Drug Addiction: The Criminal Illness
Malcolm Kaines
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Just as Trump used immigration as his main platform of opportunity, so did Harry Anslinger in 1937. The ’30s tradition was continued for anti-hispanic prejudices, I agree. We can only hope current immigration attitudes, by those who have them, will not persist as chronically as do anti-drug positions. I’ve included as an addendum to your own intelligent offering here, Malcolm, an article with which I responded to a users cry for some understanding. However, almost anyone with working gray matter faculties can notice that what we have today is a society chock-full of addictions and in many forms. Alcohol, cigarettes, vaping, obesity, pornography & sexual perversion, coffee/caffeine, religion, workaholism, wealth accumulation… are all candidates for the proverbial “funny-farm!” Illegality makes NA different from AA and, for reasons I’m not aware of, having never attended either, not as successful. My guess is, in part, due to the more varied diversity and rebellious profile of drugs over booze, sitting in a group of addicts ensures making more connections to dealers rather than options for cures! To not be redundant, do read further to get my point. BTW, good work, Malcolm.

Every stage of substance abuse (who’s abusing whom???) is such a wondrous, and life-affirming endeavor, it’s no wonder we all love to share so…

It’s always fun to compare druggie notes… especially over the years. My onset and drug of choice was China White heroin-directly from the Golden Triangle-compliments of Vito Genovese and Da Boiyse, January 1967. Guess I have become what back then I used to refer to as “an old-time junkie.” Harlem, the East Village, the South Bronx, Alphabet City… ahh, there’s nothing quite like being strung out on skag when you’re from New York City and living on its “generous” streets. It’s the kind of education one does not easily let slip away. My own experience in Oblivion took on the unique environs of The Tombs, Bronx County Detention Center and a super absorption of farm activity at the Westchester County Penitentiary and Workhouse for a year. It was a regular wealth, lemme tell ya!

Beautiful Dreamer… we can all wish!
Other World-Class Dope Fiends

Got much of the poison that only life can be, down in various submissions in the series form herein… pimps, hookers, celebrities, junkies, dealers, gunmen, con-men, used car salesmen, dead men… a complete menagerie. An unforgettable potpourri of characters I’m confident the entire family will thoroughly enjoy. Especially the kids.

I paint famous junkies in oils now! Just kidding

Drug Addiction… the American Way!!!

While I watch the unceasing barrage of substance abuse concerned programming on PBS and regular commercial tube alike, I am struck by a deep-rooted paradox. Current trends–accentuated and exacerbated by our scape-goating, low-blowing, phony windbag of a president–are fomenting the most popular motivations behind drug addiction. Dejected, debilitated, depressed and a disenfranchised sense of second-class citizenship is one of them. The other wondrous “inspiration” we like to run away and hide from is guilt. These two seemingly separate disparaging factors are opposing yet, inextricably bound, horns on the same goat!

There is no more-direct retreat, no better obviation, no avoidance with greater efficacy than an all-consuming addiction. We have learned by mere numbers alone, that parents and their children, entire families, are consumed, rather devoured, by this social dynamic. That’s what it is, you know. A blatant reality of our national profile… part of the whole American landscape. No longer the “plague of the cities.” Today there is no street-corner, no mall, no barnyard immune to some cartel-connected scumbag dealing shit to children…and the younger the better.

So what, in our perennial frustration, can we do about our national shame and disaster? Well, first we have to break down exactly who comprises “we.” Like, define the players. Who are the doctors and who the patients.

“Git yer Program heah. Ya caint tell da winnahs from da loosahs witout a Program!”

Addiction is not instantaneously established in an individual after one usage. What the experts call “physical resonance,” where withdrawal occurs after withholding a “fix,” takes persistent narcotic poisoning of cell and chromosomal systems over time. For instance, one’s first heroin habit takes consistent daily applications for about three months. After that first one, each subsequent habit occurs within shorter and shorter durations. Career junkies come out of a five-year prison sentence, start using again and, are strung out within two weeks from their release. They’re getting sick and are out there doing stick-ups almost immediately!

I hope “we” realize there is no quick fix (bad, bad term!), okay, solution to our dilemma. Just as it took 150 years (since its Civil War onset) to put this mess into place, it’s going to take a long concerted effort to dismantle it. After all, it is dug in quite deep. No Methadone, no Suboxone program will achieve any degree of a successful “cure.” Those are only substitutions.

Side trip: In an opening scene from the film classic Annie Hall, Woody Allen fantasizes himself back to the third grade. One by one, the eight year-old kids stand up and tell us what they became later in life, as grown-ups. One little boy announces, “I was a heroin addict, now I’m a Methadone addict!” You see my point.

Even as gentile, sincere, good-intentioned folks tout “it is a sickness, a disease, not a crime,” and, “it should be treated with care, rather than punishment,” and they are right. That is still not going to address why an individual drops that first Oxycontin or Xanax and, why someone finds a vein and punctures it with a hypodermic syringe that first time. There must be an incredible underlying cause for such drastic, risky and life threatening behavior to be taken as lightly as it is.

I believe the reasons are somewhat varied yet, they have a common thread penetrating each excuse… like a string of pearls. And, just as with alcohol, sexual deviation, even cigarette and vaping dependencies, they all answer a haunting dissociation; a frightening alienation; a sense of not belonging, not fitting in, having no opportunity; no presence of being a part of the whole. And that is what pisses me off about a superficial Schmuck who, given his high office… highest on the planet… should, A. know better and, B. give a shit about it. Goddammit!!!