Just Another Recovering Person

Archive for January, 2011

A State of Synthetic Euphoria Part II

My phone rang last week and it was a fellow in the program whom had made a choice to partake in this insanity of ‘Synthetic Bath Salts’. My previous post covered what it is (See Part I) and the problem here in Louisiana has not stopped because of Governor Jindal’s ‘Ban’ on these marketed substances.

This person told me he and his wife,who is also in the program, did it to enhance their sex life. He had 18 months clean and is court ordered with time hanging over his head. He asked my thoughts on his relapse. This is what I know.

“The eventual misery of using is not worth the temporary escape it might give us'”. – NA BAsic Text Pgs. 81-82.

See this person told me nothing happened. He didn’t feel high, but something else happened instead. The behaviors, the old thinking, the progression returned in a matter of hours. For me, this was the scariest part of listening to the insanity of his story. I have read, been told, and believe now more than ever that the disease is progressive, even in abstinence.

Notice in the first part of this I called it a relapse even though he said he didn’t necessarily feel ‘High’. The effort, the intent, were all there. The purpose and manner, the getting and finding, and the use, whether a person felt high or not, is a relapse.

He asked me what he should do.
I told him not to use, just for today.

We talked of consequences, of what might happen with the courts. I told him no one wants to go to jail, but the drug court here is not responsible for his recovery, only he is. I have said this time and time again to people here in meetings and it seems to fall on deaf ears. There is a mentality that ‘Drug Court’ holds the key to their futures. I know that my future is changed because I put in the work, and understand that no one stays clean for anyone but themselves.

I can’t measure willingness nor desire. I can’t keep others clean. I can only tell others this simple message.

An addict, any addict, can stop using, loose the desire to use, and find a new way to live.

If you or a loved one has or may have a drug problem:

Take Care,
Bob D.


A State of Synthetic Euphoria Part I

Calgon ….Take me away……

Associated Press

FULTON, Miss. (AP) – When Neil Brown got high on dangerous chemicals sold as bath salts, he took his skinning knife and slit his face and stomach repeatedly. Brown survived, but authorities say others haven’t been so lucky after snorting, injecting or smoking powders with such innocuous-sounding names as Ivory Wave, Red Dove and Vanilla Sky.

Some say the effects of the powders are as powerful as abusing methamphetamine. Increasingly, law enforcement agents and poison control centers say the advertised bath salts with complex chemical names are an emerging menace in several U.S. states where authorities talk of banning their sale.

From the Deep South to California, emergency calls are being reported over-exposure to the stimulants the powders often contain: mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV.

Sold under such names as Ivory Wave, Bliss, White Lightning and Hurricane Charlie, the chemicals can cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates and suicidal thoughts, authorities say. The chemicals are in products sold legally at convenience stores and on the Internet as bath salts and even plant foods. However, they aren’t necessarily being used for the purposes on the label.

Mississippi lawmakers this week began considering a proposal to ban the sale of the powders, and a similar step is being sought in Kentucky. In Louisiana, the bath salts were outlawed by an emergency order after the state’s poison center received more than 125 calls in the last three months of 2010 involving exposure to the chemicals.

In Brown’s case, he said he had tried every drug from heroin to crack and was so shaken by terrifying hallucinations that he wrote one Mississippi paper urging people to stay away from the advertised bath salts.

“I couldn’t tell you why I did it,” Brown said, pointing to his scars. “The psychological effects are still there.”

While Brown survived, sheriff’s authorities in one Mississippi county say they believe one woman overdosed on the powders there. In southern Louisiana, the family of a 21-year-old man says he cut his throat and ended his life with a gunshot. Authorities are investigating whether a man charged with capital murder in the December death of a Tippah County, Miss., sheriff’s deputy was under the influence of the bath salts.

The stimulants aren’t regulated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, but are facing federal scrutiny. Law officers say some of the substances are being shipped from Europe, but origins are still unclear.

Gary Boggs, an executive assistant at the DEA, said there’s a lengthy process to restrict these types of designer chemicals, including reviewing the abuse data. But it’s a process that can take years.

Dr. Mark Ryan, director of Louisiana’s poison control center, said he thinks state bans on the chemicals can be effective. He said calls about the chemicals have dropped sharply since Louisiana banned their sale in January.

Ryan said cathinone, the parent substance of the drugs, comes from a plant grown in Africa and is regulated. He said MDPV and mephedrone are made in a lab, and they aren’t regulated because they’re not marketed for human consumption. The stimulants affect neurotransmitters in the brain, he said.

“It causes intense cravings for it. They’ll binge on it three or four days before they show up in an ER. Even though it’s a horrible trip, they want to do it again and again,” Ryan said.

Ryan said at least 25 states have received calls about exposure, including Nevada and California. He said Louisiana leads with the greatest number of cases at 165, or 48 percent of the U.S. total, followed by Florida with at least 38 calls to its poison center.

Dr. Rick Gellar, medical director for the California Poison Control System, said the first call about the substances came in Oct. 5, and a handful of calls have followed since. But he warned: “The only way this won’t become a problem in California is if federal regulatory agencies get ahead of the curve. This is a brand new thing.”In the Midwest, the Missouri Poison Center at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center received at least 12 calls in the first two weeks of January about teenagers and young adults abusing such chemicals, said Julie Weber, the center’s director. The center received eight calls about the powders all of last year.

Dr. Richard Sanders, a general practitioner working in Covington, La., said his son, Dickie, snorted some of the chemicals and endured three days of intermittent delirium. Dickie Sanders missed major arteries when he cut his throat. As he continued to have visions, his physician father tried to calm him. But the elder Sanders said that as he slept, his son went into another room and shot himself.

“If you could see the contortions on his face. It just made him crazy,” said Sanders. He added that the coroner’s office confirmed the chemicals were detected in his son’s blood and urine.

Sanders warns the substances are far more dangerous than some of their brand names imply.

“I think everybody is taking this extremely lightly. As much as we outlawed it in Louisiana, all these kids cross over to Mississippi and buy whatever they want,” he said.

A small packet of the chemicals typically costs as little as $20.

In northern Mississippi’s Itawamba County, Sheriff Chris Dickinson said his office has handled about 30 encounters with users of the advertised bath salts in the past two months alone. He said the problem grew last year in his rural area after a Mississippi law began restricting the sale of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in making methamphetamine.

Dickinson said most of the bath salt users there have been meth addicts and can be dangerous when using them.

“We had a deputy injured a week ago. They were fighting with a guy who thought they were two devils. That’s what makes this drug so dangerous,” he said.

But Dickinson said the chemicals are legal for now, leaving him no choice but to slap users with a charge of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

Kentucky state lawmaker John Tilley said he’s moving to block the drug’s sale there, preparing a bill for consideration when his legislature convenes shortly. Angry that the powders can be bought legally, he said: “If my 12-year-old can go in a store and buy it, that concerns me.”

Small Update

I  believe whether it came about as a result of God’s Will or Self-Will, I still have to deal with it.

I hope this post finds you all well. There has been a lot going on and I have been negligent in posting. The family dog, Wally, has been sick. He has heart worms and is not well. We are going back to the vet today as he has taken a turn for the worse. It would really suck if we end up having to put this dog down because we got him for our son’s 12th birthday. He evidently did not have all of his shots as we were informed. He is on medication but isn’t doing well.

My daughter continues her old tricks and to be honest you have heard all of them before and they aren’t worth going over again. We are now at 14 months or so and counting before she can move out.

My wife is depressed over her job and her family.

Me. Well I am still here, exactly where I am supposed to ge I guess. I applied for a second job with Wal-Mart. I haven’t heard anything yet but I am hopeful as it seems we are just not able to make it on us both working 1 job in this economy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not excited about it, but I know it won’t be forever, and something has to be done.

The sun is coming up and I ignore the beauty in it. I worry about our lives, what the day will hold, and how I will deal with it. I’m just in one of my moods I suppose. I thought I had a ton of stuff to write about this morning and I don’t. I guess I just wanted to give you a small update.

Take Care.
Bob D.

Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn

Ever wonder what it would be like to set of a series of events that would change people’s lives for the worse? I’ve done it……..

The question that never has an appropriate answer is ‘Why do bad things happen to good people’? How can we determine when something is good or bad? Some events will never have the full explanation that we would like. Our never-ending quest for the answer that makes full sense to us and validates events is like the search for a perfect day. It always changes based upon my perception of events.

I used to try to figure things out. I had to have the answers. Why is this happening? What would cause a person to think this is right or this is fair? How is it I am trying my best and things keep falling down around me? I no longer believe that events in my life are ‘Test’s”. I guess it boils down to what you or I really believe. Is life a random series of events caused by action and reaction, or is there a larger plan at work that I am not privy to?

I have had long talks with folks on subjects such as; Intelligent Design, Divine Intervention, Atheism, Spiritualism, Capital Punishment, and Ice Cream. What I have gathered from all of this is one thing….

It comes down to what I am willing to believe.

The key word is willing. People will believe almost anything given the right circumstances. I guess what I am getting at is I can spend countless hours questioning the events of life, but what am I willing to believe about my life right now? Hope is not for the hopeful, it is for the hopeless. I refuse to believe that life swirls around me like leaves caught in the wind with no purpose or meaning.

I believe everything happened the way it was supposed to. I would have liked things to have turned out differently, but I have arrived at this point in my life anyway. I made amends to my sister over the Christmas Holiday. I had been putting it off. There is a lot of hurt there. I don’t know why I did all of the things I did, but I did them. I intentionally hurt people, I hurt her. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to hurt. Some men just want to watch the world burn. At times, I was one of those men.

Even in making amends, there is always a level of guilt that I must live with. Some amends can never fully be made, or made right. Some folks have passed away. I see faces at night, images of those wronged, and I tell them I was wrong. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Those are the nights I pull the covers over my head as I watch the world I set on fire burn around my bed.

I have to live with this. Some would say it is my burden and it is. Perhaps this is my amend, and you are a part of it on a bigger scale. I don’t have the answers, I am just trying to set off a series of events that will change people’s lives….for the better.

Take Care,
Bob D.