14: Propaganda, Narcan Parties, and Big Alcohol (Sort Of)

1/19/20 Talking about propaganda that gets used in addiction and recovery conversations. We explain the idea of a Narcan Party and dissect the theory that they exist, while giving a slightly educated view on harm reduction. Lastly we examine how well the alcohol industry has done to convince us all that that alcohol is just a little different than the rest of the drugs.

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recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss the recovery and addiction topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the views expressed here are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature

all right everybody hey welcome back it’s Jason I’m a guy in long-term recovery and I’m here with Billy hi this is Billy I’m also a person in a long-term recovery and we’re here to talk about recovery sort of as always so where we’re gonna start this week I my daughter’s are taking a life skills class just for reference there they’re 14 years old they’re in eighth grade they’re twins and so if you wonder why I say daughters and not daughter so we’re in the car the other day and we’re driving to their basketball practice and they’re telling me about this life skills class they’re taking and my daughter’s describing it and you know things they’re being taught and this narcan idea and I you know I share everything like I have narcan told me right like that’s something I carry around they’re like really they’re shocked by this I’m like yeah why I’m like into a situation I need it right I don’t know I mean I I don’t know that I’m gonna encounter that in my life but I mine who knows and why not have it so they’re going on about more of the stuff they’re getting taught and then my daughter says yeah we heard about these narcan parties they’re having and I’m like what and she’s like yeah the people are getting a lot of narcan together and if you’re not familiar with this so narcan is hmm it’s a drug that if you have overdosed on an opioid narcan is a drug that you can administer that hopefully will kind of kick the little dealies out of the receptor sites in your brain and revive you to some extent right it like reverses the effect of what the opioid is doing and so it can it has saved a lot of lives it has brought a lot of people back who are in the process of overdose and you can read all about it online but what my daughter’s were saying was they’re being taught that there’s these ideas of narcan parties and so what happens is a lot of addicts I don’t know five ten addicts that are in the neighborhood they all get together in a basement and they get all these different heroin and and fentanyl’s from all around the neighborhood right like they’ve pulled together all this money to throw this large party of all these mix of heroines and fentanyl’s and then what they do is they’re they’re gonna have a party and they’re gonna overdose on purpose right and and so and then they’re gonna bring each other back and this is the whole concept of an arcane party is that all these individuals are gonna take all these different heroines and fentanyl’s in some overdosing way and then they’re all going to administer narcan on each other and continually bring each other back and I I just the whole concept this is so absurd to me i I had heard somebody describe it to me before that they believed that this was going on and I was just like who came up with this ridiculous propaganda to hate on addicts basically to shame addicts right like we should never have narcan because if we’re giving them this they’re definitely gonna have these narcan parties right and I just can’t get over the fact that we’re like teaching this information to people in schools yeah and the absurdity of some of that I mean if you just think through that idea a little bit you realize how stupid it sounds I mean most people that are you know heroin addicts especially hardcore heroin addicts that are trying to push themselves to the point of overdose which I don’t think most addicts are ever trying to push themselves to the point of overdose that’s never the goal you’re so close yeah you want to be high but you’re not trying to kill yourself most of the time or at least not consciously anyway you know that the amount of money that you would just have basically wasted right going out securing heroin you know and spending your money on it to then get high when you take this the actual drug is called naloxone narcan is the brand name but you know no lock zone is the actual drug when you take that it’s actually an opiate blocker and it goes into the receptors in your brain and blocks the effects of heroin and immediately brings you out of a high so you immediately lose your high so why on earth it’s like saying yeah I went out and drank five beers and soon as I started to feel loose I threw up ten times or whatever I needed to do to not feel that way anymore it’s like why would you waste money on that not only that but you’re talking about hardcore heroin addicts who you know don’t typically have this unlimited money resources you know to be wasting money on heroin too then narcan themselves out of like it’s just a stupid idea all the way around rarely did I ever have the money to buy the heroin at one spot to be able to buy it and get high and then bring myself out of a high to then spend more money to get high right after that I’m almost jealous I kind of want to go find these addicts that are having narcan parties and say how are you doing it right maybe you’re doing it successfully like I need to go back and do it the right way right and what’s hilarious is I had first heard this from someone I know who’s a business professional in the community and I’m sure he heard this somewhere I don’t think he originated the idea I’m sure it got you know propagated somewhere you know within the community but this is a person that’s involved with the Republican Party of this county and is involved with you know local businesses is involved with local elections that is you know connected with political people in this county and of those are the and this you know Jason’s daughters go to Cecil County Public Schools and so if these ideas are being propagated within our community within the you know political system it should be a note of just how out of touch any of these people are with actual addiction or the actual problems that are going on within the addict community I mean it’s very sad you know like say it’s a it’s a completely stupid idea that if you think through it for half a minute if you put any kind of effort into that the idea of that it’s just absurd now am I wrong doesn’t doesn’t narcan also have the possibility you said it brings you immediately out of the overdose can it also Mike send you into the withdrawal like if you use it I thought there was something about that where you could start to feel kind of sick hmm I’m not sure about that okay let’s not say we know that yeah I don’t know that for sure it could be yeah I’m not sure I haven’t heard that part but there’s there’s a couple different you know propaganda I’ll say ideas floating around out there there’s you know the thing of this narcan resistant fentanyl mom we’ve heard about that you know I that’s not a thing either you know there there’s no drug that’s narcan resistant yeah now that we’ve used it a few times it’s grown a you know accustomed to it and it knows how to be stronger than yeah there’s also some misinformation out about being able to get like a contact high from people that are on fentanyl or heroin that if you touch them yeah and this has been a mean and where this comes in is for medical people or first responders emergency responders and that information is being circulated within those communities and there has been right yes so that when you go out to a call I mean and you can’t blame like a first responder like in this community most of them are volunteers they’re not paid you know people willing to take this risk but these are volunteers your local neighbor that’s volunteered to try to help do something good for the community I mean I don’t want to make it sound like I’m down in them at all these are admirable people that are going out and doing thankless work on a volunteer basis that is incredibly kind and generous on their parts but if they hear these rumors or get fed this misinformation of course they’re scared to death you know they go out to a guy and he’s overdosing on the ground and all of a sudden they don’t want to [ _ ] touch him because they think they might get high off fentanyl right you know and that’s just there’s no evidence to that the stories that this has happened have all been very sort of what he called anecdotal like there’s no scientific research in fact there the scientific research proves that it’s not even possible that you don’t emit the fentanyl through your skin like that even in extreme uses in extreme overdose cases you’re never emitting fentanyl through your skin it doesn’t break that blood barrier to leave your bloodstream and then come out through your pores that just that isn’t scientifically factual right so uh when they were in the class I believe they were told that a police officer heard about this from the using addicts in the neighborhood like that’s how this propaganda was given to them this time that was where the narcan party was going on the police officer found out about it but like just it’ll worrisome way every basically every fourteen-year-old in Cecil County just got this message right my sister the story being taught and then we wonder about all the old wives tales from you know years past that our parents might have told us that it just aren’t true and have no scientific basis but they didn’t have the resources then and the internet to spread the word and so I kind of believed that we were gonna move past all these old wives tales now that we have all this wonderful science and the ability to access it at any moment with a little you know the little rectangle in our pocket that talks to space right like it shouldn’t be misinformation being spread like this and yet here we are because people want to have a judgment of people maybe um and that’s what I found out so when I look this up I was like you know what I have an opinion on this I think it’s ridiculous but let me actually do a search right and I didn’t do a super thorough search but I did look there was an article that was in the newspaper and the second article was an actual research paper written about this and it referred to him as Lazarus parties instead of narcan and Lazarus of course being the the guy in the Bible that came back from the dead and so what they talked about wasn’t so much is this factual or not because they pretty much dispelled that as a ridiculous idea to begin with they talked more about the role that these kind of stories and propaganda serve in in a public environment right and we make up these folktales and these uh you know weird little stories because we do want to you know put a judgement on a certain type of people we want we want first responders to think twice before they touch somebody who’s in an overdose before they help them right Oh think twice about that you might not want to get too close it might hurt you too right right oh well if we’re gonna supply all this narcan they’re just gonna use it for the wrong thing we should stop wasting our tax dollars on these people who don’t love themselves and are killing themselves just let them die right that’s where all this comes from this all comes from a judgement of addicts and that’s sad yeah there’s a lot of that that happens I mean when you really if anyone took the time to really dig in to a lot of the harm reduction techniques that are coming out now I’m becoming a little more well-known and a little more popular and looked at the research on like say the scientific evidence on how won the war on drugs over the last twenty years and our efforts to arrest and lock off our way out of this problem you can look into that all on its own and realize what an abysmal failure that’s been and that this you know the the moral belittling and you know degrading of addicts has not done anything but perpetuate a problem one of the things you talked about was this misinformation coming out from like schools or public authorities and I wish they would think through sometimes the effects of that later because as you talked about in the 80s like we had the you know this is your brain on drugs and this is what happens you know if you smoke weed you’re gonna go out and start murdering people and raping people in the streets you know as a teenager growing up at that time that was never my experience you know what I mean I smoked weed a couple times it was kind of fun I felt a little goofy we got the munchies and it was a you know it was like it wasn’t this all of a sudden I was you know stabbing my neighbors and you know robbing from the local store like that just wasn’t the experi and it wasn’t the experience not only was it not my experience it wasn’t the experience of anyone that I knew at 15 and 16 year old that was smoking weed like it just was [ _ ] so what happens is you learn to just discredit everything that they’re saying and that local authority who you would typically look at as someone who is going to provide you with good information becomes a bunch of [ _ ] that you don’t that has no credibility with you as a young adult anymore you know and they’re like oh they’re just they’re gonna tell you whatever [ _ ] they want to get you to think the way they want you to think and you know it actually serves a disservice to the people that they serve to perpetuate this sort of propaganda scare tactic you know BS I mean it’s like honest communication as you said especially nowadays when the research is out there you can take ten minutes and research any of this on your own kids are doing that all the time you know they’re in reddit groups or they’re in whatever discord groups and chatting with each other and talking about their shared experiences and soon as 10 or 15 of them get together and go well we’ve never seen that we’ve never even heard of that like that’s some made-up [ _ ] right all your credibility with the rest of the things that you’ve told them about addiction go out the window because you’re full of [ _ ] right the parts that might be true and helpful you’re no longer believing it right and so you know and if you dug into some of the harm reduction techniques myself included like in the beginning I’m like are we enabling people like are we just helping people use or we just helping people get high you know I don’t know if these are really good things you know for myself personally it was the consequences of my using that spurred me to seek recovery so there are some of those issues that are a bit of a gray area that should be discussed I’m not gonna lie they need to be talked about but the results of harm reduction techniques versus the results of trying to arrest our way out of the problem are there these programs you know when I talk about harm reduction I’m specifically talking about decriminalization is one

legalized injection site source a few sites needle exchange programs all these things when you look at the evidence in where these things have been put in place have been proven to have good results better results than what we’ve been doing in the past but we’ll ignore the scientific evidence because of our moral beliefs that we’re enabling addiction and that we’re you know by making drugs or you know making it easier for them to get high that that’s somehow perpetuates the problem and encourages use and all the evidence all the scientifically based evidence would show you that that is not true that in areas where they’ve had these you know insight up in Canada Vancouver Canada is one there’s a couple that they’ve done over in England there’s I can’t remember the city might be in London also in Portugal they’ve done decriminalization like there’s a couple different places where there’s evidence of these programs being in practice and they do serve to reduce crime rates one of the big things that people care about even if you don’t like addiction they do serve to reduce crime rates connect people with recovery resources you see a decrease in you know young young folks getting into addiction when you’re providing resources and education that’s practical yes so I would agree with you I you know the research on that is very clear it’s out there it’s not up in the air for debate anymore honestly I think you’re right we act a lot of times on a moral code system that honestly were probably not living in in some other area of our life but we want to enforce it on this one because that’s I guess the more important place or or we react to a gut feeling about certain things instead of following the the scientific thoughts about it so even the scientific point for points that way right there there proof is showing that this is the better way to go I would say even my own experience even though I’m with you I kind of had some questions about it at first and maybe there’s some gray area around this like my experience I think when I look at it really proves that this is probably the way to go too so I remember coming in and I had all these consequences and I said oh that must be what it takes to get to the point of being done right this this bottom that I hit must be what it takes but then after I’ve been around and heard enough people’s stories I heard that different people had different bottoms right some people came in and found the same recovery I did who still had their jobs and still made really good money and and Mart and you know about to go broke or homeless or any of that like they had just completely different bottoms that were spiritual in nature or some other method of you know hitting a bottom that was annoying enough that they wanted to do something about it and so I would say that just in that experience and looking at it knowing that everybody does it differently and I’ve watched people on methadone it’s some sort of bottom while they continue to use it I’ve watched people on suboxone hit a bottom where they’ve continued to use it and choose a different path of complete abstinence so I I don’t think that they’re not getting some kind of consequence to lead them to wherever it is they need to be right I don’t even though in my brain it says they’re avoiding consequences by using them maybe I would have been avoiding consequences using those substances but people are still finding that using them hey I’m staying alive for today but I’m still finding reasons in the long run that I don’t want to be on this for the rest of my life right and even for myself I mean when I got you know when I found recovery this time like methadone was always available I knew about methadone programs I knew what they were it wasn’t like you know I didn’t choose that path because it wasn’t available to me no it was there I chose a different path because it just fell more in line with what my goals and what my morals were at the time I think sometimes when we talk about addiction and entering in this path of recovery and don’t get me wrong I get as defensive about this word recovery and what that means and that can be a whole conversation there are some applications of it that I find offensive but whatever but when we talk about recovery for individuals we have to look at what are the goals and if your goal is to say that anyone that has a drug problem should be abstinent you’re just setting yourself up for failure you know you’re setting yourself up for just utopia that’s never gonna exist and if you go out to say you know some you know young lady who’s out there prostituting on the street or some guy who’s you know sleeping in the the local storage unit down at the end of the block to say to that guy hey if you just stop using drugs tomorrow and start going to some 12-step meetings your life is gonna be great and you’re gonna be living in a house and you’re gonna have a job and you’re gonna have all these things like that jump is so monumental you know in their head it’s like wait a minute you know just stop and doing drugs no offense but usually they have way more problems than that whether it’s legal financial mental health issues you know there’s a myriad of issues that lead people to hit that bottom not to mention that years of drug abuse have severe effects on your mental capabilities yeah and there’s there’s two glaring problems with the theory you just you know laid out that people have one is that they not only say that abstinence is the only way but now right is that like yeah hey let’s work towards abstinence two years from the height or three years from the eighties you know so medically assisted treatment to get there right its abstinence the only answer and it’s the answer now right right this minute right right so that’s the one problem right there’s no method of getting there if you are in a space where you need some more help to kind of get to that process the other problem with that idea is what in these people’s lives who have this judgment that the complete abstinence is the only answer now what are they not living like what are they participating in that’s probably not healthy for their life they’re well aware of and they just have no ability to stop right is it overeating is it eating fast food too many days a week like what are they killing themselves with isn’t eating too much sugar like there’s always something going on that people are doing that we wish we could change in my experience I have never lived to a point in my life where I’m like man I don’t need to change anything I’m living perfectly healthy right I’m not I’m not smoking so I’m not removing years of my life like there’s always something to work on and so I’m like okay if these people really believe that you can just stop at any point in time then why the [ _ ] aren’t they stopping whatever it is they’re doing that’s leaving them to die sooner yeah and not only that I mean what worked for them doesn’t necessarily work for someone else I mean I can tell you myself like diet wise like I don’t eat all that great I’ll have times where I do better than others but you know I have historically I eat a bowl of cereal right before bed or a bowl of ice cream or chocolate or whatever and just genetics I have a really high metabolism you know I burn it off I don’t store fat like a different person so it’s not fair of me to say to someone well if you eat what I eat you would be thin like my own a fairly thin guy I’m six foot tall and like 160 pounds pretty thin pretty lean and I don’t necessarily it’s not because I’m some you know regimented eater or that I have all this willpower that you know I eat like [ _ ] I eat terribly but I just don’t put on weight because of my genetics so in that vein if I said to someone oh if you just eat exactly like me you’ll be my same build and weight that’s just not true and it’s the same for someone’s mental health or someone’s addiction problem like whether you do what I do or not doesn’t necessarily mean you’re gonna get what I got from it or even gain the same benefits intellectually or spiritually that I got from I think what we need to do is help people set more realistic goals I mean if you said to someone yeah my goal is to run a marathon and they’ve never ran you know a day in their life you wouldn’t tell them ok well then go out tomorrow and start running 26 miles and see how you do right like that would be terrible if 26 then the next day you can do the point too right it would be completely discouraging it would be completely you know you would feel just hopeless it would feel like a hopeless accomplishment you would say no let’s get out there all right let’s get out there and start run and see where you can run and maybe if we can meet people at that place of saying okay what’s what condition are you in now are you homeless shooting up with dirty needles you know running a risk of whatever health ailments hepatitis or whatever you know aids or whatever other how can we get you at least to a place where death isn’t looking you in the face every single day every moment like let’s get you to some kind of stable spot maybe that’s with you know counseling along with a you know medicated assisted treatment maybe that’s an inpatient facility maybe that’s an inpatient mental health facility I mean you you try to address each person and meet them where they’re at and give them like what I would consider a realistic goal that keeps them encouraged and hopeful and it doesn’t mean that you know abstinence can’t be the end goal five years from now but maybe that’s never their [ _ ] goal and that’s okay for them right now maybe it’s okay that they say I don’t really want to be abstinent okay well how do we keep you from you know die and killing yourselves resort into criminal activity because those are the things that make our communities unsafe right we want everybody to be abstinent but we are okay with people who you know socially drink and still raise their children and participate in life why can’t we have people who were on you know ma T’s for the rest of their life do the same yeah it’s funny you said marathon so I know uh I know a lady that and I’m gonna say this wrong and she’s gonna [ _ ] correct me I know she is uh ultramarathons or something yeah he runs like a hundred miles yeah that’s how old commander time and I’m like holy [ _ ] right and so she’ll tell me about how she’s out training it’s like oh yeah right like fifteen miles for I came you know today and I’m like I would die right and every time she’s like no you wouldn’t because that’s not where you start right and it’s the same idea right like you don’t start it team miles you started a mom maybe or half a mile or whatever it is and you build up to it I like the idea of including the person that needs help in the planning of what they want their treatment to be right that is a big thing in the mental health community at least in the type of therapy that I do and I’m familiar with like we always include like what is it you’re here for maybe I see a whole lot of stuff in some of my clients where they need to like oh my god you need to know right but if that’s not what you want we’re never very it they’re never gonna do what is it you were trying to get right I just want to help you get there once we get there maybe you want something more I don’t know but like right now like what do you really want and are willing to work towards right and even as a using addict like I didn’t like morally and probably intellectually I knew that I needed to stop using drugs I mean I didn’t necessarily think drugs were ever like good for me or that they were helping my life in any way like I could see the obvious problems they were causing for me but I didn’t think that I could stop like I didn’t believe that there was a way out or that that would ever get better or ever change and it wasn’t until that change and that hope became my goal that I bought into the idea because like say I got locked up my first time at 17 they were like hey man you have a drug problem you know sent me to rehab it was obvious like it was and I knew that you know I should stop but until I bought into the idea that I needed to stop until I made the decision which is part of when we talk about step work like that’s part of that first three steps is understanding like look I need to make this decision that this is what I need to do you can go and tell people that’s what they need to do till you’re [ _ ] blue in the face and it is just I don’t know about you I don’t know that has never worked for me or in my trying to do that for other people yeah what does it say I think in one of our fancy books so for the first time in a long time we made a decision we made it and it wasn’t made for us by the judges these to shion’s the lawyers the parents like it was a decision we had to make right and this abstinence based recovery you can lead people towards that you know you can you can talk with them about that but if they’re not buying in then they’re not gonna do it and if your attitude is well it’s abstinence or nothing then you’re just as bad as the [ __ ] cops or the other people that say let the addicts die in the streets we want nothing to do with them if you’re an abstinence based person that doesn’t have compassion for suffering addicts enough to try to help them to stop dying you’re the same thing just with a different hat mm-hmm on that note let’s take a break for our voices ed and I think we’re going to come back with a little more propaganda maybe centered around alcohol which is interesting topic right back this episode has been brought to you by voices of Hope Inc a non-profit grassroots recovery organization located in Maryland voices a hope is a community based organization that fights to protect the rights of people who struggle with substance use please support them by attending their fifth annual gratitude banquet on February the 15th tickets are $60 a person and sponsorships are available please visit them on the web at

www.mayfirm.com party before we get into it though I did mean to mention if anybody’s still listening up I should have said this earlier we broke down we’re on Instagram now it’s a I don’t know how to Instagram backslash recovery sort of with some underscores in there somewhere I’m sure if you look for us you can probably find us or if you go an anchor to listen to the podcast I think there’s a link on there from there so we are on there now we’d love to interact with everybody so that’s great what else did we do oh we kind of came up with a concept for cover art and now we just need to find somebody that draws really well or does computer drawing one of the two at the Incred thing is we both have wives with some artistic talent and cannot convince either of them to do this for us and I’m like what’s wrong my wife helped me yeah and I’d also like to say if you’re artistic or you have an artistic idea or you’re creative and you think wow I think the podcast you know this represents the podcast well we’re open to artwork ideas or anything anyone wants to submit to take a look at Billy’s opening ideas I think now that I have one I’m pretty set on it I got an idea I need to draw I just but no so anyway we are on Instagram and we are working towards the cover art as soon as we get an artist to do that kind of thing so back to the the topic at hand now oh oh and one other thing so we’re on YouTube and we’ve kind of had this debate about whether we’re gonna put speakers shares on our podcast or not and we still can’t really can’t I figure that out but I did throw up I came across the old share of mine and I on it I don’t even know when it’s from Billy I don’t know if it’s from like 2013 2011 like it’s it’s ancient and I didn’t listen to it I was like [ _ ] it I’m just putting it up so if you’re curious about you know what kind of nonsense I was talking years back which I’m sure is probably very similar to the nonsense I talk now but slightly different you can go on our YouTube and find that and listen to it and I’m sure that’s interesting and you can you know email us and tell me how [ _ ] up my thoughts were back then – so back to the topic at hand back to this conversation where this all started I’m driving my daughter’s to basketball practice they’re telling me about this life skills class where they’re learning about you know drug addiction and alcoholism apparently at least at first I don’t know if that’s the whole class or not and so they learn about the narcan party I tell them how ridiculous that is and then they continue to tell me about this life skills class which I gotta say I’m happy they were talking to me about it it’s pretty neat that they wanted to talk to their father about something maybe they just thought I could identify they do know my history right and so my daughter’s just kind of musing about the whole idea of drugs and hopefully she’ll never use them and that’s her goal and all this and and then she mentions alcohol and she’s like I know it’s kind of a drug but I just feel different about it right and that statement hurt me so much that little statement of I just feel a little different about it because in that moment I realized that like what we like to refer to as big alcohol or whatever the alcohol industry and the billions of dollars they have spent to convey this idea that alcohol is a little different right has worked it’s [ _ ] worked and it’s been my 14 year old daughters already have that idea from the world the propaganda that alcohol is somehow different even though it’s one of the worst poisons you can put in your body and and it’s just I think it’s a very worldwide sentiment at least United States wide that alcohol is slightly different than these other drugs and I don’t [ _ ] know why cuz it’s not yeah it’s it’s amazing that we put you know these they’re all drugs into different categories on our moral judgments on you know whether they’re quote unquote good or bad or okay or not okay people definitely I mean Lisa in my experience seem to be more understanding or empathetic to someone who identifies as an alcoholic or says that they had a drinking problem that seems to be far less stigmatizing than saying you were an addict or a person that struggled with you know a heroin addiction or another you know specific addiction um and it doesn’t you know and it’s all just pictures we create in our mind it’s like that stigma of what we picture when someone identifies as a heroin addict or what we picture when someone identifies as an alcoholic and it’s crazy how they really can be the same thing they can they can look very very similar absolutely and the definitely the consequences and the damage done by either one of those addiction problems are can be identical within families what it does the children what it does the loved ones what it does to you know death you so if you look on Twitter or Instagram right this is something I found that I found a little bit interesting the immediate thing if you look at people what they call themselves or refer to themselves at in recovery if you look at hashtag sober there is a [ _ ] ton of people right and if you look at hashtag clean you’re gonna find people that make soap in their basement and that’s maybe a little problem partly because of the words but I will say that even going further than that I’ve looked into the different expressions right if you look at the expressions for that that people use in a a you’re gonna see stuff like one day at a time or you know as its shortened just the acronyms of odet that’s way more use than then like they’re just for today or jft even though the one day at a time also is apparently like a mexican sitcom or something like that you know there’s still plenty like that’s way more used and it seemed like a a sayings are way more people are way more able to express them openly in the social network I guess is what I’m getting at which makes sense what we’re talking about it’s more socially acceptable to have had alcohol and it’s it’s just bothersome that my 14 year old daughters have already caught on to this right even the even the safety response from the alcohol industry of you know how to be safe with your alcohol use tells you to drink yeah it’s drink responsibly right not hey if you’re not feeling like drinking there yet somewhere where you can’t drive maybe don’t drink drink responsibly but definitely drink right there’s were think it’s fine right and and it is a weird concept to think you know I have to push myself sometimes to actually get on board with this cuz it is a little bit weird to think like I mean I will say my personal experience is I haven’t really known too many what I would call social heroin users you know most of the people that I know that use heroin were addicts now they were also they could be easily identified as alcoholics and whatever other names we have for these different addictions wrong because we were living a lifestyle that was just too as obliviated as possible as often as possible so we abused all sorts of drugs which is kind of common but to say that you know I knew people that were social heroin users is not really for me not been my experience but I guess I’m told they do exist that they are out there and that there are people that can you know go out and party on the weekends and maybe you know do some heroin and not totally wreck their lives I don’t know about heroin but I’ve definitely heard of that concept with like cocaine right and I that’s nothing in my story like I’m socially using any of that [ _ ] but I guess people do possibly and it’s weird to think of like if you had a bar for cocaine or heroin that would be a very strange concept right like you won’t hit it after work for a couple hours and then go home or yeah and even within the like the harm reduction community you know there’s different discussions on whether you want to go as far as legalization of all drugs so there’s two different concepts one is decriminalization which is you just don’t lock people up for possessing heroin or cocaine or whatever drug that they have it’s not against the law if you have you know a personal use amount and you’re getting high with yourself you know somewhere you don’t lock people up for that you don’t arrest them for that that’s not a crime versus actually legalization which is where you make these drugs available similar to alcohol and the other ones that is a debate within the harm-reduction community on how far to go with that let me get a pack of Newports and some Dopey’s right and me personally I’m for the legalization part I think for a couple reasons it’s not because I think it’s great but I don’t think that we have the right to moralize with people what decisions they should be making and if we’re gonna have alcohol or tobacco legal to me personally there isn’t a lot of difference between all the rest of them like if you know if you can use heroin responsibly and you can get it from a reputable store that you know you’re not getting you know stomped on fentanyl-laced drugs that are yeah you know dangerous and harmful or at least you know what the levels are when you buy them you know right it’s got FDA regulation on it like I’m all for that but I get that that’s pretty extreme tells you the nutrition ah well maybe there’s some sugar in it but I also label myself as less government is better we don’t necessarily need the government to tell us what we need to do for ourselves I’m one step further I think we should actually [ _ ] provide it for people for free I don’t even think they should have to buy it in the store like not only legalize it just give it to him for free if that’s what they want yeah and that’s actually been a concept that’s been tried over in some European places and up in Canada they’ve actually had and it was done here in the United States actually back in the 70s in California they had some clinics where people could go in the morning they would inject you with heroin you know whatever I can’t remember the differences between the different programs but in one of these programs you could go there as often as you wanted as much as you wanted you know and they would legally inject you with a medical grade heroin and it was safe and they found that you know people were able to be productive then they could you know they didn’t have to worry about the drug seeking behavior and all the criminalization that goes along with it that they could then you know get high and go to their job or get high and go do what they needed to do and that they were way more functioning and you know that it was a good program I was a functioning government stepped in and put a kibosh on that but these things did exist they have been you know enacted at times and there is evidence behind them you know there’s statistical evidence behind you know how they work what the results were and it’s it is always surprising when you look at the evidence that it’s not what your gut tells you that it should be just to be clear I don’t anticipate if we give drugs away for free any drug to anyone who wants it for free and they can use it as much as they want in this safe you site and stay alive I don’t anticipate any of them being productive right that is not what I’m thinking I’m just thinking they’re not robbing people they’re not stealing from the store they’re not driving up consumer prices and people’s misery and jail prices and all these other things that’s my goal like – it’s the harm reduction option right let’s not continue to cause all these extra costs we have in our lifetime I’m not anticipating they’re going to work and like you know providing a service to the community whatsoever yeah and it’s I mean it is hard to get the whatever I’ll call it moralism pure Puritan istic values out of all of this I mean we you know in this country take like say that the medical field like we don’t overly moralize and chastise people who are heavily obese or overweight and that eat excessively to the point of heart conditions and heart ailments we provide them every possible medical option available this you know to sustain and improve their life and we keep giving them the information on healthy diet and exercise and all that stuff and some of them take it and some of them abide by it and get better and others of them don’t and they’re back in and out of the hospital they continue to struggle with their health issues and we don’t as a society ever seem to go huh [ _ ] them they made bad choices with their life they don’t get the you know we’re not treating you anymore just go die in the street they’re all go having Big Mac eating parties having McDonald binge parties you know and it’s just crazy that we moralize addiction in this way you know and I don’t know the the more I study about it and a more open-minded I try to be about it the more shocking it is that this has been our approach and with all the okay so look we’re gonna decide that one drug needs to be legal right that’s our goal and I hate that idea but if that’s what we’re gonna do I can tell you right now from my a little bit of studies and and learning on the subject alcohol is not the safe when I’m choosing as the one we make legal right it’s not the one that’s best for us it it promotes like violence it promotes a culture of you know possibly a culture of sexual assault like it promotes a whole lot of ideas that aren’t good for people people are dying in car accidents because they’re driving unsafe and risky behavior like promiscuity that’s that’s not safe and and chosen it’s very not the drug I’m gonna choose if I get to pick one all the internal damage to your bodily organs I do think not that I I think any of these is a great idea but but marijuana is probably the safer option of all of them if we’re gonna have one legal one in the United States maybe we could have you know marijuana bars and people can frustrate everybody by driving 15 miles an hour on the highway and you know sitting sitting at stop signs waiting from the turn green like I think that’s the better way to go I just well my daughter said that out of her mouth man the thing that really came to mind was [ _ ] they won Yeah right all that money won yeah they’ve sold the idea and we’ve bought it hook line & sinker yeah and I mean when you look at the statistics on alcoholism and alcohol related deaths on us they call it alcohol use disorder now you know one statistic I was looking at here from 2018 this came from the Journal of American medicine fourteen point four million adults 18 or over plus another 400,000 adolescents between 12 and 17 suffered from alcohol use disorder in 2017 so I’m sorry 2018 so that’s you know almost 15 million people suffer from abuse this isn’t just used this is abuse and yet you know that’s fine alcohol is great it’s perfectly legal and safe I also know deaths wise well just to know that’s who’s sought treatment right that’s that’s the people that got caught or hit a bottom like that’s not everybody right that’s yeah that’s not even counting there’s still your dad out there talking about I go to work every day not your dad in particular but somebody’s dad you know I go to work every day I’m not an alcoholic yeah and you know annually on average 88,000 people per year die from alcohol-related incidents some of those you know obviously accidents and things it’s also some from alcohol poisoning basically alcohol is a third leading cause of death the first is tobacco and the second is poor diet and physical activity so you know yet we you know moralize addiction as being this terrible thing you know if you’re an opioid addict but you can be an alcohol addict and it’s perfectly okay and acceptable and legal because yeah right or addicted to tobacco and you know those things are fine but yet we look at drug addiction as something different and historically I mean and it’s not a historical thing if you look historically back through time you know different cultures have been using psychedelics and you know different drugs for medicinal or spiritual practices I mean drugs have been around a long long long time and we haven’t had these historical levels of you know drugs of abuse and and deaths and those things until fairly recently um I think a lot of this gets back to the point of what do you think addiction really is and we need to stop blaming the substance you know it’s not the substances fault and I mean that for alcohol to like say alcohol isn’t the problem you know heroin isn’t the problem marijuana isn’t the problem the problem is the person and their usage of it and then looking at some of the causes and reasons why do these people use it that way and is there something we can do to help them stop using it that way yeah it was okay and you know to just moralize a atom and lecture them and tell them how wrong they are is not working like if even if you believe it’s the right thing to do when do you just go hey this you know whether I believe it’s the right thing to do or not it isn’t working right right when do you ignite a layer instead of blindly moving forward and I think what you’re talking about come into play of culture right um we look at gun violence right there’s guns all over the world but they’re not having the mass shootings we have here right why is that it’s gotta be the culture that we we put out there and and I think part of it is this Puritan istic view and look I’m not against having morals right I believe in having some morals but the country was kind of founded upon the idea that we don’t want other people to tell us what our morals should be we don’t want other people to tell us what [ _ ] church we should go to and what religion we should have right we don’t want other people to tell us exactly what morals we should have and yet ever since we got here we’ve been telling everybody what [ _ ] morals they should have and then feeling like [ _ ] where we don’t live up to them I think that’s the problem right we all like have this self-hatred because we’re shamed about not being able to live up to these morals that we’re not even sure we believe in and so we have these mass shootings and gun violence we have this overuse of drugs and and again Here I am I’ve bought into it too that all companies got me drugs and alcohol alcohol is a [ _ ] drug right why do I got to separate them but I do every time if it’s killing the if it’s the third leading cause of death why do we not realize that maybe it shouldn’t be legal right right I just don’t know I mean I get that it didn’t work very well when we tried to make it illegal but I’m really confused by it so I was on Instagram and I’ll give credit I don’t know if this person invented this probably not because it’s got a quote but sober story 20/20 had a little picture with some words on it and it’s credited to ed Lattimore but I love this idea Billy alcohol is the only drug where if you don’t do it people assume you have a problem right if you don’t drink if you’re not willing to go to happy hour with the guys after after work one day or you don’t go to the company Christmas party because you don’t drink and that’s what they do there well why yeah what’s what’s wrong loosen up have a beer to get me good yeah it’s incredible how how wondrous are the teasers for alcohol that they’ve managed to make it if you don’t do it signs wrong with you they’re brilliant I need them to [ _ ] advertise for my podcast really so anything and you know we we see this now like the the overreaction I’ll call it over II the overreach of blaming the substance again come with the opioid addiction they’re taking pain pills away from people that actually legitimately need them and should have them you know we had a story a family member had a ruptured gall bladder and you know it ruptured they had to go and do all this surgery they had to you know clean them all out after that he had some infections and stuff and this is a guy that works in the medical industry he’s a forget the name the person that reads x-rays off you remember what that’s called yeah x-ray technician yeah I don’t know there’s a fancy name something like that yeah anyway yeah he reads x-rays so he works in a hospital in the medical field why he was going through all this they had given him some pain medication he was still in a lot of pain and he had to go to them and say hey can I get more pain medication and they said no they said no you can’t have any more where we can’t give you any more now so here is a professional person in the medical field who’s suffering through a you know a horrible experience and they’re telling them no you have to lay here in pain because we have what I believe is a social problem not a you know substance problem we have a social problem so you have to suffer as a consequence I mean it’s it’s just terrible and this is coming from the medical profession who you would expect to be the most educated the most up-to-date on the science and research between what we know causes addiction between the links between the actual substance you know substances of dependence and addiction you know it’s it’s it is and so to kind of bring this idea to a close I guess really what we’re hoping for and then definitely at least what I’m hoping for I don’t speak for Billie too much because we disagree a lot it’s just that if you have an opinion about you know m-80s or anything really complete abstinence as the only path to recovery maybe we can just take a little softer stance on it right maybe it’s okay abstinence is a great way to recovery and there’s some other ways out there that that really don’t take away from abstinence right like if people find recovery and m-80s that doesn’t take away from abstinence based recovery in fact that makes somebody who has found abstinence based recovery able to feel that much more special about what they are doing right that’s really powerful that they’re doing that and I don’t think that allowing people in m-80s to also be considered Auto recovery path takes away from that I think it makes it even more special personally yeah and I think that sometimes we need to look at you know what are our goals what do we want for other suffering addicts I mean obviously again abstinence can be the main goal at the end if that’s the way you want to look at it the the top goal but if we set some lower goals of just less suffering and trying to help people reach a place where they can get stable and in a healthy environment with mental health counseling or addiction counseling and then build towards abstinence you know it doesn’t have to be an immediate thing that we do right away yeah and so we’d love to get your thoughts we love everybody’s input I think this conversation gets better the more input we get like I said earlier we’re on Instagram now find us there Twitter tell people about the podcast who listen to podcast that you think might be interested in you know participating in the conversation we’d love to hear your views you can email us you can leave a voice message for us like all of these things exist and we literally really do want your input we might mention it talk about how awful we think it is but we do want it at least to have concepts and ideas so with that being said everybody have a good week that wraps up this episode please subscribe rate and review this podcast on your preferred platform if you have ideas for topics you’d like us to talk about or just want to add an opinion contact us through Anker email us at recovery sort of at gmail.com or find us on Twitter at recovery sort of