Archive for September, 2009

Me.Want.Now! The Overindulgent Mind of an Addict.

Posted in Drug Reform with tags , , , , on September 24, 2009 by corecompany

fykid

Instant gratification is something that plagues us all.  In a world of texting and instant messaging it is easy to get used to that kind of time and yet it’s not realistic. Delaying gratification is something that all drug addicts in recovery must learn.  They must get used to a pace of life that is slow and frankly, boring to them.  Try as they might, one of the difficulties of sustainable recovery is that NOTHING will ever feel as good as the DOC (drug of choice for you outsiders).  Patience is not the strong suit of any addict. Sometimes I think addicts can me summed up in three words: ME (self centered in the extreme) Want  (addicts are a black hole of want) Now (waiting? Ummm, no). ME.WANT.NOW! Sound like an overindulged child? Yes, I know.

            Even when people have been sober for a while, these characteristics are prevalent.  Often in a subtle way.  In recent months I have paid close attention to Gil Kerlikowske and the office of Drug Czar. I thought that under a new administration, we would have new policies. I wanted this for treatment providers, for families, for addicts, for all of us. I wanted this now. The truth is we have been in this drug war mess since Nixon. Did I really think Gil would change this in a few months? It’s a frustrating situation but he has already come a long way. He has publicly supported recovery high schools, called for an end to the drug war and yesterday in the Miami Herald Gil said, “draconian sentencing laws aren’t helping us win the drug war”.

            So, brick by brick my citizen. Recovery is a long slow process and recovery from the endless drug war won’t be an exception.  Of course I want this changed now. I don’t like waiting and sometimes, without even knowing it, the entitlement of what I want dressed up as being a warrior for the greater good wins. In other words, Thanks Gil, keep up the good work!

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Jim Carroll, Author of Basketball Diaries, Dies of Heart Attack

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2009 by corecompany

jimcarrol

All cultures have their hero’s and 12 steppin’ rehabbers are no different. At any youth oriented program there are obligatory copies of angst driven prose, some indulgent and overly dramatic, some not. What drug addict worth his or her diagnosis hasn’t read “I don’t want to live this life” written by Nancy Spungens mother or “No one here gets out alive” The bio of Jim Morrison? It’s not an accident that lyrics of many artists reflect the insatiable demands of the world that many addicts feel. There are those who say these artists are damaging, glorifying drugs and drug use. I say, they give misfits permission to live.

            For the literate addict, Jim Carroll is the poet laureate.  He is the thinking man’s Henry Rollins. His book “The Basketball Diaries” articulates the feelings of being smart, isolated, unparented, mentally ill and addicted.

            Jim Carroll also had the Jim Carroll band and chronicled his often-troubled life in “people who died”, a cult classic among the disenfranchised youth in rehab. Jim Carroll died today, of a heart attack at the age of 60. Pretty good life span for an IV heroin addict, even if he was in remission from his disease.  Jim Carroll was an articulate guy, he was honest and never tied the complexities of his life with a pretty “just say no” ribbon.  I’m sad to hear that he died but I am happy that he made it as long as he did, one day at a time.

A&E Recovery Rally – Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

Posted in Current Events with tags , , , , , , , on September 13, 2009 by corecompany

recovery rally

Today was the 2nd annual recovery rally, sponsored by A & E television network.  A gathering of an estimated 10,000 people walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to celebrate recovery. It was a great public advocacy event bringing together the entire bouquet of humanity a whole range of recovering people, treatment providers and the best part, politicians. Karen Carpenter Palumbo, commissioner of OASAS led the political delegation that included Felix Ortiz, Marty Markowitz and Gil Kerlikowske the drug czar. As critical as I have been at times of Gil, it was an amazing thing to see him participate in the event. He seemed to enjoy the company of actress Kristen Johnston, but more importantly, he came, as did Governor Patterson.  This was a great day in the community-organizing world of treatment and recovery. In the past, the idea that any drug czar would have been there is absurd. Hard to imagine Barry McCaffree marching across the Brooklyn bridge with 1,500 people currently in treatment at Phoenix house. No the war on drugs seldom includes recovering from drug abuse and addiction, politicians don’t like this issue. I have talked to them and the common theme is “addicts don’t vote”. No, no they don’t.

            It is estimated that one addict impacts the lives of 100 people which is why I believe addiction is the #1 public health crisis and should be given the attention for the politicos that it needs. Thanks, Karen, Marty, Felix, Gov Patterson and Gil, (the best drug czar ever)!  It was a great step for addicts, families and communities to show the importance of recovery.