Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Year? Yes New Me? Not So Much

2017 is about to be over. The American life expectancy is down for yet another year as a direct result in the rise in opioid deaths. Rates of Hep C are up. In terms of Harm Reduction, it's not too far off from what I was dealing with as a new IV drug user in 1990. Lack of clean syringes, deaths, and the government sitting on their fucking hands instead of acting.

Last year, under the Obama Administration, I got uninvited to a White House committee because there were some concerns that some of my views were controversial. A year later, under a new Administration, Harm Reduction is vilified as enabling. They are seriously considering bring back JUST SAY NO. This makes me nauseous. There is scientific evidence of interventions that work in opioid use and abuse. We have a mountain of evidence on the efficacy of syringe exchange. Yet, we have science deniers pushing the idea that abstinence is next to Godliness. I can't even listen to this rhetoric anymore. It's wrong. It's tired. It's killing people.

In 2018, I'm going to be even MORE radical. I am making a commitment to call these people out ever chance I get. I hope to help seed some underground programs. I believe radical harm reduction and civil disobedience is our only hope in some locations.

If you are reading this and you have no access to syringes, I strongly suggest you get a prepaid credit card and purchase a box online. If you need the money, sell a few to friends or a ten pack to your dealer for a few buck to help fund the next box. New syringes, using alcohol to clean your skin, and sterile water are so important. Also, don't share your stuff be it dollar bills or straws or cookers.

On a personal level, my 2017 had lots of twists and turns. I have lost a lot of weight by not fixing my feelings with food but this has turned me into an emotional basket case. I had a close friend relapse then we had to work to get him back on track. This dragged up a ton of unresolved feelings from all the friends I could not help that later died in active addiction. I went back to 12 step meetings after being pretty fucking angry at them for 4-5 years. I went back to therapy. I haven't been writing as much as my words are kind of tied up in my emotional lethargy. The paperback of "The Big Fix" came out. I started a free podcast here. I started doing some elements of graffiti again. I also started a project trying to bring Harm Reduction to graffiti writers. I spent a lot of time petting cats. I sent out a lot of naloxone. I got back into my love of movies again.

I hope this year treated you right. If it didn't life is a marathon. Keep on moving. Don't worry if you stumble. I love you readers.

Here is a pic of my new look. I lost 44 pounds.

10 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the weight loss! It's not an easy thing to do. Hope 2018 is a great year for you and yours.

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  2. Wow! I just saw the HBO special on YT, and most docs don't touch me like that one did. I'm not sure why this one did. It's a life I, too, lived briefly, and still have friends that are stuck, or remain the same, and u know... Nothing changes if nothing changes. Anyway, I'm so happy to see you made it off the streets, and into classrooms, recovery units, etc to help others. I deal, with humor, and a hard hand w friends, and could never do what you do with the level of openness and compassion that you have and give to others. It's like certain people were picked to go thru what they go thru, to come out on the other end and be better equipped to help. I'm just glad your here! And, that you keep it so fucking real! Lol! I don't know if you'll ever see this, but if you do, I'm so glad your here!

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  3. And now that I actually read this.. I'd like to say, I'm about an hour outside of Boston. In one of the more "money" towns, they were trying to put up a Needle Exchange Program. I am so alll for it. However, uneducated ding dongs found out, and that whole Not In My Back Yard mentality came up, and guess what? No. Needle. Exchange. What my lovely state did, instead, was sold needles without a script, for about $2.50 for a bag of ten. Gahhhh... Yes, it makes clean needles more available, BUT, the pharmacists doesn't make sure your getting alcohol swabs, that your getting the small amount of education you'd get at the NEP. Also, they aren't testing you for HIV, HEP, etc.. Or pregnancy. Also, they aren't making you turn in your dirty needles. Guess where all those dirty needles end up? Yes, the parks, the streets, and alllllllll over Our backyards. It's almost karma for the ones that said No to the exchange. They don't even give out Narcan w these needles. I just don't understand it. Instead of giving up the chance to have addicts come in and see you.... Ughh, it just makes me so damn mad. My home town, last yr, was putting up purple flags on the fire station to represent every OD they attend to over the yr. It's a sobering sight.
    I'm kinda all over the place, bc I'm also listening to your talk on YT, that you did in Boston. And, ur just talking about the needle exchange! Ok, im going to end this, so I can listen... I'm so glad I saw the doc, and someone in the comment section posted the link to your talk. Kick ass this yr girl!!

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    1. We are really struggling to get the message of Harm Reduction out there. It’s a challenge as folks see it as “enabling”

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    2. It makes me so mad, as it's a huuuge different between please be safe and don't forget to use clean water, etc.. And here honey, here's $50 and be sure to come home whenever you want, in whatever state you are in. Ugh, frustrating!
      Speaking of Enabling... Lol.. I just finished watching the talk you did at Tufts, & something I was hoping they'd ask is this.. How does someone prevent their kids from following the same path their parents went down? It's a thing I've been struggling with, and my child is getting older and older and in a few yrs will be ten. I pray every day he takes a different road. I'd die, if he made my same horrible choices... Any parent wants better for their kids, but probably not more than an ex junk box! Do you have any advice, or know what, statically, has proven helpful.. Thanks so much for responding to my already 3600 posts, lol!

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    3. I try to be as honest as I can with the kids, hoping they will learn from me instead of their friends when the time comes.

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