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chemical dependency

This tag is associated with 9 posts

Nothing Monday (Any Port in a Storm!)

Going in 0730 to ostensibly have a electrocardiogram,  and another lymph node biopsy, and perhaps a port installed (pre-chemotherapy.)

Maybe see ya Tuesday…

Sigh.

Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye. 

My college mate, friend, and boss (when I worked security at the closed Legend City amusement park, in the 70s) has passed away.

John Conneally

Fair Winds and Following Seas, My Friend!

We only recently reconnected on Facebook after a 30 year absence.

As Father’s day is looming, I was going to write initially something about my Father, his Father, my Grandfather, or having been a father, etc….

But, you guys have already seen this in this venue.

I was a step-child.  And my step-mother and I were not in agreement on most things.  Like how to treat me.  And my father was largely absent.  My childhood memories are largely not pleasant ones.

Here’s what John’s stepson and one of his daughters had to say about him.

For Father’s Day.

John Conneally was my step-father from my body’s age of 8 1/2 to 14 1/2 and helped Tina Poling-Conneally raise me during those years. He introduced me critical analysis, science fiction, the concepts of leadership, teamwork, discipline, tactics, strategy, deduction and showed me what being brilliant without much solid, applicable way to make it useful for one’s self and society as a whole. As invaluable as they all are the most important one for me is the latter, and it motivates me more and more each day.
John died sometime either last night or today of complications from leukemia, liver failure and lung cancer. He had exposure to horrendous chemical wastes and other environmental hazards while in the Navy which very likely caused his leukemia and the liver and lung cancer came from self-medicating with tobacco and alcohol to keep his highly sensitive and strong soul from feeling and dealing with the internal awarenesses the society he grew up in had zero ability to teach him how to handle; John would have been a capable medicine man, shaman, holistic therapist and healing artist had he been born into this part of the world in the 80’s to today.
He lived as best a life as he could and I am glad I was able to be influenced by his life, both the good and the bad. May his pathways now lead him through all the misconceptions _and_ perfection of his life he just left. May his soul reach out to the wonders he sought and may be achieve them increasingly and unceasingly.
May he be able to choose rebirth, if and when he wants to from the realms of Experience that are without sufferings, pain fear and lack. May his lives and experiences between lives be of benefit to himself and All Beings.

Fare well, John Conneally. I am praying for you and perhaps we’ll meet again someday in much better and healthier ways.

Love to you.

____________

It’s a very hard thing, to think of someone you love in the past tense. Rest in peace, Dad. You are already missed.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

My wish for all of you as parents is to be as well thought of and loved in hindsight, as John’s children have of him.

If only…

 

 

This Tastes Funny 

I’ve been drinking diet soda (of various varieties) for 37 years. (or so).  Mostly because sugared soda is SO full of sugar. In 2002 I was diagnosed as diabetic, so I had yet another reason.

(And yes, I am aware many of the chemicals, especially the artificial sweeteners, are BAD for me. Please don’t lecture me.) 

I developed a taste for Diet Coke™, which evolved into a taste for Coke Zero™. Equally bad, I’m sure, but surprisingly with less caffeine!

I take five prescription medications regularly, and a couple OTC. For diabetic neuropathy, blood pressure, cholesterol and GERD. And chronic pain.

Considering the chemistry set some folks I know take, I consider myself most fortunate.

My roommate has been taking CO Q10, and suggested that I take it as well. Allegedly good for we ‘older’ folk. Due to one of her chronic conditions, she also takes guaifenesin (Mucinex™), daily.

Due to allergies brought on by the cooler, wetter weather, I, too, have been taking it.

It helps.

I began taking these additional meds about three months ago. About two months ago, something changed.

My beloved Coke Zero™ didn’t taste right!

At first I blamed the manufacturer, then maybe I had a ‘bug’. A good friend suggested my body had had enough of the constant ingestion of chemicals! 😦

Multiple Internet searches regarding formula changes and pill interactions were for naught.

What was I to do? 

I began drinking more filtered water, coffee, juice, and even bought a ‘healthier’ fruit juice based soda, with a different chemical sweetener. And seltzer water – when I could find it (I like seltzer water).

But, I still missed my Coke Zero™. 😕

The weather changed, and dried. And my allergies abated. And my roomie stopped giving me the guaifenesin.

About a week later, someone gave me a Diet Coke™. I thought ‘what the hell’ I can nurse it.

It tasted fine!

I’m spending less money on beverages, but I now know I can have a Coke™ product, if I choose!

BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY!

I’m A Libertarian (Small L), But…

from Wirecutter:

The Heroin Task Force formed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine has endorsed the creation of safe-consumption sites for addicts, which would be a first in the U.S.

A majority of the task-force members support a place or places for addicts to use heroin and other drugs besides public restrooms, alleys or homeless encampments such as The Jungle, said Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, task force co-chair. The idea is that users could visit a supervised facility where they could get clean needles and anti-overdose medications as well as medical attention as needed and treatment opportunities.
MORE

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Amsterdam tried this 3 decades ago and it was a disaster. Petty crime exploded and overdoses became epidemic. It didn’t work – given the choice between drugs and treatment, dope fiends will take the drugs every time.

My understanding of Amsterdam was not only petty crime skyrocketed, but organized crime did, as well.

My concerns are always about governmental costs (the current situation vis-a-vis the ‘program’, above), WHO pays for it, and WHO benefits? (cui bono).

As well as the ongoing ‘I’m a libertarian and have a right to put in my body whatever’ thing.

I have an addictive personality.  Thank God it’s not involving drugs or alcohol.  But, my personal health and families/friends have paid a price for my dysfunctional behaviors.

Obviously, locking up everyone in possession of a single rolling paper isn’t working.  (The U.S. having the largest prison population per capita – mostly for drug offenses)  I suspect the government plan above to fail.  Colorado has legality, and reportedly crime and DUIs have dropped.  Medical mj is expensive (both the card and the product), at least here in AZ.

Promoting personal character?  Sure.  Why not.

But, I don’t see an easy, simplistic solution…

I Thought We Were Staying Away From This?

The US Army has awarded 17 companies, including major corporations, $900 million in contracts for logistics and service support for biological and chemical war projects, the Department of Defense announced.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The companies, including the Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio and the Camber Corp. of Huntsville, Alabama “were awarded a $900 million… contract to the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense,” the announcement said on Tuesday.The other companies receiving contracts were Aktarius, Allied Technical Services, AQuate II, Axseum Solutions; KD Analytical Consulting, Murtech, Omega Consultants, SciTech Services, DRS Technical Services, STS International, Engility, Leidos, Patricio Enterprises and SAIC Corp., it said.

The United States faces current and emerging chemical and biological threats and requires integrated defenses against them, but currently those responsibilities are split among 26 different Defense Department agencies, according to an August 2015 US Government Accountability Office report.

Even if these are ‘legal’, it begs the question:  Why?

Where/Who are the potential targets?  Is this just about ‘research’?  TWENTY-SIX companies?

h/t Sputnik International

True Detective

(No, not the pulp magazine Robert D******* purloined from the convenience store when we had a sleep-over in my Dad’s camper, when we were in junior high!  :-P)

We just finished watching Season Two of True Detective on HBO.  Each season had it’s own story, characters, actors and themes.  Season One was in Louisiana.  This one was central and northern California.  Both were in part produced by the lead actors from season one – Woody Harrelson and  Matthew McConaughey.  Rest assured, this is no longer the Woody from the TV comedy Cheers.  They are both consummate actors.

The theme carried over to Season Two is there is something larger, deeper, more sinister going on than first appears to the on scene investigators.  It takes the season to unravel the mysteries.  Both seasons consist of eight episodes each.

Season One took place over a number of years, following the rise and fall of career detectives in pursuit of a serial killer.  Season Two was revealed in a much shorter time frame, involving murder, political power and blackmail.  Both seasons were populated with extremely flawed, alcoholic, addicted and trapped detectives and career criminals, in extreme emotional pain.

Not exactly an evening of light television.

For the record, I liked both presentations.  The critics were especially hard on Season Two, as over-complicated and not living up to Season One’s standards.  It is still undecided if there will be a Season Three developed.

I’m certain both seasons are available on You Tube, Netflix, and the like.

The opening to Season Two, below…

Situational Ethics

The Blogosphere has a story about a couple of filthy hippies caught with marijuana paraphernalia.  Except they are not filthy hippies.  They are ages 65 and 67, and have numerous ailments.

What a crock to waste the efforts and funds of law enforcement on such people.

I have an occasional beer.  I sometimes partake in a fine single-malt Scotch – thanks to the Internet Scotch Fairy™.  There are weeks I won’t have any alcohol at all.  I sometimes use alcohol medicinally, in addition to my pain meds, to alleviate pain.  Which brings me to my point.

I was raised with the idea that illegal drugs are, in fact, illegal.  I HAVE NEVER SMOKED OR EATEN MARIJUANA, nor do I have any desire to.

I have consumed alcohol for the pleasure and the numbing effects.

How is this different from those who take marijuana medicinally or for pleasure, whether legal or illegal?

I know folks who used it in high school and college, who stopped when they grew up,  and that was it.  I haven’t known anyone who gatewayed to cocaine or heroin.  Or crack.  Or meth.

My prejudice against marijuana is generational, not based in facts.

But, in spite of PROHIBITION (or perhaps because if it) we as a Nation begrudgingly accept alcohol as the Nation’s drug of choice.  And, at least in some conventional circles, are fighting to keep marijuana criminalized.

What’s up with that?

Is it thousands of special police units and federal agents would be sidelined, and the majority of non-violent offenders could be released from custody (and prison guards laid-off)?

I don’t want the car next to me at a traffic light to have a driver using marijuana, alcohol or mood-altering prescription drugs.  And I don’t want my neighbors to be meth, heroin, cocaine or alcohol addicts.  And I certainly don’t want any children using any of this stuff.

But we’ve already opened Pandora’s Box, and the so-called War On Drugs is a sham, and a waste.

Hell, a number of States have lowered the penalties for personal amounts, and a few have made it medically accessible.

Frankly, I don’t care if people have a real medical need, or just like to get high.  Just keep ’em away from me at intersections and we’re cool.

Let’s move toward legality, licensing and enforcing laws against unsafe drivers, instead.

And leave the old hippies at home alone.

It’s for the children.  (Liberty, Rights, The Constitution, and all that).

…and then, they died of an overdose…

My good friend Old NFO discussed this most recent of ‘infamous’ drug deaths.  I was reminded of the PBS Series on JAZZ.  They’d mention some historic jazz figure, and then, more often than not came this line:

…and then, they died of an overdose…

So sad.

Is it the artistic personality, fame, fortune or humanity which binds all these folks together?  Are we all, at our core, addicts of some sort?  (Wikipedia – List of Drug/Alcohol related deaths)

I come rife with an addictive personality.  I have excess weight, due to compulsive overeating.  I’m neurotic, but not particularly artistic.  My real mother died when I was in grade school as a direct result of her cigarette addiction.  She had emphysema. ( I remember her turning off the oxygen tank and lighting up!)  My father was an alcoholic, ate too much and smoked cigars.  I come by my addictions honestly.  Even though I’m getting ‘help’ for my addictions, in all seriousness, I don’t expect to see 85, like my maternal grandfather did.  My fraternal grandfather made it to 68.  My own father to 61.

I’m 61.

Today is my daughter’s birthday.  She would have been 31.  Auto accident, age 12.

At least it wasn’t drugs or alcohol.  😦

I love and miss you Molly!Molly birthday1

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”

(Michael Corleone – Godfather III)

Siddhartha reminded me (by commenting on recent post) about the seduction of certain foods and chemicals.  Drugs – certainly.

Coffee – the low end of the speed spectrum, I grant you – George Carlin

Some years back, I was on a ‘health food’ regimen.  The specifics aren’t important, but one of the many things I denied myself (after years of thoroughly enjoying it) was caffeine.

Withdrawal was, what’s the quaint phrase?  Hell-On-Wheels.

But after about six week of withdrawing from pretty much everything I liked, I suddenly awakened feeling better.  And speaking of awakening, I slept like a rock, no interruptions, and awakened refreshed and energized!

This was not the insomnia-ridden, no-bladder-control, wake up tired experience I was used to!

And it was marvelous.  For a few years.

But, all good things must come to an end.  One of the things I’d NOT denied myself was television.  And with television came commercials.  With all her sexy, image-laden taunts of cheeseburgers, doughnuts, steak, ribs, french fries, and pizza.  And most importantly coffee and soda.

And soon I had another troop of chemically-laden, empty-caloried monkeys on my back!  Caffeine (and other things) in all her glory.

I’ve been thinking about giving it up again.  At least the caffeine.  Certainly all the diet soda I consume cannot be healthy for me.  (Not to mention the chemicals).

But, not today!

St-Augustine

God give me chastity.  But don’t give it yet – Saint Augustine

(Now, seriously – where else will you see images of The Godfather and St. Augustine in the same essay?)

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…