Monthly Archives: May 2014

Addiction And Intelligence

My last post was written in a fit of rage at four in the morning after someone had so very ignorantly told me that “smart people are not dumb enough to let themselves become addicts”. In my blog post I had said that I didn’t think that the addicted population tended to be any smarter, dumber, moral, or immoral than the rest of the population as a whole. That we were probably representative percentage-wise of the rest of the world.

Later that day, after I posted, as I sat steaming, I got to thinking. See, I had already googled “geniuses who struggled with addiction” and came up with a staggering number of names. Who knew that the father of modern surgery, Dr. William Halsted, was an addict? I started to think about how my brain is going 24/7, how I cannot shut it up, how I overthink everything. When I was on the run with multiple (and by multiple I mean four) warrants how I would wake up stressed, non-stop stressing and agonizing about my warrants and impending doom. Getting high was the only way that I knew how to relax and not over, over-think my problems.

As usual, my mind started to over-think this story, this issue. I was remembering how, when I didn’t have better coping skills that I have since developed, how I routinely used drugs to numb my brain slightly. More importantly, I remember the first time I used heroin, and all drugs really. I worked so hard in school, studied non-stop, I needed a break. You know what they say, “work hard, party hard”. I would do E on the weekends, coke at the parties, weed during the week. It just gave me an escape. My GPA never dropped below 4.6, I got a academic scholarship to a few schools, but went to University of Maryland College Park as an honors student. Drugs were a release, but they never inhibited my life, school work, social relationships, anything. So when heroin was offered to me as a way to come down off of coke, I was initially hesitant, but wanted to try something new. I needed to come down, I had been doing coke for two days and had to come down to do school work. I said “fuck it”. 

I also started to remember that in college, lots of the lab kids, who worked 20 hours straight, used drugs, especially uppers. Combining my drug usage, with what I remembered from the hard working kids in college, and my google search of “geniuses that struggled with addiction”, I decided to google a hunch. I looked up “intelligence and addiction”. What I found, confirmed what I had been thinking all along. I found numerous studies that showed a direct correlation between higher intelligence and drug use. Studies showed that individuals with an IQ above 125, or what is considered very bright, were far more likely to have tried or used drugs than those with an IQ below 85, or what is considered very dull. Actually, the studies showed that the higher the IQ, the more likely the person was to have tried drugs.

Obviously, I felt a personal  sense of triumph and vindication. More than that, I felt a certain amount of vindication for all addicts. The person who made the original rude comment, eventually turned the argument around into, “addicts have no one to blame but themselves”. This is a point irrelevant as to the argument if addicts are stupid or immoral. Of course we only have ourselves to blame. I don’t think any of us has denied where the fault lies with respect to our personal addiction. The thing is that once I presented facts that disproved his logic of “addicts are much dumber than the rest of us” he resorted to what basically amounted to name-calling. Now it was “you only have yourself to blame”. I should note that he did the typical passive aggressive tactics of “addicts are dumb,” “I am not dumb enough to stick a needle in my arm”, etc. You know, making blatant references to me and my husband without saying that he is talking about members of his family.

So yes, it is my own fault that I am addict. It is also my own triumph that I am clean now as well. It is any addicts own actions that have made them that way, as it is any person’s own action that make them the person that they are. I can now, at least, with some amount of authority tell you if you are an addict that lack of intelligence is not to blame for your struggles with addiction.

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Why Intelligent People Use More Drugs | Psychology Today

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201010/why-intelligent-people-use-more-drugs

This is a study that I found that correlates with my last blog post. It shows that people with an IQ above 125, I.e. those considered “very bright”, are far more likely to use and abuse drugs than those considered “very dull” (meaning that they have an IQ below 75).

The Myth That Still Exists About Drug Addicts

As I lay here at 4:30 in the morning, grappling with incessant waves of insomnia, my mind starts to wander. I notice that this is typical of my brain when I cannot sleep. This time of the morning tends to be when I write my blog posts. My husband has just left for work, both kids are asleep, I can write without interruption.

I was going to write about making amends and my personal issues and problems with contacting people too apologize for something from five or ten years ago. As I started to write however, my phone went off. I had re-posted a status on Facebook that was originally put up by a relapse prevention page. It stated, “Addiction makes smart people do the dumbest things.” So someone that is apart of my husband’s family, responds to this seemingly innocuous post by saying, “Smart people aren’t dumb enough to become addicts”.

Whoa! Are you for real right now? Sadly, though he was, and he continued to argue this. “Mind over matter,” he wrote, and ,”It’s called willpower”. Oh, willpower. I never thought of that. I didn’t ever think to just stop. Silly me, here I have been struggling with addiction for a little over a decade, and I could have just stopped. Right.

This is part of the uphill battle that clean drug addicts have once they try to get their lives back in order. I even listed for this oh-so-ignorant man geniuses (like Freud, Einstein, Hemmingway, Dr. William Stewart Halstead -a.k.a. The Father of Modern Surgery, any I listed many more), but he had already decided that he were better than all of them, better than all addicts. What kills me is that I know that I am smarter than this man, but because I have struggled with addiction, I will always be deemed inferior in his eyes (not that I give a flying fuck).

The issue at it’s core is an issue of prejudices and discrimination. It is a fear of the “unknown”, the “different”. We as addicts, are the unknown factor. By keeping us as a lower class citizen people are able to project any kind of hatred they want to. A blog that I follow called, “Heroin is My Heroin”, wrote a post called, “Get To Know A Junkie Day”. She was writing somewhat in jest, but was making some very good points. What she was getting at was that a day that was for ‘junkie awareness’ dwelling could find out what a drug addict is really like.

It is all too simple for someone who has never had to struggle with the hell that is addiction, to simplify it as a matter of morals or intelligence. By pushing all addicts into a little box of the lowest levels of society it allows them to think that they could never be boxed into these categories that they themselves have made up. They are not stupid, they are not bad, immoral people, they would never become an addict. They would never “allow” themselves to become a member of this lower caste.

It is much easier to discriminate against, to perpetuate mindless hate, it is much easier if you keep those people nameless and faceless. Once you realize how many addicts there are out there. How many inventions, how many great albums, books, movies, works of art have been given to the world via the addict.

This is similar to the unfounded notions that addicts are all in the twenties, they do not have kids, jobs, families. They are homeless scum that does nothing, thinks about nothing except drugs. This simply is not true. All of do things at we would otherwise not do while we are in active addiction, but even then, in a state of active addiction, we are not defined simply by the bad things that we do or have done in order to obtain our drugs. We will always take the past of least resistance. Addicts are not all immoral people that want to go out and rob banks, break into houses, rob people, or whatever it is that people think addicts do all day. Yes, there is a percentage of people using drugs that are just straight up bad people, stupid people, but I do not think that that percentage is necessarily any higher than that of the rest of society. There are just some bad people out there, some stupid people out there in the world. Just don’t try to pretend that you are better or smarter because you have been fortunate enough to have never have had to deal with addiction.

Ghosts of Junkies Past

I don’t know if it stems from the fact that I suffer from ADD, or if I truly suffer from the junkie version of “The Seven Year Itch”, only in my book it is the two year itch, but once I have been clean for about two years, I begin to feel restless. No, I have not relapsed. I do not want to get high. That is not what this is about. I just cannot simply be content with things “as is”. I always need to have a project, something to look forward to. I have to be making plans.

I have been planning not only a trip to Ocean City, MD with my husband and kids this summer, but we are looking into buying, actually owning, our own home. I want that so much. I am thinking that this will help stave off “the itch”. I am very good about paying all the bills as soon as the direct deposit hits. Sometimes, the issue is too much extra money. That is not to imply that we have droves of extra money lying around, but a mortgage that is attached to a $200,000 to $300,000 loan is a lot to loose. It is a good incentive to keep oneself on track.

This itch is not helped by the fact that lately it seems like heroin and heroin addicts are in my face constantly. Friends, actual friends – not your average get high buddies, that I have worked so hard to distance myself, my husband, and my family from have suddenly reappeared. 

Two people in particular. One is a guy that I have been close friends with since my sophomore year in high school. The other is a guy that my husband has been best friends with since first grade, and I met while I was pregnant with my daughter who is eight and a half now. Actually, I wrote about these two men in the article “When Dealing With An Addict Is It Better To Give Love Or Tough Love?”

The man that I have been friends with for 15 years now particularly pains me to not be able to see, but I can’t. I love him. He is family. Except for one incident recently he has been really good to me, and I to him. That being said however, he continues to want to get high. He comes home from jail or rehab and starts back up in a matter of weeks or months. I had to severe the ties, but he has called recently. I do want to hang out, but addicts to not respect that you are a clean, recovering addict. They resort back to fond memories of you getting high with them and inevitably try to get you high, or at least offer it to you. I am actually crying slightly writing about this potential (probably) total loss of this man’s friendship, and I almost NEVER cry.

On Saturday, I was shopping at the local Harris Teeter, when my phone rang. I looked at it and noticed that it was a number that I didn’t recognize, so I didn’t answer. Then it called again, so I picked up. It was the other guy, my husband’s childhood best friend. I hadn’t talked to him in probably nine months, maybe more. I haven’t seen him in like two and a half years. He was locked up and I haven’t seen him since he has been home. I don’t even know where he is living. Things are very different with this man. He is like a brother to me, but he uses my husband. My husband still wants to see him for the best friend that he had for so long, and cannot see the person that the drugs have made him.

On New Years Eve 2012, me, my husband, my sister, and the first friend (the one from high school) all went in town early in the morning. We went to our usual spot to get 37 pills. My husband got out to go into the hole. He came back after about two minutes and told us that they were on hold. He went back up in the hole about ten minutes later while the rest of us waited in the SUV (we loved to use this car because it had really dark tint and you could not see our white skin through the windows) at the back exit of the alley. Anyway, the gave him the first 26 before they ran out. He had to wait in the alley for the next back. The guy went in to the abandoned row house to get the next pack and gave to my husband and sent him on his way. We were all sitting in the car and I see a cop pull up and park almost next to us. Then I see Aaron coming around the corner walking towards the car. “Please don’t come to the car”, I thought to myself. My husband was wearing gloves and a hoody with the hood up, and his head was down, so you couldn’t see his skin color. By continuing to walk the cop should have to reason to stop him, but by opening the car door and the cop seeing four white people on a small street where most of the houses are abandoned and almost no white people live there? Well, we would all be fucked. What we didn’t know was that the police had cops in abandos and on roof tops watching the hole with binoculars. They watched the hole thing. The guy throw my husband to the ground, gun drawn, and cuffed him.

They charged him with possession and possession with intent. They dropped the intent at the preliminary hearing and never intended for the felony charge to go to trial. It would never have stood up, they just did it to fuck him on his bail – and it worked. His bail was set at $20,000. So me and my high school buddy went out to get money after we got well. We had $350 for his bail before it was set. The city takes between 18 and 24 hours to see the commissioner, so we had a little bit of time. They had told him that they would not charge him with intent, so his bail should have been between $2,500 and $5,000. The intent raised the bail. We were able to bail him out on a payment plan agreement.

While all of this was happening, his supposed “best friend” called constantly. Not to see if he could help get money or anything, but because he wanted me to take him out boosting. Then about 12 hours after my husband’s bail was paid and he was due to be released, he walked from whoever he was to the Baltimore City Central Booking and Intake Center where he knew we were waiting. He had called saying that he got a pill of dope for Aaron since he was going to be so ill. I informed him that I had three for my husband. I knew how sick he was, and I wasn’t going to pick him up empty handed. Funny thing, when he arrived, after learning that I had something for my husband, he said that the pill he had for him “fell down his pants legs and is gone”. Come on dude, just admit that you did it! It is fine, I bought him something. Don’t tell me ridiculous lies. He knew that my husband had been locked up with $150. I had mentioned it on the phone saying that it sucked that he had some of the money for his bail in his property. An inmate can sign their property over to someone, but he would not have been able to do it until after he had been moved upstairs and classified. That would have taken days. That was why he met us at Bookings. Almost as soon as my husband got in the car, right after he got on he asks, “You have a $150, right? So you can afford to get me high, right?”. My husband did because that is the kind of person he is, but he saw what I had been telling him, what everyone had been telling him, for months. This guy, his alleged best friend, didn’t once offer to help bail my husband out, but now he wanted the person who just spent the last 36 hours sick as a dog to get him high.

We hung out with him a couple of times right after that, and he fucked us over each time. So excuse me for not being particularly eager to reconnect with this guy. He is also rather chauvinistic. It is not even a remote possibility in his brain that I could be smarter than him about anything because I am a woman. Forget the fact that, sorry to sound arrogant, but I AM smarter than him, as I am smarter than most people. He dismisses anything that me or any woman has to say as being without merit automatically. He doesn’t even really listen to what a woman has to say.

I tend to be a cold, closed off person. It is far and away my biggest flaw. I let no one in. When I do let you into my inner-sanctum, I am intensely loyal, almost to a fault, but I get that close with very few individuals. Both of these men are people that at one point and time were close to me (one much closer and more trusted than the other) and now because of my demons, because of their demons, I cannot see them or really even talk to them. It is sad, but necessary to keep the “two year itch” at bay.

Methadone – My Savior, My Ball And Chain

In March of 2012, I was sitting alone in my bed. My husband was sitting in a Virginia jail being held without bail, a dear friend was sleeping on the couch in the family room. I was taking him out a few times a week to go boosting and getting high sometimes. Albeit less then I was previously. I had some suboxone and was taking them sometimes. At my husbands last bail review, the judge denied him bail because he was already out on bail in Baltimore City on a possession of heroin charge. Actually he had been arrested on possession and intent to distribute, but the felony distribution charge was dropped at his preliminary hearing. In The crazy ass Commonwealth that is Virginia, almost anything (and everything) is a felony, and possession is no different. The judge said that he could not grant him bail on this felony since he was out on bail on that felony. We explained that he was not out on that felony, it was a misdemeanor. He would not believe us. “If you can prove that he is not out on another felony bail, I will grant bail,” he said, all high and mighty as he was just so sure that we were dead wrong. Of course, I knew that I was right, and I knew that I just had to have the lawyer bring the Maryland state laws to show him and my husband would have a bail. 

So here I was sitting, knowing that in three weeks time, my husband would be granted bail. I had to do something. I didn’t want us to go back to the life that we had been living. My friend who was staying on my sofa, got arrested and happened to have three Maryland warrants as well as a Virginia warrant (he was my husband’s co-defendant in the VA case). So I contemplated my options. I was the sole care giver to two children, at the time ages 6 and 3. That meant cold turkey wasn’t going to happen. I only had like two suboxone left, plus I don’t do too well with those. So, I pulled out my IPad and went to my Medicaid carrier’s webpage and looked for methadone clinics that took my insurance. The one that my sister went to for a couple of years before she relapsed took it. I called. It was a Tuesday. They told me the doctor comes on Thursday for new intakes, and the got my information.

So, that was over two years ago. So yeah, it took me a few months to actually use the program right and to get my head out of my ass and get clean. Funnily enough, they were most concerned with my benzo use, and I rarely use benzos. They just stay in your system for so long that I failed a few drug tests for Xanax. Heroin too. It took until August of 2012 before I started to have clean urines. They have been clean ever since and I now only go once a week. I actually should only have to go once a month, but my insurance will not cover that many take homes at once, so it is once a week unless I want to pay out of pocket.

I would, by the way, pay out of pocket. It is $80 a week. I was spending like a thousand a day between my husband and I. You do the math. Methadone has undoubtedly saved my life, my marriage, my relationship with my kids, with my mother. I have gotten used to being sober. I have goals again, and I realize how far behind I am on achieving them. I write. I study makeup tutorials. A friend sent me a thing about what classes I need to become a addictions counselor.

I am not, however, unaware of the sharp and painful juxtaposition that methadone is. I am getting the phrase, “that which nourishes me, destroys me” tattooed on my arm in French. This pretty much sums up my feelings on methadone. I think it is great. I can not stand the holier than thou NA members who will not let you in the sanctity of their group if you are using methadone or suboxone, even if it is with a prescription. No, I don’t believe in that at all. I don’t believe that you should deny yourself anti-depressants or anti-anxiety mess if you need them. I don’t think that if you get a major surgery or some shit like that you should not take any pain meds. I feel no difference in medications that sole purpose is to keep yup sober.

I am not ignorant to the fact that I am addicted to methadone. I am going to have to detox off of it someday. It is a hard drug to detox off of. For me, at least, it is by far the lesser of the two evils. I don’t spend thousands of dollars on it. I do not participate in illegal activities to obtain said funds. I do not get from a drug dealer. I do not have to wait in a line in an alley and have to run to the car, hoping that a cop doesn’t see my white ass anywhere near the area and fuck with me due to my race. I can carry it on me and in my car. I even flew with it to DisneyWorld. My name is on the bottle. It has the doctor’s name, the clinic’s name and number, the date on which I am to take it. It is legal. All of that is good.

I do. I do not want to be on it for years and years. I do not want it to show up on a pre-employment drug screen, and while I have a prescription and they could not legally deny me employment based on it being in my system, they could then decide to look up my criminal record. I only go one day a week, but I still have to plan around it. I have to make sure I can get there. My husband and I only have one car and he works 6 am to 2 pm, in D.C., which is 45 away with no traffic. The clinic is open 5:30 am to 11 am. See the problem there? We are planning a trip to Ocean City over the summer, I have to make sure that we either don’t go there until after I go on Thursday, or that we are back by Thursday. See it is my ball and chain. The chain is just much longer than the one that heroin had me on.

Methadone is not particularly great for your body either. It is bad for your heart, your teeth, and a whole lot more. If I ever do need surgery or get into a car accident or something, normal amounts of pain medicines will do nothing for me due to the daily dose of methadone that I take.

I hope to detox some time over the next year. They drop you like a milligram a week, and you can stop or go back up at any point that you want. They help you to do it in your own time. I do not want to use it as a crutch forever. I want to use it for what it is for, getting you clean off of illegal substances, and it has done that wonderfully.

To My Mom

So this is, like most of what I do, a day late and a dollar short. Anyway, I wanted to write something about and for the beautiful woman who brought me into this world. We have not always had the eaiest relationship,  many years of it have been tumultuous at best,  but I love her with every fiber of my being. 

As I have gotten older, as I have had children of my own, I understand that as a mother we sacrifice everything for our children. When my father died she was not able to take time toGrieve properly.  She put eeverything that she had inside of her, to take care of my sister and I. Sometimes she would snap. Sometimes she would zap out. At the time, I would be angry that I was left to calm down and care for my little sister. Now as a mother of teo chikdren, I get it. 

 

She had a year or so before my father past, while he was dying of lung cancer, where she had to take care of a 5 year old, a 10 year old, and a husband that went from a strong man, a man’s man, to not even being able to walk.  It was nice just the physical deterioration that she was forced to deal with, either. He was so heavily medicated that he became an entirely different person. He hallucinated all the time. He often thought that our house was some sort of war zonem and that my mom was in charge of the opposition. Honestly,  I can not even begin to imagine the heartbreak that most go with caring for a person that in no way resembles the person that you married.  My mother,  though, she never complained. She was a soldier the whole time. She continued to work, and she took on the extra responsibility of my father’s health problems. 

When he died, she tried her hardest to make sure that we were ok. She took no time for herself. She never remarried,  hardly ever dated. It was just me and my sister.  She did everything on her own. She drilled into my head, that the worst thing in the world is to have people pity you. Honestly,  she may have taken this a little too far, but I learned how to be a strong woman watching her refudal to ask anyone for help ever.

I was a child and had no idea how much weight was instantly thrust upon her shoulders. She worked full time, she took care of us. She made ssure that we never had to move out of the house that my dad had built a massive addition on to. We were able to live in his place of handiwork. 

My mom, used to tell us stories about her hippy days. She saw the Beatles, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zepplin, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hanncock, and many others. She would talk about going to Mowtown concerts that would have all the greats. She went tothe fampus Monterey IInternational Pop Festival. She instilled in me a love of music.  One time when I got stoned with her, she sat there and stared at the radio saying that she was “watching the music”. She played Michael Jackson, and the Four Tops, and Linda Ronstead, and the Beatles.  She took me to a Prince concert when I was 2 years old. I learned from her just how powerfully music can affect your mood, your entire being. She is the reason that I wanted to become a music executive. 

As I previously stated,  my mom was a full fledged hippy in her youth, her twenties. She taught my sister and I to love everyone regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation,  economic status. She showed us the injustices in the world.  She explained how fucked up this world was. She told us about the Veitnam protests. She shared stories about the civil rights movement. 

My grandfather fought in World War II as a Marine and received two Purple Hearts. After he left the Marines,  he went into the CIA. He was like three people from the top dog, and his job entailed that him, my grandmother,  my mom and her two sisters and four brothers move all over the world. My sister and I would listen intently as my mom told us stories of living inside the Berlin Wall.  Of moving into a house in Japan that came with a chef, a maid, and a nanny. We would revel in the fact that her entire family had to use false identities for every new country they went to. We lostened to the fascinating story of how their true identies were discovered in Japan and they had to leave right away without packing or daying goodbye to anyone.  I woukd jealousy ask about her times in Spain and Paris.

I learned what a feminist was from my mom. She (and then Courtney Love) sparked what would be a life long love of feminism.  She showed me what a REAL feminist is, hot the stereotypes.  We are not ball busting, man hating, dykes. We are just women that want to be treated the same as men. My mom never asked for special treatment because she was a single mother, a widow. She got fucked over at work, amking less then men that had the same position as her even though she worked twice as hard and was twice as good. She always had some asshole trying to rip her off because she was a woman. Mechanics,  plummers, electricians, really anyone that came to fix something at the house. She didn’t complain,  she just started having one of her brothers with her when getting estimates.  She never wanted pity, she figured out how to deal with a fucked up situation the best that she could.

What I am trying to say is that as a child I had no idea, not even the slightest inkling of how much she was dealing with. I would see her freak out at my little sister and I, telling us that she couldn’t take it anymore,  that she was leaving forever, get in her car and leave, and be furious. I would think that she was being so selfish. I didn’t understand how much of her own happiness she had sacrificed for us. She didn’t grieve the way she needed to because she was trying to keep our lives as normal as possible. Sometimes it was just too much and she would snap. I get it now. After years of putting my mother through hell,  of refusing to forgive her for mistakes that she made, I get it. I grew up, I had kids, I stopped being a fucking selfish brat. I look at my kids, and I see how much she gave up, how hard she worked. She kept our lives as normal as possible after the death of my dad. She bought us nice clothes, she took us on vacations,  she kept us in the h I use that my dad built. She did her best to keep us happy. When I went through my struggles with addiction, my mom never gave up on me. She supported me time and time again. Her love knew no limits, and I am almost positive that her love and support is part of the reason that I made it through to the other side alive. For that, and for everything, Mom, I love you. Now and forever. 

Tennessee To Jail Addicted Mothers

Tennessee recently passed a law that is the first of it’s kind. They have decided that their state Medicaid will not pay for all or any portion of addiction treatment even for pregnant women that are battling addiction. They then went on to decide that they are allowed to jail women who used drugs at any point during their pregnancy, even if the child was not born with any illicit substances in their system.

Ok, does anyone else see the sickening hypocrisy in this law? The inherent dangers in this? Actually, I will say that the governor was allegedly told by health care professionals, pediatricians, OB/GYNs, and psychiatrists that this law was an awful idea. Still to this day, a large number of people seem to think that mothers simply are not drug addicts. Even if they were addicts at one point of their lives, that part of their brain is supposed to just shrivel up and die the second that they find out that they are pregnant. The maternal tendencies and the overwhelming urge to protect your child is supposed to be strong enough to make you just become instantly clean.

The only problem with this idea, this general sexist attitude towards women, is that it is simply scientifically unfounded and not at all factual. Yes, as mothers we do inherently feel the need to protect our children at all costs. This, actually means that we can not quit using drugs (cold turkey that is). I have written about this previously, about my own personal experience with becoming pregnant while I was using heroin. Heroin withdraw can very easily kill a fetus, and often does, if not done the right way. This means in a rehab or a hospital, with doctors and nurses watching you. Hey, guess what? Inpatient rehab, or extended hospital stays are not cheap. Actually, most rehabs will not let you into their facility unless you either have an insurance that will cover all or most of the cost, or they want cash up front. Starting to see my issue with this fucked up law? How are women supposed to go out and get help, get detoxes, get put on methadone maintenance if they are not rich and if the state will not help them pay?

The people who allowed this law to pass claim that it is intended to save the babies, but it is counterintuitive. You are first not allowing the women to get help, then locking them up, but this doesn’t help any newborns at all. If women can’t get help,then they won’t get help. The babies will be born dirty, only thing is that now they will not have their mother’s there to sooth them while they are detoxing in the hospital on opiate drops. Social services will inevitable take the child after the mother has been arrested for child endangerment and child abuse/neglect. Babies in foster care? Who is being helped by this?

Of course, the women could just quit, sure. There is a high probability that the fetus will die. So what good did scaring these women “straight” do? Not only did the baby never even have a shot at life, but the mother is going to feel unnecessary guilt over the fact that their child died due to their addiction. This is so fucking unfair that I can not even begin to quantify it with words. Most of theses women got pregnant by accident. They didn’t go out and try to get pregnant while they were in active addiction. Making them feel this immensely heavy feelings of guilt is only going to serve to throw them further into the hole of addiction. Self medicating and what not.

I have a feeling that this law will force the abortion rate up as well. Both legal abortions, and cruel back alley abortions. You the brutal kind with hangers and what not that no woman should ever have to experience. Terrifying these women into thinking that they will go to jail because they can not afford to get the help they need, is going to cause some women to decide to end the pregnancy. They may not want to have a baby if it is going to put them in jail and send the baby in to foster care.

People are going to do what people are going to do. Trying to make laws that serve to only prosecute women is sexist an entirely unfair. The men who get these women pregnant can do as they choose. Yes, I am obviously aware that what they put in their bodies can not harm a fetus, but still. Very few women who are using hard core, addictive drugs go out and try to become pregnant, but that doesn’t mean that they should not have the opportunity to have and raise their child.

This Mother’s Day Let’s Celebrate Difficult Women

This weekend is both my much dreaded 30th birthday and Mother’s Day. One half way ok thing about coming into my third decade of life is that I have finally come in to my own as a difficult, pain-in-the-ass woman. And this year, for Mother’s Day, we all need to thank all of the bitches out there.

I just read an article that talked about the ways that feminists have made the world better for men. It discussed how now rape is not just regulated to women, how prisons are safer for everyone. etc, etc. The main issue that one could point to as advancement to men that was brought about by women that average society would consider less than exemplary was what they labeled as number two. This talked about men who have relationships with feminists have better, more fulfilling sex lives. Yes, far from the common stereotype put out by a misogynistic media that portrays feminists as man hating, ball busters, feminists enjoy sex with men.

After years of women like Madonna and Lil Kim being called “whores” and “sluts”, women are now able (somewhat) to own their sexuality. Of course this is mostly only within the confines of a relationship, but we can own it in freedom. Women have said “fuck you” to the double standard of men being able to fuck whoever, whenever without impunity, while a chick who has had one, or heave forbid multiple, one night stands was shamed to the point of tears and life-long depression. Yes, women are still slut shamed, but there are at least now thousands of women who just don’t give a fuck and will engage in sex often, be it normal or kinky as shit. And of course sex seems to be the easiest way to get someone’s attention.

I am not one of those people that thinks that Jenna Jameson is a fabulous feminist icon. I do not buy into the idea that they get paid millions to be gang banged on camera, so that is great for women. I am glad for them that they are prod of their bodies, but you can not tell me that the women in porn control the industry. Too much of what is put out by the porn industry perpetuates violence against women, torture and rape in the guise of fantasy. That is not good for anyone.

Anyway, despite what some people believe the world would be better if this was the eighteen hundreds or the nineteen fifties. Susan B, Anthony fought for women to vote, Betty Freidan cried about the “Feminine Mystique”, and now fifty years after the famed book, president Obama signed legislature that allows women to sue companies that systematically discriminate against women as far as pay is concerned. I had a man recently say to me that this country was founded by white men, and thus they should be paid the most. Let’s just ignore the pure ignorance a to the facts that women, people of any race other than white COULD NOT help to found the country, but why would you not want your wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend to make as much as a man. Anyone has ever been raised by a single mother can thank every woman that stood up and demanded for this gap to get closer should realize that is still not close enough. I asked this douche, why would people continue to work their ass off if they know that $.77 to the male $1. Marie Curie and Amelia Earhart are two very famous examples of how much women can accomplish.

Women were long considered the silent background of the civil rights movement. How far would this country have not come if a woman, a black woman at that, named Rosa Parks had not vehemently refused to move to the back of the bus. Yet another example of something done by a “difficult” woman that benefit society as a whole.

Many women are automatically shoved into the role of care giver, and when we finally put our foot down, it is very seldom just for our personal gain. It is for women as a sex, or all humans. We can not sit there in the year 2014 and still even begin to think that a woman’s place is prone, or silent, or both. We have more and more single mothers who are fighting for their entire families.

For all the shit that Courtney Love took, she paved the way for Brode Dalle, Taylor Momsen, shit even Avril Levigne and Miley. Each woman that refused to take sexism and hatred sitting down made the road a little bit more paved for the next generation of girls (and boys). The issue is that we can not afford to make our daughters fight the battles that our grandmothers already won. We must remember and praise every pain in the ass bitch who called out every chauvinist pig, for if we don’t, we are in history of going back in time.

When Dealing With An Addict Is It Better To Give Love Or Tough Love?

I ran into one of my oldest friends yesterday. My husband and I had gotten a couples massage done. When we left, we went across the street to get gas. Thertuge was a guy that I have been friends with for fifteen years. We will call him Ethan (not his real name). He just cam home from rehab for the um-tenth time about a month or so ago. He was trying to sell us something in order to procure funds to go in town to cop some dope. This is the same story with him. Over and over. He will have a killer habit, get busted- either by being arrested or by his parents, go to jail or to rehab, come home, do well for a week or a month or six, then start getting high again. So the story goes, over and over and over again.

I have another friend who I have known for about nine years, but my husband has been best friends with this guy since elementary school. He is the same way. Goes to jail for a year or two, comes home, starts getting high, rips and runs until he gets locked up and goes back to jail. Actually we haven’t seen this dude who I am going to call Adam (again, not his real name) in over a year. We had to cut him out of our lives. He doesn’t even try to do good. Also he wants my husband and I to do too much for him. I am not a cold hearted bitch, despite how this sounds, but I have my own family to take care of. He wants money (which I have no problem giving – sometimes), he wants a place to live (again, I don’t mind giving a friend a place to stay for a night or even a week, but we have given him a place to sleep and he stayed for like six months). Also, he doesn’t ever want to give my husband and I any alone time or family time. he is always there. Actually, last time he stayed with us, he would come in our bedroom and hang out, watch tv, and get high. He would never take the hint to leave, we would have to pretend that we were asleep to get him to finally go into the guest room and go to sleep. We would then get back up and hang out alone, snuggle, fuck, talk, you know – be a married couple.

Anyway, these two dudes are very similar in that the cycle of addiction is their lives. In and out of active addiction. In and out of institutions. Only difference with that is that Adam has never gone to rehab since I have known him. Once, long before I ever met him, he was in a rehab, but was out on a day pass and got arrested for picking up a hooker thus not making it back before curfew and got kicked out. The main difference with these two guys is their families. Ethan’s parents, who are his adoptive parents, support him every time he messes up. They are self mad millionaires. They own a security company. Actually they were the people that put up the police cameras that are on practically every corner in Baltimore. The other guy, Andy. His mom and step-dad are the exact opposite. They don’t help him out at all.

So which family has the answers? Who is doing it right? To even begin to answer that, we have to delve deeper into each man’s situation.

First I am going to discuss Adam and his family. They believe in tough love to the extreme. Actually, if we are being totally honest, I think that his mother would help him, support him, be there for him, but his step-dad is having none of it. I mean they don’t bail him out when he gets arrested, but many people look at this and say that he got himself in jail, so why should his parents get him out? Ok, maybe, he is 36 after all. It is so much more than just not paying his bail. They will not visit him in jail, send him money or even write to him in jail. They won’t set up an account on their cell phones enabling him to call them collect from jail. When he has done time in the past, they refused to get his car out of impound within the deadline, thus letting it be taken over by the state. So he lost that car. Another car and another time in jail, they wouldn’t let him park his car at their house, so he lost that car because he had no where to leave it safely and eventually it was towed and as with the previous car, if not retrieved from the impound by the deadline, it is the state’s to auction off. When he comes home, they are unwilling to let him live with them, or even stay with him until he gets into a half way house. They won’t help him pay for rehab. Or give him some money to get himself started when he comes home. Yeah, tough love.

Ethan’s family is exactly the opposite. He lives with them. They always pay his bail. They have even put their house up as collateral to get his ass out of jail when he had a $500,000 bail. They pay for him to go to rehab when he comes home from jail. He has had hi sentence cut down before due to this. In Maryland we have what is called an 8505. This means that at least one time, a judge has to allow someone with a history of drug addiction to be able to serve their time in rehab instead of jail. A good lawyer can often get an 8505 for a client even if they have received it before. obviously, most people would prefer to do their time in a rehab facility instead of in a prison. They have put him into rehab even when jail is not involved, (i.e. not an 8505, or no pending charges where rehab would look good for the judge and possibly spare him time or at the very least receive less time from the judge). Currently he is on a methadone program. They give him a place to live, pay for anything he needs. Also, and probably one of the biggest things they do for him, they give him a job at their company. He would never get this job if not for his father. He would not pass the security clearance. A job, besides being a requirement for parole and probation, is the biggest stepping stone to achieving self-sufficiency and maintaining sobriety.
Both men, sadly keep going through the revolving door of ails, institutions, and active addiction. So who is approaching their relationship with their child right? In my humble opinion, I think that Ethan’s parents are going about it the right way.

They are not enabling him. They will pay for things he needs, but they almost never give him cash, unless they are pretty positive that he is not getting high. They have strict rules for living at their house. Now an addict is going to find a way to get high if they want to, but they do not just allow drugs in the house. If they find drugs, or needles or any other sort of paraphernalia, they are sending him into a program. Actually they have had him arrested before, but they dropped the charges when it went to court. I think that they just wanted him to “dry out” in a cell for the night. They try to keep track of any and everyone that he is hanging out with. Believe me, you do not want to be grilled by is mother.

The thing is, at least he has a fighting chance when he comes home from jail or rehab. Adam, he doesn’t even have a shot. He comes out of jail with no where to live. Yeah, you can go into a halfway house, but unless you are in a pre-release kind of jail, there is no way to find and contact these places until you get out. That is one of the primary flaws in the system. You have to have a place to stay for a few days in order to find a place to live. At least halfway houses will let you in without any money up front. Yeah, they charge you rent to live there, but they give you a couple of weeks to get a job. As long as you are actively looking for employment, they ill give you time. In the beginning, they are mostly concerned with making sure that all of your drug screens are clean, that you are going to the required number of NA or AA meetings and are helping out with the cooking and chores. It is usually a little bit harder to g from jail to rehab if there is no one helping you. If you do not have insurance that covers all or at least the majority of the cost, they are going to want a large portion of the money up front. State insurance takes a month or so to kick in. You have to go to the social services office and apply (you can also apply for food stamps too, in order to get the temporary cash assistance, you have to come to the social services offices 3-4 days a week and turn in like 10 job applications a week, so if you have no one to help you with a ride, there is really no point in trying to get the TCA), hen about a week later you get your Medical Assistance card with your number and a bunch of brochures about different insurance companies, you then call the state’s medical assistance number and tell them which company you have chosen, like a week after that you get your insurance card and have health insurance. That is like two to three weeks in the best case, fastest scenario. So for Adam with no where to stay while waiting rehab is a difficult option (I didn’t even get into the fact there is a high probability that there is a wait list). So he stays with a friend in the city. He finds someone who will let him sleep at their house for $10 a night. More often than not, these people get high as most 0f his friends that live in the city do. He needs money right away so he starts going out boosting. With no internet access, he ends up not even looking for a halfway house, Actually, the only time that he lived in a halfway house was when he stayed with us after he was released from jail and my sister complied a list of halfway houses. Being as he is staying with people with a drug habit who are taking him out boosting and then going to cop dope, it is only a matter of days or weeks that this heroin habit is back.

I am in no way trying to put all of his issues with relapse on his parents, Ethan is proof that an addict will relapse if they want. I have noticed that Adam developed a habit within about a week of coming home, while Ethan has gone a year, and almost always months. Yeah when I saw him, he was trying to cop, but I don’t think he had a habit. He is a fool to think that his casual use will not develop into a habit, but he is trying. Ethan’s parents afford him the opportunity to do the right thing, and one of these times he will get into his mind that he is sick of this life of drug use and abuse. Adam doesn’t even stand a chance. He is released from prison with no where to sleep, no one to support him emotionally or financially.