Spend a Few Weeks Living Like a Meth Addict While Watching This Video – Sad but Human

Meth makes people disappear. Loved ones addicted to meth may live in the same town, yet for all the real contact we have with them, they may as well be on the moon. And this can be very tough for anyone who has never been sucked into that life to understand.

This documentary follows a few lives in a small community of meth addicts in Australia. It follows them during week long binges and crashes – in and out of jail, and hospital, and although it’s pretty disturbing at times, it’s not a movie that’s trying to "scare anyone straight". It’s not yet another "faces of meth" variation.

These Australian addicts look and act the same as binging meth addicts anywhere and yet through the erratic behavior and shocking health consequences, the people shine through as people, not just junkies. The film humanizes the people of meth addiction as it reveals a very different, and devastating, lifestyle.

Captivating and educating and sad – and very worth spending a few minutes to watch [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY_vwZyye2U&hl=en%5DPart 2
Part 3 Part 4Part 5

Meth makes people disappear. Loved ones addicted to meth may live in the same town, yet for all the real contact we have with them, they may as well be on the moon. And this can be very tough for anyone who has never been sucked into that life to understand.

This documentary follows a few lives in a small community of meth addicts in Australia. It follows them during week long binges and crashes – in and out of jail, and hospital, and although it’s pretty disturbing at times, it’s not a movie that’s trying to “scare anyone straight”. It’s not yet another “faces of meth” variation.

These Australian addicts look and act the same as binging meth addicts anywhere and yet through the erratic behavior and shocking health consequences, the people shine through as people, not just junkies. The film humanizes the people of meth addiction as it reveals a very different, and devastating, lifestyle.

Captivating and educating and sad – and very worth spending a few minutes to watch:


Part 1

 


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5

Commit a Crime – Win Free Drug Treatment!

Yay Drug Courts! It’s hard to find anyone these days with much of anything bad to say about drug courts. These alternative sentencing vehicles are saving tax payers a huge amount of money, they are freeing up space in overcrowded jails, they are helping people in need beat terrible addictions, reuniting families and the recidivism rates for drug court graduates are far lower than for offenders processed through the traditional court system. Yay! Seriously, they work, and they save everyone money, and it’s great news that drug courts are now in operation in all 50 states, with a total of 2000 in operation or in the works. But They have created a rather strange set of circumstances.

  • If you are poor, addicted to drugs and alcohol and really want some help to get better – but are not a criminal – you are out of luck.
  • If you are poor, addicted to drugs or alcohol, don’t care if you get help or not, and commit crimes – then you get free drug treatment.

It’s an absurdity, and I have spoken with a few people over the last months who find themselves in this frustrating predicament. It seems to them, that the only way they are going to be able to get drug treatment, is by being arrested for a crime. Not ideal Drug courts aren’t going away, nor should they. They work better than the traditional court system, they are more humane and they treat the root cause of such a lot of the criminal behavior in this country today. But why should we wait to provide funding for people only after they commit crimes? Why not give them a leg up before it gets to that stage? Let’s keep the drug courts, but expand the programming so that anyone in need can have access to the same sorts of treatment programs. Maybe that will cut down on the eventual need for courts and drug courts alike, while saving a great deal of tax-payer money on everything from law-enforcement to welfare to health care. Besides, it’s the right thing to do – and it’s only fair.

Yay Drug Courts! It’s hard to find anyone these days with much of anything bad to say about drug courts. These alternative sentencing vehicles are saving tax payers a huge amount of money, they are freeing up space in overcrowded jails, they are helping people in need beat terrible addictions, reuniting families and the recidivism rates for drug court graduates are far lower than for offenders processed through the traditional court system. Yay! Seriously, they work, and they save everyone money, and it’s great news that drug courts are now in operation in all 50 states, with a total of 2000 in operation or in the works. But They have created a rather strange set of circumstances.

  • If you are poor, addicted to drugs and alcohol and really want some help to get better – but are not a criminal – you are out of luck.
  • If you are poor, addicted to drugs or alcohol, don’t care if you get help or not, and commit crimes – then you get free drug treatment.

It’s an absurdity, and I have spoken with a few people over the last months who find themselves in this frustrating predicament. It seems to them, that the only way they are going to be able to get drug treatment, is by being arrested for a crime. Not ideal Drug courts aren’t going away, nor should they. They work better than the traditional court system, they are more humane and they treat the root cause of such a lot of the criminal behavior in this country today. But why should we wait to provide funding for people only after they commit crimes? Why not give them a leg up before it gets to that stage? Let’s keep the drug courts, but expand the programming so that anyone in need can have access to the same sorts of treatment programs. Maybe that will cut down on the eventual need for courts and drug courts alike, while saving a great deal of tax-payer money on everything from law-enforcement to welfare to health care. Besides, it’s the right thing to do – and it’s only fair.

Jailed Monkeys Use More Cocaine

Monkeys in nicer cages use less cocaine than monkeys in standard cages. That’s one of the more interesting research findings coming out of Wake Forest University Medical School this month. 

Monkeys are used as a good predicative animal model for the administration of drugs in humans. Essentially, if monkeys like something, then we probably will too.

Researchers wondered what effect the monkey’s environment would have on their desire to self administer cocaine. They put some cocaine using monkeys in larger cages for three days and then gave them access to cocaine and food self administration – and the monkeys that were given access to larger (nicer) cages, administered less cocaine than the monkeys that didn’t get the upgrade.

The researchers stress that the environmental improvement was relatively minimal, and suspect that if the monkeys were given access to a larger cage, and also given interesting activities to do while in the cage, the decrease in cocaine self administration would be larger.

The human extrapolation suggests that environment plays a greater than previously thought of influence over drug use, and that people in more pleasant environments are likely better able to reduce their cocaine usage.

On the flip side, and not entirely surprisingly – monkeys that were subjected to three days of more stressful living, instead of more spacious accommodations, used more cocaine than before.

Hmm…

I wonder why putting people in small jail cells doesn’t seem to help them quit drugs very well?

Monkeys in nicer cages use less cocaine than monkeys in standard cages. That’s one of the more interesting research findings coming out of Wake Forest University Medical School this month. 

Monkeys are used as a good predicative animal model for the administration of drugs in humans. Essentially, if monkeys like something, then we probably will too.

Researchers wondered what effect the monkey’s environment would have on their desire to self administer cocaine. They put some cocaine using monkeys in larger cages for three days and then gave them access to cocaine and food self administration – and the monkeys that were given access to larger (nicer) cages, administered less cocaine than the monkeys that didn’t get the upgrade.

The researchers stress that the environmental improvement was relatively minimal, and suspect that if the monkeys were given access to a larger cage, and also given interesting activities to do while in the cage, the decrease in cocaine self administration would be larger.

The human extrapolation suggests that environment plays a greater than previously thought of influence over drug use, and that people in more pleasant environments are likely better able to reduce their cocaine usage.

On the flip side, and not entirely surprisingly – monkeys that were subjected to three days of more stressful living, instead of more spacious accommodations, used more cocaine than before.

Hmm…

I wonder why putting people in small jail cells doesn’t seem to help them quit drugs very well?

Which Drug is Most Addictive? A List Ranking the Addictive Properties of Commonly Abused Drugs

Surfed across this today, and thought I would pass it along. It is a list ranking the addictive properties of various drugs. Drugs are ranked based on "how easy is it to get addicted?" and on "how tough is it to quit?"

These two questions were given to a community of addiction experts, who ranked each drug on a variety of measures. The scores below reflect the ranking scores offered by these addiction experts. The numbers are only relative opinions, and are based only on the experience and expertise of experts in the field. In other words – these are just opinion scores, but interesting none the less.

The Addiction Scores of Illicit or Abused Drugs

  • 100 – Nicotine
  • 99 – Ice, Glass (Methamphetamine smoked)
  • 98 – Crack
  • 93 – Crystal Meth (Methamphetamine injected)
  • 85 – Valium (Diazepam)
  • 83 – Quaalude (Methaqualone)
  • 82 – Seconal (Secobarbital)
  • 81 – Alcohol
  • 80 – Heroin
  • 78 – Crank (Amphetamine taken nasally)
  • 72 – Cocaine
  • 68 – Caffeine
  • 57 – PCP (Phencyclidine)
  • 21 – Marijuana
  • 20 – Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • 18 – Psilocybin Mushrooms
  • 18 – LSD
  • 18 – Mescaline

Research was conducted by John Hastings, and the full text article can be found at "In Health" journal.

Surfed across this today, and thought I would pass it along. It is a list ranking the addictive properties of various drugs. Drugs are ranked based on "how easy is it to get addicted?" and on "how tough is it to quit?"

These two questions were given to a community of addiction experts, who ranked each drug on a variety of measures. The scores below reflect the ranking scores offered by these addiction experts. The numbers are only relative opinions, and are based only on the experience and expertise of experts in the field. In other words – these are just opinion scores, but interesting none the less.

The Addiction Scores of Illicit or Abused Drugs

  • 100 – Nicotine
  • 99 – Ice, Glass (Methamphetamine smoked)
  • 98 – Crack
  • 93 – Crystal Meth (Methamphetamine injected)
  • 85 – Valium (Diazepam)
  • 83 – Quaalude (Methaqualone)
  • 82 – Seconal (Secobarbital)
  • 81 – Alcohol
  • 80 – Heroin
  • 78 – Crank (Amphetamine taken nasally)
  • 72 – Cocaine
  • 68 – Caffeine
  • 57 – PCP (Phencyclidine)
  • 21 – Marijuana
  • 20 – Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • 18 – Psilocybin Mushrooms
  • 18 – LSD
  • 18 – Mescaline

Research was conducted by John Hastings, and the full text article can be found at "In Health" journal.

Virtual vs. Real-Life Identities – Is it Crazy to Choose a Virtual Life?

Millions of people become someone else everyday on the internet. People lie about their age, gender and occupation as a matter of course on forums and e-communities, and shift identities even more intensely when playing virtual world video games like World of Warcraft.

If you can be anything, you might as well be who you wish you were, rather than what limits you on this mortal realm. So if someone decides they like their online persona better, and decides to spend as much time in that persona as possible, living virtually – are they crazy?

Should we label them video game addicts, and intervene?

There is something incredibly seductive about this identity transformation, especially for people who feel somewhat dissatisfied with the life they live in the "real world". In MMPRPG’s (Massively multi player Role Playing Games) you emerge into a truly egalitarian world. You can be as good looking as everyone else, brave and incredibly successful, no matter how lowly your real world realities. In a virtual world, shy teens become leaders of armies, and the body conscious and insecure, objects of desire.

These games are addictive by design, and a lot of people get sucked into a virtual world existence, at the expense of their real life happiness. And surely a large part of the attraction is this ability to live an alternate, and in many ways, happier existence.

People get Addicted – But They Don’t Want to Quit

Millions of people around the world are whiling their lives away, largely within cyber identities, in virtual worlds. Many of these people recognize to some degree the costs incurred to their real world lives, yet an awful lot of these people seem to be making a conscious choice to keep playing.

They choose virtual contentment and pleasure, knowing full well the price they pay for it.

Now, some would argue that these people are just addicts in denial. That this is addicted thinking that keeps these gamers glued to their screens, and keeps them from taking the steps needed to restore some sanity to their worldly lives.

And they may be right – the games certainly are addictive, and denial is always part and parcel of addiction.

Or maybe they just choose a better life?

Gamers don’t often want to quit – other people around them convince them to. Gaming addiction (if that’s what it should be called?) certainly does create some real-world harms that can be hard for those around them to watch. After all, it’s hard to keep a job, physical health and a healthy social life when all awakened hours are spent alone in a darkened room.

But is it a form of mental illness to select an existence that brings you greater tangible pleasures? Gamers don’t complain of loneliness, they spend all day interacting with friends – those friends just happen to look like elves or dwarves, and they reside online.

Are online friends less real than physical world friends?

Gamers say they prefer the virtual world, that there they can be who they really want to be in life, and that it’s a life with little pain, great adventure, and fulfilling rewards – a far cry from the tedium of real world living.

Is that crazy?

People are finding love and getting married within games, they are setting up full time occupations in virtual shop fronts (and earning real world money to do so), and they are living the life they choose, free from restraint.

Is that crazy?

Are they Crazy?

 

I don’t know – I think they probably are…Crazy in terms of exhibiting all of the signs and symptoms that would lead to a clinical diagnosis of a compulsive disorder, anyway. And there is no doubt that some people pay an incredibly high price for their gaming – Their real world lives in shambles at the expense of an alternate reality. And as good as online friends may be – they can’t make you soup when you’re sick, and online love affairs won’t bring the joys of children.

So yes, I think they are probably crazy – but they’re not stupid. They choose something different, something that brings them more happiness than real world living seems able to, and somewhere that lets them be what they want to be. They may be crazy, but you can understand where they’re coming from.

It’s a tragic and fascinating phenomenon, just starting to really unfold – the tip of the coming iceberg, that’s for sure. As things get more sophisticated, and virtual lives continue to enrich – who’s to say what will become of all of us. Will there come a time when all of us choose the boundless possibilities of a virtual life over the limitations of physicality?

Do you try to rescue someone who swears they’re happy as they are?

For now, I think you gotta’. It’s too sad to watch someone give up on real world living, for what is still a pretty limited, albeit seductive, fantasy world life. It’s a mental health disorder, and it can be treated, and most people will probably be happier and more fulfilled by striving towards what they want in real life, rather than taking the easy way out, virtually.

But you can understand it, and one day, and maybe one day soon, those virtual worlds will start to legitimately compete with a real world existence, and that’s when it’s going to get truly and terribly interesting. Will we all be living virtually in 30 years?

Game Addiction Documentary (8 min)

An interesting exploration of the issue from the point of view of gamers caught up in their games.

 

Millions of people become someone else everyday on the internet. People lie about their age, gender and occupation as a matter of course on forums and e-communities, and shift identities even more intensely when playing virtual world video games like World of Warcraft.

If you can be anything, you might as well be who you wish you were, rather than what limits you on this mortal realm. So if someone decides they like their online persona better, and decides to spend as much time in that persona as possible, living virtually – are they crazy?

Should we label them video game addicts, and intervene?

There is something incredibly seductive about this identity transformation, especially for people who feel somewhat dissatisfied with the life they live in the "real world". In MMPRPG’s (Massively multi player Role Playing Games) you emerge into a truly egalitarian world. You can be as good looking as everyone else, brave and incredibly successful, no matter how lowly your real world realities. In a virtual world, shy teens become leaders of armies, and the body conscious and insecure, objects of desire.

These games are addictive by design, and a lot of people get sucked into a virtual world existence, at the expense of their real life happiness. And surely a large part of the attraction is this ability to live an alternate, and in many ways, happier existence.

People get Addicted – But They Don’t Want to Quit

Millions of people around the world are whiling their lives away, largely within cyber identities, in virtual worlds. Many of these people recognize to some degree the costs incurred to their real world lives, yet an awful lot of these people seem to be making a conscious choice to keep playing.

They choose virtual contentment and pleasure, knowing full well the price they pay for it.

Now, some would argue that these people are just addicts in denial. That this is addicted thinking that keeps these gamers glued to their screens, and keeps them from taking the steps needed to restore some sanity to their worldly lives.

And they may be right – the games certainly are addictive, and denial is always part and parcel of addiction.

Or maybe they just choose a better life?

Gamers don’t often want to quit – other people around them convince them to. Gaming addiction (if that’s what it should be called?) certainly does create some real-world harms that can be hard for those around them to watch. After all, it’s hard to keep a job, physical health and a healthy social life when all awakened hours are spent alone in a darkened room.

But is it a form of mental illness to select an existence that brings you greater tangible pleasures? Gamers don’t complain of loneliness, they spend all day interacting with friends – those friends just happen to look like elves or dwarves, and they reside online.

Are online friends less real than physical world friends?

Gamers say they prefer the virtual world, that there they can be who they really want to be in life, and that it’s a life with little pain, great adventure, and fulfilling rewards – a far cry from the tedium of real world living.

Is that crazy?

People are finding love and getting married within games, they are setting up full time occupations in virtual shop fronts (and earning real world money to do so), and they are living the life they choose, free from restraint.

Is that crazy?

Are they Crazy?

 

I don’t know – I think they probably are…Crazy in terms of exhibiting all of the signs and symptoms that would lead to a clinical diagnosis of a compulsive disorder, anyway. And there is no doubt that some people pay an incredibly high price for their gaming – Their real world lives in shambles at the expense of an alternate reality. And as good as online friends may be – they can’t make you soup when you’re sick, and online love affairs won’t bring the joys of children.

So yes, I think they are probably crazy – but they’re not stupid. They choose something different, something that brings them more happiness than real world living seems able to, and somewhere that lets them be what they want to be. They may be crazy, but you can understand where they’re coming from.

It’s a tragic and fascinating phenomenon, just starting to really unfold – the tip of the coming iceberg, that’s for sure. As things get more sophisticated, and virtual lives continue to enrich – who’s to say what will become of all of us. Will there come a time when all of us choose the boundless possibilities of a virtual life over the limitations of physicality?

Do you try to rescue someone who swears they’re happy as they are?

For now, I think you gotta’. It’s too sad to watch someone give up on real world living, for what is still a pretty limited, albeit seductive, fantasy world life. It’s a mental health disorder, and it can be treated, and most people will probably be happier and more fulfilled by striving towards what they want in real life, rather than taking the easy way out, virtually.

But you can understand it, and one day, and maybe one day soon, those virtual worlds will start to legitimately compete with a real world existence, and that’s when it’s going to get truly and terribly interesting. Will we all be living virtually in 30 years?

Game Addiction Documentary (8 min)

An interesting exploration of the issue from the point of view of gamers caught up in their games.

 

Wet Brain. Why Do We Add Vitamins to Bread, But Not Beer?

Nobody walks away from years of heavy drinking unscathed, it always takes its toll; but for some heavy drinkers, a multi decade party ends in tragedy, with Wernickes-Korsakoffs Syndrome…wet brain.

Wet Brain

Wet brain is a tragic and often fatal syndrome of brain damage caused by years of vitamin B1 deficiency. Most people get all the vitamin B1 they need through a normal diet. Alcoholics, who may eat poorly or have damaged and ill functioning gastro intestinal systems, often do not. And the syndrome is pretty sad, with symptoms of confusion, language deficits, an ill ability to concentrate and social withdrawal just a few of many – and it can and does kill tens of thousands of Americans each year.

A simple vitamin deficiency!

So anyway, I was talking with my mom about wet brain, and she asked me why they didn’t just fortify beer with vitamin B1. And I had no idea. Why didn’t they? There must be some reason though right? It just seems too obvious a solution to such tragedy.

So anyway, a quick peek online confirmed a couple of things. Firstly, that my mom is a pretty smart cookie, and secondly that the AMA has been recommending just such a fortification, and studies have shown that it would work. An Australian study, where researchers actually did fortify beer showed that alcoholics drinking this B1 beer showed cognitive improvements, couldn’t taste the difference, and that the vitamins could be added to beer for about 20 cents per 6000 bottles!

Currently, brewers cannot legally add vitamins to beer, and some have argued that by offering vitamin enriched alcohol, some people might assume that drinking was less dangerous than it is. But hey, legislation is changeable, especially when it makes sense – when it saves lives, and I don’t think adding vitamin fortification to the small print on a case of beer is gonna’ be convincing anyone to drink more than they do now.

But there has got to be something else, right? I mean it can’t be this easy can it…

So for now, if you drink too much, make sure you take a B12 supplement, it could save your life – and maybe one day, one day soon, that just won’t be necessary, and you’ll get all you need in a few "well balanced" beers a day.

Nobody walks away from years of heavy drinking unscathed, it always takes its toll; but for some heavy drinkers, a multi decade party ends in tragedy, with Wernickes-Korsakoffs Syndrome…wet brain.

Wet Brain

Wet brain is a tragic and often fatal syndrome of brain damage caused by years of vitamin B1 deficiency. Most people get all the vitamin B1 they need through a normal diet. Alcoholics, who may eat poorly or have damaged and ill functioning gastro intestinal systems, often do not. And the syndrome is pretty sad, with symptoms of confusion, language deficits, an ill ability to concentrate and social withdrawal just a few of many – and it can and does kill tens of thousands of Americans each year.

A simple vitamin deficiency!

So anyway, I was talking with my mom about wet brain, and she asked me why they didn’t just fortify beer with vitamin B1. And I had no idea. Why didn’t they? There must be some reason though right? It just seems too obvious a solution to such tragedy.

So anyway, a quick peek online confirmed a couple of things. Firstly, that my mom is a pretty smart cookie, and secondly that the AMA has been recommending just such a fortification, and studies have shown that it would work. An Australian study, where researchers actually did fortify beer showed that alcoholics drinking this B1 beer showed cognitive improvements, couldn’t taste the difference, and that the vitamins could be added to beer for about 20 cents per 6000 bottles!

Currently, brewers cannot legally add vitamins to beer, and some have argued that by offering vitamin enriched alcohol, some people might assume that drinking was less dangerous than it is. But hey, legislation is changeable, especially when it makes sense – when it saves lives, and I don’t think adding vitamin fortification to the small print on a case of beer is gonna’ be convincing anyone to drink more than they do now.

But there has got to be something else, right? I mean it can’t be this easy can it…

So for now, if you drink too much, make sure you take a B12 supplement, it could save your life – and maybe one day, one day soon, that just won’t be necessary, and you’ll get all you need in a few "well balanced" beers a day.

Are the French Smarter Than Us? On Alcohol Advertising They Sure Are

You can tell the world about your product, about why it tastes better or about how it was made, but in France at least, if you’re selling alcohol, that’s about all you can say.

You cannot imply that drinking makes life more fun. You cannot imply that alcohol is cool, or sophisticated or stylish or worldly and you cannot imply that by drinking alcohol you will become better looking, more likable or successful. In short, everything that American alcohol advertisers do – they cannot.

And the French enforce it too, recent rulings against Heineken and Moet Champagne for minor transgressions shows the teeth in this legislation of public health promotion.

And they’re smart to do so, as studies consistently and conclusively show that alcohol advertising does predispose kids to drink, and helps people feel OK about drinking to excess.

We shouldn’t ban alcohol advertising, but this time – the French have hit a home run, and we should have the courage to follow in their footsteps.

You can tell the world about your product, about why it tastes better or about how it was made, but in France at least, if you’re selling alcohol, that’s about all you can say.

You cannot imply that drinking makes life more fun. You cannot imply that alcohol is cool, or sophisticated or stylish or worldly and you cannot imply that by drinking alcohol you will become better looking, more likable or successful. In short, everything that American alcohol advertisers do – they cannot.

And the French enforce it too, recent rulings against Heineken and Moet Champagne for minor transgressions shows the teeth in this legislation of public health promotion.

And they’re smart to do so, as studies consistently and conclusively show that alcohol advertising does predispose kids to drink, and helps people feel OK about drinking to excess.

We shouldn’t ban alcohol advertising, but this time – the French have hit a home run, and we should have the courage to follow in their footsteps.