Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

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david cohen
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Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby david cohen » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:08 pm

I think this is one of the best written pieces about the depths of heroin addiction. Alas, the odds are that we will, far too soon, read an obituary featuring the author. Please, Nathan, go somewhere, get help, and relocate to a place where you can never score again. As the father of a beautiful daughter and someone who has lost a few close friends to heroin, I cannot imagine what Sarah's parents must feel as they read this piece. Just like I cannot imagine what my close friends' children feel whenever they look at photographs of mom and dad. Immerse yourself in your talent, Nathan, but be careful. A great journalist should never become his own story.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/t ... 20e52.html

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby Dangerousman » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:55 pm

david cohen wrote:I think this is one of the best written pieces about the depths of heroin addiction. Alas, the odds are that we will, far too soon, read an obituary featuring the author. Please, Nathan, go somewhere, get help, and relocate to a place where you can never score again. As the father of a beautiful daughter and someone who has lost a few close friends to heroin, I cannot imagine what Sarah's parents must feel as they read this piece. Just like I cannot imagine what my close friends' children feel whenever they look at photographs of mom and dad. Immerse yourself in your talent, Nathan, but be careful. A great journalist should never become his own story.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/t ... 20e52.html


Well said. I hope he follows your advice. The story has a lot of honesty in it, which I think illustrates that addicts can be honest with others, just not with their selves. They always think they can handle it, even if other's don't.

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby snoqueen » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:19 pm

I thought the piece was incredibly sad, honest, and touching and I can only hope the writer's courage and honesty helps someone else.

But along with the other two commenters, I've lost more than a few friends to H or crack cocaine, and I know how little reason has to do with it.

Good luck, nonetheless.

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby Grubendol » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:39 pm

david cohen wrote: I cannot imagine what Sarah's parents must feel as they read this piece.


Who knows, but there's a chance it could be making their pain even worse than it already is.

Honest confessionals have their place, but look at it this way: Walt gets all the hate for watching Jane die, but Jesse was still a piece of shit for dragging Jane down into the smack with him. But at least he didn't blog about it and then sell that story to a newspaper.

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:01 pm

Ever hear of a spoiler alert.

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby Donald » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:04 pm

"A story about love, addiction and loss?" Addition and loss, yes. Love? No, I don't think so. How do you do that to someone you love?

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby Ninja » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:46 pm

That's really sad. I don't remember any particular piece I read from Mr. Comp but I do remember his name and remember being left with a favorable impression of his writing. I hope he can stay clean. I have plenty of vices of my own, but that's nasty shit that can trick even the smartest "recreational" users.

I've always found it freaky how junkies can be so much more rational and thoughtful about their addiction than so many other kinds of hard drug (crack/meth, basically) addicts. At least right up until the hours or minutes before they get their next fix, and, of course, during the intoxication that follows (and for some, during their reaction to the inevitable overdoses that they witness).

Say no really, really loud to particular drugs kids.

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby Ninja » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:46 pm

Stebben84 wrote:Ever hear of a spoiler alert.


Do you have a mode other than snarky asshole?

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby rabble » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:36 am

Ninja wrote:I've always found it freaky how junkies can be so much more rational and thoughtful about their addiction than so many other kinds of hard drug (crack/meth, basically) addicts.

I have found the "rational and thoughtful" tendencies to be connected to the act of shooting up. People were party hearty and going in several directions at once, till they decided to try the needle and then suddenly they were pretty serious about their drug(s) of choice. The life that used to revolve around drugs, women, and rock n roll now revolved around scoring, holding, and using. Work was something you did so you could score and have a place to get fixed. Friends were other needle freaks. Equipment and technique replaced sports and music as topics of discussion.

They still had a work ethic. Only the goals changed.

But that was twenty or thirty years ago.

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby Bludgeon » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:11 pm

Unfortunately I have lost 3 or 4 good friends to heroin. The most recent one, I was just getting to really know and the world is a much lesser place without.

I always think this drug is the one whose users benefitted least / were hurt most by the ongoing prohibition -- in the sense that here you have this desperately dangerous substance that people are ingesting at these dangerously high levels, with a dangerously low level of expertise.

Opiates in general, if they came from a pharmicist instead of drug traffickers, would be a lot healthier. I won't say there aren't many people with an unhealthy level of indulgence who would still be dosing in the higher stratosphere. But I think most people would be on a very fucking manageable dose if they had a choice about when and where and how to get it. Rather than dying in driveways a lot of them would be enjoying a safe habit and working at jobs.

Instead, people are playing Russian Roulette with these huge doses of these highly potent forms of morphine, which is essentially the only thing available.

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby snoqueen » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:39 pm

Wasn't that tried somewhere in Europe? Amsterdam?

I'm not sure it worked too well, but on the other hand it's hard to imagine how "well" should be defined. If nothing else, we'd have quality control of the product, as you say.

I think the eventual solution has to be something related to brain chemistry, because behavioral fixes just aren't strong enough to override the cravings most addicts experience.

My crack addict friend (whom I first met decades before his addiction started) was during a clean phase trying to explain to me how powerful a craving was and he totally was at a loss for words. Apparently it takes over everything else in the person's entire world. He also said if he wanted to, he could find his drug within half an hour just about anywhere in this country. I had no reason to doubt him. These days it looks like the same applies to heroin.

The whole thing is just tremendously sad.

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby Ninja » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:02 pm

Bludgeon wrote:Opiates in general, if they came from a pharmicist instead of drug traffickers, would be a lot healthier.


That squares with what I've been told by medical professionals and drug policy folks, and it makes sense, but legalization/regulation is a scary approach when it comes to "street" opiates. That doesn't mean it's not the best approach, but it would be a hard sell, and the consequences could be dire if the theory is wrong.

As Sno points out below, it has been tried before, I think in the Netherlands, and I don't remember the details right now but I do know it was ended or severely curtailed. I suspect that may have been more a consequence of the conservative movement that swept through Northern Europe over the last decade (at least with regard to immigration and drug policy) rather than a reaction to a massive failure of the idea, but I also seem to remember that it wasn't going great, even before conservative criticism. I could be wrong about that though.

Between high school and college friends, I've lost a baker's dozen to ODs or suicides related to despair over heroin addiction, and they were all wonderful kids. It really is a tragic situation, and it's terrible that it's increasing in popularity.

That being said, those junkies who choose to shoot up immediately after scoring, and either do so right before driving or while driving, can fuck off. My sympathy ends at the point that they put other people in danger as a direct result of their addiction.

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby Bludgeon » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:04 pm

Snoqueen wrote:Wasn't that tried somewhere in Europe? Amsterdam?

One nearby example is Mexico where you can generally buy most of these things over the counter. I daresay it keeps their hospitals less full. I was just talking to a friend from there last week he said people just get what they need without having to see a doctor. It's not like every person from Mexico is an addict, quite the opposite. I don't really see why we have burdened MD's as being the gate keepers; it's not what they go to college for, but it takes up a significant part of their day. We want to bring health care costs down in this country, maybe that would help.

I think it's more sad than it has to be. Talk about people living in the shadows, how about having to live on the black market every single day? That's ridiculous.

What I would like to see is an academic comparison of drug use between the modern day and the 1920's -- with the purpose of answering the question: Was the 'answer' better than the 'problem'? Is drug use worse and less healthy today? I'm pretty sure it is.

I really feel like forcing otherwise decent people into the black market for alcohol and other drugs has been the real travesty. I think legislators didn't really know what they were doing or understand the problem at the time, and I think it's sort of a cultural embarrassment that we're still living under such a huge swath of their legacy today.

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby Bludgeon » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:25 pm

Ninja wrote:As Sno points out below, it has been tried before, I think in the Netherlands, and I don't remember the details right now but I do know it was ended or severely curtailed.


I'm definitely not the devil's advocate on this subject and I also don't know where it was tried; but it has been the case in Mexico for ages and it's not a huge part of their culture. I think with prohibition it gets to be like religious 'sins', in the sense that if you're not supposed to have something or not supposed to see something and that's a cultural institution, opening up the flood gates all in a rush can really fascinate more people than would normally be attracted out of sheer motivation. I don't have documentation in front of me about what happened in Europe but I would imagine what seemed like everyone went out and bought some the first day, I would be surprised if there wasn't an instant supply shortage just for being able to have something you're not usually able to have. Surely there must have been some more serious consequences as well, i have no idea where they tried it. But I do think that beyond the fascination of a cultural stigma, and the instant demand for taboo substances, the natural usage levels are a lot more on balance.

I think it would be better if instead of just opening up shop and declaring things ready for business it would be better if they ended prohibition in a long, extended roll out over a period of ten years, to the extent that by the time it was fully repealed, it would be such old news that no one would blink.

I believe they also sell a low dose medication over the counter in Canada.

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Re: Nathan Comp's Cap Times piece on H

Postby gargantua » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:36 pm

Reading the article made me realize how little I really knew about this topic. One thing in particular that I found a little disturbing was that a) something like Narcan exists; and b) users keep it around "just in case".

From the tone of the article, it sounded like having Narcan around encourages riskier behavior. Would Nathan and his wife used as much, or as often, if they didn't have what turned out to be the illusion of safety from having Narcan available?

I certainly don't want people to die if they can be saved, but this seems like a mixed blessing to me.


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