addiction, alternative, depression, independent, literature, opiate crisis, Uncategorized

Plastic Poppies & Blood: A Brief Insiders View of the Opioid Crisis

Back when I first kicked junk, in 2010 nobody knew what hydromorphone or fentanyl even were. People would just look at me confused. “Its like morphine but stronger.” I’d tell them. Back then I was almost exclusively snorting hydromorphone (I had a good source). Most everyone else was into oxy back then. They introduced Oxy Neo as an abuse-proof replacement for oxycontin tabs. While there are ways to prepare Oxy Neo for injection they are quite complicated and take a long time. Some, especially the First Nations worried that entire communities would go into withdrawal at once.

Cops want to stop junkies but junkies want to shoot up more. They have no limits, don’t give a fuck about safety and were dead set on getting their fix. Then came the old standard to save the day-heroin. It was and is cheaper than pills. The doctors stopped prescribing oxy due to the stigma around the name it and needed a replacement other than morphine. They found this in Dilaudid, or hydromorphone, a drug 5 times the potency of heroin, or fentanyl patches which is 100 times the strength.

Now its 2017 and people are dropping like flies. I always preferred hydromorphone because unlike H which is just a powder, hydromorphone came in little balls that were supposedly abuse proof. 30 seconds  with a mortar and pestle beg to differ, however the point is that these little balls are near-impossible to tamper with or replicate without a lab. Lacing them with fentanyl would be more trouble than it was worth. Not so for powdered heroin or easily pressed oxycodone tablets. They started showing up in overdose deaths all over North America. Fentanyl is cheaper to produce than heroin, easier to smuggle and can be made in a laboratory.

By the time I stopped shooting up fentanyl had all but replaced heroin in some places. It was even popping up in cocaine, a stimulant. Even worse were the reports of carfentanil being used as a cut, a thousand times stronger than morphine it was never used by humans until recently. Prior to that it was used for tranquilizing elephants. Shortly before stopping I was sold fentanyl-laced fake oxycontin as well as straight fentanyl. Even snorting a bit of it put me on the nod and I was seeing triple. Lucky for me I didn’t OD and voluntarily signed up for a suboxone program. I didn’t want to go down with the ship.

This isn’t about morals or strength of character-anyone can be an addict. I go to the clinic and see people older, younger, in suits and in construction boots, new mothers with babies. All levels of society, every race. Addiction affects us all. Now more than ever it is clear that we need to treat this epidemic as the health crisis it is, and stop placing blame on addicts. There should be more funding for education and expansion of clinics specializing in addiction treatment and a much expanded needle exchange system. People need to be aware of the other options available to them, such as methadone or suboxone, and a heroin maintenance program should be established as well as safe injection zones. These are proven methods and not only will they reduce ODs but they’ll lower the amount of blood borne diseases such as HIV or Hepatitis C.

Finally and most importantly opioid addicts, as well as their friends and family should always carry or have easy access to Naloxone. A single dose of naloxone will completely reverse an opioid overdose, even fentanyl. You can get kits at your local pharmacy at no cost so there really isn’t any reason not to have it around.

Jack Blare, 2017

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addiction, alternative, depression, independent, literature, politics, Uncategorized, writing

Why fix it if it works?

Every time I think I have finally found a decent balance of medication one of my doctors has to fuck it up. Now I get to choose whether to withdraw from klonopin, which I’ve been taking as a prescription for four years, stopping suboxone and going through an opioid withdrawal or go back to shooting coke, dilaudid and fentanyl.With my anxiety at a peak, this being the year my dad died, my genius doctor is taking me off the medication that stops me from obsessively slicing holes in my body during panic attacks. I guess i could go on enough methadone to be too out of it to feel anxious. Really not caring much. Every time I try to do things the “right” way it somehow gets fucked up. Now the cravings have returned and all I want is double shot of hydro right in my mainline. I don’t trust anyone at all. 240 pages into my novel and I just stopped caring. I’ll write more when I get some speed. I’m so irritated at this point I would do practically anything. The only thing stopping me from going back to my poly-substance trash can ways is that B. is visiting. She’s the only person who’s opinion actually matters to me. If things go well maybe it will break this fog of misery. If not I’ll go west. I have places to stay and enough connections not to have to worry about anxiety or withdrawal. What most non users don’t understand is that we know its fucking awful for us, we know that a bad shot can kill, we’ve had cotton fever and we don’t care. When you live that sort of lifestyle its not a matter of if you die, so much as how and when. Everyone accepts it except the ones so tweaked they think they’ll live forever. The truth is that by the time you’re sticking needles in your flesh looking for a working vein and spending all your cash on your habit you don’t give a shit if the next shot puts you down. There is only the present and the present is junk. Some, like me, get out before that last one but every day more people drop like flies and nobody really cares. Whats another dead junky to this world?

Jack Blare

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addiction, depression, independent, literature, poetry, Uncategorized, underground, writing

Seen & Disbelieved

No sense of time, just drifting like dour smoke from obligation to obligation. Barely take anything in. Girl comes, girl goes. See the doctor, go to the funeral, greet the family. Make society proud. Beyond this is nothing. I can’t see ahead and don’t want to. I’m neither here nor there and all answers are merely preprogrammed responses to typical questions.

“Thank you. I’m doing fine.”

It all makes me sick. Best not to bother. I see only through a glass darkly now.

-Jack Blare, 2016

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addiction, free verse, independent, literature, poetry, Uncategorized

Wellbutrin

You don’t look too good kid.

How long you been up?

24, 48, sixty hours & not one single chance to bite

That golden hook hanging above like static lightning.

No, not even a single glimpse of the fleeing heel of god,

Just omnipresent Shadow People

& Little ashy textured spirits

Flitting around the tiny doorframe of human perception.

Why are you so shaky kid?

Never had to kill your own meat before?

We all get nervous our first time

But it’s easy as paddling a canoe.

Just slip your blade

Into that thick flowing red river.

Split the surface to let out the demons

& Drown them in blood.

Jack Blare, Impersonating Emotion (2015)

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addiction, alternative, free verse, improvisation, independent, literature, poetry, Uncategorized

Severance

Turncoat deserters fly their true colours

White for surrender, capitulation, cowardice

Consuming their “radical” literature

Playing at coffee shop artistry

I thought this band was playing Mudhoney,

Not pop punk covers of Pearl Jam.

 

You love your Hunter S. Thompson

You love your William S. Burroughs

Your Requiems for A Dream

Your Trainspotting and Scanners Darkly.

Your legal pot and acid vacations are a far cry

From my dope sickness and fresh track marks.

 

You swallow craft beer the way you drink the lies you feed yourself.

Your punk rock songs are full of stories of junkies and death

But when it comes time to practice what you preach you cast stones

And become silent walls or secret negotiators.

You spit on the ones who needed you most,

Kicked to the gutter like the trash for not being what you want.

You wear the uniform but turned the coat

And left me here bleeding, freezing alone with my worst memories repeating like a locked groove or tape loop in a fevered mind,

At the mercy of a restless anguish they cannot begin to fathom.

 

Only the real junkies know.

The hooked up, shot up, doped up emaciated scum of the earth.

They say death is the great equalizer but so is junk.

Junk don’t care if you’re rich or poor.

Junk brings all the races together in ecstasy and agony.

Junk don’t care if you’re the great dictator

Or a fourteen year old girl.

It will take you just the same.

 

For years you lied and like a coward I still begged for company.

You spat in my face and I was ungrateful for all you’ve done.

Yet here I am alone again, kicking the devil out of gooseflesh.

Burning and freezing and puking alone, alone, alone.

I broke my own golden rule: trust no one.

 

Perhaps I will forgive but never forget

The pain and the bayonet in my back.

The deep razor cuts that clothe my bare arms express the fear that

I have no name for.

There is no method, I took the blade to myself as I would an enemy.

I am the enemy.

 

Once again in living hell.

Alone.

Dragging myself from this pit,

Clawing the soil until my fingernails are bloody,

Reaching for a helping hand and finding no one.

 

Slowly I will ascend in fury towards the light.

Alone.

And sever the false connections.

I will break free,

Alone.

As it always has been.

Alone.

Alone.

Alone.

Alone.

Jack Blare, 2016

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