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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free verse, independent, literature, poetry, Uncategorized

Between Galaxies

Nothing.

Frozen dry

Abyssal vacuum.

Lightless maw.

Neither here nor

Anywhere.

I feel nothing.

Not joy, hate, arousal, jealousy, lust.

A husk that seems passable

Until you pick it up and realize it’s hollow

And the insides have all rotted away.

If there is anything living left

It sleeps in narcosis,

A secret shifting behind plastic eyes,

Stuck somewhere in that empty space

Between Galaxies.

Jack Blare, 2016

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free verse, improvisation, literature, poetry, Uncategorized

The Withering

You’re the Lady Madonna’s most recent abortion.

You like the way the gutter tastes

But you won’t spend the night there.

Your poetry is lipstick and bare breasts

Your charity is a pair of high heels.

You revel in abuse and abuse your rebellion.

Teenage dream that woke up screaming

In the manacles of the modern cycle,

Smelling of booze, cum and regrets.

You should never have any regrets.

So much less sexy than the toys, props and safety of your fantasies.

Reality sours like that glass of cheap red wine in your shivering hand.

The dream is over, youth slips away like the dregs of your tea

Leaving no leaves or ten-cent prophecies to stake the future on,

Just death at the bottom of a cup,

Cold, bitter and withered.

Jack Blare, 2016

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

Dark At Dawn Again

Some kind of modern day wraith

Trapped in a suburban spin cycle

Waiting like a statue for the seasons to change

Days are damned by solitude

Night by masks and guides of lies

 

Try to block it out,

Shape up and keep clean.

Streets like a spider’s snare

Valleys of indecision that swallow whole lives.

And they really do want to change.

We’re all fucked up and drowning in the same fucking above-god backyard swimming pool.

Bromides, chlorine and dead animals.

 

If we stick together en masse there could be a change

But alone or in twos we cling together like rats and sink like stones

To lower depths of praetorian depression

And the abyssal trench of anxiety waits hungry for more souls

The mental illness monstrosity, scourge of a broken generation

Tears us apart and dopes us up with false promises of idyllic futures.

Jack Blare, 2016

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independent, literature, poetry, politics, Uncategorized

Western Civilization

An ordered decomposition,

Erosion by acculturated violence,

Tight-lipped teens crying 44 calibre tears

At the walls of their dearly purchased prisons.

 

The division of the invisible dollar

Sprouts little Stalins from the raw, cold earth,

Flecks of bloody mud in their moustaches,

Dead roots and dead ends tangled in their close-cropped hair.

 

Digital revolutionaries pace up & down

The hairy, distended guts of bedbound banks

Carrying limp signs & political party platforms

Condensed into dull 140 character slogans.

 

The simple has been simplified,

Chewed down & mashed up

For gnashing, sparkling fluoride teeth

Of the swollen Cyber Leviathan.

 

Cameras keep their black oil apertures

Trained unwaveringly on dying fires & past star deaths.

Smog rises in thick obsidian pillars

Choking the last few cancer-ridden voices of organic resistance.

 

Democratic ants armed with computers, smart phones & opinions

Fight skirmishes over tarnished scraps of idealist ideology,

As the invisible monster wraps its tentacles around the bare throats of the poor

& squeezes tighter, & tighter, until there’s nothing left but late apologies

& smoke occupied graveyards.

Jack Blare, People & Concrete (2015)

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addiction, alternative, independent, literature, poetry, Uncategorized

Night Terrors

Wide awake eyes like hospital doors fixed on flashing red traffic light stops.

The last road is closed, under infinite destructive construction.

Sneaking around town seeking a taste of chemical happiness

To fill the void with lovely lies.

The dam is cracked, the bridge is sinking,

The floods are coming back this year

To soak the City with regrets for its abuses lies,

And the massive quiet scars it drew like a fencing champion with a rapier.

Some days are like knife wounds & strychnine.

A couple of days are laughter, sun & smiles.

Most days are the same.

Maybe I can’t read them.

They bleed together like the trauma unit in a war hospital.

I admit, I was the one that stuck the knife in

To replace grey eternity with shifting shades of red.

Jack Blare

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alternative, haiku, independent, literature, Uncategorized

Arthur et Patti

Such beautiful noise

We rest like white winter winds

Conditioned.

 

Bad Moon Rising love

Sounds tranquilize fear and ego

Afloat in music.

 

Get famous for free

Naked before lust filled mobs

Digital time speeds.

 

Insanity is

Doing this at four AM

Times are not a changin’.

 

Sleeping couch, not I.

Bug eyes see shadows dancing.

Joke poem not funny.

 

Doors, infinite keys.

No love for numb hearted snow.

Music. Free. Sacred.

 

Jack Blare, Intentional Insanity (2016)

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