Saturday, January 31, 2009


After running into our old friend and dealer the other day, it suddenly occurred to me the number of females that we know who found themselves pregnant in the past two years, have given birth, and yet do not currently have custody of their newborn. Ashley was just the most recent of at least a half a dozen, or even more. Of all of these women, I am aware of only one of them who was able to leave the hospital with her daughter, who remains with her to this day, almost two years later. All of the others automatically were involved with Social Services. One of their representatives was literally waiting there in the birthing room to remove the newborn from the mother the second that this could safely be done.

This is frightening on a number of levels to be sure. Obviously these females were still abusing one, or more, illegal substances throughout the pregnancy. If she was unable to quit, or at least get on methadone - if opiates were the issue - the moment she found out her condition - and once the decision was made to continue with the pregnancy - she made it abundantly clear how very selfish, and negligent, she really was. Obviously, no serious consideration was given to the potential damage she could cause for her unborn child with continued substance abuse. Without exception, all of these women did nothing at all to even curtail or reduce the amount or frequency of their substance abuse. For me, personally, I had an extremely difficult time even interacting with any of them while they were pregnant, as it was near impossible for me to refrain from comment about this abuse.

Last week when I ran into Ashley, I simply could not keep quiet, especially as she was the one to introduce this topic into our conversation. Since the birth of her daughter a few months ago, her use has actually escalated, not to mention that she has now introduced speed into her daily doses of 8mg dilaudid pills. I am sorry, but WTF? Currently, her and her boyfriend do not have an apartment of their own. They've been rotating staying at various friends pretty much on a semi regular basis. The baby is currently with her mother, and by the look of their current situation, will most likely stay with her for the foreseeable future. She mentioned that the Social Worker was giving her six months to get her act together.

She was given a guideline of sorts as to what was expected of her to accomplish in order for her daughter to be returned to her. She's got about six weeks maximum now before she has to meet with Children's Aid. At this hearing, she ostensibly is to present to them why they should return her daughter to her care, Obviously they're going to want to see that she is serious about her recovery which means that she should be on MMT at the very minimum by this time. She is also going to have to prove to them that she has a permanent address with the appropriate amount of space, or rooms, for a newborn to be adequately maintained, never mind flourish. I'm also guessing that she'll need to prove that she has all of the proper furniture, accessories, food, et al for the baby. No doubt there is considerably more things that will be required for her to do and have. CAS is certainly not going to hand the baby back to her in a cavalier manner. They will look at every last detail under a magnifying lens is my best guess.

So far, she's not done any of this. Nothing. In fact, about the only thing that she has really done is ensure that now her boyfriend also has a hardcore dependence on opiates. What a pair! I told her as much. I said that she needed to get serious right away, especially if she really and truly wanted custody of her daughter. She maintains that she does, but I don't know anymore. I look at all Of the women whom have gone before her these past two years, and all I see is the writing that is already on the walls. What's really gut wrenchingly sad is that in the end, it is the children who will suffer because of these women's ultimately selfish attitudes and choices. If they've decided that they are simply incapable of cutting drugs from their life no matter how hard they try, what they really need to do is remove themselves completely from their child's life, because in the end, the inevitable sporadic contact with them will damage these innocent babies immensely. Do the unbelievably unselfish act of severing ties completely so that their child has a chance of finding a family who will nurture and love and be completely involved and committed to them. Otherwise these babies barely stand a chance, and they might as well admit defeat before they even have a chance to get started!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


OK, so the original reason that I started my rant the other day regarding my former dealer was the fact that we unexpectantly ran into him and his girlfriend, and this meeting was still fresh in my mind. Considering the size of the city that I live in - just shy of 400 000 - it's surprising, but by no means disappointing, that I've managed to avoid them these past three years. Yes, while it is very true that once we decided to clean ourselves up, Jim and I moved to a completely different part of town as well as severing all ties with the members of this lifestyle. Essentially, we isolated ourselves, and made sure not to leave any forwarding address.

As this town in reality is only so big, it was a matter of time before we ended up running into them, or at the very least, a mutual acquaintance - I hesitate to say friend. Also, as he was one of the primary dealers of pills three to six years ago, we were bound to run into some of his former customers as they, too, attempted to quit the pills, and clean up. Of course, as is normal amongst these types of cliques, gossip can run rampant, whether its actually true or not is an entirely different issue! So, for the past six months, I couldn't help but hear what was being said about them, especially as they had recently had a little baby girl. There had been some pretty gruesome stories floating around about her especially.

She never did manage to quit the pills while she was pregnant, and in fact, while she was in the hospital delivering her daughter, she still somehow managed to continue to use. Apparently, so the doctors and nurses would not notice any track marks along her arms, she had been shooting into her neck. Naturally, she tested positive for drugs so right away, the social workers took her baby away from her. Luckily, her daughter was given into her mother's care so she is able to see her as often as she wants. Now, whether or not,, she actually takes advantage of this situation is another matter all together. I guess she was given six months to get herself all  straightened out if she wanted custody to be returned to her.

Now, if her mother has the baby, then at least she will be denied nothing. She will be given every creature comfort imagined, especially lots and lots of love and attention. Her mother and step father are exceptionally wealthy and will be able to well provide for their grand daughter without any difficulty. Of course, their daughter could also live at this same standard save for the fact that she has messed up far too many times for her parents to continue to indulge her each and every whim. Those purse strings have long since been severed. She's her own worst enemy. Her parents have given her far more chances than she should have had considering all of the things that she ultimately did to them. they've been way more patient than I think I would be. I say this from complete first hand experience as I have had frequent as well as extended interactions with both of her parents, as well as her older sister. Her mother, is in fact, a year younger than myself.

There is so much more detail that I could go into, but I will have to save this for another day, as I don't really have the time right now. So to whomever made the comment about our dealers not really being our friends, this particular situation doesn't quite apply to that statement. Yes, I am aware that no dealer is ever your friend. Its business plain and simple. This particular arrangement was slightly different as I mentioned a few posts ago, that in fact, one of our friends of longstanding - just over twenty years - ended up becoming one of our dealers by virtue of him having a product to sell that we wished to purchase.

Anyway, I've somehow managed to lose my original reason for this post so let's see if I can somehow get myself back on track. OK, so we finally ran into them the other day. They were in pretty rough shape as both of them were pretty sick, and it didn't look as if they were going  to have any luck locating what they needed.  As a last resort, they were going to grab a bunch of speed in the hope that this would help with their withdrawal. I'm thinking not so much, but I'm so not an expert in this particular area. Anyway, she and I chatted for a bit about her current situation, and she expressed that she did want her daughter  to be able to live with her, but that she didn't think that she would be able to give up the pills, or more importantly the chaotic lifestyle that she has come to know as normal.

Its a really sad and tragic situation to everyone involved.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009



One of the questions regarding my previous posts had to do with my friend that was, and as far as I know, still prescribed huge amounts of dilaudid. He received, and receives I guess, 720 8mg brand name dilaudids on the first Wednesday of each month. It is his family doctor that prescribes these o him. I have filled this prescription many times in the past for him, and as he is not on any sort of drug plan, it was about $320CAD the last time I picked it up for him over three and a half years ago. He receives these due to some injuries he ended up receiving on a work site. As far as I know, him and two other workers somehow ended up being literally buried alive for a large part of one of their work days. When they rescued them all, he had broken both of his legs, some ribs, his right hand and one of the fingers on his left hand. I know that he also sustained some nerve damage in one of his hands. As far as I remember, he ended up being in hospital close to six months. Anyway, initially he never actually used any of his pain meds as he quickly learned that they were much more valuable to him if he sold them outright.

Now, as far as I know this worked nicely for him for years. He was able to pay his mortgage plus keep himself in as much speed as he could possibly imagine. All was good in his little world. That is until he met his current girlfriend, who also just happened to be half of his age. She played him beautifully. He chucked out the old wife and brought in the newer and younger model who just happened to have a raging pill habit. A match made in heaven, n'est pas? Pretty soon, the young lass found herself pregnant, but with no plan on attempting to clean herself up either. By this time, he had managed to lose most of his customers, not to mention friends due to his new love and her ever growing influence on him. Seems that wherever she went, you could be sure to find you were missing things. She was also a major thief. I also had the pleasure of being on her receiving end of this little trait of hers to the tune of near $1000!

I've just been informed that he now has a raging pill habit worse than hers, and is fast losing every little thing, including his brand, new daughter. He either does all of the prescription he gets within two weeks, or sells more than he needs to, but word is that by the middle of the month, he is begging anyone that will still listen to help him.

So, my hat goes off to you indeed. Had you not become so insufferable a few years back, I may never have tried MMT out again, but you did, and so did I. It has been a massive success, and I know that I wouldn't be sitting here today, rubbing my hands in karmic glee without you!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


One of the first things that Jim and I did once we had both reached our stable dose of methadone, after paying off all of our outstanding bills, both legitimate and not, was move as far away as possible from the locale that almost proved to be the scene of our undoing. Just as quickly as we were able to move, we both got rid of our jobs, and found brand spanking new ones. Obviously, we felt very strongly that the only way that we would ultimately be successful with our recoveries was to make a complete break from the lifestyle that ended up getting there. We, literally, needed to start all over again from little more than nothing, other than our strong belief that we could succeed with this in the end.

Surprisingly enough, this ended up being easier than we expected. Paying off our rather large debts that we had managed to collect over our most recent habit, ended up not taking as long as I had thought this would. Its bloody amazing how much disposable income we ended up having available to us once we no longer needed to spend anywhere from $1800 to $2600 each month to feed our habits. I started MMT in February 2006, while Jim followed me about three months later. By October of the same year, we had managed to pay each and every last penny off that we owed.

Without exception, all of the legitimate businesses that we had outstanding debt with were thrilled to accept our money. In fact, so were all of our dealers - we rotated through three separate individuals at this time in order for us to purchase what we needed on any given day. For the most part, all three were pretty dependable connects although around the time that we both started MMT, London was in the middle of a bit of an opiate drought. Even with these three, it had started to become more and more frequent and difficult to find opiates on a daily basis. This had started to bother me as obviously having to endure every increasing periods of withdrawal was by no stretch enjoyable.

Also, our main connect had started to lose track of the picture, and had begun treating us with disrespect, and had begun to take us for granted. For close to two years, we had purchased from him 240 8mg dilaudid pills - a third of his legitimate script - each and every month, without fail. Now, if we take the time to do a brief bit of math, this translated into a substantial amount of money. He sold his pills for $15/piece if one was to purchase them singly. He would give you a bit of a break when you bout a couple, selling them at two for $25. Now if you happened to have $100 at your disposal then you could get ten pills for this amount. Now, obviously, for the most part, Jim and I tried to buy these pills in bulk. There rarely were no more than maybe a half a dozen smaller purchases throughout the month. Now, one would thing that if one of his customers was buying 260 units monthly that perhaps he would be able to cut them a bit of a break, but sadly no. He charged us groups of ten - sometimes on the very rare occasion groups of twelve - which translated into 26 groups of ten units each, charged at $100 per group, which adds up to $2600 each and every month!

When I say that we were regulars, I truly mean that we were indeed that. I am in no way attempting to inflate our use, and in fact, am extremely ashamed and embarrassed even sharing this info, as it paints a pretty distasteful picture of what we allowed our addiction to become before we were finally able to put the breaks on it. Now for just over 24 months dealing with him, we never deviated far from this number. We almost always paid in advance, and always paid cash - no bartering or asking for them up front, etc. If we did have to request a front, it was rarely for more than a few days. Now, I get why he didn't want to cut us too sweet a deal as he had begun to rely on our money each and every month. Who wouldn't want to receive this amount, especially considering there was no work needed at all whatsoever in getting it? No hustling, no nickel and dime sales, less traffic coming and going to his house because he didn't need a dozen or so more customers minimum to replace the two of us.

Towards the end of us dealing with him, he started to act illogically and then some. Paranoid much. He started to see people in his bushes and trees in his garden, and all that tends to accompany this sort of mental breakdown. Funny what a hardcore amphetamine addiction can do to you! And he had a raging one at that. Old story of him starting to spend more money on this than the amount of money that was actually coming into the house! He still was getting our full funds and obviously still more from other sources, but it never seemed to be enough. He actually was about to raise his selling prices - which one tends to have to do when your new girlfriend is pocketing a couple of hundred of your units on a regular basis! This starts to add up and negatively affecting one's bottom line! I was prepared to even deal with this, but when he started to get mean by holding our addiction against us by playing little games of pretending that he was down to his last two pills, etc, well I quickly started to lose my patience. Suddenly, the thought of him even fronting something to us was no longer going to be an option, and when he did decide to be all magnanimous, it literally became a joke. On a number of occasions, in the dead of winter when our truck was in the shop having a new engine installed, he had us walk 45 mins to his house, and when we got there, he was prepared to front us no more than three pills. WTF? Proverbial straw, anyone?

What I ultimately found utterly repugnant in dealing with him was the rude and disparaging way in which he had started to treat us the last six months of our doing business with him. In hindsight, I know now that this treatment wasn't specifically directed at us alone, but that also, is so not the point because I felt that we should never have been lumped into his "loser pill popping" customer that he had always loathed and despised. Firstly, he wasn't someone that we had just recently met, but an actual friend of ours going back just over two decades. We also were in no way associated with his brand spanking new 21 year old junky girlfriend, who he had gotten when he traded in his high school sweetheart, who was also the mother of his three daughters. Ashley sure knew what side her bread was buttered on thats for sure. She played him beautifully, especially seeing that the prize at the end of his tunnel was his monthly script of 720 pills each and every month. Just her presence meant that each month, it could literally be assured that a good 200 pills would come up missing. You could also be assured that she would hotly deny having any knowledge of where these missing items might happen to have ended up. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to do the math on this one, that is for sure! Anyway, long story short, both Jim and I got ourselves to MMT tout suite! Didn't even take the time to look back, either.

At least he has now gotten his karmic reward, three years later. No time like the present is my saying and as I've mostly been a pretty patient person, I had been in no rush for him to get his just desserts. As I mentioned earlier, another reason for his anger and bitterness three years ago was a direct result of his massive speed addiction. This would most definitely still be an issue today for him, if he was even able to afford it to be! Unfortunately, his lovely girlfriend has managed after all these years of getting him good and hooked on his pills. Prior to this, he never, ever bothered to touch them as they had been his means to an end for him being able to buy piles and piles of speed!!! Now as many of you are all too aware, once both partners in a relationship start sharing an opiate addiction, it replaces pretty much anything else of importance. As its an expensive addiction, once hooked, some decisions need to be made. Most people find it hard to carry out two addictions full time once opiates are thrown in the mix, and its really not much of a surprise that rarely anything else is able to beat opiates. All or nothing generally.

Anyway, this is pretty much all that I'm able to type tonight so I'll try to finish the rest of my story before the end of the weekend cause its just too, too much. Briefly, we ended up running into the darling couple a day ago, and to say that both of them are in grave need of choosing a different path to take, would be the understatement of this century. He was beyond sick with withdrawal and to be honest, I'm not even sure why unless he's already managed to go through his monthly allotment of pills. If true, then this would truly suck, as I know from years past that he'll not be able to refill his script until February 6 at the earliest, still a good two weeks from now.



I was a little on the bored side this afternoon, so I started playing around with my Paint Shop Pro X2’s text effects, as well as some of the artistic effects. Boy, I’ve really got to make sure that I load this program up a little more frequently, as I really have only touched the tip of the iceberg in regards to what it is actually capable of doing. As Xander, from Buffy, has said before, “I am so large in not knowing.” Or some such phrase!

As Gossip Girl is currently my new tv obsession, I thought that I would attempt creating my graphic with this new show in mind. This phase surely will not last very long, as, after what has seemed literally like an eternity, Battlestar Galactica, is now back on tv.

Torn Apart

The following is a recent story published by Youth Communication, a website where teens are able to tell their true stories with anonymously. It was bloody powerful and absolutely tragic.

torn apart by anonymous

Carried nine months by a drug-addicted mother, I was born into a house where I was only as good as her next fix. I don’t know what neighborhood we lived in. I only remember the reeking smell of piss in the hallway of our project, leaks in the ceiling, cracks in the wall, no heat in the winter and no AC in the summer. My little brother and sister and I slept on the floor because we had no bed to call our own. Our fridge was as empty as a poor man’s pocket. Our mother never cooked for us; we survived on the scraps of food that she left.

Stepping on needles and glass in my mom’s old apartment, the cuts on my feet bled like the scars from my heart. I wanted my mother to love me, but her addiction consumed her. It was more powerful than her love for her own kids.

As a young child I wasn’t aware that my surroundings were unusual. People were getting mugged and beaten in the stairwell, so the cops stayed in our building like it was a police station. And in our home, drugs were an everyday object. There was nothing shocking about it, and when I think back on the other kids in our building, I realize that we weren’t the only ones suffering with a parent’s addiction. But at the time I was unafraid, because this life was all I knew.

My Heart Got Numb

As I got older, the greed of my mother’s addiction grew. When she could not get her fix, or when she was forced to go sober from the lack of cash, she would hit us with a broomstick, extension cord, or anything else that she could get her hands on. She was desperate to find some way to forget about her own problems, something that would give her a rush, a substitute for getting that high.

The only time that our mother was able to show emotion and give attention to her kids was when she was abusing us. Otherwise, she showed us no feelings, no love. Different men would come and go from the apartment. As a child, I didn’t know what was going on. Much later, I realized she was probably resorting to prostitution. But it just added fuel to the fire because once she crashed, she would be right back to abusing me and my brother and sister.

We were like rodents, scrambling around to pick up her scraps of food and trying to stay out of her way. I was hurt and confused. I thought, “How could she do this to her own kids?” After a while my heart got numb. I felt no hate toward her, but I also felt no love.

My brother and sister and I became closer than the average siblings because we had to look out for each other in order to survive. In the beginning there wasn’t much I could do to protect them from my mom’s abuse. I couldn’t even protect myself. But we would do little things to try to comfort each other. Like if my sister was beaten, I would take the leftover food and give it all to her.

Survival Mode

Then, when I was 7, my mother’s addiction got so bad that she could not support her habit and maintain an apartment. She got evicted, and we followed her to a shelter in Brooklyn. The shelter was scary. I remember people stealing from each other.

I don’t know how much time passed, maybe a few weeks. But one warm day, we went out with our mother and she just walked away from us. We didn’t follow her, because we thought that she would be coming back. But she never did. After a while, we started getting hungry. We didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know how to get back to the shelter. That’s when survival mode kicked in.

I’d never been able to depend on my mother, so I didn’t really miss her when she disappeared. My main concern was getting us something to eat. When it got dark, we started walking. When we saw the projects, I thought we were home, but they weren’t the same ones we’d lived in with our mom. We didn’t know were else to go, so we followed someone into the building, cuddled up together on the floor and went to sleep.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Running On Empty

Finally, I am home. I am exhausted, done in, tired beyond belief, shattered, barely unconscious, almost horizontal...I think that you all get the picture. Since getting my drivers license almost twenty eight years ago, except for the past two years, I have always had my own vehicle, and for many years we were a two car family. While I very rarely regret our decision to give up our truck, certainly there are times, when it would be very convenient to have a vehicle at my disposal. Today, most definitely, would have been one of those days.

I had an appointment with one of my doctors at the PTSD Clinic today for 11am, a time I normally would not remotely consider early. As the weather this morning was particularly nasty, I knew that there was a very good chance that public transportation would most likely be running a bit behind schedule. To ensure that I wasn't late for my appointment, I left home with what should have been more than enough time for me not to arrive late. Boy, obviously I couldn't have been more wrong! What normally should have been a twenty five minute bus ride turned into an hour and twenty minute exodus of sorts, not to mention that I ended up having to walk on unshoveled sidewalks for a large portion of my trip! Grrr....

Now, one of the things that I learned rather quickly upon becoming a user of mass transportation was the importance of always being properly dressed, especially if you want to ensure a pleasant and comfortable trip. Nothing sucks harder than being improperly dressed and having to face a near hour jaunt across town when you are so hot but unable to remove any more articles of clothing without the fear of being charged with indecent exposure! You have to get used to not being able to wear those four inch killer stilletos with that cute spring jacket anymore if you no longer have a vehicle parked waiting for you in that beautiful heated garage - trust me, nothing kills that I'm feeling oh so sexy feeling when its freezing cold and you've still got approximately ten more blocks to walk before you reach your final destination, and the very last thing you want to be wearing are those bloody uncomfortable shoes and paper thin jacket that would be lucky to keep you warm in the middle of summer in Cuba!

My appointment finished just after twelve, and as soon as it was done, I headed over to the grocery store to grab some food. I was able to take a bit of a breather once I got home, while I waited for Jim to get ready to go out, as we both still needed to go to the clinic. Off we went. I literally was traveling back in the direction from where I had just been, but at least this time, I had company. With the bus delays and now rush hour traffic, our return trip ended up taking close to three hours. As the pharmacy that we go to for our methadone didn't have one of the prescriptions that my doctor had written for me earlier today - who doesn't have Paxil in stock by the by? - I still needed to do one more thing before I finally got home for the day. Said bye to Jim once we had reached our apartment then I continued on for another five minutes until I got to the Shoppers by our home.

Of course, when I handed in my script to the pharmacist, she announced that they were extremely busy this evening and were running about an hour behind. Colour me shocked. Pretty much par for the course for me today.Luckily for me, my girlfriend who works in the cosmetics dept at this Shoppers just happened to be working this evening.  Bless her heart as she offered me my first real relief of the day. When she finishes at eleven, she's going to drop my scripts off to me so I don't have to make another trip anywhere at all today! Sweetness, indeed. As it was, I didn't end up coming through my door until almost 7:30 this evening.

But now, this is all behind me. I am sitting comfortably on one of my couches typing madly away, and with each keystroke typed, all of the tension is disappearing, soon to be forgotten!