Tag: Addiction

1 in 5 deaths of US adults 20 to 49 due to Excessive Drinking

An estimated 1 in 5 deaths of people ages 20 to 49 were attributable to excessive alcohol use in the United States, according to the study published Tuesday in JAMA Network Open. For people ages 20 to 64, drinking-related deaths accounted for 1 in 8, the study said.

Increased alcohol use linked with higher risk of cancer in new study
The percentage of deaths attributed to alcohol use varied state by state, but nationally it’s a leading cause of preventable death, said lead study author Dr. Marissa Esser, who leads the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s alcohol program.

1 in 5 deaths of US adults 20 to 49 is from excessive drinking, study shows
Madeline Holcombe
CNN

NOTE – Google *AA meetings near me* if you are interested in sobriety.

The Way We Interpret the Silence Around Us Reflects the Way We Understand the World

…so he died dry, sober, full of hatred for the old drinking self that had wasted twenty years of his life, and still waging a pitiful last campaign against his smoking self – giving up on his deathbed. It was a chosen death, as a matter of fact, he was offered either a few months lingering helplessly, rasping out short, stabby breaths, or a double or so ration of morphine and an immediate release. It was a decision he made in clear consciousness, to that extent an enviable death, but it was slightly marred, in my view, by his wife’s odd sense of style. As he was slipping from the scene, she pressed into one hand a glass of whisky, and between the fingers of the other, a lighted cigarette, thus turning him in the last moments of his life, when too enfeebled to resist but still conscious enough to be aware, into an advertisement for the two things that had destroyed his life. Though I suppose if he’d been photographed and circulated, he might have served as the ghastliest of warnings – look what I’ve done to myself, and with both hands – she described the doing of it, the getting of the lighted cigarette between his fingers, the curling of his fingers around the glass – she’d poured the whisky in after she’d got the glass firmly settled, she said – I asked her with what tenderness I could muster why she’d done it, well, she said, well, that’s how she remembered him in his heyday, when she first met him (both in their mid-forties, divorced, with children), for her he’d been the most glamorous, flamboyant, chain-smoking, whisky-guzzling – and that’s how she’d go on thinking of him, that’s how he’d like to have gone out, didn’t I think so? `He wouldn’t have been seen dead -‘ I wanted to say, but couldn’t, as actually he had been, pretty well – also she was brimming with grief, exhilarated with it, as people sometimes are when they assist a loved one to cross the line, and she had a theatrical background (her father had been famous in musical comedy) and so what could I say – well, volumes, really, but I didn’t, hoping that a brief silence would also be a deep and eloquent one. `I knew you’d approve,’ she said, confirming Wittgenstein’s remark, which I usually think is nonsensical, that our understanding of the world depends on the way we interpret the silence around us.

The Smoking Diaries
Simon Gray. The Smoking Diaries

Covid and Alcohol Related Deaths

Almost a million people in the United States have died of Covid-19 in the past two years, but the full impact of the pandemic’s collateral damage is still being tallied. Now a new study reports that the number of Americans who died of alcohol-related causes increased precipitously during the first year of the pandemic, as routines were disrupted, support networks frayed and treatment was delayed.

The startling report comes amid a growing realization that Covid’s toll extends beyond the number of lives claimed directly by the disease to the excess deaths caused by illnesses left untreated and a surge in drug overdoses, as well as to social costs like educational setbacks and the loss of parents and caregivers.

Alcohol-Related Deaths Spiked During the Pandemic, a Study Shows
The deaths were up 25 percent in 2020 compared with 2019, amid heightened stress factors and delayed treatment, according to a new report.
Roni Caryn Rabin

Drugs and Alcohol, Effect of – Quotes on

“He was 13 when he tried his first sip of booze. To his enormous relief, he found it made that tense feeling disappear. “I always describe it as my first ‘spiritual experience,’ ” he says. “It just made sense to me. Suddenly, I had a freedom from thinking, from uncomfortability. I felt OK in my skin — and I hadn’t really felt that before. I thought, ‘Oh! This is how you do life!’””
Nick Stahl on Addiction That Nearly Killed Him: “I Never Had a Brake Pedal”
Nick Stahl

“Heroin could magically take away whatever was bothering me, even if I didn’t know it was bothering me. It felt like a warm blanket, and I thought, Thank you, warm blanket. It protected me from my father’s rage, my grandfather’s rage, and then my own. But pretty soon that warm blanket started strangling me.”
Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood
Danny Trejo, Donal Logue

“If you’re ever driving down the freeway and it’s pouring rain, and the rain is beating on the top of your car and it’s so loud and so heavy and so chaotic, and then you go under a bridge and for a moment, it’s quiet, that’s what heroin was to my traumatized heart. Immediately, for the first time, I did not feel all the why’s and what’s of what happened in my life. And I fell in love with that.”
Handcuffed and Unhoused
As homelessness rises, unhoused people often get entangled in a criminal justice cycle that leads back to the streets – or worse.
Kristle Delihan

“He always enters the house as though he were entering it with the intention of tearing it down from inside. That is how he always enters it except when it’s after midnight and liquor has put out the fire in his nerves. Then he enters the house in a strikingly different manner, almost guiltily, coughing a little, sighing louder than he coughs, and sometimes talking to himself as someone talks to someone after a long, fierce argument has exhausted the anger between them but not settled the problem.”
The Man in the Overstuffed Chair
Tennessee Williams

“I had told myself that I’d never try heroin because it sounded too perfect. It’s like “warm, buttery love,” a friend told me.

When I did yield to temptation — in a fit of rage over a boyfriend’s infidelity in the mid-1980s — that’s what I experienced. It wasn’t euphoria that hooked me. It was relief from my dread and anxiety, and a soothing sense that I was safe, nurtured and unconditionally loved.

Science now shows that this comparison is more than a metaphor. Opioids mimic the neurotransmitters that are responsible for making social connection comforting — tying parent to child, lover to beloved.”
Opioids Feel Like Love. That’s Why They’re Deadly in Tough Times.
Maia Szalavitz
Ms. Szalavitz writes about addiction and public policy.

“The crackling sound from the torched rock in its receptacle and the sight of the glass tube filling up with smoke that smelled both sweet and acidic was mesmerizing. I inhaled. The high I experienced from that first hit of crack was one of the most euphoric sixty seconds I had ever felt. My senses sharpened and I felt stronger than fucking Atlas. I found myself horny. I was filled with a powerful feeling that I could accomplish anything.

The resultant crash was just as extreme. It seized my whole body in an acute and all-encompassing craving.

“Hey, Phillipe! Set me up again, okay?”

He gave me a sizable rock and I dove headfirst into another hit. Ahhhhh, I thought, this shit is good!

Crack accentuated everything in a good way. The features of the girl’s drab, cookie-cutter apartment suddenly became beautiful. The Formica-topped island that separated the kitchen from the living room suddenly took on architectural perfection, a use of space so logical and brilliant its beauty blew me away. What had at first glance looked like an ugly orange shag carpet was now as magnificent as a priceless Persian masterpiece in the window of an expensive Beverly Hills rug shop. The traffic I could hear outside on Hollywood Boulevard transformed from a noisy nuisance to a source of enchantment: I wondered where these people might be headed. Maybe some of them were on crack, too, and as happy and elated as I was!”
It’s So Easy: and other lies
Duff McKagan

see also:  Drunk as Mystical State – William James

50 Years of the War on Drugs

Hinton has lived his whole life under the drug war. He said Brownsville needed help coping with cocaine, heroin and drug-related crime that took root here in the 1970s and 1980s.

His own family was scarred by addiction.

“I’ve known my mom to be a drug user my whole entire life,” Hinton said. “She chose to run the streets and left me with my great-grandmother.”

Four years ago, his mom overdosed and died after taking prescription painkillers, part of the opioid epidemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Hinton said her death sealed his belief that tough drug war policies and aggressive police tactics would never make his family or his community safer.

Brian Mann
Morning Edition

Drug Use in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — In early 2019, a formerly homeless man named Tom Wolf posted a thank-you on Twitter to the cop who had arrested him the previous spring, when he was strung out in a doorway with 103 tiny bindles of heroin and cocaine in a plastic baggie at his feet.

“You saved my life,” wrote Wolf, who had finally gotten clean after that bust and 90 days in jail, ending six months of sleeping on scraps of cardboard on the sidewalk.


Drug overdoses killed 621 people in the first 11 months of 2020, up from 441 all last year and 259 in 2018. San Francisco is on track to lose an average of nearly two people a day to drugs in 2020, compared with the 178 who had died by Dec. 20 of the coronavirus.

“If we didn’t have Narcan,” said program manager Kristen Marshall, referring to the common naloxone brand name, “there would be no room at our morgue.”

San Francisco struggles to stem ‘horrific’ uptick in opioid overdoses, drug abuse
Rachel Scheier
Los Angeles Times

An addict is an egomaniac with low self-esteem

“Of course, I wasn’t seeing it so clearly then, I was so fucked up on alcohol and heroin. You know that saying, Zesty, that at the core, the best definition of an addict is an egomaniac with low self-esteem?
I nod, smoke.
“Well, then, you have a good picture of what I was.”

Abramowitz, Adam. A Town Called Malice
A bike messenger navigates Boston’s gritty underworld of gangsters and blood money in this novel with more twists and turns than Boston’s streets, in Adam Abramowitz’s A Town Called Malice.

Former Parole Officer Reflects On His Time Supervising ‘The Second Chance Club’

Four and a half million Americans are on probation or parole — more than twice the nation’s jail population. Parolees and probationers are required to check in regularly with officials, who are charged with helping them rebuild their lives.

I got the book after hearing this interview. It was quite good.
The Second Chance Club: Hardship and Hope After Prison
Jason Hardy
Amazon

Compare and Despair

But no matter; I could still find a way to make my relationship with Facebook dysfunctional.

I started using it in a manner many people, alas, seem to: as reading material as I pored through other people’s posts in order to, as people in recovery say, “compare and despair.” Everyone I knew, it seemed, had a book being made into a movie, a perfect husband and even more perfect child or the best friends in the world. Even though I understood that Facebook life wasn’t entirely reflective of real life, I still allowed myself to either seethe with jealousy or, far more commonly, use what other people seemed to be achieving as an emotional sledgehammer to beat myself up.

I’m relieved to report that my compare-and-despair habit diminished exponentially once I realized that we all have issues and most of us wouldn’t trade ours for anyone else’s if we actually knew other people’s real stories.

David, Anna. How to Get Successful by F*cking Up Your Life: Essays on Addiction and Recovery