Paralysis by Urinalysis

doctor-with-urine-sample-via-shutterstock-615x345Paralysis by Urinalysis

If I fail a urine screen I am then discharged from treatment by my doctor.  This has become an all-too-common practice at many .. practices. Isn’t this ridiculous?  I mean, hypothetically, if I decided to go to an all night 70’s disco cocaine party and decided to partake (hypothetically) then I am in danger of losing the services of my orthopedic surgeon who is helping to mend my back after a near-paralyzing car accident?  Ridiculous.  A joint to help me sleep?  Say goodbye to my recovery from spinal injury.  Is there even a justification for this?  I will play devil’s advocate and try to defend the indefensible here.  Note:  Any position that isn’t mine is indefensible.

We can’t be providing opioid medications to patients who are themselves drug users.  There could be dangerous interactions and other irresponsible behavior that would cause them to harm themselves.  They would need a doctor.  They should be discharged from my (doctor) practice.

We have to test their urine frequently to be sure that we are not contributing to a patient’s drug problem or addiction issue for which they should be seeking professional help.  They would definitely need to see a doctor if they had an addiction problem.  These patients definitely should be discharged from my (doctor) practice.

By testing our patients’ urine, we can see who is a complicated patient so we can quickly discharge them from our practice, thus leaving us with the simple patients who quietly come and go, pay their bill on time, and allow us to pack in more patients (more money!)  Complicated patients take up too much time and cost us too much money (not to mention effort).  Money and effort should never be expended needlessly in our line of work.  Just tell them we can lose our license (an incredible irony when you consider that by KEEPING them as patients and TREATING their destructive tendencies by way of referrals or their addiction we would be acting MORE like doctors and thus be MORE worthy of our licenses) and keep having them make the walk of shame from bathroom to waiting room holding their leaking urine vials.  I became a doctor to get rich not to treat people who have unhealthy habits or dangerous behaviors.  Those people should go get their heads examined.  …by a doctor, I guess.  I’m confused.

Doing drugs is unhealthy although often a lot of fun.  If you choose to do something this stupid (awesome) then you should not be in danger of losing the services of a competent medical professional.  It should be noted, however, that if your doctor discharges you for failing a urinalysis, subjecting you to both withdrawal and the care that you deserve due to an injury or illness, the maybe your medical professional isn’t so competent after all…

Slabs of cocaine found hidden inside frozen sharks in Mexico

(Jacinto Kanek/EPA)
Jenny Booth
More than a tonne of cocaine has been found hidden inside frozen sharks on a container ship in Mexico.

Navy officers spotted slabs of the drug inside the sharks while carrying out checks with an X-ray machine on cargoes at a container port on the Yucatan peninsula. They donned facemasks and cut open more than 20 carcasses to reveal the drugs haul.

“Those in charge of the shipment said it was a conserving agent but after checks we confirmed it was cocaine,” said Commander Eduardo Villa.

The find underlines how gangs are devising ever more imaginative ways to get drugs into the United States. Sealed beer and fruit cans, religious statues and furniture have all been used.

Last year 6,300 people died in Mexico in drug-related violence, as smugglers from the northwestern state of Sinaloa led by Joaquin “El Chapo (Shorty)” Guzman fought a turf war with rivals for the lucrative trade.

Yesterday police found the bodies of seven young men who had been shot or beaten to death lying in the street in Gomez Palacio, in the northern state of Durango.

Guzman is trying to gain control of all Mexican and Central American smuggling routes.

Cartel-related violence has spilled over inside the US, affecting states as far north as Arizona, to Washington’s concern.

Yesterday the Mexican navy allowed reporters a rare glimpse inside a methamphetamine laboratory they had recently raided. The remote mountaintop site in Sinaloa province had an enormous holding tank containing 13,000 gallons of ephedrine – enough to make more than 300 million individual doses of the drug, or 40 tonnes, with a street value of $1.4 billion.

This is five times greater than the haul last month, when Mexican forces seized 8 tonnes of methamphetamine at a drug lab in Michoacan state.

Layne Staley & Demri Parrott – The Greatest Love Story Never Told

 

Layne & Demri
Layne & Demri

 

 

 

I came across a great site that is hosted by a friend of Demri and Layne’s. It is a design site, but look at the home page or do a search for Demri. Here’s the link: Layne & Demri Posts

NE Readers know how we like to investigate the life and demise of Layne Staley. It is an important discovery that goes way beyond mere fanaticism. Staley was, among (many) other things, a very transparent person. This was the most unusual part of his personality. Most (all?) junk users thrive on misinformation and, frankly, lies. Layne avails us of an opportunity to see what his demons were and his reaction to them. He was crystal clear. So, regarding Demri, Layne’s choice of girlfriend was initially another means of seeing what was going on in his head. However, after reading the posts on the site (above) I became fascinated by Demri herself. She may have been the muse that allowed Layne to produce the most moving metal album of all time, DIRT. Her whimsical nature and quirks may be the key to his demise. They may, in fact, be the cause of his demise. Demri was his only warmth in a world that was so cold and full of terror to Layne. Her departure corresponds with his withdrawal into solitude. As I said before, I believe these fierce emotions drove Layne to belt out another two incredible songs. The last two new Alice in Chains songs before his death, “Get Born Again” and “Died”.

“Died” is clearly about Demri and her death. The song is again, transparent. Here are the lyrics:

_________________________________________________

I could climb until I reach where angels reside 
Ask around to find out where the junkies apply
You just up and left me on this rock all alone 
It’s my fault for knowing not what I should have known 

Ohhhhhhhh
My heart is dried up beating slow 
Ohhhhhh
It’s been just raining since you died 
Died 
Since you died 
You died 

I could drop until I touch the sinister side 
Visit all attractions flippin’ back and aside 
Still you leave me rotting on this rock all alone 
It’s my fault for knowing not what I should have known 

Ohhhhhhhh
My heart is dried up beating slow 
Ohhhhhh
It’s been just raining since you died 
Died 
Since you died 
You died 

Ohhhhhhh
My heart is tired of beating slow 
Ohhhhhh
It’s been just raining since you died 
Died 
Since you died 
You died 

I could climb until I reach where angels reside 
I could drop until I touch the sinister side 

Ohhhhhhhh
My heart is dried up beating slow 
Ohhhhh
It’s been just raining since you died 
Died 
Since you died 
You died 
Died 
You died 
Died 
You died 

__________________________________________________

  Says a lot doesn’t it?  Layne would climb to find out where angels reside.  Clearly he wanted to find Demri, an angel.  Then, “ask around to find out where the junkies apply”.  He clearly did not feel the same about himself.  He seemed to say he was not worth of her “angelic” qualities as he was a mere junkie.  It’s not hard to go through this and see how he felt during the end of his life.  

  Please visit the link above.  I hope to contact the site directly and get more information for NE Readers.  As always, your comments on this post and the Demri site, are always welcome.

-NE

Paul Fuchs Was My Friend.

I have become immune to the things that made me think that other types of mind yuck were inferior to what I deserved and it seems more than ever that people die from cures riddled with poison.  Help us leave the ever ripening stench of ___want a gateway drug___???  Kill the Pill before it kills you.  It will.  I have had one more friend pass away because of these ridiculous “cures”.

I miss Paul.  I am sick of pain, but not sick enough to die in vain.  Bury the pills.  This is an epidemic.  When they are there, there is no control.  It is impossible to say no.  The doctor won’t stop giving them to me.  If I die today, let them know that I went this way.  For want of peace, I became a slave to this artifice.

Sleep, Paul.  You are missed and loved down here.  I will try to right this place now that you’re gone.iseeguiltypeople

The Horror of Incredible Pleasure

Poison purposefully positioned to push me up that aching ladder once again.  The world is different when you’ve got the key to heaven’s door. Never then again does life and its undulating grey ever smile the same.  It’s more than “hi”, it’s true love.  This time, a broken heart comes with crushing flu and a violent exit of all guts and those that lie therein.

The fun “oops” comes when, in heaven, you suddenly get bored.  From there, kids, there is no ladder, only a violent plunge into hell and a prayer that you will soon resurface on Earth.  Praying in Heaven.  Bored in Heaven.  This is the Horror of Incredible Pleasure.  Join me…

Why do I keep getting high and hit the ground every time?

If I go up into the sky how is there a bottom?

All of logic this defies I’ll never stop

This is the horror of Incredible Pleasure

This is the horror of Incredible Pleasure

Don’t name me for my head call master of the living dead…

I’ll Support A Cure For AIDS When You Support A Cure For Substance Abuse

Like most educated people, I know that equal isn’t always fair and to be fair is not always to be equal. So, with that in mind, I give voice to a growing concern I have and ask that you consider it before making an easy snap judgment.

AIDS is a terrible affliction. It is brutal and unfair. We should and do dedicate money and resources to bring about its annihilation. One who contracts HIV and, consequently, the AIDS virus is seen as a victim and is comforted by the support that is readily available to them. Fair. I am proud of this part of our culture.

Digging deeper I ask, “How does one contract this terrible disease?”. The most common ways you can catch HIV/AIDS are, to quote Wiki:

The most common way is thru sexual intercourse (oral, anal, and vaginal) however, u can catch it by intravenous drug use, blood transfusions, open wounds (anywhere where fluids can be exchanged)

So, we see that the top two ways of catching the disease are: 1) Unprotected sex & 2) Intravenous drug use. Hold that thought and keep in mind the empathy and support gushed upon AIDS patients.

Drug Addiction. ::crowd goes oooooh:: Dead rock stars, actors, and junkies. They had it coming and deserved it. They should have stopped using or never started. They made bad decisions and brought sickness upon themselves. I believe that this is a fair summation of the prevailing attitude towards drug users. Unlike HIV/AIDS there is no empathy, sympathy, or support for the disease of drug addiction. Yes kids, it is a disease. No addict enjoys using. This is the nature of addiction. It is a sickness acquired by either bad decisions or emotional problems such as Depression that do not respond to pharmaceuticals. Once addicted, the individual goes from mentally craving the “high” to physically needing the drug for basic sustenance.

The most common causes of drug addiction are: 1) Depression & 2) Substance Abuse

So, because of either a bad decision, or an untreated mental illness, an individual can become a drug addict.

Recently I watched the 79th All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium and heard the commentators tell and retell the story of how Josh Hamilton overcame drug addiction to reclaim his place in Major League Baseball. Every time, however, they clearly stated that Hamilton had missed three years of baseball and had almost died because of a sickness he “brought upon himself” or a lifestyle he “chose to live”. Is that so? Do you think that Hamilton wanted it this way? We’ll leave that as a rhetorical question as I ask a more poignant question. What if we prefaced those afflicted with AIDS the same way?

“He was an excellent student and had a bright future until he contracted HIV, a sickness he ‘brought on himself’.”

“There is a terrible AIDS epidemic in the inner city. Apparently this is a lifestyle more people ‘choose to live in South Chicago’.”

Never would you hear this because somewhere, sometime it was decided that using dirty needles and having unprotected sex was a sickness worthy of our deepest sympathies and deepest pockets. Similarly, it was decided that those trying to alleviate the terror of Depression or choosing to experiment with drugs almost deserved to become afflicted with Drug Addiction. There is no sympathy for Drug Addicts and this is because there is little understanding of the disease. Further, there is an incorrect stereotype and image of the “typical” drug addict that makes it impossible to garner support for these sick people. Thus, this sickness feeds on itself. Without a clear support channel, addicts often want to heal and overcome their affliction, but professionals from doctors to pharmacists make any help given magnanimous at best. The addict then relapses and falls deeper into despair knowing that the world is essentially against them and this monster that rules their existence is never going to be put down unless they tread this terror-laden road completely alone.

Josh Hamilton overcame his drug addiction. Why? Because he had, and still has, a companion who stands by his side and supports him. This prevents him from relapsing. To wit; Hamilton said, “Without his support I would never have gotten clean. I still need his help daily. I still don’t trust myself.” Seems that Hamilton is a pretty lucky guy. Most people are repulsed by drug addicts while they wear ribbons and hold fundraisers for AIDS victims. Remember the bulk of those falling victim to either affliction did so because of bad luck and/or poor decisions. Why do we then embrace those with AIDS and shun those with a drug addiction? It is a more pertinent question then you may believe, especially when you take in to account the story of Josh Hamilton and the success that he attributes to the intangible support of a beloved friend.

I asked before that you reserve judgment here and consider the case I am making. I know that I am being a bit hyperbolic with some of the argument, but you have to agree that it is worth some thought. Certainly I am not diminishing the tragedy of AIDS. I am only using it to shed light on the issue of drug addiction and the equal need for support with this disease.

If we continue to shun addicts and avoid the problem, it will get worse and many people will die. Now that we have the gateway drugs of Vicodin and Oxycontin being liberally prescribed by “health” professionals. Do you know that the makers of these drugs were found guilty of many high crimes recently for misrepresenting how addictive their “medicine” is. The result? They paid a stiff fine and the drugs remain on the market. Hmmmmm… Take a look at how many teens are dying from prescription medication. Then take a look at how many heroin addicts were led to this affliction by an opioid medication dispensed by their trusted doctor and local pharmacy. This is another issue and I am on a tangent, but it does deserve a mention here.

I ask that we begin changing our view of a drug addict and finding ways to support their desire to become clean. Like an AIDS victim, we must see drug addicts as sick people in need of care. If we do make this paradigm shift, we will stop this sickness before it inevitably becomes an epidemic and takes away the lives and contributions of more wonderful people. Everyone deserves another chance, despite the mistakes they have made. Nobody deserves to contract AIDS or a drug addiction. Both can be stopped with proper education and support. Let’s try harder to be fair…

The War On Creativity

Without fail, those things that make you feel good come with a poison sac of overwrought side-effects.  In short, everything that feels good can kill you.  That includes fitness.  Our modern definition of fitness is often veiled anorexia with a touch of body image disorder.  I find those who are enthralled with working out are often among the craziest people out there.  Point is – our culture has reached a terrible place in this regard where Puritan values and plain old guilt have blocked most, if not all, ways to easily enjoy the pleasures afforded by life.  Realize that the guilt attached to sex, drugs, and any other abnormal pursuit (travel, art, etc.) is artificial.  There is no reason why you cannot choose to engage in anything, as long as it hurts no one directly.

This guilt has far-reaching implications in our society.  For example, the insistence on a par-for-course mode of life after college has effectively strangled and killed our creative production in this country.  Unlike other current and past societies that place high value on artists and their work, America will give a magnanimous “that’s nice” and look towards the 9-to-5’er who is playing by the banal rules set forth in the unspoken campaign against pleasure.  Artists struggle and face a life of poverty unless they get very lucky or artificially steer their art to be commercially viable.  most good art, by its very nature, is not commercially viable (read:  It can’t be turned into a commercial, or used therein).

It is important in a time when stress levels have birthed a litany of adverse health conditions, to be dedicated to pleasing yourself.  If that means you must, within reason, experiment with drugs, then do it.  The stress you allay will balance the health risks of your behavior.  For further clarification on this issue and the meaning of art in its fullest sense, it is necessary to explain the perspective of a creative mind.  Further, it is necessary to note the negative effect on this mind of artificial constraints and even commercial success.

Certain people feel too much.  I can speak as one who is such a person.  It is like I am outside in a rainstorm and everyone else has an umbrella, but i am getting pummeled by each raindrop.  Soaking wet, I look around and wonder where all of these comfortable people got their shelter and why I have no idea how to get one.  The raindrops in this metaphor are the barrage of interactions we encounter every day.  Whether they are with people or with merely the world around us, interactions stir emotions and artistic people get impacted (or wet) by each one.  It is necessary for these people to let out their emotions, to dry off, to lighten the burden on their childlike spirits.  Enter the arts.  Art, whether good or bad is necessary for the health of these individuals.  Once a person finds that they can express these feelings in pictures, sounds, or words they are at ease because they have an outlet.  Now, if society would embrace this expression and encourage it, the artist could hone their craft and make it speak to other people.  One must not be one of the “umbrella-less” to appreciate and derive happiness from identifying with the artist through their work and saying “It feels good to know that I am not the only one who feels this way.”  This is the healthy web of art and how is is a wonderful, cathartic, and positive part of any society.  It is worth far more than a drone who works only for a paycheck and, it is far more rare.

By not giving artists a viable choice in the professional world, our modern society has bred a family of bland, safe, and unsatisfying music, books, and movies.  If the starving artist were given a path to make a living doing what they were meant to do, we would all see better musical choices than Paris Hilton and the Spice Girls reunion.  We would breed authors like Dickens and poets like Rimbaud.

It is important to do things that re not safe.  It is important to do what most people don’t do.  Because, in the ever narrowing list of options for a young adult to “make a living” we must remember that these chices are artificial and only reflect an unprecedented wave of conformity that must be stopped to better the lives of everyone.  Because now, even when the artists become popular, they begin to doubt whether they are being true to who they really are.   I cite the tragedy of Kurt Cobain, the great frontman for Nirvana.  Once he became an enormous success, he felt that it must be because he was unwittingly conforming to the will of the record companies, et. al.  Hence his sadness, depression, and eventual suicide.  This is a great waste and will continue to happen as long as we do not provide shelter and support for artists in our midst.

-NE