Addressing opioid addiction


From this article: “A prison system offered all inmates addiction treatment. Overdose deaths dropped sharply.”

The program offers inmates methadone and buprenorphine (opioids that reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms), as well as naltrexone, which blocks people from getting high.

Many law enforcement officials have resisted giving methadone and buprenorphine to inmates because they are also opioids — despite the evidence that shows they are effective medications to treat opioid use disorders — and because they worry about the diversion of the medications, particularly buprenorphine, which is also known as Suboxone.

That approach seems to mimic an approach (those dirty) French tried back in the 90s.

In the 1980s, France went through a heroin epidemic in which hundreds of thousands became addicted. Mohamed Mechmache, a community activist, described the scene in the poor banlieues back then: “To begin with, they would disappear to shoot up. But after a bit we’d see them all over the place, in the stairwells and halls, the bike shed, up on the roof with the washing lines. We used to collect the syringes on the football pitch before starting to play,” he told The Guardian in 2014.

The rate of overdose deaths was rising 10 percent a year, yet treatment was mostly limited to counseling at special substance-abuse clinics.

In 1995, France made it so any doctor could prescribe buprenorphine without any special licensing or training. Buprenorphine, a first-line treatment for opioid addiction, is a medication that reduces cravings for opioids without becoming addictive itself.

 

Sometimes everything you try to avoid is unavoidable


I don’t remember the exact reason why I wrote the above title. I know something prompted it. Likely, I was trying to avoid something from happening and it happened despite my efforts.

I found it in my phone’s notes the other day. I wanted it to be a blog post. And now it is, but I forgot the story behind it. Oh well.

Sometimes fate is just that. Fate. And despite our best efforts to avoid it, Fate shows up anyway. Sometimes with a shit-eating grin and a hearty laugh while your face is in the mud and your pants around your ankles.

There are religious ideas of destiny, of pre-destination, of fate. Like there’s something out there in the invisible controlling it all. Our ancestors went and made up a bunch of fantastic stories about an invisible being and that this being controls all. It took me years to disrobe these ideas and send them packing. I wish that the process only took seconds. You know, the time it takes to determine if a movie is crap or a song is shitty.

These concepts of fate are, in a sense, very human. We have brains that look for cause and effect, for patterns, for results.

The brain likes to convince humans that there’s another ear at the other end of questions or requests that listens to and responds. “Where are my keys? Please help me find them,” you say to the universe. Some people think there’s an old bearded man at the other end of that request holding your keys just out of sight.

“Please let me pass this test.”

“Please let that person like me back.”

“Please get me to my rent money faster.”

“Please let me win this hand of black jack.”

“Please help me get through this investigation into collusion with Russia.”

Who are we talking to about the things we want to avoid or that we want to happen?

I know, a big percentage of you named it god. But that doesn’t make god real. It just gives a name to the same thing everyone seems to make requests to in a time of supposed need.

And if you don’t pass your test, we’ve devoted a way to declare that the invisible being is still in control, and that the invisible being had other plans. We’ve done that for everything. “We” being a lot of people, but not everyone.

If more people gave not believing in an invisible controlling force a try, I think it’d be great. Responsibility would be personalized and controlled. The outcome of a test or an issue wouldn’t be pinned on something invisible, but visible. Something everyone can agree on.

But those are wishful thoughts for a Monday morning. #keepdreaming.

 

Who is this Kent Dobson …


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Kent Dobson Photo by Ted Bingham 

I talked to my brother the other day on the phone and he recommended that I take a listen to comedian Pete Holmes’ podcast recorded with a guy named Kent Dobson. You can listen to it here.

In a nutshell, Kent Dobson is a friend of Rob Bell’s, the controversial pastor who lead Mars Hill church to mega-churchdom. Bell later removed hell from his personal views, maybe even heaven, and concentrated on the here and now. His blasphemy cost him his pastorship.

I read about Bell long after I had left faith. Hell was one of the first things I was able to let go of as being biblically unsound. So reading him was a little boring. Bell was late to the party.

From what I understand, Kent Dobson took over the church after Rob Bell was basically pushed out. Dobson also flew the evangelical nest and stripped lots of dogma from his perspective.

 

From listening to this podcast, his perspective(s) is/are hardly unique.  I wished that when I was going through my own period of stripping off the dirty, wet clothing of evangelical Christianity, that I could have known more people like Kent, Pete, or anyone else who is able to leave the ideas of our youth.
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