Thursday, October 27, 2011


This morning I went to the doctor's for a simple procedure: the placement of a copper IUD. I'm now baby-free for ten years. Hurrah, etc, etc.

In order to prepare for this procedure I was instructed to take 800 mg of ibuprofen before my visit, as well as a drug that would soften my cervix and make the procedure easier. I was told that the procedure would hurt a bit, a kind of pinching sensation, in addition to cramps during and after.

I was not prepared for the agony that ensued. I screamed. Tears ran down my face. That shit hurt way more than I could have possibly anticipated. And after everything was in place it didn't get much better. I tried to communicate the crippling pain I was in, but the procedure had gone perfectly and I think the doctor probably thought I was being a wuss. I was instructed to take 400 mg of ibuprofen every six hours for up to a week if the cramps persisted.

The pain was intolerable. It washed over me in waves. Walking home in this condition was a nightmare. In the cold and and rain, no less. The moment I got home I promptly tore through my apartment in search of something to take the pain away.

I had taken 800 mg of ibuprofen just three hours ago (and it wasn't helping me for shit), and I couldn't possibly take more. So I took 1150 mg of a combination acetaminophen/caffeine/pyrilamine maleate for menstrual cramps. And 10 ml of codeine left over from when I had strep throat. And 50 mg of trazodone left over from my hospitalization in hopes it'd knock me out. And a glass of wine, for good measure. I laid on my couch crying and writhing in pain and wished for relief.

After about ten or fifteen minutes, relief finally came. The waves of pain gradually ebbed away. I felt more comfortable than I've felt in a really long time. You don't realize just how many minor aches and pains you deal with on a day to day basis until something removes them.

I sat up and the room spun. It then occurred to me that I was stoned off my ass.

My first reaction was to think: can I get in trouble for this? No, of course not. I had done nothing illegal (save the wine, I guess, though I think my state was mostly attributed to the codeine), and all the medications were even in my own name. I was amused by my own worry. Why did I think that? I was nervous about possible repercussions over the fact that I was high. This is the part of the paranoia instilled in us by our country's hypocritical, misinformed, propaganda filled, completely bollocks drug culture.

Have I done something wrong? The idea still plagued me. I couldn't think of any reason why I might have. I was in pain, I sought relief. I found a short term solution for a short term problem. I wasn't harming anyone, or even myself, as the doses I had taken were nowhere near dangerous amounts. Though my perception was most definitely altered, I was still thinking rationally, and still entirely in my right of mind. But I thought of a close friend who would most certainly frown upon my current situation. Why?

 That same friend claimed drugs should be used only for medicinal use, not recreational.

What's the difference?

What if I treated my terrible pain by smoking pot instead?

Marijuana is currently available for medicinal use in parts of our country. It's used to treat pain, asthma, nausea, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and dozens of other diseases in conditions.
Yet in other parts of the very same country, possession of it can land you in jail.

Poppies can be used to make opium tea, a brew that has been used around the world for centuries as a pain reliever, both physical and mental. It's served at funerals in the middle east to help loved ones deal with grief.
In the US, growing poppies and having knowledge of what you can do with them is sufficient to get you arrested.

Hallucinogens of all sorts have been used in various cultures for many generations as a means to a "spiritual experience." Native Americans living in reservations in the US are still allowed to use them because it's part of their religion.
Meanwhile, possession of four tabs of LSD can get you 5-10 years of jail time.

Drugs like oxycontin are prescription-only in the US, yet available over the counter in Canada.

How come recreational amphetamines illegal, but we essentially shove it down the throats of children who have a bit more trouble paying attention ("ADHD")?

When you have a look at all the different ailments, diseases, disorders and conditions that are treated with drugs, you have to wonder, what the bloody hell is the difference? How do you know what ought to be treated and with what? How do you know when something needs to be treated? It's difficult to tell, and at this point not always necessary. Doctors dole out prescriptions so easily people pretty much choose how to medicate themselves. Narcotics, barbiturates, psychedelics, amphetamines, stimulants, opiates, cannabinoids, stimulants, depressants, steroids, sedatives, dissociatives, empathogens. They're all just chemicals. They all have potential to be abused, and become dangerous to the user. But they all have beneficial uses as well.

So how do you differentiate medicinal usage from recreational? That guy getting prescription codeine for chronic back pain could be faking it just to get high and feel good. And that guy smoking pot without a medical marijuana card could be doing it to combat depression or arthritis. How do you know, and does it matter? Is the guy who enjoys a cup of coffee in the morning that different from the guy who enjoys a hit from his bong before bed? Is the woman who destresses by going fr a run or playing video games (releases endorphins) that different from the woman who does the same by having a glass of wine?

Drugs are a part of your life whether you like it or not. Sometimes you need them to combat sickness. Often your brain makes them automatically. Sometimes people just like to add a little more to their lives, does the reason really matter?

1 comment:

  1. I wrote a whole essay here but my boss looked over my shoulder and i had to cmd-w this tab, but it all boiled down to Matthew 15:11
    “It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”