EppsNet Archive: Drugs

P.J. O’Rourke, 1947-2022

 

Like many men of my generation, I had an opportunity to give war a chance, and I promptly chickened out. I went to my draft physical in 1970 with a doctor’s letter about my history of drug abuse. The letter was four and a half pages long with three and a half pages devoted to listing the drugs I’d abused. I was shunted into the office of an Army psychiatrist who, at the end of a forty-five minute interview with me, was pounding his desk and shouting, “You’re fucked up! You don’t belong in the Army!” He was certainly right on the first count and probably right on the second. Anyway, I didn’t have to go. But that, of course, meant someone else had to go in my place. I would like to dedicate this book to him. I hope you got back in one piece, fellow. I hope you… Read more →

San Fransicko by Michael Shellenberger

 

From a podcast featuring Michael Shellenberger: Progressives have controlled California for decades. Democrats have a supermajority in Congress. We spend more than any other state per capita on homelessness and mental illness, and we have the worst outcomes. So I wanted to write “San Fransicko” to both get to the bottom of what’s really going on and also figure out what the solutions are because, obviously, we’re dealing with a catastrophe. I mentioned drug overdose deaths rose from 17,000 to 70,000 by 2017. Last year, drug deaths were 93,000, which is almost three times as many people than die from car accidents and four times as many people as die from homicide. Clearly, we are in the midst of a massive drug crisis, and it felt like nobody was offering a particularly clear explanation of it or offering very good solutions. San Francisco remains one of the most spectacularly beautiful… Read more →

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Accidental Overdose

 

I hardly ever the word “overdose” by itself anymore, as in “so-and-so died of an overdose.” It’s always “so-and-so died of an accidental overdose.” Isn’t that redundant? If you want to put it that way, wouldn’t the only alternative be an intentional overdose? Which would be a suicide. The word “overdose” implies accidental. Someone tried to make themselves feel better in a high-risk way and miscalibrated. So it’s either a suicide or an overdose, not an “accidental overdose.” End of story. Read more →

Will $5 Billion Solve LA Homelessness?

 

Rep. Lieu seeks to fight homelessness with a $5 billion federal program — smdp.com Rep. Lieu is Ted Lieu, who represents California’s 33rd District, encompassing the coastal areas of Los Angeles from Palos Verdes through Malibu, including Santa Monica, where I currently live. Who’s going to pony up the $5 billion, Ted? You, or you’re going to stick it to the taxpayers? The bill would authorize $1 billion in grants annually for five years for local governments to spend on supportive housing models with comprehensive services and intensive case management. Are there examples of this kind of plan actually working somewhere? Because I can give you examples of plans that don’t work right here in your district. There isn’t a Republican elected official for 100 miles. The LA mayor is a Democrat, every member of the city council is a Democrat, any proposal they want to implement, there’s no one… Read more →

Some People Need More Help to Calm Down

 

Ric Flair‘s son, Reid Flair, died of an overdose of heroin, Klonopin and Xanax. It seems like one alone would be sufficient but he evidently needed more help than most people to calm down! (The death occurred in 2013 but I just read about it this week.) Read more →

Two People Who Look Younger Than 60

 

The pharmacist, in the process of checking my records, seems to have done a calculation on my age . . . “You look much younger than 60,” he says. “Thanks, so do you.” “I’m 37.” “Well, that explains it.” Read more →

Starbucks Open-Door Poses Challenge

 

After a much publicized confrontation in a Philadelphia store last year, Starbucks now aims to ensure all visitors to its cafes are treated like paying customers, regardless of whether they purchase anything. All visitors can now use cafe bathrooms and also occupy tables. That policy has brought its own challenges, says a new report in Bloomberg, particularly for baristas and other staff who are forced to regularly confront drug use, homelessness, and mental illness. LinkedIn Read more →

The People I Feel Sorry For

 

According to 2016 and 2017 data from HHS.gov, 11.4 million people misused prescription opioids. That doesn’t include 886,000 people using heroin, which is not available via prescription. The people I feel bad for are the ones who are not addicted to opioids. There’s so much anxiety and loneliness in life. How do you get through it without a little help? Read more →

Terrifying Xanax Resurgence!

 

You know what’s good when you’re terrified? Xanax! Read more →

Oh by the Way, Doc . . .

 

I walked by a TV playing a pharmaceutical advertisement . . . Before taking [drug name], be sure to tell your doctor if you’ve had a liver transplant. Shouldn’t your doctor know if you’ve had a liver transplant? Read more →

A Keyword Search = Advanced Machine Learning?

 

A team of researchers at UC San Diego has used “advanced machine learning” to develop technology that mines Twitter to identify entities illegally selling prescription opioids online. Apologies to everyone involved if I’m misunderstanding the media release, but the advanced machine learning seems to consist of looking for tweets that contain any of the keywords codeine, Percocet, fentanyl, Vicodin, Oxycontin, oxycodone or hydrocodone and include a hyperlink. Read more →

Cocaine, Heroin, Ecsatsy

 

In case you hadn’t noticed, being alive is difficult and probably overrated. Why not take all the drugs you can? Just playing devil’s advocate here . . . Read more →

What Would You Charge for an EpiPen?

 

I don’t mean hypothetically, I mean I literally want to buy an EpiPen from you right now. My kid got stung by a bee, his face is swelling up like a balloon and his lungs are about to shut down. I see a lot of people are mad at Mylan for charging $600 for EpiPens but they don’t seem to be mad at everyone else in the world who won’t sell them an EpiPen at all. Not to mention, $600 for a life-saving treatment seems like a pretty good bargain to me. Hillary Clinton has called for reducing the price of EpiPens. Hillary Clinton has never lifted a finger in a productive enterprise in her life. She will not sell you an EpiPen no matter how much you want or need one. If the amoral profiteers at Mylan have an obligation to sell cheap EpiPens, why doesn’t Hillary Clinton? Why… Read more →

Programmer or Parolee?

 

Our office building is next door to a probation field office . . . I have a game I play in the parking lot each morning: Programmer or Parolee. I spot someone, guess if he’s here for a programming challenge or a meeting with his parole officer, then wait to see if he shows up in our office. If a methed-out skinhead comes in for a programming challenge, I lose today’s game. Read more →

Free Advice on Free Advice

 

Today a colleague offered to fix the pain in my shoulder. “Sounds like a problem with the connective tissue,” he said. “I can push it back into place.” “No,” I said. “No no no no no no no.” “Why not? Are you homophobic?” “Not wanting you to touch my shoulder is not homophobic.” Also this guy is not gay. “You don’t trust me?” “I was trying to think of a nice way to say that.” “I have a gift for this. I’ve helped a lot of people.” “You might be able to fix it. Probably you could. On the other hand, you might, just perhaps, push on it the wrong way and I lose the use of my left arm. Not worth the risk.” He then recommended that I go to a health food store and buy some red something-or-other algae to use as an anti-inflammatory. Which I’m not going… Read more →

A Couple of Random Thoughts on Gun Control

 

Laws don’t turn crazy people into good citizens. What reasons are there to think that gun laws would make it difficult for anyone to obtain a gun? We’ve had a War on Drugs for decades. How difficult is it to obtain illegal drugs? Read more →

25 Concepts to Facilitate Judicious Use of Psychiatric Drugs

 

I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night . . . I also took a Colgate University class on medicating for mental health and judicious use of psychiatric drugs. A psychiatric medication is only one useful tool among a collection of useful tools. Remember to also consider non-drug options for therapy. The benefits of psychiatric medications are always accompanied by risk. Become familiar with the potential risk of your medication. Be alert to potential risks that might be intolerable to you. Establishing a diagnosis is a difficult and imperfect task, but it establishes the starting point for determining which treatments are appropriate. Engage your physician or a psychologist in a dialogue regarding the structure of your treatment program. Be an active participant in establishing the structure of that program. Having confidence that your treatment program will… Read more →

Lose the Pastels and the Mopey Attitude

 

Americans love gay people. Since this photo has been posted, it has 60,000 shares, 60,000 comments (including presidential candidates) and 640,000 (that’s six hundred and forty thousand) likes. In the short time since the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling there’s been a national competition to see who can demonstrate the most elation about it. (OK, if you’re gay, a few bad apples will dislike you based on that alone but that’s true if you’re identifiable as a member of any group, which we all are.) I’m afraid about the future. I’m afraid people won’t like me. Leave out the part about being homosexual and you could post a picture of anyone. The percentage of Americans who can’t get through the day without medication — I’m including self-medication via alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, food, etc. — is a lot closer to 100 than it is to zero. Nobody’s life is a fairy… Read more →

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