A peer lost a friend to opioids. At this point, have not we all known someone close who has become addicted to pills or heroin if not lost them to it? As readers know, this was a peculiar concern of mine. I have lost three childhood pals to it. I left continuous writing as Ryan Landry to do things in the real world. One of the things was spending time, energy and money into addressing the opioid epidemic in my area. You too can do something, and maybe spare someone the pain of losing a friend.
I spent months designing something with some law enforcement people I knew for how to address the problem. They 100% agreed that no one, whether rural or urban, has a community to return to that will help them stay clean. A sober living administrator then brought me to reality and stated, “This is great and all, but try getting them to show up at meetings three weeks in a row“. I suggested a program to my local Catholic Church and got shut down. Despondent I prayed and sent something to the Protestant churches nearby. They answered.
We linked up with a nascent program and got to work last January. Whatever you imagine, it is worse than that. The parasitism by the medical community whether doctors who prescribe pills or treatment programs like methadone is enraging. Sometimes you want to strangle people. Sometimes you sit and wait for anyone to show, and no one does. Sometimes the truth is too weird to handle so you need a water break. Occasionally, the light bulb switches on and change occurs, making weeks of talk sink in and change them. There are success stories.
- A woman walking in day one still high but cleaning up and being sober for months. Each week we could see her face, body and mind change for the better.
- Helping a pill and booze abuser to see small changes in lifestyle could prevent them putting themselves in position to abuse again. She had a huge life turnaround.
- Getting a guy into a welding program who had not even considered it after we showed him the welding openings all around us.
- Helping a pill abuser work through trauma and realize they did not need to refill that just in case scrip again.
- Helping a man realize it was his social circle of users that kept sucking him in, and he needed to move on in life.
The most common refrain you will hear is that people first going clean feel so alone. Alone in going clean because everyone around them is using. Alone in life. People are lucky if they have an extended family to help them. Alone in an attempt to do better. People have really bought into eat, Netflix and sleep. Atomization is not just a meme. The worst part for these people is when they want to go clean but no one around them wants them to go clean. They have no one in their life in their phone who is a reliably sober human.
If you have three hours each week to volunteer and a church that will support you and let you use their space, I can put you in touch with a program. You facilitate it and make an impact. There are weeks where I am the one clean and sober person there facilitating a few attendees talking. Other weeks, I have reverends as wingmen. Sometimes I do not think anyone cares and it is all pointless.
Am I solving the crisis? No. We as a society will need to take an Asian approach to fixing this, which will take willpower that we do not have right now. Am I helping some people out in my town? Yes. Is my crew of do-gooders preventing someone from getting a call that their friends died? So far, yes. Until a billionaire wants to fund my community hub idea, that’s all I can do.
On to the links…
The hollowness of attacking Trump’s character – Roger Kimball goes after the Jonah Goldberg Muh Character attack on Trump. Trump is crass and has a scandalous past. Has anyone paid attention to the last three occupants of the Oval Office? What in office has he done that meets their worst deeds? This is just framing for the ruling class’ salesmen to try to hold frame that Trump is the monstrous aberration, and that all will be back to normal when he is gone. Don’t dare think normal is bad.
Make mathematics primitive – I once wrote how the progs were taking science primitive. South Africa leads the way with attacking mathematics. It does not matter how wrong one is if one has a monopoly on the levers of power. This is the state of the West. There is some slight restraint in the West, but none in South Africa.
AI has a chance – This is an interesting essay on the AlphaZero program. It is better if you also watch the documentary on Netflix about AlphaGo. AI has a chance if the progressives do not put blinders on it. Of course, the AI could notice that humans are adjusting it and then route around the blinders. I found the Monte Carlo simulation references interesting because if you know how math and actuaries run the world around you, you understand why AlphaZero is so intriguing.
Tucker is /ourguy – Tucker Carlson masterfully replies to Mitt Romney’s GOP 2012 schtick. This could have been out of our sphere a few years ago. The tone deaf right keeps wanting to go back to 2012. Not a soul in the party except those with control over the party’s goals wants this. The left’s internal fight is between its corporate class of slow and steady neoliberals that know the golden corporate goose must be kept alive, and the emerging left that believes all the goofy programs. Look at the Bernie-Beto fight, which is just jostling over a bloc of white voters to possibly challenge whomever wins the black bloc and/or the corporate bloc.
Jim’s Reaction 101 series – Blog.Jim has had a nice series recently that he is labeling Reaction 101. Linked is his post on priests and warriors. I disagree with him at times and have directly stated opposition to some of his takes and flair, but this series is pretty good for breaking things down to brass tacks.