‘Let’s stop punishing people in pain,’ Letter to the Editor Urges Drug Reforms

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[Image by Conneec7 from Wikicommons

After a friend died of an overdose the day before yesterday, Brandon Salus wrote us this letter to the editor.

Dearest Humboldt,

We live in a culture doesn’t value life. We value dirty green paper. The more dirty green paper you can amass, the more value society places on you, your life, your rights. While we mourn our favorite artists and musicians, we step over the high school friend on the street as if he or she were invisible. Both self-medicating similar traumas. Let’s stop punishing people in pain. 

It often seems the harder one is consumed by this dis-ease, the harder we seek to punish. I fail to see the logic. When I adopted an abused and scared shelter dog I didn’t think to beat her when she cowered. But that is the exact approach we take to the man who had no parents, no love, no security for a still forming brain to grow. The speed of human evolution left us entering the world as near blank mental slates. Three months maternity leave falls somewhat short of the first three years, while totally necessary and thoroughly neglected. We offer no patience for the grown woman who was repeatedly raped by her own father, The man with the touchy feely step dad, nor the totally absent parents out trying to make the rent. Those whose mind never had the security required to wire correctly. The worse the addiction, the worse the childhood trauma. Bet that. 

Don’t expect your doctor to understand. It might not have come up in the couple of hours spent during the eight years in medical school. For the greatest hope there is still for the perfect pill. Morphine found useful in alcoholism, mostly as the alcoholic hits the streets looking to fight or fuck while the morphine addict wants to be left alone. Heroin seemed a promising cure for morphine addiction. Methadone and later buperenorphine for heroin. With each advance comes a stronger, more deadening, and increasingly harder drugs to detox. SSRI’s are of course the new answer for all ails.  

If we want to recover as a community I suggest taking the steps. Not the 12 that may help free an individual from years of guilt surrounding just surviving this dis-ease. Not the steps where one assumes personal responsibility for a profoundly sick society.   

1. Decriminalize ALL illicit substances. There is no war on plants. No war on molecular structure. There is a war on our friends, our brothers sisters classmates  coworkers children and grandparents. Take the nickel and dime cop game out of the equation. Police have no business addressing (read: arresting) the sick. A cop who spends his time sticking his hands in the pockets of the most vournerable is a thief. Racking up arrest stats, pocket change.. once in a while a god hit might lead to a couple G tax free pay day. Address addiction and its root causes as the biological-psychological-societal issue it is. 

2. Immediately release and drop charges on all low level sales and possession cases. The job market isn’t clammoring for employees who have chemical imbalances and dependencies on their public record. This is doctor/ patient confidentiality type sh*t… 

Only highly skilled trained and adept police, practiced at surveillance, retroactive investigations, execution of well written search warrants, Police who know how to prepare court documents and be an accountable witness. Target high end traffickers in drugs of abuse ONLY (The white collars: businessmen, politicians, developers, etc. The ones you are afraid to arrest as their city hall connections will have your badge). Every time I read the news and ensuing cheer of the arrest of another desperate drug addict arrested I’m absolutely astounded by the stupidity, the forebear of hate.. Do you think Mr. Street Bum flew the dope in on his private plane? Or just like to see the beaten get battered more? No low level drug arrests at all. Zero. Police target high end traffickers only. Prohibition does NOTHING to help the harm of addiction, only adds to the PRICE TAG and TOE TAGS. Insults to injuries. Bath Salts, Spice, Krokidil, and Carfentanyl are all far more dangerous than their prohibited predecessors. We already jail 1/4 of the worlds incarcerated peoples. This is what prohibition has done for us. Great for correctional officers and shareholders of private prisons… until it’s one of their kids found in the McDonalds bathroom with dirty needle in arm filled with toilet bowl water and fentanyl, because they lacked the political will to go forward with something as simple as a safe injection site. Research Insite in Vancouvers Downtown East Side if you doubt me. 

3. Push for more Psychedelic research and use in rectifying addictions. Whether to sex or shopping, cough syrup or nitrous, or money power and prestige… These molecules are still the most interesting and promising oft forgotten or outright dismissed tool in addressing addictions since Bill Wilson and Timothy Leary exchanged letters 60 years ago. If addiction is a mind caught in a detrimental feedback loop, tell me what else on earth can and will disrupt the minds set and settings than an appropriately employed psychedelic. Why are none of our officials pushing for Ibogaine Clinics? You want advice? That’s the BEST you’re gonna get. Ayahuasca and Ibogaine both incredible compounds subject to slander from the smallest minds among us. 

Why is it those with the LEAST to say seem to talk the most?

“LSD has been known to cause psychosis and paranoia in those who’ve never taken it” -Tim Leary (Though to be fair he denies saying it)

He did leave one thing out though.. before tuning turing and dropping… develop a craft. A trade. Like he and Alpert’s PHD’s. 

This leaves monies for some real–not spare–change. 

1. The Addicted:

 a. Safe use sites across the county where amphetamines, heroin, cocaine, methadone, etc. is given clean, sans street adulterants, sans dirty needles and blood stained gas station bathrooms. No need to break into homes for the flatware, no stolen cars sent to Bay Area chop shops, and no sex work for ones medicine. This is offered FREE OF CHARGE at supervised sites 3 x daily, with increased and improved counseling. What presently passes off as the California Addiction Studies Certification Program is a review of failed and tired tactics from physicians, parole officers, recovery center moguls, and the total farce called the DEA justifying paychecks and ensuring return visits. Research the correlation between Rehab stays and overdose deaths. Most drug overdoses happen directly after such a period of abstinence. After a month or two in a safe place, where life is given value–for a price of course, otherwise there’s the free rehab options which focus more on the value of Christ’s life and all he did for you–but on the upside if you do live through it for another $10k you can try again. And again. And again. And again. Think I’m exaggerating?  Man.. I must have left something out on the 4th Step.. because the program works for anyone who “is constitutionally capable of being honest with ones self”. Again, your pain is your fault. Let’s not look to a profoundly sick society for any answers. Trust me, this way’s easier. May be a lie… but easier. 

 b. Increased and improved supervised shelters/ safe camping sites for the houseless. It’s an ever increasing mass that cannot be ignored. County lands used for camping is A LOT cheaper than housing everyone at the Humboldt Hilton or continually cleaning up hazardous illegal campsites. Often the same sites, every week…Every. Single. Week. What’s the definition of insanity? Not the real one but the one used in 12 step groups.. At one time the South Jetty was as close to a working outlaw camp as ever existed in this century. I say that having had a car stolen there! Batman, the heavily tattooed mayor, wasn’t of much help. 

 c. Required *community orientated* jobs of anyone physically able. With the black market gone, safe housing and access to medicine now available::: TREATMENT BEGINS. For their clean housing and free medicine, addicts will be working for the city: Cooking at shelters, cleaning city parks and repairing playground structures, coaching after school sports, teaching arts at the senior center.. Everyone has a unique talent to offer.. and will do so. For the opposite of addiction is not abstinence, its HUMAN CONNECTION. Keep severing those ties from your addicted love one and exclaim expect death, either the addict, or that good natured part of yourself. Your choice, Tough love is an oxymoron. Being an integral part of something bigger than ones self is a prerequisite to happiness. To usefulness. To self and community worth.

 d. INCREASE PENALTIES ON ALL OTHER CRIMES: Most all crimes involve a victim and/ or violence. That is except for addicts,. (who are usually the victims of childhood violence seeking only relief from a life of pain and shame).. Theft, Rape, Burglaries, Assaults, Fraud, etc…if you’re still out there committing crimes with safe access to medicine, you need locked up. And without drug addicts counting the days till the next hit, there’ll be plenty of room for your extended stays. 

 e. Thinning the Herd (pun intended): There’s good reason why Police and Prison Guards Unions lobby so hard against the legalization/ decriminalization of drugs. There’s good reason police are called the biggest gang in America. Without the nickel bag cheap weak bullies arrests clogging the system, the cops who prefer to sit and wait to issue a seat belt ticket, or shoving their hands in a homeless mans pants in hopes of finding $5 worth of crack and a cheap stat= robbing taxpayers, making the streets LESS safe (High speed pursuits on the Avenue of the Giants?? The crime= Failure to Stop. Shootouts in midday downtown Eureka??) making an ever increasing force of lazy overweight grudge bearing trigger happy–because they lack proper combat skills NOR the discipline required for competent combat–incompetent police force ok? We won’t be needing you. With extra time and resources officers will have the opportunity to chase the big fish. The politicians. The developers. The open rape cases covered in a decades dust. Home invasions, property theft, the somehow still open ONE murder case in Arcata might be met with competence. Knowledge of retroactive investigations of heinous yet open unsolved crimes  Ability to correctly fill out and execute a warrant. We won’t need hiring sprees of anyone who can pass a pee test and a couple CR courses. It amazes me the folks we give a badge and a gun to. No more cheap cops or their cheap stats. No more over-weight under-qualified bullies. We won’t be needing you. 

Before Nixon and Anslinger’s wonderful war on the part of the population thoughtful enough to question an erroneous war, being a police officer was a respected position. As it damn well should be! 

(On that note I need to say I’m leaving race aside for now.. as the history between police and people of color is as despicable as it was 100 years ago. I find it interesting the NRA was formed in the early 1870’s. Probably just a coincidence, but this exactly when the KKK was outlawed, and black slaves were beginning to outnumber their masters. The NRA ensured blacks still could not own guns)

 e. USE EVERY TOOL in the Tool Belt; Ibogaine and Ayahuasca, TMS and DXM, ketamine, psilocybin, acupuncture, hikes, vision quests, sensory deprivation tanks, psychotherapy, art therapy, sweat lodges, maxed out bench presses, healthy non-processed foods, 12 step support groups and opportunities to serve others…we could increase the list ad infinitum. Present thinking won’t allow me to celebrate the years off cocaine and heroin as I do not adhere to this profoundly misleading statement: “A Drug is a Drug”. Right. And food is food so sit down and shut up it’s mutton and crickets for dinner. Just don’t put sugar on that plate as it’s not only the deadliest drug in the US, it also carries the highest public health costs of all others…combined. Whats that other one.. “Repeating the same thing and expecting different results”? Research, innovation, and implementation are the back bone of any company which seeks to succeed. 

2. The On Their Way

 a. Just Say Know. Drug education in schools that tells the Truth about everything from sugar (the gateway drug) to cannabis (an exit drug), gambling, shopping, copulating, and every other dopamine surging activity. Ritalin, Remeron, Serequel, Buspar Gatorade, and the new “cure-alls”, the SNRI and SSRI’s. You can’t fool the youth. Nancy Reagan tried that. I had her campaign slogan all over my room. “Just Say No”. From the day I tried cannabis and laughed harder and longer than imaginable, everything that came out of her mouth started to smell like actual human shit and every new drug I came across became grist for this mill. If she had been honest about the difference between cannabis and heroin, I might have never tried the latter. The latter might not have totally dominated 20 years of my 40 on this ride. To my mind she is responsible for more unnecessary deaths than her husband his vice and the vice’s son. 

(You can research the many mass school shootings and the current cure-all anti-depressant connection. As terrified as most doctors are now to dispense a single Vicodin, someone has these SSRI and SNRI’s flying off the shelves, and the kids taking em aren’t experiencing “slowed breathing” thank god. Just shooting up their schools). Morphine was once called Gods Own Medicine proving itself so valuable during the brutal Civil War. Still looking for that magic pill that might make a sentient person questioning a society that severely lacks it care just a bit less… but one that needs to be taken daily. You know.. this fiscal quarter need beat the last… sentient or not. 

Dear Doctors: There ARE miraculous medicines out there. Most have thousands of years of use behind them. Ibogaine, Ayahuasca, 5-MEO-DMT, Kambo, Cannabis, Kratom, Peyote, and Poppy tea.. but none come from the loving arms of big pharma, and none are required daily. Most more like once a year, or even once in a lifetime. Some are just tree leaves…and that doesn’t serve Your dealers needs.   

b. Youth centers across the County including everything from boxing to basket weaving to badminton, basketball, batik, baking, building, etc etc etc . What do THEY want/ need?? We ask Them and We provide. The same for seniors. The opposite of this scourge is connection. Everyone needs somewhere they can go and feel included, engaged, wanted. Many kids, seniors, and addicts do not get this anywhere. 

c. Mentors. Coaches, Sponsors. For All! Every kid has a unique talent but even the lucky few with both parents teachers and coaches around—specifically ones who have come to terms with their own issues first—so many go mentor-less, tutor-less, directionless. With the need for community and connection so important, without direction kids scramble to fit in somewhere. Gangs are taking up the slack as the most readily available ‘other’ option for community, for family, for purpose. Everyone wants to contribute something, some more than others, Let’s ensure everyone has that chance. Again, the opposite of addiction is not abstinence (a concept fully loaded with blanks) it is human connection. 

The Game: Get Paid

As still promoting itself as the “only game in town” 12-Step groups and themed rehabs often build and back a dangerous divide between modern medicine, modern thought, even modern myth and dogmatic belief the likes of which can be compared only to the Bible or the Quran. The all out refusal to accept new information is something to be seen. Mention Ibogaine in an NA meeting and see what I mean. Despite the research coming out (see this months ENTIRE National Geographic devoted to Addiction Research) Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation still isn’t available at any of the recovery centers I called about this piece. We’re not talking Schedule 1 ibogaine, for which there is still no excuse for everyone in said “recovery industry” to not be pushing for.. HARD. Anyone can get a device similar to rTMS. So what’s the wait? As hard as it can be to even get into rehab, it’s just a repeat of a repeat. I’ve seen Vicodin addicts come in and put on Suboxone. If you’ve done either you know one is MUCH stronger and it’s not Vicodin. I’ve seen alcoholics given Ativan (probably the worst choice with it’s quick onset and offset, severe peaks and valleys between doses. Librium is the gold standard,, I guess the manufacturers aren’t taking doctors golfing anymore.. I love it when a doctor tells me about a book he read in Africa after I just told him I spent the last 20 years there. The best ones, the ones I keep take notes as I talk. God Bless Em. Anyway, we hope you enjoyed your stay. Come back soon. 

Sugar boasts the highest death toll and public health costs of any drug in our country though you’d never know the way it’s consumed in recovery circles. That’s if you don’t include petroleum addiction, petrol and plastic. The neurological soup of pleasurable chemicals released when in love has caused a great many addicts to STAY CLEAN. Bill Wilson did not need to take a “War on Drugs” and its ramifications into account, BUT WE MUST. The best a collective of recovering addicts could come up with in writing the preamble to Narcotics Anonymous was Nixon’s Drug Scheduling? Cannabis is not heroin nor is it chocolate cake.  

But most importantly, the 13 year old girl who decides to stick a needle full of cocaine in her arm is not exactly like the 50 year old man that takes to the bottle after loosing his wife. An addict is not an addict anymore than a person is just a person and a dog just a dog. 

We are not “terminally” unique nor need we recover on the bones of others. 

WE ARE MARVELOUSLY UNIQUE. AND WE NEED EACH OTHER. 

Recovery is also not a contest. Life is not a contest. I really don’t care about your clean time other than to say I’m glad you’re alive and well today. When Darwin speaks of EVOLUTION, he speaks of Cooperation, not Competition. 

This idea that the woman in her 50’s, having traded self worth. home, children, work, friends, and will to live for HIV, Hep C, a 5 year prison sentence and an alley to sleep in and some new STD ravaging her pussy needs to hit bottom = Ludicrous. Exclusivity sucks, especially when it’s being served by bottom feeders. People genuinely happy with themselves feel no need to compare themselves to others. 

Anyone on whatever self selected or doctor prescribed medication they need to survive that day needs to have a voice and a seat SOMEWHERE. If you are going to call yourself the “only game in town” make THAT seat available and tell the 20 year member on repeat to keep quiet. Or at least update the preamble to read: “We see about 1/100 who commit themselves to this program make it to 5 years, 10/100 die in those 5 years, and the rest Mature Out. Yes the support system helps. It may need expansion. 

This is just a start. The problem runs so deep. The Need for More: gas, money, meetings, therapy, land, kids, sex, business, sweets, God, exercise, clients, paintings, praise, and especially shoes.. must be examined. I won’t suggest Ayn Rand unless you’ve a month to spare, but try reading Johann Hari or Gabor Mate: We are ALL somewhere on the addiction spectrum, indeed our economy would collapse were it otherwise. 

In a letter back to Europe an Early American writes something to the extent: 

The rivers here are so full of fish you can practically reach in and grab one. It’d hard to even row an ore through!

Love the player. Hate the game.

RIP HC. 

-B-Boy. (Brandon Salus) 

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58 comments

  • I was lost on what the hell is he talking about when he started with the beating of a rescue dog.

  • Not a single point that even comes close to touching reality. First a person might have had an ugly childhood but that does not account for the many people who had reasonably good childhoods and are still drug addicts passed out in the street. Nor that all the other siblings are fine and one not.

    Nor is a drug addict, supplied with everything they desire, still not a blight on the community. They still escalate their use, damage themselves repeatedly and frequently damage all those around them too. Maybe it’s best to keep as many from going there in the first place rather than spend limited resources on few who do.

    The ones I feel most sorry for are those hopefully few people with intractable pain who have to continuously jump through the government hoops to get the drugs they need for pain relief just because a few others need to be protected from their self inflicted addictions.

    • its the community that breeds this disease. these individuals are a product of a failed method of operation. some are strong and some aren’t. the US maps that detail the data used to make this determination make it a no brainer. I would focus on education and a path forward for the youth and not old failed methods that stroke the egos of the past. it will take 20 years if we start now. there is hope but only when you feel there is hope.

      • It breeds this disease by accepting, even glorifying, drugs. People should be scared crapless to even start down this road. Yet “education” has turned into trying to educate the successful into emulating the least successful. And that has turned out to be so much easier than “educating” the least successful into some self discipline. So the answer is run with that?

        As for methods- let me know when it moves from ineffective massage to reality. Having overwhelmed the old alternatives that involve some hard work like personal responsibility, this county could use a reality based method that requires no work, is paid for from the magic money tree, offends no one and the biggy- actually doesn’t make it worse for more people without making it better for anyone. Because that is what so many seem to demand- magic.

        Sounds noble. And certainly stands no chance of being tested so it can always remain unsullied by failure.

    • TA said “The ones I feel most sorry for are those hopefully few people with intractable pain who have to continuously jump through the government hoops to get the drugs they need for pain relief just because a few others need to be protected from their self inflicted addictions.”
      THIS!! So much this!!
      Those in severe pain suffer the most. They are never given the dosages necessary, which puts them in a constant frame of mind to take themselves out.
      It’s no wonder that many people think it’s a sick, disgusting, torturous scheme by sicko’s to make the gun controllers gun statistics rise higher. Those freaks will do anything at any cost, to disarm the avg American.

      • Ever had cancer? When I was in the hospital I didn’t want to take the morphine that the Dr. Said would help with the pain. So here it is six months later I’m still taking the morphine but still have bad bouts of pain,especially when after a chemo treatment my Immune system has crashed they give you a drug to make your bone marrow produce what is needed for your next treatment. I thought the pain was bad from the cancer,but this is maybe three or four times worse,you can’t eat,sleep,and morphine doesn’t touch it. So getting off this stuff is really going to be a party.

        • I’m sorry you faced such an awful tribulation in your own life, Steve.
          Your fear of addiction is stronger than your need for pain relief. There are others that are in deeper, stronger pain, who find it difficult to face another hour, and could care less if they have to face psychological or physical issues later. They just want and need relief right this minute. How dare you and others decide for them what they need and don’t need. All they care about at this moment, is safer, clean, pain relief than the street black tar variety they are forced to search out if their doctors cannot prescribe them the dosages they need.
          Individuals require individual attention, not collective self righteous attention.

        • I know what you mean. 2 time ca survivor 10 years out and still have severe pain, forced off meds 4 months ago due to drs fear of the dea. Am I coping, yes what other choice is there for someone who put themselves through ca treatment because they wanted to live? Much funtional, social, and other decline though and feeling hostile towards corrupt government willingly allowing so many to suffer needlessly. I’d like to beat them all to within an inch of their lives and deny them any relief I think about it when I’m forced to lay down several times a day. Hang in there you’re not alone

    • Actually each point and segment
      make very valid and direct points.
      Read it again. Or maybe you are just so righteous and sttaight edged that you are blind to this massive epidemic
      .. most likely you havent had a close friend or relative touched by the opiod pandemic. Hopefully you don’t but for freinds/family of user and users themselves this is a daily/hourly battle that they fight. The point made of this that really hits the head of the nail is that this ‘Drug War’ is being waged against peolple we know, love, work with or see on a daily basis.
      Reschedule drugs and change the point of offenses being major revenue hogs for the local court system and focus on the care, education and rehabilitation for or children, families co workers and friends that this situation affects.
      Simple.

  • Ok got one paragraph into story and had to stop…..Disease? Tired of self inflicted Disease, no such thing… You either stick a needle into your arm or you don’t… where is the disease? Your telling me that they have no other choose like when you have cancer or leukemia or other real diseases… Drug and acholics have a choose to either consume or not too….. Just because you want to does not make it a disease..

    • Many of us man have no more choice over addiction than we do our favorite color. Your favorite color is the result of innumerable causal factors, some of which are genetics and nearly all of which are beyond our control.

      • Some of us are so horrified that we have this weakness that we run like hell when exposed to it in the first place. It’s not that we are self righteous. It’s not that we don’t have weakness. It’s that we are scared of it in ourselves. Enough to back away from that road when it first appears.

        Maybe more scaring and less compassion would make compassion less necessary.

        • judgement and punishment do not improve maladaptive coping skills. Love and Compassion do. The social workers call it meeting people where they are. Simple analogy: If you meet a fifty year old illiterate man, which will improve his reading skills faster?
          A. Asking him if he has an interest in learning to read now.
          B. Listening to his fears that he can’t learn.
          C. Engaging him in simple pre-reading activities he can succeed at.
          D. Berating him for not paying attention in school 45 years ago.

      • Bull, just a cop out because some don’t want to quit but blame the addiction as no other choose… Been there done that clean 25 years… People have to quit giving excuses for behavior that can be changed with a little effort. No it’s not easy but what in life is. You either make up your mind to like or dislike whatever drug your on. you’ll never quit unless you makeup your mind and do so…..

    • You’re a Neurologist! I feel for those that will die tonight thanks to your education.

  • Lots of good ideas here, most of which represent a paradigm shift from our present course of punishing and imprisoning folks with mental health issues and/or drug abuse issues. Keep advocating for real solutions, because current programs are ineffective and needlessly expensive. It is cheaper and more compassionate by far to address the underlying problems head on instead of warehousing the ill in prisons or discarding them on the streets. I agree that sugar is really bad, but I do so love my chocolate cake.

  • The best stuff I’ve read on this issue in a while.
    To you who think this person has it wrong, your ignorance and lack of both understanding & compassion are your most visible qualities.
    This guy is exactly right.

    • This is what always happens. Some one who complains the loudest about other people’s lack of compassion does it by the worst of simple minded insults instead of debate.

    • I just knew that you would have an intelligent and coherent response! You rarely let me down. Have you checked out the (successful) experiments with this problem in Canada? Although it got addicts off the streets, out of crime, and successfully employed, the funding for it was eliminated by the folks listed in my response below. Stay sane, af

    • Agreed, very good stufd here .. and we can see here in the replies, the ignorance and naivety of or local population. Major factor in why this is still such a massive problem here, that is not being addressed by our citizens in power.

  • It’d be nicer for the rest of us if the author kept their ramblings to themselves or shared with their still-using friends at campfire side. This is an ill-disguised attack on the “system” and tries to promote free drugs, no self responsibility, ad nauseum. No thanks. I feel for the authors pain with losing a friend, but that’s the only common ground I could find.

  • fuckwalterwhite.com

    Sounds like a plan that 20 years of H came up with…

  • I am overwhelmed by how misguided this all is. Thanks for your twisted view!

    I hope you get clean, get help, get serenity. Giving addicts whatever they want is no way to help.

    Recovery takes a sincere desire to live. Admit you are powerless, accept your situation, get into rehab.

    Good luck!

  • Try finding one social experiment to create a perfect (or even simply better) society that has worked without either dissolving in chaos or deteriorating into the ugliest of dictatorships. For all the glorious possibilities in a believer’s mind, it is a mirage. People simply resist being perfected. Especially when they are horrified at what is considered perfection.

    The hard scrabble free for all within some limits already has proven itself to give the best possible life to the most people. Not perfect, just the best that can be done. The minute someone who thinks that they need to impose a ‘better way’, things go to hell in a hand basket.

    But if we are creating fantasies, I have one where everyone avoids drugs of every kind unless medically necessary for physical survival. Where everyone takes responsibility for their own life. There, problem solved.

  • Word limits on submissions for good reason

    That’s not a letter. It’s a book. Please edit for brevity and clarity.

  • Major resources for 1st conviction- Rehab w/ mental health care, housing and a job. Respect to be earned and a warm welcome back. 2nd conviction- Serious longer rehab, forced sterilization, strict supervision in a probation program with a job. Then a warm welcome back to society….3rd offense- Death. Just kill them. Honestly- what are we doing here? Major overpopulation on this planet is killing us all and everything else. We need to get a strong grip and stop enabling everybody doing whatever they want while pumping out more neglected children.

    • I second that emotion. Simple, direct, effective.

    • Conviction of what? Using? Selling? Killing someone?

      I can’t tell for sure but I suspect you are being sarcastic. Your remarks are too out there to be otherwise. I think. But then who knows who a person is on a comment section.

      • Using or selling. Maybe distribution of large amounts should be death penalty on 2nd offense. No sarcasm at all. No- these thoughts aren’t that far out there. Many of us are done. No I don’t have a full plan-just throwing it out there for consideration…Yes I think we should spend resources to seriously help out those who fall into addiction. What we have now is obviously not helping much. There should be beds available at rehabs when an addict decides to clean up and as a society we should provide jobs/ housing in a safe environment for them to be successful. But at some point we need to protect society itself from those who choose consistently to throw themselves way. If you have a better idea -please, by all means let’s hear it. I like my idea the more I tell it to people and the more they agree!

  • “The more dirty green paper you can amass, the more value society places on you, your life, your rights.”

    While I think this is generally true, it is not highlighting the reason that homeless criminals are looked at with disdain. It is not a matter of financial status but personal responsibility. The decisions not to litter, not to be rude by jay walking, blocking sidewalks, aggressive panhandling, disturbing the peace, ect.

    We find poverty uncomfortable and undesirable, but it is rudeness that makes so many dislike the “homeless”.

  • Sick person. Needs help. Typical of RHBB to run this deluded, psychotic POV.

  • Only help those who are willing and trying to help themselves.

  • The writing is too poor. It is too annoying to read. If you are going to publish something, have at least two people read it first. The entrance structure and organization of thoughts here are terrible.

  • Local Observer said “A drug dealer convicted of manslaughter when one of his customers overdosed on fentanyl has been sentenced to serve 8-10 years in prison.” this is what educated people do.

    Do not forget that the fentanyl was invented by a drug corporation. The drug corporations are the biggest drug pushers. Why else would doctors be writing more opium prescriptions than there are people in certain areas and selling more pills in a city than that city can choke down?

    • I agree, but my point was about how locals are handling the problem at the community level. if you want to read what I call “this is what uneducated people do”, read the comments on the 9-26 Time-standard article about fentanyl in meth, which I’m sure is just a cross contamination issue and not actually added on purpose. all opiates were created by the government for the purpose of wartime field kits. the longest war in US history is directly related to the control of wartime drugs.

  • That’s exactly what killed my cousin. He felt hopeless,no where to turn and then he’s gone! Remember hot shots?just stronger drugs now😭

  • How about feed a hungry child first?

  • Thank you so much for posting this succinct message of truth. I’ve taken the time to fact-check it, and you are spot on.
    The drug “war” is fueled by the self-righteous, deliberately dumbed-down, anal-retentive idiots who have infested our entire system of justice. They feed on it, they elected a president, and they are well exposed in your letter.
    Toss in the impacts of Imaginary Friends (embedded in early childhood) and we head directly to fascism and the demise of our country as we know it. The Drug Wars are merely a symptom of a far, far worse ‘Mercan disease.
    Thanks again.

  • I don’t agree with everything in this post and truthfully I might not understand some of it, but what we, as a society, are doing now to solve this scourge is definitely not working. Some steps make sense.

  • What an embarrassment some of these postings are. There is apparently a group of people who blame the government, the pharmacy industry and every other human not in agreement with their beliefs for addiction problems.

    Strangely enough, from looking the posting here on pot, they seem to be the same set as those who think the government, the pharmacy industry, and every other human not in agreement with their beliefs are to blame for the oppression of that righteous beneficial medicine marijuana.

    An odd world of giant conspiracy theories in which the individual is never responsible for their own actions. That all are helpless in the face of the high and mighty. That none can resist. And none have wisdom except those few who know The Truth of Who Is To Blame. Yet simultaneously the ones who do resist are condemned as the Tools of the One Who Are To Blame. A lose- lose. The ones who have avoided the problem are the very ones who should never be heard.

    If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, is it the fault of the government, the pharmacy industry and those not political correct?

  • Rehab should be 3 hot meals and a cell , cheap and simple and effective, you took drugs to escape reality, well now its back to reality your gonna dry out for the next 3 weeks without any drugs, I promise you will never want to go through this again, cured , that simple , oh shit , how many people making millions on rehab did I just put out of work, if an addict was made to dry up without any drugs I bet the success rate would be 60 to 70 percent , so simple , I guess borderline inhumane , but effective and low cost

  • Zippy: Fentanyl may be being abused by some. However, when my daughter was in the burn unit with third degree facial burns and shrapnel wounds, fentanyl was the only thing that could take the edge off long enough for her to scrape (twice daily) the scar tissue that was forming on her face so that she wouldn’t have horrendous scarring. Auto makers make cars, but not every owner commits suicide or takes death defying risks with their vehicle.

  • John Hardin and then this…

  • Very heartfelt and sincere.

  • Proud Deplorable Grandma

    Well I’m definitely a rarity. I take opiates every day for chronic pain and have for 7 years. I have not escalated my usage. I am a conservative and I paid for my niece’s rehab at Singing Trees 4 years ago.

    Something needs to be done, but giving addicts or potential addicts free rein with free drugs is not it. Can you imagine how many more addicts we would have?

    My conservative thought: Support families, young families with job training and reduced fee child care.

    So yes, I disagree with the letter and yes I have experienced close relatives/friends with addiction issues.

  • Ok so it needs editing. What was composed for another occasion got sadder madder and meaner after hearing of this friends death… just months after *another* 10k round at rehab.
    An action even those of the most high and righteous among us would call: Trying to Help Himself.

    Happy people generally feel no need to trample or dismantle the lives or minds of others. Thanks for the congrats on the years off Heroin. I overstand, we all do the best we can with what we have…

    The point is, after a co-worker asked me to care for the “colored” fellow and another if the brie was cheesecake I was really comforted. Some folks tool belt looks very very different than others.

    Anything you question outta sentience you can find below from the UN, WHO or the Drug Policy Alliance.
    Or… keep doing the same thing and expect different results!

    Sorry to say the fentanyl dealer was replaced by the time you finished that senten

    http://www.drugpolicy.org/resource/its-time-us-decriminalize-drug-use-and-possession

    http://www.unodc.org/documents/ungass2016//Contributions/Civil/Count-the-Costs-Initiative/AWDR-exec-summary.pdf

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2017/discrimination-in-health-care/en/

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