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Crack and Irack: Who Really Cares?

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by user Headoc

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Suffering from a bad case of writer's block for the past few days...

All I know to do is keep hitting the keys in hopes that some inspiration will come. Today was not a bad day as far as the types of cases seen. The only drug addict to enter the building today was not allowed access to me after reporting the theft of medications prescribed 3 days prior. It's hard to believe they try the same old tricks over and over. It is usually a good day when there are no addicts to see. I don't dislike dealing with all people that abuse drugs but if I had to choose one group to avoid this would definitely be it.

Sometimes in the next few months the 100th dismissal mark for the past year and a half for non-compliant substance abusers should be reached. I wish this meant that something great was due to happen but it is just another reminder of a limit for helping people. Three out of ten serious substance abusers have a realistic chance of a complete and productive recovery, no matter what approach is taken at treating them. Though genetic factors are significant, environmental conditioning seems to be the greatest barrier to overcome. When dope is used to cope their is little hope.

I'm trying to accept that the drug culture has always been among us and expected to always be. The U.S. is the greatest consumer of cocaine, opioid products, and alcohol on the planet. This really bothers me sometimes. I find that the real truth boils down to "who really cares?" There is no War on Drugs and never has been and I doubt there ever will be an effective one. I also find there to be two separate societies and economies. One is legitimate and the other more of a syndicate nature. Tons of drugs enter our country daily without much consequence. With all of the emphasis and modern technology available to fight the so called War on Terror it baffles me as to why the transporting of illegal drugs is not given some type of priority. This makes me more suspicious and likely to question whether economic gains are not at the root of both wars. Several political analysts have suggested evidence that naming a cause a war is primarily a means of legitimizing something to be milked financially. There is never any intent of winning from day one. Those of us in the legitimate branch of society must be extra careful to follow all of the rules because we can be regulated or punished with such ease if necessary since all of our demographic data is readily available via computer. This may not be so for big time criminals and what frightens me most about corruption in government.

Having a DEA license is really the only reason these matters have been introduced to me. Small time criminals are constantly on the hunt for doctors they may be able to extort drugs from since prescription drugs are currency for illegal drugs. At the bottom of the food chain are abusers of crack cocaine and crystal methamphetamine. These are the ultimate losers in society. Many are incorrigible and absolutely hopeless, in my opinion. I have found this addiction to be more devastating than terminal cancer or AIDs. These drugs attack the soul in a way that is unprecedented, stripping the individual of basic personality traits and eventually all values and morals. Biochemically, the nervous system is wrecked leaving the individual with the template for a paranoid schizophrenic in the untreated state. They become a hollow shell, caring about nothing but the next rock. They will steal the rent money, the food money, the money to care for the baby, the money in grandmother's purse; there are no limits at this stage of addiction. I know of mothers giving their children away and selling their bodies. The words from their mouths are worthless. Their urine drug screen will be positive though they will swear they do not use. Even seeing the evidence on the paper and being confronted with a 50 lb weight loss will not break through the denial and the lying. The death of friends also does not register in many for they truly believe death happens to someone else but not them. Everyone this person comes in contact with is affected negatively. Those who care are viewed as prey by the individual. This illustration represents the spiral downward of the crack addict. I am convinced that this particular drug stands alone in the havock it wreaks.

Opioid dependent people usually have a physiological dependence that can be safely managed. The social deterioration seen with cocaine is not always present with opioid dependence. Although I find that the patients who snort Tylox through a straw are often equivalent to crack addicts in behaviors and have few limits to what they might do. Many opioid dependent individuals can be maintained on methadone or bupenorphrine and are able to lead relatively normal lives. With the proper treatment the focus of their lives is no longer on obtaining drugs and the problem of involvement with a detrimental social circle can be eliminated. I find that many people self medicating with pain pills actually have underlying conditions that are treatable such as ADHD, PTSD, or a depressive or anxiety disorder. With addition of the proper treatment they can be tapered off the opioid medication sooner. Learning that the primary problem is not addiction sometimes can be a motivating factor for the patient.

Garden variety alcohol dependence is welcomed for treatment as opposed to treating cocaine addiction. Today there are clinically proven treatments that can greatly curb alcohol intake and essentially cure the disease in a highly motivated individual willing to participate in a reasonably comprehensive treatment program. Support groups and spiritual support are crucial components of a successful recovery. A monthly injectable form of naltrexone is available and proven to be effective in treating alcohol consumption. Campral and oral naltrexone also work if the patient can adhere to treatment. These drugs offer hope where there once was little hope for some with alcohol dependence.

Crack and Antisocial behavior are deadly in combination. There is no effective treatment to offer them. No one is safe around them. Our world has never before seen a chemical compound so ruthless and predictable in its effect. I have never been a judgmental individual but have developed a strong personal belief that a person choosing to smoke this drug repeatedly has signed their own death warrant and have sunk to the level of a common felon even before they start to regularly commit crimes. The drug seems to activate a gene of self destruction. I know of nothing more devastating than crack and crystal meth. Do you?





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