Substance Users

H/T Audrey Silk for this NYT piece on the hospital treatment of “substance users”:

We are their doctors and nurses, their parents, their arresting officers, parole officers, judge and jury. Needless to say, we are not trained for the last five roles, nor are we particularly good at them.

A single principle guides us: You cannot use your drug of choice on our premises, no matter how much you may need it and prefer it to our proffered alternatives. Around that immutable core swirl large clouds of negotiation, compromise, duplicity, manipulation and general misery for all involved.

It’s a complete alternative society, in which new people step into the shoes of parents, police, and courts. No doubt they also have interrogators, torturers, and executioners as well. It’s a new society in which all the old rules have been swept away and replaced with new ones.

A bit like Sharia law or something.

It’s a society which starts inside hospitals, and then extends to the hospital grounds, and then out into the surrounding streets, and finally into the police stations and courts and councils and parliaments, bringing general misery to everyone.

And all guided by a single principle: You can’t use your substance of choice here. That’s the complete new Constitution and Bill of Rights.

One patient is tying his shoes as we make our rounds in the morning, and tells us cheerfully that he is going out for a smoke. He’ll be right back. We inform him, not without sympathy, that in our hospital smoking breaks are not allowed. If he leaves for even half an hour he will officially be considered discharged. His bed will be given to someone else, and to resume his medical care, he will have to go back to the emergency room and start the cycle all over again.

I couldn’t help imagining another patient also tying his shoes, and saying cheerfully:

“Just nipping round the corner for tea and biscuits. I’ll be back in two ticks.”

The burly guards nurses looked at each other, thunderstruck.

“What sort of biscuits?”

“Oh, I dunno, whatever they’ve got. Hobnobs would be fine…”

There was an audible intake of breath.

“No tea. No biscuits.” one of them eventually said, shaking his head slowly but firmly. “They’re restricted substances. Tea kills. And tea and biscuits kill even quicker. Hobnobs kill in minutes.”

The patient began to protest, but was silenced by one of the guards who’d stepped forward.

“I lost my daughter to tea and Hobnobs.” he said, his voice cracking. “She was a happy girl until she started drinking tea and eating Hobnobs. I tried to stop her, but she locked herself away in her room. She even refused to come downstairs for her lentil soup. She said she hated it, and she wanted to be free. When I finally broke down the door, she was lying on the floor surrounded by tea paraphernalia – teapots, tea strainers, spoons, floral cups and saucers –  and lots and lots of empty Hobnob packets. It’s a terrible thing for a parent to find his precious daughter lying on the floor with semi-liquid Hobnob fluid dripping from her mouth after her final binge…”

Tea. Biscuits. These also are substances of choice. And just as addictive as, say, chocolate or iced doughnuts. But what about…

“Just going down to the pond. I’ll be back in a bit.”

“What are you going to do there?”

“Oh, sit in the sun and watch the ducks or something.”

“Pond? Sit? Ducks?”

Meaningful looks exchanged.

“The pond is very deep. And the ducks attack on sight. We don’t want to be finding your sun-blackened body floating face down in the pond being savaged by feral ducks.”

“We can’t allow it.”

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26 Responses to Substance Users

  1. Oi you says:

    And they haven’t even started yet. They’re just warming up….


  2. beobrigitte says:

    A single principle guides us: You cannot use your drug of choice….

    I see. What about the drugs of pharmaceutical company profit choice?

    • Rose says:

      Absolutely fine, Brigitte, after all, they have been prescribed for you, a qualified someone else chose them.

      • Rose says:

        While we were asleep.

        New EU regulations on herbal medicines come into force
        30 April 2011

        “New European Union rules have come into force banning hundreds of traditional herbal remedies.

        The EU law aims to protect consumers from possible damaging side-effects of over-the-counter herbal medicines.”

        “To date, the industry has been covered by the 1968 Medicines Act, drawn up when only a handful of herbal remedies were available and the number of herbal practitioners was very small.

        But surveys show that about a quarter of all adults in the UK have used a herbal medicine in the past two years, mostly bought over the counter in health food shops and pharmacies.”

        “But safety concerns have focused on the powerful effects of some herbal remedies, as well as the way they interact with conventional drugs.”

        “From now on only products that have been assessed by the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will be allowed to go on sale.”

        “And to count as a traditional medicine, products must have been in use for the past 30 years, including 15 years within the EU.

        They will also only be approved for minor ailments like coughs and colds, muscular aches and pains, or sleep problems

        Thou shalt not self-treat.

  3. roobeedoo2 says:

    “Hobnobs kill in minutes.”

    LOL! Well, they are like the SAS of biscuits ;)

  4. Harleyrider1978 says:

    The Ohio drug center last week gave up its no smoking policy because it had 70% of it’d beds empty and no waiting list anymore. As everyone left when they went non smoking.

    • Harleyrider1978 says:

      Its basically the same everywhere with drug or mental units. Nobody comes around for help anymore if its no smoling . the Va center for PTSD didn’t want people leaving but they do anyway and the third floor has a safe place to hide and smoke

  5. prog says:

    As ever, it’s the antis who regard bans as reasonable, without sincere empathy for those who don’t wish to subscribe to their petty little dictates. Patients can, of course, make a choice – obey or fuck off. Out of sight, out of mind…

    If they genuinely believed that they were trained solely to serve the less fortunate (as presumably they dreamt when younger) they should, at least, try to open their minds and accept one simple fact – the non existent danger of SHS to themselves is literally nothing compared with the harm smoking bans inflict on vulnerable people.

    If anything, the total ban on smoking in places such as this epitomises the kind of evil and ignorance that is destroying civilised society. It’s them who regard themselves as civilised, normal and caring. But they’re the ones who have become denormalised.

    And it’s not just about smoking – who among us older ones could ever have imagined a copper refusing to save the life of a drowning kid years ago because his/her career took precedence?

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  7. Clicky says:

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    anybody ever seen one of these before

  9. harleyrider1978 says:
  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Well for 10 days weve had a stomach virus hit us and many of our friends and now the schools are being hit with it too. They finally identified it. A Chinese norovirus americans have little immunity too!

    Question is why didn’t health depts. and CDC vectoring not get a stranglehold on this back in November when they were hot on its heels………Only after 3 weeks of it hitting ky,tenn area did one docs office finally have it identified and now its all up and down the west coast and the north east shutting down schools and infecting everyone. They say this virus can openly live on surfaces for up to 2 weeks. Its virulent as hell.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    The list of smoker’s rights parties and organisations near to you.
    Forces International

    Citizens Freedom Alliance, Inc.

    Smokers Rights Newsletter Encyclopedia

    C.A.G.E. (Canada)

    Tobacco Smokers of Canada (Canada)

    Citizens for Civil Liberties (Canada)

    New York City C.L.A.S.H (USA)

    American Smokers Party (USA)

    Cigar Rights of America (USA)

    Smoking Aloud (USA)

    Stop the Bans (USA, Colorado)

    The Truth is a Lie – Pennsylvania Action Network (USA)

    M.A.S.H. (Michigan Against Smoker Harassment) (USA)

    Smokers Against Discrimination

    Velvet Glove Iron Fist (UK)


    F.A.G.S – Fight Against Government Suppression (UK)

    Smokers ReUnited (UK)

    The Free society (UK)

    Netzwerk Rauchen e.V. (Germany)

    Stichting Rokers Belangen (Netherlands) (Austria)

    Klaus K BLOG (Denmark) (Denmark)

    Rygerpartiet (Denmark)

    HORECACLAIM EUROPE (Belgium)…/1-Horecaclaim_Europe_Has_Been_F…

    Fedcaf Belgium

    „Национална асоциация на свободните (НАС) – Свободен избор” (Bulgaria)

    Northern Kentucky CHOICE
    = Facts & Lies about Smoking =…


  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Long list of smokers groups on the net. Just click on the pic should take you to zats facebook page to check em all out.

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Tobacco taxes exacerbate street crime in Chicago neighborhoods

    The mayor’s proposal to raise $6 million dollars by further taxing tobacco would have a negative ripple effect that would increase crime, further aggravate…

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Tobacco taxes exacerbate street crime in Chicago neighborhoods

      Posted on February 8, 2016

      Watkins_family_001Pastor Roosevelt Watkins III
      Pastors United for Change, Chicago

      We all understand that the City of Chicago is in dire need of additional revenue; however, it is critical that policymakers do so in a way that does not exacerbate the violence problem in low income and minority communities across the city.

      The mayor’s proposal to raise $6 million dollars by further taxing tobacco would have a negative ripple effect that would increase crime, further aggravate police and community relations, and strip opportunity from struggling young people with tremendous odds already stacked against them.In the mayor’s proposal, a pack of cigars would just about double in price to around $15. Secondly, the proposal would set a minimum price on a pack of cigarettes at $11.50.

      None of my perspective is related to the rights of smokers. As an opponent of smoking, I have worked hard to promote anti-smoking campaigns for Chicago’s youth. My concern is rooted in the fact that too many Chicago neighborhoods are already impacted by violence, and dramatic increases to the prices of cigars and cigarettes will only increase the activity of the illegal back-alley market for these products, resulting in more unnecessary altercations with police and more people ending up with criminal records for petty crimes that impair their ability to get a job.

      Chicago newspapers have written about the illegal trafficking of tobacco products. The former head investigator for the Illinois Department of Revenue said the problem of cigarette smuggling rivals illegal drug running, and it has grown in volume because the illegal sales can be just as lucrative but with lower penalties than those that come with narcotics convictions. When nearly half of all young black men in Chicago are unemployed and living in poverty, it is understandable how engaging in these petty crimes would be an attractive path to follow. Unfortunately, the growth of this illegal market will leave more people with criminal records, preventing them from getting jobs. It will also open the door for another Eric Garner situation as police will be targeting neighborhoods for illegal cigarette sales which are the same minority communities that have suffered from the police brutality and shootings that have made recent headlines.

      Escalating prices also drives the market for loose cigarettes. There is no easier way for kids to start smoking than the sale of loose cigarettes on the street. I know the mayor has a genuine interest in preventing children from smoking, but these are the types of unintentional consequences that the City Council needs to fully think through before passing new taxes affecting these communities.

      The proposal will also impact local businesses in these communities that will not be able to compete with prices in the suburbs or Indiana. As a result, jobs and opportunity in these communities further disappear with exorbitant taxes and fees. The cycle is obvious in too many Chicago neighborhoods.

      Until we can have true reform in the Chicago Police Department and create programs that bring jobs and opportunity to people impacted by the high unemployment rate, we need to shelve the idea of any tax that will worsen the crime problem on our streets. Chicago can’t afford to cement its underprivileged to a permanent underclass. If we want to stop the violence, we must not create dynamics that will encourage it to grow.

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    Investors ‘go bananas’ for gold bars as global stock markets tumble

    Bullion dealers report record sales as buyers “queue round the block” to purchase the precious metal

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Obama changed the schedule on opiates so now nobody can hardly get their pain killers anymore unless you buy from the street or go to a pain clinic that rips you off to no end.

      Then he proposes this a year after he created the biggest heroine epidemic to hit the USA since the 1960s.

      But in other areas, Obama’s budget contains items both sides agree must take priority in the year ahead. That includes $1 billion in new funding for treating opioid addiction, a national epidemic that’s taken prominence on the presidential campaign trail, and another billion for cancer research as part of Vice President Joe Biden’s “moonshot” initiative.

      Old Joe didn’t forget the ACS either did he!

  15. harleyrider1978 says:

    Obama Proposes Cigarette Tax Increase

    Obama budget proposal includes cigarette and “likely” OTP tax increases

    And then this

    GOP set against new Obama budget’s proposed tax hikes

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