Call Me “H.”

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Hello friend. You can call me “H.” More about me later. That’s a picture of my Grandma, Poppy Pod or PP for short, above. Grandma’s what’s left after the petals of the Papaver somniferum (Poppy) flower fall away. She may not be much to look at, but take it from me she is one sweet old lady. About 6,000 years ago the ancient Sumerians called Grandma the “joy plant.” She’s the head of our family, the Opioids.

In the picture above Grandma has just been cut. Those milky white droplets you see, that’s opium. After it’s exposed to the air for a while it will turn brown and after it’s been mixed with water, boiled, filtered and dried you can smoke it.

In 1805 a German pharmacist named Friedrich Sertürner discovered that if you dissolve dried, powdered, opium in water and boil it with a bunch of other stuff you can make my little brother, morphine, or Morphy, as Grandma calls him. I call him MoFo, lol. Morphine made a fortune for the pharmacy giant Merck which sold a ton of it for use as a pain killer.

Nearly 100 years later, a year before they invented aspirin, the Bayer pharmaceutical company figured out that if you take a molecule of Morphine and add two acetyl molecules, you get me, diacetylmorphine. No offense to little brother MoFo but I’m way better than he is. I’m two or three times more powerful and I can literally get inside your head and start rewiring your brain much faster, which means I make customers. . . I mean friends, real fast.

Bayer gave me the name “Heroin” because I was their little hero and they started selling me as a cough suppressant with the promise that I was less addictive than brother MoFo. Ha! I just love pharmaceutical companies.

In the next century other big pharma companies figured out how to use Grandma’s opium to make my cousins Percodan, P-Dan as he’s known to us, Dilaudid, or D-Lord and Vicodan (we just call him “Vic.”). But my favorite cousin is the darling of big pharma, cousin Oxy, which Purdue Pharma sold as non-addictive and safe for long term pain management when they knew he was neither.

Wow! I really love Purdue. They are just like me, no conscience whatsoever. And they have helped make me and the rest of the Opiod family the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Yeah! We’re number one! We’re number one! We’re number one!

We’re deadlier than cars or guns. We kill 120 people every day and send another 6,748 to the hospital and I don’t care about any of them.

So, you can call me “H.” You can call me your best friend. You can call me your only reason for living. You can call me your greatest need. I don’t care. Just call me. I’ll be waiting for you. I won’t judge you because I don’t care. For all of you who started taking one of my cousins because a doctor told you to or because other kids were doing it and you didn’t know any better or you just wanted to fit in, I don’t care. Soon, very soon, the doctor’s going to cut you off, or your friends are going to expect you to start paying your fair share and you won’t be able to afford it and I’ll be waiting for you.

And when you go to jail or to a short term rehab clinic, I’ll wait for you and when you get out in a month or so, with your brain still messed up thanks to me, I’ll be there for you and we can pick right up where we left off. Sure, much longer stays in rehab would allow your brain time to rewire itself and fix the damage I caused and would help you learn the skills you need to resist my charms, but that’s just not the way it is now and that’s just fine with me.

So, don’t go here http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/anthonys-act?source=c.em&r_by=2727571 and tell your U.S. Senators and representatives that the Affordable Care Act must be amended to provide for a minimum of Ninety (90) days inpatient drug or alcohol treatment at a facility certified to provide such care by the appropriate regulatory body in the state in which it is located. Don’t share it with all your friends to help spread the word that long term in patient rehab saves lives.

And if you and I haven’t met yet or you think you don’t know anyone who’s met me then please, by all means, keep calling me “nothing that affects me or mine.” I love you people best of all. I don’t know if you just haven’t been paying attention or you really don’t care about your neighbors. Lord knows I don’t care about them. All I care about is that your silence helps make me as powerful as I am and makes it so much harder those who are talking smack about me.

“Talkin’ smack.” Ha Ha Ha! Talkin’ smack. Get it? Never mind.

So keep your eyes closed you beautiful people. You’re more like me than you know. I don’t care about the people who use me and neither do you. Keep on saying that I’m nothing that affects you or your family and pay no attention to that campaign to get the insurance companies or the government to pay for at least ninety (90) days of drug treatment.

Forget about the fact that substance abuse costs the U.S. economy between $300 and $500 billion annually and that every dollar invested in addiction treatment programs yields a return of between $7 and $12 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft.

Don’t go here http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/anthonys-act?source=c.em&r_by=2727571 and sign that petition named after one of those kids I killed whose name I forget.

Don’t share it on Facebook and Twitter, or e-mail all your friends to help spread the word that my victims. . . er, friends, can be saved by long term in patient rehab.

Sure, Anthony’s Act http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/anthonys-act?source=c.em&r_by=2727571 can provide a real chance at recovery but I don’t care. Do you?