Monday, May 25, 2015


I realize that on Memorial Day we are supposed to honor our war dead, march in parades and wave the flag. Politicians in particular like to do this,  but a lot of the rest of us are equally culpable. We have hot dogs, too, and watch the President lay wreaths on the "unknowns". I would imagine they are unknown because, as a nation, we are too goddamned cheap for DNA tests.
Let's take a moment, as we engage in our patriotic hoo-hah, to remember that conditions in most Veterans Hospitals are terrible, most Veterans benefits are all but decimated, mental health benefits for Veterans are either scarce to the point of non-existence or buried under so many layers of red tape that one has to wonder if it isn't intentional.
And we may also want to take a moment to consider that the reason for this national disgrace is the guy up there waving the flag the most vigorously.
It's easy to see who really supports the military,  it's the one whose voting record shows it. Don't bother looking  to see who waves the flag.
Look for the one to give a damn.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

I like to point out on this cloyingly sentimental day of days, that my mother despised Mothers Day. 
Hated it with a passion.
The cards, the cakes, the grave blankets all came in for a dose of scorn, but the worst derision was reserved for adult children.
"They drag these poor old souls out to the most crowded restaurants on the busiest day of the year to get cold food and lousy service, mostly because they feel guilty for treating them like crap the rest of the year."
You tell 'em, ma.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


This may surprise anyone  familiar with my socialist tendencies, but I like self-interest.
Enlightened self-interest, that is.
I wrote the other day that somewhere in the vicinity of 31 million Americans identify as being in recovery from addictions. If you look at the popular vote in the last presidential election, you'll see that the winning candidate received about 4 million more votes  than the loser. And as usual,  the total vote was  only a little more than a third of the total of eligible voters.
But that's beside the point, which is this.
There is an enormous amount of political power available right now, if recovering people are willing to grasp it.
Think of the possibilities. 
Every serious presidential candidate having to take a position on issues that involve recovering people.
Issues like availability of treatment, sentencing inequality, police brutality targeting addicts, discrimination and social prejudice. The list goes on and on.
In 2008 recovery meant rebuilding the country during a time of economic disaster.
In 2015, Recovery could be the banner under which recovering individuals join together in a spirit of enlightened self-interest.
It's time.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Addict To Addict Prejudices

I had a friend ran methadone clinics for years. She used to say that her clients were the "lepers of the Recovery Movement." At the time I thought she was being a little dramatic, but now, I'm not so sure.
Of all the things I write or speak about related to addiction and recovery, the use of medications as recovery aids is the most controversial. No contest.
Despite reams of research and thousands of case histories to the contrary, the responses I get to the most mild of posts about Suboxone or methadone or any of the other meds currently in use, are that these are clearly bad medicines.
They kill addicts, protract withdrawal,  cheat people of the opportunity for "real" recovery, and inevitably lead to relapse.
Ironically, most of these responders identify themselves as recovering addicts.
Yeah, that was a tough one to swallow.
Common sense would suggest that someone who had managed to put their addiction behind them would be the most open to the experiences of others.
Not so.
Users of Suboxone are welcome to attend 12 Step meetings, but not to share, lest someone get the "wrong" idea about recovery. Of course you can keep your mouth shut about your meds and engage in a "don't ask, don't tell" closeted recovery. As if addiction wasn't demeaning enough, it's pretty rough when the place that proselytizes "the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using" treats you like a 2nd class, well, addict.
An estimated 31 million Americans identify as being in recovery from addictions, and the means by which they have recovered are many and varied. We need a much broader definition of recovery that encompasses and respects all.
Enough of this silly and divisive nonsense about who is and who is not in recovery.