Wednesday, April 29, 2015

History repeats itself, and somehow we're shocked by it.

I posted on Facebook today that we would do well to remember the peaceful nebbishes of Occupy Wall Street, because the next group that shows up to protest is usually not so polite. At least that's what history tells us. Of course, we ignore that.
We ignore at our own peril, but ignore we do.
Why? Because we're stupid.
I choose that word carefully. Naive has a connotation of simplicity, ignorance cannot be helped.  But stupidity is different. We are willfully complicit in our own stupidity. We choose to be stupid. Stupidity is selfish,  vain and shortsighted.
We see what we choose to see, and turn our head to what we do not.
Occupy Wall Street was protesting the growing disparity, in this country,  between the rich and the rest of us. It protested the obvious unfairness between a CEO paying less taxes than his secretary. It protested the ongoing militarization of local police until they resembled an occupying army rather than cops on the the beat who knew every merchant by name.
How quaint. How '60s.
How fucking retro.
Who could take them seriously?
The oligarchy tolerated them for a while, then called out their bully boys and turned the fire hoses on them. They figured they would wash away like detritus on the pavement and come morning the streets would be pristine for the ruling class.
But now there's Baltimore.
And if we don't wise up, and begin to look at the issues that create a Baltimore, like racism, corruption, cop violence, poverty, plutocracy, we're going to experience a lot more.

A primal termite knocked on wood,
And tasted it, and found it good,
And that  is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.
                         ~Ogden Nash

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A recovering person walks into an Emergency Room...

...and what happens next ain't no joke.

Popular recovery wisdom suggests that you disclose to the physicians treating you that you have a history of chemical dependence or abuse. 
Sounds good.
But what happens next?
After decades of prescribing serious pain meds (the various 'codones and 'contins) the medical types are starting to wake up to the fact that people get hooked on them. And then what? Well, they show up looking for more where they got them--the Doc!

I am sure that no one needs me to explain the legitimate problem of the sick addict tying up a busy ER while looking for a medical fix. But what about the hapless soul who has worked hard to maintain recovery, only to be treated like the scammish conniving junkie they left behind years ago, just because they were honest enough to tell the truth about their history?

Fortunately, we are beginning to see some glimmers of common sense shining through the messy confusion in the way of ER protocols designed to accurately address the problem. It is possible to separate the med-seeker from the recovering individual in a dignified manner that allows both to get the treatments they need.

But let me be clear. These protocols, at this point, are a flashlight in a mine shaft.

The bigotry and ignorance couched in phrases like "once an addict, always an addict" are hard to eradicate. And the medical field is the same as any other in that respect.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Revival Maybe

So,  how come you stopped writing that great little blog, The Interventionist? Did you stop doing interventions? Go out of business? Dry up and have nothing to say?
What is this,  multiple choice? Okay, so I stopped writing for a while. What's the big deal?
You sound defensive.
Do not.
Do too.

That, or  some approximation, is what's been going on in my  head for the past year or so. It hasn't been resolved, but it is time to write myself out of a long dry spell. I started this blog with the intention of bringing addiction treatment into the 21st century.
I failed. Treatment remains as rooted in psychosocial superstition as ever.  Most rehabilitation centers are committed to methods consistently proven to be ineffective and dominated by finance rather than patient need.
It's time to begin looking at addiction and recovery in a new context.
A bigger context.