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Gledwood's Drug Confessions: A Heroin Addict's Blog
Sunday, 7 January 2007
Annoying Blogs that Won't Take My Comments (does anyone agree with this?)
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: I'm not playing. I'm throwing a tantrum.
Topic: Daily Doings

IT HAS JUST TAKEN ME LITERALLY 20 MINUTES to leave a simple comment on a "no anonymous comments" blogspot blog. 

Some of you google blogspot bloggers need to bear in mind by not allowing anonymous comments you're closing your blog off to the entire outside world EXCEPT people who blog with your service provider... I know loads of people on blogspot who accept (a) google (b) other (c) anonymous. Will it really hurt you to allow this?

If someone leaves an objectionable comment on mine I can easily delete it. If I get left loads of them, I can moderate before they are published. You have these options too.

I've attempted to open so many google/blogspot accounts they mess up my passwords and identities all the time (I write them down so I know who's at fault).

Look I'm not trying to have a personal go at anyone. And I'm not even just talking to one or two people. This has happened to me loads of times. It is really frustrating. Trust!

Come on. Sort it out. I beg you!

Comments/remarks/opinions/info, please!


Posted by gledwood at 7:28 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 7 January 2007 8:33 PM GMT
A Yummy Dinner
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: ... you name the tune...
Topic: Daily Doings
YEAH, MAN a yummy dinner. And enough free B to put in my bum (intramuscularly) to give a pleasing dizziness to the end of a drab weekend. Bon appetit, well and truly.

Posted by gledwood at 6:39 PM GMT
Quarter to three, Sunday...
Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: nothing much...
Topic: Daily Doings

IT'S ABOUT A QUARTER TO THREE and just about time I should be getting to my friend's house for Sunday lunch. (Yes, I get Sunday lunch every week free — with all trimmings. How cool is that? Sometimes I even get a free taste of heroin to give bon appetit. (Can't count on that, though, grrr.))

I don't think I mentioned this, but during the very most intense phase of my addiction I relied on heroin to eat, sleep and get up. Obviously I had to get out of bed without it some days, in order to get it. But I certainly could not sleep without it. And I found it really difficult to eat without having a hit just before. One afternoon I remember banging up next to the fridge and tearing into cold roast chicken right as the B-buzz hit me. The result of this "drugs eating disorder" was I became a bit overweight (testimony to how much heroin I was taking). Also I was living with Mad Bird. The food was free. She was crazed. And I needed all the consolation I could get...


Posted by gledwood at 2:49 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 7 January 2007 8:36 PM GMT
... then shall the lame man leap like a hart...
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: Quotations

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstoped;

then shall the lame man leap like a hart,

and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.

For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,

and streams in the desert;

the burning sand shall become a pool,

and the thirsty ground springs of water;

the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,

the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

Isaiah 35:5-7


Posted by gledwood at 12:34 AM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 7 January 2007 3:09 PM GMT
Saturday, 6 January 2007
The Meaning of Craving
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Drugs

The Meaning of Craving

THIS IS WHAT I WISH some of the smug people who work in the drugs services would understand when us junkies talk of “craving”. The tale I’m about to tell you illustrates the consequences of “craving” well enough. Don’t read on if you’re weak of stomach.

   It was a dull Friday night. I had no money. I had no drugs. (I’d had my methadone, but as I’ve said, that doesn’t take away the urge to use 100% by any means.)

   So I started a game I’m sure many people play; “hunt the dregs of drugs”.

   This game involves closely examining all crack pipes, heroin spoons, whiskey bottles etc for any useable dregs of intoxicants. I was going through my top drawer (which isn’t so much full of underwear as tinopeners, playing cards, corkscrews, dead cockroaches, old photographs, mangled cassette tapes, paperclips… a bit of everything. At the back I found what would have appeared to the unwitting to be two enormous scabs of dried blood. (They were. But the blood was congealed around old heroin filters.)

   In case you’re wondering how they got there, let me explain. When you inject drugs into a vein, you obviously load up a syringe, you need to stick the needle into where you hope the vein may be (after several years it does become guesswork) pulling back on the syringe all the time, so that when you do hit the vein, blood flows back into the syringe. This is how you know you’re “in”. (However, when the veins are tired, battered, old and collapsing, it’s quite easy to get blood into the syringe, enough to clot up your hit, however for various reasons the vein may misbehave, leaving you with a congealing (and potentially lost) hit of drugs). To get the drugs back you need to re-cook up your own blood (gross, I know) with citric acid to break down the scabs that have formed. And try again.

   As I say, this is where craving can lead. Not every addict is lead to do every disgusting thing. But all of us are lead to do some of them... So anyway, I find my scabby filters. Pop them in a spoon. Add citric and loads of water. Cook up, crushing and stirring all the while. A smell of crackling pork hits my nose. Lovely. (No I’m being sarcastic. I hate pork.) Knowing from experience how to just about judge the strength of a dubious injection, I taste it. Yes, I taste heroin. Unmistakeable. And this has been scabbed up in my blood at the back of a dirty drawer for maybe two months or more. Okay…

   I stick the needle in. Sod’s law means I get the hit on the outside of my elbow (I’ve used veins literally everywhere except my groin and neck. I had a hit next to my right nipple the other night.) The hit goes straight in. I wasn’t expecting to feel very much, but I do feel something. A slight and gratifying sense of warmth. No more special really than jumping into a slightly hotter than lukewarm bath, but it’s easy to be circumspect about it now.

   About five minutes later I felt an odd coldness in my right arm (I’d injected in the left, so this made no sense to me). The coldness spread all over me, with weakness, dizziness, nausea. In fact all the symptoms of a pretty bad “viral” flu-type episode came on in about ten minutes, including a stonking migraine-type headache.

   In short I’d given myself what we call here a “dirty hit”. Americans call it “cotton fever”. I was so sick all night I had no energy left from puking. Next morning I could barely walk. I won’t go on, but I really did feel bad by anyone’s standards. Dehydrated, yet not able to drink… all that.

   Anyway walk I did to my friend’s house where (thanks to my good timing more than anything else) they were just scoring and gave me a nice clean hit.

   My point being? Yes I was responsible. Yes I knew (as much as anyone does) what I was doing. But… that is what craving lead me to.


Posted by gledwood at 11:19 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 6 January 2007 11:26 PM GMT
Ibogaine and Genes
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: I Want to Break Free...
Topic: Drugs Treatments

Have a look at this, folks. A gene is found (in rodents) that affects the likelihood of opiate relapse...

This New Scientist article puts me in mind of the African plant substance ibogaine, which has always been better known as a psychedelic. It's apparently not the pleasantest drugs trip you can go on (loads of nausea and vomiting)... and yet the plant has one fascinating power... it seems to be able to defeat drug addiction of all kinds. I.e. even people on huge methadone doses can, supposedly, undergo ibogaine treatment and the ibogaine not only blockades opiate craving for four years (with no need to readminister the ibogaine during that time) it also eliminates almost entirely withdrawals even from methadone (which are the worst). And it also works against crack! There's an American ibogaine clinic in my links to the right...

To read about the relapse gene in rats click: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7445

By the way; poor rats:— did they put them on methadone afterwards?


Posted by gledwood at 10:39 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 6 January 2007 10:48 PM GMT

Oh come on, is no-one online? It's just before 1am GMT, which makes it around 5pm EST; 2pm PST; 2am CET; 3am South African time; 6:30am Indian... come on! Is no-one awake! Write me a comment NOW! Please. I'm bored. Do you know what I'm gonna wanna delete this in the morning...

Did you see my Dear Deidre reply below? How cool is that? I've found a new blog by Chipper: click his link to the right... I have a lot of things to say to Mr Chipper. Playing With Fire... Yes indeedy! Do you know how it feels to get burnt yet? Just be careful,   p l e a s e . . .

Sometimes I suspect people are too taken in by internet impressions. You must bear in mind when reading my blog that I write how I talk (pretty much). But I don't talk how I look. Most of you would probably not want to sit next to me on a bus, for example. I may give the impression, by being articulate, of being more capable than I am... capable is not the right word. OK, let me rephrase. I may give the impression of being someone who copes far better than he actually does. Do you want to hear the nitty-gritty of my life? I'll post you some gory details then... well take last night as a good example. A grown man in my house. Someone I know and for all the water under the bridge and for all his faults who I do actually respect. Was, as I said, howling like a wolf at four o'clock in the morning. And his girlfriend was begging him and I mean imploring, pleading with him not to sell her phone. This guy was acting like someone with all the IQ of a blushing-bum babboon. Which may be intelligent as the kingdom of animals goes, but ain't a patch on your average human. I have really lived in some degraded conditions (certainly of my own making, and that's the point. I don't need to "blame" anyone for these things). Homeless. Self-starving. Semi-psychotic. (At times I was psychotic, but these times have been mercifully brief.) Dirty. Sad. Pitiable and yet not wanting pity. Oh what else can I say? Just don't look to me and assume I'm taking drugs and making it somehow work for me, because that just ain't true...


Posted by gledwood at 12:57 AM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 6 January 2007 1:18 AM GMT
Friday, 5 January 2007
Chinese Mousiness
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: with the Beijing Opera
Topic: Chinese Mouse

Okay, skip this posting if you're not into hamsters... 

Chinese Hammy Photo Gallery Links.

So you can understand why I call my pet "Mousey" when he's a hammy...

And to see what he looks like—

Click the following links herebelow...

http://goto.glocalnet.net/natal/ham/chinese.htm — I'm putting this one at top because Benji looks just like my Mousey.  Note the platypus-tail. That's his gonads under there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Hamster — the original and best Wikipedia description. The hammy illustrated, though is a "white spotted," whereas mine comes in normal natural colour. To see a rather unflattering snap of what he actually looks like (when stressed) click below. My hammy's on the left.

http://www.petwebsite.com/hamsters/chinese_hamsters.htm — my Mousey's pictured on the left.

http://uk.ask.com/web?q=pictures+of+chinese+hamsters&qsrc=1&o=322&l=dir&dm=all — a gallery of gleddymousey pixx, including one newborn...

http://www.aub.dk/~zannie/hamster/dwarf.htm — a whole gaggle of dwarf hammies, Chinese included...

http://www.hamsterhideout.com/breedschinese.html — another comparison; a gledwood one and a white...

http://www.hamsterific.com/ChineseHamster.cfm — "a Chinese hamster is sometimes called a Mouster"...

http://www.midlandhamsterclub.co.uk/hamster/chinese.html — the (UK) Midlands Hamster Club has some really good online info for glorified-rat-with-pouches-o-files...

http://members.shaw.ca/petitepaws/chdwf.html — a photo of a Mummy with really cute babies. The accompanying text is particularly perceptive for anyone thinking of buying a pet or wanting tips on handling. These animals are very easy to keep but you need to know e.g. they're extremely shortsighted, they orient themselves by sound, whisker-impressions and smell, etc etc just some things that seem very obvious when you know the animals but may take some getting acquainted with... 

OK this is my last hammy link but one:—

                                                                            *******

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Gerbils-Hamsters-2005/Wobbly-Chinese-Hamster.htm — this Q&As page for all rodent-lovers is pretty much here for my own reference...

Of the hamster types available as pets I've had loads of Syrians (mostly as a kid) though about ten years ago I had my famous golden hamster Hammy (named after his hamsterness). He was much loved. My Aussie friends (who come from a country where hamsters are banned to prevent the influx of nonindigenous vermin) said he looked like a cartoon character! Hammy lived to the glorious (for a hamster) age of 3½. Four people came to his funeral (let's face it, that's more than many humans get) and sang All Things Bright and Beautiful. The hymn wasn't my idea (I love my pets but I'm not THAT soppy) but it was a beautiful song. A couple of years ago I had a Campbells and a Siberian winter white living together. Unfortunately the winter white died (of old age, I suspect; I bought them from a dodgy shop) and the Campbells, who was a tiny baby when I got him, was still grooming his dead housemate's fur, which was heartbreaking... Anyway my Campbells Condensed eventually ran to the wheel in the sky and now I have the Chinese Mouse who is the tamest pet rodent I've ever had bar none. If I pick him out of his nest (he has FIVE nests, lazy swine!) sleeping, cup my hand round him so just his head's poking out, he v often continues to doze, he likes to be stroked on his furry forehead... then eventually he wakes with a start, realizes he's not in bed and decides to go for a ramble. When he's determined to move there's no stopping this animal, but most of the time, I have to say (just as Wikipedia put it ) he does display an endearing gentleness of character. Remember I mentioned a disappointing attempted photo session because I just could not capture his true likeness... well the picture of Benji (click http://goto.glocalnet.net/natal/ham/chinese.htm) does sum up some of the Chinese hammy warmth of personality.

The only hammies I've never owned are Roborovski dwarves. Have a click on this: http://goto.glocalnet.net/natal/ham/raborov.htm they are tiny! And you can keep hoardes of 'em together! Which is so entertaining. Especially when you have one running the wheel one way and then another gets on, determined to go for a spin in the opposite direction...!


Posted by gledwood at 7:48 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 30 November 2013 7:09 PM GMT
The Day After the Crazy Night Before...
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: Still Exhaustedly, I'm afraid...
Topic: Daily Doings

Wow! Check out the reply I got from The Sun's agony aunt "Dear Deidre" below. I emailed in asking for any good or unusual links she might have for my website, so the reply you see is what she wrote (unedited) below. I've always wanted to include some very basic info on the drugs from an unbiased source so the cyber-leaflet she sent me (it came attached as a Word document) seems as good as any. I want to emphasize I've pasted it up here exactly as it came for public information.

I still didn't sleep too brilliantly last night. There was madness in our house in the form of the prostitute's boyfriend going so deranged on crack he was howling at one point like a wild animal. All the money had obviously gone and she was imploring him to be "allowed" to keep her mobile phone... else that, too, would have gone up in smoke.

There's not much more I can say about crack. I've been into the madness also. It's not pretty. It's not special. It's just a morass, a mess, a living hell.

On a lighter note, I've wanted to post a picture of my Chinese hammy and haven't been able to do it; but I've found one. If you click on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Hamster you'll see my Little Mousey in white. The beady eyes show beautifully in that photo...

I'll leave it here. Take care folks. — Gleds.


Posted by gledwood at 4:02 PM GMT
Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007 10:54 PM GMT
Dear Deidre on Google
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Drugs FAQ

STOP PRESS! (11 January 2007)

I couldn't resist pasting this in here: my Dear Deidre Google listing!!

Gledwood's Drug Confessions: A Heroin Addict's Blog

Posted by gledwood at 12:57 AM GMT. Updated: Saturday, 6 January 2007 1:18 ... Hi, Gledwood -- yes, it certainly is amazing that Dear Deidre wrote to you! ...
gledwood.tripod.com/blog/index.blog?entry_id=1616106 - 37k - 9 Jan 2007 - Cached - Similar pages
[ More results from gledwood.tripod.com ]

Posted by gledwood at 1:02 AM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007 3:22 PM GMT
Dear Deidre Replies to Me!
Mood:  hug me
Topic: Drugs FAQ

Hi, thanks for your email and for telling me about your efforts with your blog.

I am sorry to hear that you are addicted to heroin and I hope you are getting the right kind of help to come off it.  I am attaching my leaflet about drug worries, which where you can get advice and information on stopping.  It also explains my perspective on this.

I do hope, though, that things work out all right for you.

All the best

Deidre

sun newspaper personal advice service                        deidre sanders

 

DRUG WORRIES?

 

If you are worried about drugs, whether it's your own use of them or someone else's, I'm glad you've got in touch. 

Some drugs are much more dangerous than others but the ones I’m talking about here all have one danger in common.  They are all illegal, unless taken on a doctor's prescription, so using them brings the risk of getting in trouble.  If you’re caught with just a tiny amount of some of these drugs on your person – simple “possession” – you may get away as far as the police are concerned with just a verbal warning or official caution. But most schools and many colleges and companies have a zero-tolerance policy, so you could be thrown out for possession of just a small quantity of a drug not in itself very dangerous health-wise, and that could have a seriously bad, lasting effect on your education and prospects.  This is a good argument for steering clear of all such drugs.

If you are caught in possession of any larger quantity of a drug than a single dose, then you could be suspected of possession with intent to supply. Passing drugs to your friends, even free of charge, is regarded as supplying, and can get you into far more serious trouble. And there are some serious reasons for such drugs being against the law.

 Even drugs which aren't reckoned medically to cause serious side-effects can be more disturbing the younger you are when you start using them, because your brain chemistry and personality are less settled, more easily knocked off balance.  Since you have so much else going on in your life during your teenage years and are going through so many personality developments and relationship changes anyway, it makes sense to leave drugs out of the picture at least until you are clearer where your life is heading, what you really want and how you’re going to get there.

          For every high, there has to be a low, no up without a down.  Regular use of any mood-altering drug - including alcohol, of course - eats into your energy levels, makes you feel you can't be bothered, tends to be destructive of relationships.  This is dangerous at any age and is certainly a good reason to make sure you get help if you feel drawn towards regularly blotting out the world.  There has to be a reason for this, probably to do with unhappy times in the past, perhaps even when you were a small child.  The sooner you sort out what bad feelings lurk around inside you, the sooner you will find that you don't actually need drugs to have a good time. Just as with alcohol, it is always dangerous to take any drugs and drive.

Having said all that, however, it is important to realise that some drugs are more dangerous than others, though all illegally obtained drugs may - without your knowing - have been mixed with something far more dangerous or be at a lethal strength.

What drugs are commonly available on the street?.

Solvents are found in products like glue and lighter fuel.   The effects are similar to being drunk (including the hangover). Risks include suffocation and choking to death, and long-term misuse can result in lasting brain damage.

Amphetamines (also called Speed or Uppers) give a sense of energy and confidence, but anxiety and irritability soon take over.  High doses can give you panic attacks.  Regular users tend to take increasing doses which undermine health.

Cannabis or marijuana (also called Dope, Blow, Grass, and so on), makes people feel more relaxed and talkative. It's not normally addictive, but users can come to rely on it as a way of feeling more relaxed socially.  Modern extra-strong forms of cannabis are more habit-forming and damaging.  It can trigger serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia in teenagers and is linked with depression, anxiety and risk of suicide. Cannabis is usually smoked with tobacco too, with all its associated health risks.

Ecstasy is mainly known as E though it has many other nicknames.  If it's taken in a hot atmosphere without enough water or soft drinks being available, at a rave for example, it can cause heatstroke. It is particularly dangerous for anyone who suffers from epileptic fits or any kind of heart condition. Ecstasy can make people very friendly towards each other or give them a feeling of extra energy.  Once the effect wears off, though, it can leave them feeling low, and regular use can have serious long-term effects. I have heard from many who found it leads to serious lasting depression.

Cocaine or coke as it's often known, is a powerful stimulant but effects tend to peak quickly and lessen rapidly.  The drug then has to be taken more often to maintain the high and this leads to dependence.  Over the longer term, it can cause sickness, sleeplessness, and weight loss.  Sniffing cocaine can also damage the membranes inside the nose.

Crack is cocaine which has been treated with chemicals so that it can be smoked, and it’s more dangerous.  The initial high is followed by unpleasant after-effects, which not only encourage compulsive use but can also lead to dependence.

LSD, also known as acid, is very powerful. You need take only a minute quantity - by mouth - for a trip lasting several hours. Hallucinations are usually vivid. It’s not addictive but trips can lead to depression, dizziness and panic.  These are more likely if the user is anxious or in unfamiliar surroundings, and are more likely to cause long-term disturbance in the young or vulnerable.

Heroin (or Smack, Junk, or H) is sometimes sniffed like cocaine, sometimes smoked, sometimes injected.  It creates a feeling of total relaxation and comfort but, once physical dependence has established itself, this pleasure is replaced simply by the relief of getting hold of the drug because withdrawal is so distressing.  Mis-users need more and more just to get the same effect.  Abuse is linked with crime, risk of HIV, self-neglect – in fact a thoroughly miserable way of life.

You can get more information and advice about all these drugs in confidence from FRANK (the national drugs helpline) on 0800 77 66 00, www.talktofrank.com. The Parents Drug Test on their website (www.taktofrank.com) is a useful quiz guide to most commonly used drugs, their appearance, popular street names and how to identify signs of drug-taking.

I hope you’ve found this useful. If I can be of further help, or you’d like my booklist on related subjects, please e-mail problems@deardeidre.org, or write, enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope if possible to: Deidre Sanders, FREEPOST, THE SUN, London E98 lAX.

 

© Deidre Sanders

D06L

While I make every effort to ensure the advice and information I provide is accurate and up to date, my service cannot be a substitute for consulting your own doctor, solicitor or a face-to-

face counsellor when needed.  I cannot be held responsible or liable for claims arising out of our correspondence, nor if I have been misled about the facts and circumstances.

5 January 2007


Posted by gledwood at 12:53 AM GMT
Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007 1:01 AM GMT
Thursday, 4 January 2007
Night-night...
Mood:  silly
Now Playing: Chung Peng Chow's Magic Cow Orchestra... and if you believe that you'll believe anything!
Topic: Daily Doings
Hi folks, it's night time. I am very tired bc I can't get a sleep pattern of any sense together. Did I have anything pertinent to say?? Whatver it was it's gone. If I knew where... do you know what, I don't know that I'm not too tired to bother fishing it back... Oh night-night...

Posted by gledwood at 11:30 PM GMT
Ecstasy
Mood:  d'oh
Now Playing: 4am hard trance...
Topic: Drugs

Funny, I had a flashback yesterday (just before I started getting harangued by all those nasties), a flashback not to drugs but to the 4am music at some of the Brixton Academy nights I used to go to...

Now I've got to keep this posting quick as I'm dying to go out and get a fag to smoke. Honestly I've only had two spindliest rollies since ... I dunno... 4am, actually!!

Well, I just "listened again" (because I missed it the 1st time) to a Radio 4 prog called "E Generation at 40":— one can find it at www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/progs/listenagain.shtml and select E Generation...blah blah.

One piece of rubbish they highlighted was a slide of a brain so corroded by MDMA ("E") it had holes in it. Bloody great big ones. That was shown on the Oprah Winfrey Show. This the Radio 4 programme's toxicologists debunked as absolute nonsense, ("media misinformation").

They came up with some interesting seeming findings ("seeming" bc the research is ongoing as the course of people's lives). Any cognitive deficits the E does give you seem to be permanent. One expert was even talking of a permanent 3-point IQ-loss. They also hinted that boys might get more messed up mentally by cannabis while with girls it's E that's more likely to do their heads in, which was interesting because the two people I've met who had panic attacks (ongoing) after experiencing E were both female. They said females might be more susceptible to adverse affects from psychostimulants. Which I found intriguing bc it's a fairly well known phenomenon that girls can take far more cocaine than boys... and they don't want to stop. I don't know why.

Lastly I'll tell you of an MDMA experiment on rats. The rodents had Es popped into their mouths (actually I'm assuming this; I don't know how the methylenedioxymethylamphetamine was actually administered) but anyway, once the rats, fitted with electric sensors "came up" they just plodded round and round and round and round and round the perimeter of their containers... whereas normal rats pinged about everywhere and rats on speed did the same as normal but twice as much in the time...

Right I'm going to go because nicotine (not to mention a certain other substance) is calling me...!

See yer later,

Gleds


Posted by gledwood at 11:13 AM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007 11:28 AM GMT
Good Morning
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Barely Consciously...
Topic: Chinese Mouse
Good morning everyone. I am sat here rather tired out and nicotine-deprived. Mousey's in his nest. The proper one with cotton wool and sawdust, not the one called my elbow. -ey by the way is not to be confused with Mousie, my French friend who you will see leaving messages in here. I think French Mousie has always known about the Chinese Mousey. I wish I could introduce them. But my scanning abilities are rather dire and my last attempted rodent photo session was a disaster. I got loads of close-ups of a hammy with a dead worried face. (Yes, even hamsters can look worried. I have the proof on Mother Hubbard's mobile phone.) Perhaps one day I will manage to get a nice picture of the Chinese Mouse and I'll email it to the magickal village of Plumpiemousie where the midnight colours are inverted and all is funky, yet never druggie. Such an amazing place...

Posted by gledwood at 9:59 AM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007 10:10 AM GMT
Wednesday's Proper Posting
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: incredulously... people!!-- gaah!!!
Topic: Daily Doings

MY PROPER POSTING for today. Yes I conked out again with my little Mousey up my sleeve. Mousing around, up and down my sleeve, whiskers all a-tickling me, push-push-pushing with his nose. Then, as I say, settling down to yet more extended hours of sleep. Funny, but when he’s intent on rambling somewhere more interesting, even if I put my forearms vertical he climbs up the material with ease, pops out and climbs on my hands, hangs over the brink of my cuffs, judging ever more cavalierly the distance for a leap down…

   I’M GLAD I’M AT HOME. Am not too much of a fan of the Vast Outside most of the time.

   People! Bloody people!

   The girls in the bookshop were sweet, wishing me happy new year. They know me well from my times last year when I went through a great deal of the Wordsworth Editions £1.99 Classics range. Ordering titles, one at a time, through their computer. Leaving me with half a shelf full of half read Victorian fiction. Anna Karenina I'm still tackling gamely. I adore that book. It's just that I have the attentionspan of a gnat that makes the concentrating upon all 850++ pages rather difficult.

   Then I’m leaving the booksshop when a Greek voice accosts me and two deranged eyes. A Local Psycho, who used to call himself my friend, demands £1. So he can go get a drink. I said no. Then, two glassy inner –spiralling eyes met mine and a rant — “I saw you with my friend (what friend?) in the off-licence (liquor store) this morning. What off licence? Don’t laugh at me. Next time I see you I’m gonna hit you. What’s wrong with now? Does he know my really puny left hook?

   (MY RIGHT HOOK, on the other hand, even Charles the Schizophrenic Boxer admires my right hook. He tries not to look pained when, standing palms out, he allows me to smack them fearlessly.)

   [I've just read this back the next day. And who was supposed to be fearless. Him or me?]

   So Zorba doddles off. I brave the local supermarket. “Brave” is the operative word for their most recent “StoreD”, in an Alzheimerian feat of confabulation, remembers calling me into the back room of a prominent high street pharmacy accused of theft of what I later identified as a £25 copper antiarthritis bangle. What else annoyed me in this incident was that nobody had witnessed me even touching said bangle (that’s because I hadn’t). A new and rather thick member of staff had merely witnessed me stand beside the empty packet as I perused camera batteries (I needed a new battery for my oldfashioned auto-advance film camera.)

   “Look, just put it on the table now and you’ll get a banning letter (banning me for life from the shop? For doing nothing? No thanks.) and we’ll leave it at that,” said Mr StoreD in a voice so reasonable I almost felt silly having to contradict him and tell him the truth. The harsh unpalatable truth that someone who looked like a junkie had actually, for once, not stolen the item in question. He didn’t like this. Once I’d emptied my every pocket, turned my bag inside-out, proved beyond doubt that no £25 arthritis bracelet was in my possession, I pointed to the luxuriant bank of CCTV monitors and challenged him to prove the “crime” on them.

   My invitation was immediately declined.

   What gets me the most about this episode is that the guilty StoreD remembers my face (though he assumed I’d forgotten his for I blanked him so effectively on so many occasions), remembers the accusation, yet affects to have forgotten my innocence. He even started getting quite lairy with me last time he caught me in this unnamed supermarket, ejecting me for “theft” of a single carrier bag. My friend Valium Marilyn’s had split so I was only doing a favour. He threw me out as if I’d been apprehended committing grand theft larceny. Well and truly in his element he threatened me with “the back room” should I dare set foot inside the hallowed sliding doors again. When I told him that the “last time” of which he kept reminding me, I’d actually done nothing wrong and he knew that, his eyes flashed with inner fury and he growled to , “Get out of my face.”...

   Thankfully no security appeared to be “on” this evening so I braved the supermarket, got all me food. Feeling well pleased with myself I breezed outside ony to run slap bang into Crackhead of the Century imploring me for £50p. Come on, just 50p I know you’ve got it.” I pleaded poverty and hurried to the busstop. People!

   Fair enough I used to beg up change. But I never begged “off my own” (why ask someone who has nothing?— that makes no sense. That is taking the pee-pee.) Also when I begged I sat down. In the end, I had so many “regulars” I didn’t even need to ask. The money came of people’s free will. If someone didn’t want to talk to me, so be it. I ignored them. And I got very little trouble because of this. C of the C, on the other hand, seems to have a bashed-in face nearly every other time I meet him. Which is far too frequently for my liking.

   And here endeth today’s posting. People! Ukk!!

  


Posted by gledwood at 12:51 AM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 7 January 2007 6:37 PM GMT
Wednesday, 3 January 2007
The Daily Nothingness
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: Ding-Dong-Ping-Pong-Pong-Pongs
Topic: Daily Doings

Wednesday 3rd January 2007

I DO FIND IT AMUSING when I type these postings out on Word and the program presumes to (a) understand what I’m trying to say better than I can say so myself or (b) (most annoying of all) corrects my grammar. It even dove (or should that be “dived”, I prefer “dove”, I think it’s American English but still, I prefer it. Yeah, it dove in and informed me that my Revised Standard Version Bible quotation from Isaiah for the new year was ungrammatical. Honestly!

   Right so I’m meant to tell the nitty-gritty of my sad life. Sainsbury’s. No beef sausages. Exceedingly annoying. (I’m no swine-o-phile.) I’m getting loads of green underlining here. Bought “Healthy Options” wholegrain fresh and soft and bendy tagliatelle. Not your junkie Value baked beans and shoplifted bacon fayre, I know, but I’ve made more effort to take care of myself of late.

   Last night I conked out (addicts don’t just sleep, they conk out fully clothed for the night and call that sleeping). Yeah so I conked out with hammy out. In my hands he’s learnt to dive up my sleeves where he mouses around for up to twenty minutes before settling down to sleep. Yes, up my sleeve. And it being night, I fell into deep unconsciousness with said rodent nestling in the crook of my arm. (Hamsters are nocturnal, but this one just sleeps morning, noon and night; I’ve never had a pet like him.)

   When I awoke thinking “aaagh! He’s pinged out!” he hadn’t. He was just clinging (no doubt still unconscious) to the inside of my clothes. As I said, he is a very odd hamster. Chinese hamster if you want to be precise. He makes my sleeves his own domain then runs away from my hands when I try and get him out. Usually for some practical reason, like I’m popping down the shop. Sometimes I just think, well whatever and take him with me. He doesn’t mind.

   Now I’m trying to think of something more exciting to tell you. One of these days I shall get round to telling about my home detox. At my parents’ house. Unannounced. That was some chaos and a half!

   Meanwhile I’m signing off for now. Take care, folks.

Gleds

xx


Posted by gledwood at 9:20 PM GMT
Naltrexone
Mood:  vegas lucky
Now Playing: Ultra Clean
Topic: Drugs Treatments

NALTREXONE—for those who've got clean and want to stay clean.

(It's similar to the naloxone component of American Suboxone.)

Extract from a leaflet on naltrexone (Nalorex).

Treatment Choices

There are a number of drugs that can be prescribed to help you if you are dependent on opiates like heroin. Naltrexone is a drug that people who have detoxed can take to help them stay opiate-free.

   There is not, and never will be, a “magic cure” that can stop everyone taking opiates.

   However, the drug treatments, and help from the services that offer them, might be able to help you make any changes you want to make.

   This leaflet is one of a series designed to help you understand what you can expect from the different drug treatments that may be on offer.

Heroin-free

Naltrexone is prescribed in the UK under the trade name Nalorex. You can take it if you want to be completely free of heroin and other opiates. It works by sticking to, and blocking, all of the opiate receptors in the brain.

   Before you take the first dose of naltrexone you must have been completely heroin- and methadone-free for seven to ten days. This is because if there are opiates in your system, the naltrexone will very quickly remove them from the receptors, and send you into instant withdrawal.

Protection

Naltrexone can make coping with difficult times and high-risk situations easier because you know that if you take heroin, it won’t have any effect.

   You take naltrexone as a tablet and, once you are stable and used to taking it, you can take it just three times a week to give full-time protection against the effects of heroin and all other opiates.

Other drugs

Naltrexone doesn’t provide protection against cocaine, tranquillizers or alcohol — so it is important to make sure these drugs don’t “replace” the heroin.

Implants

There has been some publicity given to naltrexone implants which are inserted surgically under the skin and give up to three months’ protection from opiates. However, these are experimental and are usually only available form a small number of private doctors.

Side effects

Sometimes people on naltrexone suffer from anxiety, stomach upsets and sleeplessness. But these feelings and physical symptoms are common following opiate detox  — whether you are on naltrexone or not. If you do get these symptoms, discuss them with your doctor before stopping treatment.

Stopping treatment

Many of the people who start naltrexone treatment stop within a few weeks. This is sometimes because of the side effects, but more often it is because they realize that they don’t really want to completely stop taking opiates.

Overdose

You will be at very high risk of overdose if you stop taking naltrexone and start using heroin (or other opiates) again.

   It can be really hard to measure how tolerant you are. A few days after your last naltrexone tablet, you may be able to take as much heroin as you used to — because there is still some naltrexone in your system. Then, just a few hours later, the same dose could kill you — because the naltrexone has all gone.

   If you do stop taking naltrexone, and go back to using heroin, it is important that you don’t inject — with lower tolerance you’ll get a strong enough effect if you chase it.

   Using heroin when you have been drinking alcohol or taking other tranquillizers *like Valium or sleeping pills) also increases the risk of you dying from an overdose.

 

You can get more copies of “Treatment Choices” from:

Exchange Supplies, 1 Great Western Industrial Centre, Dorchester, DT1 1RD.

Tel: 01305 262244  Fax: 01305 262255  Email: info@exchangesupplies.org

 

Written by Andrew Preston and Jon Derricott. © Exchange 2002. Third edition 2006.

www.exchangesupplies.org

Exchange—tools for harm reduction.


Posted by gledwood at 8:37 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 3 January 2007 8:46 PM GMT
Tuesday, 2 January 2007
On Reflection
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: for the Death Penalty for Paedos
Topic: Life Story

ON REFLECTION, I’m starting to feel a little paranoid about the post I put in the other day “five things it’s worse to be…” My point there was supposed to be (and I was writing to myself as much as to anyone else, I don’t call this “Confessions” a “blog-journal” for nothing) — even if you’re a hopeless junkie (and drug addicts adore feeling sorry for themselves) you can count your blessings. Many of us are relatively well in mind and body (I’ve been more ill mentally than I ever was physically).

   What I wasn’t trying to do was to demonize AIDS patients as comparable to rapists or Satanists. All the five points have my sympathy, that was the point of the piece. I wasn’t ridiculing anyone.

   As for the sex offenders, we hear so much about paedophilia etc I feel almost afraid to go near people’s kids sometimes… talking to a young child, what if people get the wrong idea? It’s sad but like many others I suppose, I feel I must stay away.

   A case in the news recently involved a very young little girl having a bath upstairs in her home. A man sneaked in the open front door, took the child out of the bath, ran outside with her, drove off and abused her in some way, dumping the poor frightened child the other side of town some half hour or so later. He got sentenced to life — good. That was a truly monstrous thing to do.

   When I was about ten (and I had very blond and distinctive hair) I used to go to a railway footbridge to wave a Silver Jubilee Union Flag at the trains which would honk loudly in reply (especially the express trains). One day I had only just got there when a man I had never seen before approached me from the other side of the bridge, called me by my right name and said he was supposed to collect me.—!!

   I told him he’d got the wrong person and this man (very nervous-looking the whole time) went away. And I went safely home. I’ve wanted to get that off my chest for some time. Every time I think of it that memory does my head in. I wonder: what if? (This guy looked all wrong. He had nervousness in his eyes like he feared what he was about to do. I saw that. No way on earth was I going with him.)

   Well. What can I say? Telling that story makes me feel kind of shaky inside. I ask myself whether he really did have badness on his mind... I do feel sorry for people who feel compelled to do stuff like that. I know how it feels to be compelled to do something others disapprove of because I take hard drugs. I always used to be anti the death penalty. Now I believe it might be kinder to kill the paedophiles off and put them out of their misery.


Posted by gledwood at 1:07 PM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 2 January 2007 1:12 PM GMT
Monday, 1 January 2007
New Year's Day 2007
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Well, not Auld Lang Syne, I'm all Syned out...
Topic: Daily Doings

NEW YEAR’S DAY: I woke up at 3 or 4pm. As I said, I was going to go out “panhandling”like I used to… couldn’t bear to go back there.

   A middle-aged man on a sleeping bag was sat by our nearest cashpoint begging in the pouring rain. He is still there this evening. He looks miserable as sin.

   I tried to score but my current best dealers were (a) not answering and (b) hung over in bed. My phone was down to the last 60p in credit so I told man (b) to come round and not to be too long about it.

   An hour and a half later when I was tapping in my “detox” post, below I rang man (a) who picked up only to waste my last bit of talktime telling me he’d be “on” tomorrow. So had to txt man (b) saying call me or I’m on my way up the road.

   Having given (b) ten minutes’ grace, I called my dealer #3 who said come to a certain park (same as Xmas Day) which I duly did. An almighty rainstorm began to chuck it down. Of course right in the middle of this and just as I’m approaching the place for #3, man (b) calls back informing me he’s near my house: too late, mate, I’m not there. Sorry.

   Soaking wet and glad at least to find his “runner” lurking there, I handed £10 to a shadow beneath a plane tree.

   I trudged home in the cold and wet. And rather than ringing man (b) back as promised, I indulged in cyder, fresh (paid for) tobacco and beef in black bean sauce and egg fried rice from my nearest Chinese (about ten doors away from mine). I have all amenities here.

 

Laurie thank you for answering my Americana questionnaire: Come on all yous other Americans. Roll up! Roll up! Get answering! Anyone else from any other part of the world, just say where you’re from and answer my 7 questions anyway. I’m interested to know about the junkie life abroad…

 

Ta!

 

G


Posted by gledwood at 7:56 PM GMT
Detox Centre
Mood:  not sure
Now Playing: More Cautiously than I used to.
Topic: Drugs

DETOX CENTRE

ON MY WAY TO A FRIEND’S place earlier (yesterday, on New Year’s Eve) I met a working girl I know who was after an early “punter” (it was only 4pm) but everyone down there knows her). She’s the one who gave me the Chinese-Indonesian-Vietnamese-Tagalog-Hindi-&-Thai-speaking mobile phone I’m using at the moment. She was off to a “crisis emergency detox” at the time.

   Now I’m not going to name names as what I’m about to tell you did happen about 3 or 4 years ago. But there are facilities, open to all and London-wide for crisis intervention and drug detox. These are self-referral facilities. (“Intervention” doesn’t carry the more American sense of “verging on felony kidnapping-type affair”.) As I said this facility I applied of my own free will to go to takes drug addicts of all descriptions (in London, that means heroin and crack).

   I was the only one in there (at the time) not addicted to crack (I did do it but infrequently, perhaps a couple of times a month) and I had the bad luck (as I saw it) to have to share a room with one guy coming off crack but not heroin (he slept like a baby the whole time) and another on both but I believed he was exaggerating his habit a the meagre methadone they gave out seemed to get him stoned. I had to get extra meds as the doses weren’t holding me. In both the places I’ve been I was prescribed extra meds. I’ve had the dubious honour of being “most clucking ‘client’” as they call us nowadays.

   My best memory of the crisis detox was watching Gladiator on their wide-screen telly. All being in detox and feelings running high we watched the film in silence, in a darkened room. The hairs were prickling on the back of our necks…

   My worst memory was the snotty psychiatric nurses from the “staff bank” (nursing agency). In hospital they dish out drugs like there’s no tomorrow. Anyone diagnosed bipolar or psychotic who gets wound up enough to lose his temper gets wrestled into a five-point restraint, has his trousers forcibly pulled down and is injected IM with haloperidol, flupenthixol or whatever the chemical cosh of the moment happens to be. These staff came here with, fair enough, its no caffeine at night policy. But they tipped lavender oil on our pillows and encouraged us to sip camomile tae as if these things, which only affect the impressionable (in my opinion) will have any effect at all on a system scrambled by heroin and crack. I’m sorry but that’s ridiculous. The only effect herbal teas can possibly have on a withdrawing addict is a negative one — in that as I say they lack caffeine which can make an anxious person even more wound up. I found the “no meds except blind methadone” policy ridiculous. They could have given us chloral betane and zopiclone to sleep. And they could have given me something a little better than charcoal biscuits when, due to withdrawals, I was sick everywhere. Charcoal mops up toxins from the stomach. No toxins were there. I was detoxing from intravenous heroin. The charcoal just gave me black diarrhoea next morning.

   Unwaware of their particular way of doing things I began to feel quite ill in the night. My eyes were running. Constant yawning. I felt not and cold all at once. I had the pouring sweats. Everyone told me I was in withdrawal (half the place was up at 3am because nobody could sleep) and at first I didn’t believe them because on a (then) £40 a day habit I’d taken about £7 worth of heroin at 7am and 50mg of methadone before coming in to the centre. These together, I hoped, would hold me till 9am 24 hours later. No such luck. By 4am the methadone was no longer holding me at all (heroin, which keeps you “straight” for 8-12 hours, had long worn off). Wanting to be direct and honest with the staff I had told them exactly what I used each day and what I’d taken. (Many addicts exaggerate up to get more meds, but what’s the point in that, I reasoned, if you’re there to come off?) The night staff refused to believe I was ill for quite some time. They even queried what I was talking about when I told them I was hot and cold at the same time (a classic withdrawal feature).

   What had not been explained to me was that because this place is a self-referral crisis centre — “clients” arrive with no medical papers confirming their addict status — nobody can give medication until the “client” is in blatant withdrawal, which can mean feeling very uncomfortable indeed. People have died in prisons/etc having lied about their status hoping to get stoned on the meds for “an easier time.”

   A couple of other events occurred during my 3-day stay to give me rather a low view of the place. I don’t want to slag the place off too much because, as I say, this all happened about 3-4 years ago and much could have changed since then.

   What all this did show me was that I wasn’t “ready” to quit… If I do end up in rehab again, at least I know now what questions to ask about the regime…


Posted by gledwood at 5:09 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 1 January 2007 5:16 PM GMT

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