to achieve this end.  She finds a doctor to prescribe diet pills after a chance mention of a friend who lost weight this way when she was sidewalk sunbathing.

Like our main character, the best friend is a wholly devoted sybarite–interested mostly in the next fix.  He regularly reminisces about his own mother’s love, while getting more and more invloved in the business of the drug underworld.  He is caught up in the drama on the streets and ends up in jail temporarily.

The girlfriend’s parents have masses of money, yet she langors into addiction with the rest instead of whole-heartdly pursuing her garment business.  It seems she is seeking out some mercurial entertainment in her relationship with the main character–and with drugs.  Her capricious behavior quickly pushes her towards using her sexuality to garner drugs.

These four are a phalanx of desperation at the end of the movie.  The last scene is one of the most powerful in all of film–the director is obviously an expert.  Being somewhat of a connoisseur of addiction media, devouring television, documentary, and blockbuster films as well as real life news articles, I was still left just sick to my stomach from this film.  It is one of my favorite movies, yet it just makes me feel (for lack of better word) icky after I’ve taken it in.

Skid Row + Vocab

6 Feb

Skid Row seemed terrible–all decorous behavior vanished, apathy everywhere, everyone lived like animals.  The food offered by the missions is meant to be sustenance, not known for its tastefulness.  On Skid Row, pretty much anything goes–appropriate, socially correct behavior is relative.  Anyone who uses proper English on Skid Row would be marked as an outsider in no time–education is disregarded there.  No one is courteous–instead using brawn and viciousness to obtain daily needs and wants.

The filth surrounding Skid Row is appalling–certainly far from comme il faut.  How can you expect manners or politeness from heroin addicts and drug dealers?  I noticed how most of the people on “Skid Row” were ultimately indifferent which made them fallacious–reverting back to the same ‘ol drugs when it came down to it.  One of my favorite quotes:  How do you know an addict is lying?  His lips move.  It seems like all addicts are sophistic andspurious by nature.  Homeless people don’t want to be that way so they say plausible things about their goals and aspiration to get help, but the addict part kicks in.  Also, they become listless in changing their situation.  It is ostensible that a drug users are enjoying themselves–when they’re under the influence, but being an addict isn’t fun.  It’s really sad that spurious junkies involve their families in their addictive behavior and its consequences.

The people on Skid Row are mostly addicts–70-90% of them, so the police know they are beyond reproach.  To vituperate one person on Skid Row would be pointless, because there are so many criminals right there, and they would fill up all the jails in California–so they are pretty much left alone.  The authorities become unresponsive to the scene as well.  Even recovered people fall victim to their previous vices, and become sophistic about hiding their behavior.  The illusory solution to the problem is to segregate the homeless junkies, but that creates new, larger problems for L.A. and the nation as a whole.  This segregating attitude combined with stolidity by the homeless themselves, the government of California, and society as a whole is what contributed to and upheld Skid Row in the first place.  The specious solution is throwing money at the problem, and sure, that would help, but for long term success, America has to fix the housing market, instill education, help inequality–it’s a multi-faceted problem with no easy solution.

Most of the homeless featured in the documentary parry questions, and insult interviewers to remain invisable–there is astigma in living on Skid Row.  They had to use hidden cameras to film the documentary because the people on Skid Row were so Evasive about being taped.  The derelicts living on Skid Row were paranoid about cameras and camera crews, repelling all media from the streets.  The residents on Skid Row also avoided police offers, and knew the documentary guy was a phony impostor when he approached police to ask what was happening.  When asked if they wanted to be homeless or do drugs the people would deflect the question by asking for more drugs.  Skid Row inhabitants figured police, FBI, etc had a conspiracy against them.  The homeless addicts living there hated the police because they feared an insurrection.

Skid Row is not a new phenomenon–having established fusty, prehistoric roots back in the 1870’s!  Seattle coined the superannuated term “skid road” because the loggers would sleep in Pioneer Square on their off-season having no work or money.  It’s weird to me that these skid roads are right next to downtown metropolis areas–I wonder which is superseded.  Drugs were introduced to Skid Roads in bygone times–quite early due to people down on their luck and desperate.  Vancouver’s Skid Row has the highest instance of heroin deaths, starting in dated times on the North American continent.   The dowdy hotels and cheap housing attracted out of work fisherman and loggers, then the drugs made it even more of a seedy area.  AIDS, HIV, and Hepatitis-C are not obsolete in the areas of Skid Row even with the aid of programs like the IV drug safe injection site in Canada.

Central City East is the outdated term for Los Angeles’ Skid Row.  An outmoded name for an area of 5th street occupied by homeless is “The Nickle.”  There were stale accusations that the police and hospitals in L.A. transported the homeless to Skid Row instead of offering services to them.  The name Skid Row is so passe‘ that the fire station (#9) that services the area has “Skid Row” emblazoned on the sides of their fire-trucks.  New York’s “The Bowery” had the vintage name of Skid Row.

It is crazy to think the Skid Row statistics are not embellished.  Estimates of 7,000 to 8,000 homeless people in Los Angeles are not enhanced–there are really that many people on the streets on Skid Row.  It is not embroidery of facts that California government deemed the number of shelter beds inadequate for the amount of homeless and now allow camping on the sidewalks within boundaries of Skid Row from 9 PM to 6:30 AM.  It seems to me that the government just gave up on the problem and became insensible about finding a true solution.  Seeing the streets bedecked with tents, addicts, and human excrement is quite shocking from my living room–I can’t imagine seeing Skid Row in person.

The streets are adorned with 51.4% Hispanics, 25.5% Caucasians, and 16.7% African Americans.  It is no exaggeration that the per capita income for Skid Row is 41.8% below the poverty line.   It’s hard to elaborate on the problem of Skid Row without seeing it.  Almost all the residents of Skid Row suffer some sort of stigma.  They are marked by poverty, blemished from addiction, tainted with mental disorders, and stained from living hard.  The opprobrium falls not only on the homeless themselves, but on a impassive society–because we had a hand in putting those people there.  It is a blot on our country that there are Skid Rows scattered throughout with a throw away population living in filthy, horrid conditions.  The third world conditions on Skid Row discredit us as a nation.

Don’t Meth Around

31 Dec

Every state I’ve lived in (Montana, Nevada, Missouri, and Washington) says it is #1 for methamphetamine problems.  Well, it may just seem like it becuase meth is such a huge problem for every state.  I wanted to know for sure so I went on a search for accurate statistics from some reputable source.  Statistics according to the DEA–because most information is self-reported.  www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/state_factsheets.html

Meth production is biggest in California and Mexico, due to the new super-labs which produce

The United States as a whole put limits on the amount of pseudoephineprine and so the largest supplier of that key ingredient is Canada.

MONTANA:
In 2008 MT (population 935,670) had 2.7 kg of federally seized meth and 5 lab incidents at the DEA, state, and local levels.

It is the most frequent drug problem in MT brought in via at least 10 routes from the Pacific Northwest by organized Mexican drug traffickers.  Local Meth labs number:  2003 = 56, 2004 = 35, 2005 = 25, 2006 = 16, 2007 = 7.

MISSOURI
In 2008 Missouri (population 5,800,310) had 14.1 kgs of meth seized federally and 1,471 lab incidents at the DEA, state, and local levels.  Missouri is the #1 problem for methamphetimine use, sale, and small labs in the midwest.  As a state, local meth labs have numbered:  2003 = 2,776, 2004 = 2,807, 2005 = 2,170, 2006 = 1,288, 2007 = 1,189.

The western half of the state gets the majority of their crystal meth by highways.  Their meth labs had a decrease of 74% from 516 in 2004 to 136 in 2007.

The Eastern half of Missouri has a major problem with local meth labs, and law enforcement has seen a resugrgance in the number of meth labs since 2006.

NEVADA:
In 2008, NV (population 2,414,807) had 44.1 kg in federal methamphetamine seizures and 6 DEA, state, and local meth lab incidents.

Meth is the #1 most frequently encountered drug in NV both for personal use and distribution.  The drug comes from super-labs in CA and Mexico, through both highway routes and organized Mexican drug trafficking organizations.  Local Lab busts:  2003 = 125, 2004 = 50, 2005 = 52, 2006 = 36, 2007 = 13.  NV has no real need for local labs because the purity of methamphetamine in 2005 neared the 90%-99% range, but has decreased to a wider range of 50%-99% in 2008.

WASHINGTON:
In 2008, WA (population 6,549,224) had 95.4 kg in federal drug seizures and 72 DEA, state, and local meth lab incidents.

Crystal meth is the preference of WA, and is brought in by organized Mexican distributors from super-labs in Mexico.  Local meth labs are still found:  2003 = 546, 2004 = 337, 2005 = 148, 2006 = 119, 2007 = 72.

OTHER WESTERN STATES:

AZ:  For the 2008 population of 5,939,292 there was 263.4 kg of meth and 10 local meth labs.  Lab incidents by year from 2003-2007 are:  119, 71, 75, 41, and 8 respectively.

CA:  In 2008 the population was 36,132,147 and had 2,236.2 kg meth and 346 lab incidents.  Statistics for meth labs from 2003-2007 are:  1,281, 767, 468, 353, and 221 respectively.

ID:  In 2008, population of 1,523,816 has 4.5 kg and 12 local meth labs.  In 2003-2007 respectively there were  27, 21, 17, 8, 12 lab incidents.

NM:  In 2008, population of 1,928,384 has 35 kgs and 61 local meth labs.  In 2003 = 194 and 2004 = 120 meth lab incidents.

OR:  In 2008 the population was 3,790,060 which had 29.8 kg and 12 meth labs.  In 2005 OR had 190 local meth labs!  After the high meth lab count of 2005, OR enacted a law that pseudoephinephrine has to be purchased at a licensed pharmacy and the pharmacy is required to keep a log of purchases.  2006-2009 respectively were:  50, 22, 19, and 12.

UT:  Population in 2008 was 2,469,585 with 21.5 kg of meth and 7 local labs.  Previous local meth lab incidents were 2003 = 77, 2004 = 47, 2005 = 50, 2006 = 15, 2007 = 3.

WY:  Gets a lot of media coverage, but relatively low numbers at first glance.  Considering the low population size, WY is actually THE #1 state for meth/person.  In 2008, population of 509,294 and has 0.3 kg and 3 lab incidents.  From 2003-2007 respectively had local 26, 19, 9, 3, 5 labs.

A SMATTERING OF OTHER STATES:

IL:  population = 12,763,371, which has 8.3 kg and 324 labs.  No yearly stats provided.

KS:  population = 2,744,687, which has 39.6 kg and 143 labs.  High of 639 labs in 2003.

MI:  population = 10,120,860, which has 5.2 kg and 329 labs.  High of 341 labs in 2005.

MS:  population = 2,921,088, which has 2.4 kg and 296 labs.  High of 336 labs in 2003.

NE:  population = 1,758,787, which has 8.0 kg and 57 labs.  High of 248 labs in 2003 and 228 labs in 2005.

TX:  population = 22,859,968, which has 783.6 kg and 112 labs.  High of 688 labs in 2003.

WV:  population = 1,816,856, which has 0.0 kg and 49 labs.  No yearly stats provided.

NOT A PROBLEM:

CT:  0 kg and 0 labs in 2008.

DE:  0 kg and 0 labs in 2008.

ME:  0 kg and 0 labs in 2008.

NH:  0 kg and 1 lab in 2008.

RI:  0 kg and 0 labs in 2008.

Skid Row

31 Dec

Skid Row seemed terrible–all decorous behavior vanished, everyone lived like foul-smelling animals.  There is no beauty in poverty, and no comeliness in the life of an addict.  The fetid food offered by the missions is meant to be sustenance, not known for itstastefulness.  The decaying buildings were far from displaying pulchritude–even the shelters.  The hapless and malodorous residents are living in disgusting circumstances.  Some were just unlucky, ill-fated.  Most can blame their “ill-starred” plight on drugs.  Someluckless folks can blame their life on the fall of the economy.  Whatever the reason for their ill-fate, it is marring our beautiful country, and we have to come together as a nation and deal with the problem.

On Skid Row, pretty much anything goes–appropriate, socially correct behavior is relative.  Anyone who uses properEnglish on Skid Row would be marked as an outsider in no time–education is not valued there.  No one is courteous–instead using brawn and viciousness to obtain daily needs and wants.  The filth surrounding Skid Row is appalling–certainly far from comme il faut.  How can you expect manners or politeness from heroin addicts and drug dealers?   I noticed how most of the people on “Skid Row” were ultimately fallacious–reverting back to the same ‘ol drugs when it came down to it.  One of my favorite quotes:  How do you know an addict is lying?  His lips move.  It seems like all addicts are sophistic andspurious by nature.  Homeless people don’t want to be that way so they say plausible things about their goals and aspiration to get help, but the addict part kicks in.  It is ostensible that a drug users are enjoying themselves–when they’re under the influence, but being an addict isn’t fun.  It’s really sad that spurious junkies involve their families in their addictive behavior and its consequences.  The rank people on Skid Row are mostly addicts–70-90% of them, so the police know they are beyondreproach.  Addiction is one of the least handsome afflictions–it wracks the mind and erases all physical gorgeousness a person ever had.

To vituperate one person on Skid Row would be pointless, because there are so many criminals right there, and they would fill up all the jails in California–so they are pretty much left alone.  Even recovered people fall victim to their previous vices, and become sophistic about hiding their behavior.  The illusory solution to the problem is to segregate the homeless junkies, but that creates new, larger problems for L.A. and the nation as a whole.  The specious solution is throwing money at the problem, and sure, that would help, but for long term success, America has to fix the housing market, instill education, help inequality–it’s a multi-faceted problem with no easy solution.

Most of the homeless featured in the documentary parry questions, and insult interviewers to remain invisable–there is astigma in living on Skid Row.  These unfortunates do not want the world to see their troubles.  They had to use hidden cameras to film the documentary because the people on Skid Row were so Evasive about being taped.  The derelicts living on Skid Row were paranoid about cameras and camera crews, repelling all media from the streets.  No one wants to be seen in an environment where everything lovely is crumbled and in a state of debilitation.

The stinky residents on Skid Row also avoided police offers, and knew the documentary guy was a phony impostor when he approached police to ask what was happening.  When asked if they wanted to be homeless or do drugs the fetid people woulddeflect the question by foolishly asking for more drugs.  Skid Row inhabitants figured police, FBI, etc had a conspiracyagainst them.  The homeless addicts living there hated the police because they feared an insurrection.

Skid Row is not a new phenomenon–having established fusty, prehistoric roots back in the 1870’s!  Seattle coined thesuperannuated term “skid road” because the funky loggers would sleep in Pioneer Square on their off-season having no work or money.  It’s weird to me that these skid roads are right next to downtown metropolis areas–I wonder which is superseded.  It is no accident these jinxed fellows turned to drugs.  Drugs were introduced to Skid Roads in bygone times–quite early due to people down on their luck and desperate.  Vancouver’s Skid Row has the highest instance of heroin deaths, starting in datedtimes on the North American continent.  The dowdy hotels and cheap housing attracted out of work fisherman and loggers, then the drugs made it even more of a seedy area.

AIDS, HIV, and Hepatitis-C are not obsolete in the areas of Skid Row even with the aid of programs like the IV drug safe injection site in Canada.  Central City East is the outdated term for Los Angeles’ Skid Row.  An outmoded name for an area of 5th street occupied by putrid homeless is “The Nickle.”  There were stale accusations that the police and hospitals in L.A.ludicrously transporting the homeless to Skid Row instead of offering services to them.

The name Skid Row is so passe‘ that the fire station (#9) that services the area has “Skid Row” emblazoned on the sides of their fire-trucks.  New York’s “The Bowery” had the vintage name of Skid Row.  It is crazy to think the Skid Row statistics are not embellished.  Estimates of 7,000 to 8,000 homeless people in Los Angeles are not enhanced–there are really that many people on the streets on Skid Row.  It is not embroidery of facts that California government deemed the number of shelter beds inadequate for the amount of homeless and now absurdly allow camping on the sidewalks within boundaries of Skid Row from 9 PM to 6:30 AM.

The streets are adorned with 51.4% Hispanics, 25.5% Caucasians, and 16.7% African Americans.  It is no exaggeration that the per capita income for Skid Row is 41.8% below the poverty line.  Seeing the streets preposterously bedecked with tents, addicts, and human excrement is quite shocking from my living room–I can’t imagine seeing Skid Row in person.  It’s hard toelaborate on the problem of Skid Row without seeing it.  It is just not a silly problem, or the least of our worries.

In the rain, the rats ford across puddles and scuttle about the shelters to find a dry spot.  The people also traverse huge, puddles of filth on the streets on a daily basis.  Wading through urine, stool, drug paraphernalia, and trash is no way to live.  Almost all the residents of Skid Row suffer some sort of stigma.  They are marked by poverty, blemished from addiction,tainted with mental disorders, and stained from living hard.  The opprobrium falls not only on the homeless themselves, but on society–because we had a hand in putting those people there.  It is a blot on our country that there are Skid Rows scattered throughout with a throw away population living in filthy, horrid conditions.  The third world conditions on Skid Rowdiscredit us as a nation.  This is our punishment for fatuous treatment of failures in our society.