Monday, March 5, 2012

OH NO WHITNEY, say it ain't so! But I'll tell you why it's probably true.

ADDENDUM!  Originally posted several months ago.  7 months after this post Whitney is found dead. RIP Ms. Houston. 

When Bobby Brown (yes, that Bobby Brown) says you have a serious problem... well, I think everyone should listen. He's not E.F. Hutton, but let me tell you what I know.

A report just came out today with the following headline. Study: Alcohol more lethal than heroin, cocaine

What do you think? Well, that's no surprise to me. I've been saying that for years, but few have been listening.

But if you don't believe me, take a look at this:

LONDON (AP) — Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin
and crack cocaine, according to a new study.

British experts evaluated substances including alcohol, cocaine,
heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, ranking them based on how destructive they are to
the individual who takes them and to society as a whole.

Researchers analyzed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human
body, in addition to other criteria like environmental damage caused by the
drug, its role in breaking up families and its economic costs, such as health
care, social services, and prison.

Heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, alcohol or crystal meth, were the
most lethal to individuals. When considering their wider social effects,
alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the deadliest. But overall, alcohol
outranked all other substances, followed by heroin and crack cocaine. Marijuana,
ecstasy and LSD scored far lower.
The study was paid for by Britain's Centre for Crime and Justice
Studies and was published online Monday in the medical journal, Lancet.

Experts said alcohol scored so high because it is so widely used and
has devastating consequences not only for drinkers but for those around them.

When drunk in excess, alcohol damages nearly ALL organ systems. It is
also connected to higher death rates and is involved in a greater percentage of
crime than most other drugs, including heroin.

"What governments decide is illegal is not always based on science,"
said van den Brink, a professor of psychiatry and addiction at the University of
Amsterdam. . He said considerations about revenue and taxation, like those
garnered from the alcohol and tobacco industries, may influence decisions about
which substances to regulate or outlaw. "Drugs that are legal cause at least as
much damage, if not more, than drugs that are illicit," he said.

 So, how does Whitney Houston fit the mix?

Well, I could use a few treatment words like, Denial, Withdrawal, and Acceptance, but I'd probably be preaching to the choir because nobody would be listening. So I've solicited a few friends of mine to assist me in this journey.

BigMacInPittsburg wrote the following post: When Does Your Life Become Important?

Is it when we become seriously ill with some disease that John Hopkins can't cure?

Is it when a love one or family member we adored has passed this life?
I find myself at 58 years old still smoking cigarettes,I know intellecually that they bring no good to my life.
I could blame the manufactures of cigarettes for my situation and in a big way they are for the lies they have told me and the millions of people that are hooked on cigarettes.
But at this point in my life I KNOW that in order for me to rid my self of this addiction I'll NEED the courage to put on my big boy pants and face the music of withdrawal.

And get this, Big Mac was once a drug counselor, but I'll get back to that.

Now another friend, he's from The Big Apple. Lin, aka moan, wrote the following: Aging, Like Life, Is Kinda Insidious, But It Beats The HELL Outta The Alternative.

"It happened yesterday. I didn’t start out being or
feeling any differently, but then… LIFE happened. While walking from Grand
Central Station about 11 blocks into midtown, I felt this severe CRAMP in my
left calf. It seized upon the muscle with such an intense vise-GRIP that I
literally HAD to STOP, and stop immediately! I've always hated it when getting
my-serious-tunnelvision-NYC-destination-stride on, then suddenly some fool just
STOPS short in front of me and messes up my rhythm! Never was a fan of those
blatant rhythm blockers! Now, I was becoming ONE of those annoying

Yes, father time was creeping up on Moan. After walking a few more blocks, stopping along the way, he jumped (gingerly) upon a train. Then he said, "So, I determined that I was the oldest person in that entire car of more than 60-75 people. That's a very sobering reality"

Well Well Well, remember when Moan said aging is insidious? And, did you know that insidious means "characterized by treachery or slyness; crafty" And, "more dangerous than seems evident"? Well, it does, and the truth does not lie. I am reminded of a song by the Whispers, "Just Gets Better With Time"

Well, the truth is, some things get worse over time, and if a person continues to do the same things, they will get the same results. And alcohol and crack addiction is insidious. They are both sly and treacherous beyond belief. One hit on a crack pipe and the brain never forgets that feeling. And unfortunately, it's the best feeling a person could ever experience. That's the start of the addiction process. It has nothing to do with the body needing it. The mind will always want more. Or at least, it desires to reach that feeling one more time. The feeling is better than an orgasms.

Speaking of the truth, it's time to bring Whitney back to this party. I am inviting Dr Van Den Brink, the professor of psychiatry and addictions, Moan, BigMacInPittsburg and Whitney Houston. Where do I begin?

I think INSIDIOUS is the man of the hour and ignorance is close behind. Any type of addiction is more of a formidable foe than the average genius can imagine. Some are slower roads to hell, very deceiving, but they all kill. For the most part, it has nothing to do with a person's level of education, nor their financial status. Do you remember when Big Mac said he knew "intellectually" they bring no good to his life? Yelp, it takes no prisoners. Who would have thought that alcohol was more life threatening than Heroin? Okay, maybe some would, but I'd bet my last dime that opinion would be in the very small minority... minuscule, to say the least. Nevertheless, if King Alcohol is the biggest elephant in the house and there's a hundred times more alcohol abusers than all the other drugs combined, WTH is really going on?

Well, in steps Whitney Houston, ignorance and denial, and Big Mac's question... "Is it when we become seriously ill with some disease that John Hopkins can't cure or is it when a love one or family member we adored has passed this life?"
I'd say yes sir! There's no doubt about it.

Now tell me, why should Whitney Houston stop using drugs? Really, answer that question. I am suggesting what many have a hard time understanding.  Is her back against the wall? Is she in jeopardy of losing her job, which would immediately send her to the cheese line? NOPE NOPE AND NOPE. So why should she change? Ponder that for a while. I am suggestiing that a person has to be convinced that their next drink, toke, smoke, toot or poot, will take their life (instantly) or they will convince themselves there's a better day to stop. There's always tomorrow and a better day, but tomorrow seldom comes. Well, not the tomorrow they're thinking of.

But if she ever decides to try again, where does she go for help? No, really, specifically, where does she go and who does she ask for help?  Please, do not say a local treatment center. What are they going to tell her? What... that she has a problem and she's killing herself? If I am not completely stupid, I think she already knows that.

AND-AND-AND.... treatment is a joke! Really, if you've never been in rehab, and thus, know little or nothing about it, I am here to tell you that's it's a dismal failure. It's as much of a pimp game as any quick fix diet plan or the ridiculous words that fall from the mouths of prosperity preachers.

That's right, just like the poor souls that drags their tired bones to the shiny feet of the pulpit pimps - seeking help in the most desperate way - so goes the addicted individual. They're frequently on their last leg... so the sanctioned usurpers move in for the kill.

But everybody is doing it Carey, so it must be right - right?

Well, personally, I don't know anybody that became a millionaire by buying a velvet prayer cloth. And, I know hundreds and hundreds of people who have gone to rehab and they didn't stop drinking or doing drug, but they did received a huge medical bill. Many are dead and gone. Listen, if you put ALL your eggs - or those of a loved one - in a treatment center's basket, you're on a fool's errand.  Listen, alcohol has no medical use what so ever. It's main goal is to disturb the mind.  Some call it getting fu*ked up and having fun. Drugs are made to make a person feel good, and I am here to remind you that they do their job real good. But getting out and/or stop using them is the big bit*h. Nobody knows the troubles I've seen, only a few know my sorrows.  But now, I can look back with a smile on my face and say, "What about a time called now" *smile*

Let me tell you something that you may not know. The overwhelming majority of individuals that find themselves struggling with a habit, never kick that habit. That's a fact! So why are you, your uncle Joe, Billy Bob or Whitney Houston any different? If you really want to know, I'll tell you. Well, if you're still reading, open up your mind and come on. But wait, if you're sitting on the fence (don't think you have a problem) you might want to turn your head.

Once a persons has more than a few problems associated with drinking or drugs, they should know their habit is a progressive monster. Meaning... as age increases, so does the problem. Let me make that perfectly clear. Now this is very scary, even if a person stops drinking or doing drugs, the habit continues. Meaning.... once a person starts again, it's like they've never quit. In fact, they will be worse off than before they stopped. Wow! That's ugly, but true. That's why the medical profession has classified it as a disease. It's spreads like cancer and there is no cure. Have you ever noticed a person that stopped using alcohol and/or drugs, that when they started again, things really really got ugly? Well, that's why, the ball kept rolling even though they were not ingesting their drug of choice. YICKS!

So why don't people just stop forever?

It has everything to do with the pain of withdrawal and mental pain in general, which sometimes can take months, if not years to subside. And ignorance (lack of knowledge... when, why,  and how to escape the problem) is a huge boogie bear. The dreadful misunderstanding of the addiction process might be the biggest hurdle. More importantly, if any one those areas of concern are not sufficiently and thoroughly understood and addressed, any type of sustained recovery is but a distant dream.

Having said all of that, Whitney is in big trouble. Does anybody have any solutions or opinions? What do you think?

Do you think Big Mac likes walking around disgusted with his self? Do you think he loves smelling his hands and breath that reek of stale cigarettes? He said he could buy a nice size car with the money he spends on cigarettes. Do you believe I loved being addicted for several years? Do you think Whitney and DMX want to be addicts? Do you think Moan would have done something different if he knew Father Time was closer than he thought?

What has been your experience, or that of a loved one? How did they handle their habit?

ADDENDUM: THIS JUST IN! Reggie: My parents smoked like industry. My brother and my sister both smoke. My father had cancer so severe that it almost killed him. The doctors cut as much of it out of him as they could and still leave him alive. My mother had lung cancer surgery. She lost a third of her lung; and yet if you went to her home today, it would smell like cigarette smoke because she refuses to quit.I have never smoked.....won't ever smoke. I hate the habit. It's digusting to me and the thought of cigarettes turns my stomach.

MIZ: All my life my entire family father, uncles, aunts, etc...drank, it was common, it was accepted...i don't really know what will bring about a change...cuz i see myself in them as well. Not addicted, but certainly not trying to give it up either.

And this subject is what I do. Take a look at the next small clip. It's me doing my thang.

"Is it when we become seriously ill with some disease that John Hopkins
can't cure?Is it when a love one or family member we adored has passed this
life?I find myself at 58 years old still smoking cigarettes, I know intellecually that they bring no good to my life" ~ BigMacInPittsburg


Mizrepresent said...

What you have said here is true...addiction is not something anyone can help with if the individual addicted doesn't seek or want help. I have had at least 2 members of my family fight addiction with both drugs and alcohol (ie Heroin and Cocaine) and neither of them really one the battle. One died from liver disease, but he did stop, just too late, another is still fighting, but not willingly. All my life my entire family father, uncles, aunts, etc...drank, it was common, it was accepted...i don't really know what will bring about a change...cuz i see myself in them as well. Not addicted, but certainly not trying to give it up either. Good post. Pray for Whitney, Crack is highly addictive and in the words of Rick James "Cocaine is a hell of a drug".

CareyCarey said...

Hi Diane, Thanks for stopping by and your honesty.

I have one brother who is a stomp down alcoholic. One time he lost his job of 25 years (for drinking and drugs). After 3 years, his union finally got it back. If you go by his house right now, he's probably watching Monday night football while drinking 12 beers and a pint of rum. My other brother is a Heroin & crack addict. He's presently taking a drug called methadone. It's a substitute prescription drug to ease his pain. He has to take it every day for the rest of his life. But here's the kicker. It's 10 times stronger than Heroin.

Addiction is a mean game. And, if cocaine is a hell of a drug (as Rick James said) Alcohol is THE REAL BI*CH.

2cute4u said...

Quite a scary topic you picked on to discuss but you handled it brilliantly. I never knew alcohol was a more dangerous addiction and coming from home where everyone drinks and sometimes the violence that came with it(the violence is in the past), it made me hate alcohol to the amazement of everyone around me..
I hate alcohol, I can't stand the smell, I can't cope with anyone that takes more than a glass or two, it gets me all riled up..
On the issue of Whitney, I still can't understand how it got this far, I can begin to imagine what happened.
It's so ironic that Bobby Brown who introduced her to it could save himself and she can't. It's heart wrenching, annoying, pathetic and It can only stop with prayers, strength and real love..

CareyCarey said...

Hello 2cute, yes, this is a very scary topic, and that's why many people run from it.

Like you, I can not sit around people that drink. Not that I think I am better than them( I've battled my own demons), but while they are drinking, they are not their real self (and now we have a trust issue). Alcohol is designed to change the person, it has no other medical use (fact). And it does it's job very well.

You touched on something that I did not. I purposely left it out of my post because... well, I'll just see what some more people have to say.

Thanks for the compliment.

Oh, Imo, Bobby Brown may have stopped using crack, but....

Moanerplicity said...

Sup Carey:

Man, after reading this, it's a battle for supremacy between what the worst addiction is! I keep hearing crack kicks the asses of all others. Luckily, I never once indulged because far too many of those horror stories were roaming around in my orbit. It was a choice to NOT go there, EVER!

I worry about Whitney. For real. There are so many Whitneys out there. I pray SHE will get well & STAY well for no other reason than she WANTS this for herself.

Personally, while I dabbled in my youth & watched others become hooked on ish that took it's toll on them, weed was my only drug of any frequency, & I can honestly state that I was never really addicted.

Alcohol I sometimes think is The Poor Man's Heroin when you look at how it cuts across all classes, races & slowy destroys each democratically.

BTW: When I wrote that 'aging is insidious' I was referring to the way it can SNEAK on ya & STRIKE when you least suspect it. You can be feeling good, no worries, no thoughts of anything going wrong, then BAM, a MAD PAIN strikes & it's not something you ever experienced in your youth. It sucks. Wisdom is the only positive by-product from aging.

Addiction is definitely an insidious disease. It's like catching a crippling ( & long lasting) CRAMP inside the pit of one's soul.

This was a troubling, but necessary entry, my brotha.


CareyCarey said...

Whatsup Moan,

Yeah, I caught your take on insidious. I was pointing to THAT fact that an habit sneaks up on a person... when they least expect, or they do not believe they have one.

Moan wrote: "Alcohol I sometimes think is The Poor Man's Heroin when you look at how it cuts across all classes, races & slowy destroys each democratically"

Man, you've stumbled upon a real fact. Alcohol IS a poor man's substitute for Heroin. Alcohol creates the same chemicals in the brain, that hits the same receptors in the brain as Heroin. I once had the pleasure of being around a son of a past govenor of Minnesota. While in Washington DC, the son got hooked on Heroin. While trying to kick that habit, he picked up alcohol. He told me that he was able to kick the heroin habit, but alcohol had, and was kicking his a$$. He couldn't kick it. His sister also had an alcohol problem. She was found dead on a snow pile, outside a bar. After several attempts to quit, she and her brother never found peace.

I've seen many people move from other drugs to alcohol, thinking it was "safer" or less harmful, and consequently lose their battle.

Troubling... I agree. Necessary... I believe so.

It's not your grandmas apple pie, but it's what I do.

MsKnowitAll said...

This post hits home for me because a number of my family members battle addiction. And there's nothing I can do, say, scream, yell or cry about it to change it.

Like you, I can't be around them when they're drinking because they are not themselves. They find the words to say things they wouldn't say while sober. There is anger or aggressiveness that isn't present any other time. It hurts to isolate them especially knowing that they are probably already feeling low...

CareyCarey said...

MsKnowsIt, you sho know what to say. Well, when the family, friend, or lover comes to the realization that there's nothing they can do (and there isn't) they free themselves and do more for their friend than anything they "can say, scream, yell or cry about it to change it"

Really, frequently the family does more harm than good. That's a huge problem because the friends and family believe they have all the answers, but in reality, they know very little about the core of addiction, nor how to solve the pproblem . They think they do, but that don't. So they scream, fall for the sad faces, give them "just a little" money in an attempt to wean them of their drug of choice (alcohol or whatever), suggest they go to the local treatment center (yet they know little about that center, nor what goes on inside), and a myriad of other suggestion/opinions.

You wrote: "It hurts to isolate them especially knowing that they are probably already feeling low..."

You're on a roll. If you noticed in the article, it said something about alcohol and some drugs being very dangerous because of the destruction it does to the family. In many cases, the friend and family of the addicted, die right along with the person drinking or smoking their dope. That's a fact. See, the users are medicating their problems, but the friend has to cope with the user without drinking or drugging. But make no mistake about. Sometimes they join them because THEY don't know what to do. You know the old saying "if you can't whip'em, join'em"

Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

Anonymous said...

Carey Carey
With all the "Addictions", the human race faces. It's a astronomical social problem. It's not only alcohol & illegal drugs,those are just the ones we focus on most, there's so many more, that affect us mentally & physically, that take a back seat to what is really" an addiction."
Anything done in excess that will harm the body is an addition. For me, its, nicotine, for others it may be food, spending, sex, gambling, etc. you get the picture. We have to zero in on what's excessive for us , learn how to do things in moderation and fight the impulse that drives us to being addicted. "Addiction is Addiction". Big or Small, Legal or Illegal. Once it takes hold, its hard to let go, so we have to be aware of what & how we do things and what we put into our bodies. Good Post, Carey. Another reality Check.

CareyCarey said...

Hello Lil Bit, of course I agree with much of what you are saying. However, I do have a few problems with... "learn how to do things in moderation and fight the impulse that drives us to being addicted"

See, how do you "learn" to do things in moderation? If we are talking about an addiction, the challenge begins when a person tries to get out. Then it's on! Did you, or do you learn moderation when you started smoking? Does a person learn moderation after they are an alcoholic? You can't fight an impulse that drive us to being addicted. I mean, what does that mean??? Really, when will you know you've gone too far?

We can talk about that on many levels. But before we do, I've already addressed this issue in a few more posts... "I Was Sitting On The Toilet Thinking" HERE:


HERE: "Dumb by Default": You can't pass it down if you don't know it or have it!

Those posts are addressing the advice and opinions (like yours) that we receive from others that (sometimes) are very ambiguous, and sometimes are simply bad advice. Check out the posts, and especially the comment sections.

Anonymous said...

Carey Carey,
Moderation is one thing,while Addiction is another, that's a given or should be.
My thought is very simple!!! though, "If" things WERE done from the door in moderation, or not at all ,most things wouldn't become vices or addictions.
And, most folks do know when something is good for them or not or if they're partaking in it too much, or if it's altering their life, yet we do it anyway, because we get caught up in the hype, but we know.
Case in point, me & smoking. I knew, I shouldn't have started in the first place,because of the health risks involved,and also that nicotine has addicting qualities, but I started smoking anyway,ignoring all the reasons why I shouldn't smoke,because it was portrayed to look "cool".(the hype) but I knew, now some 20 years later, I finally acknowledge, what I already , knew when I started but didn't act on it. End result addiction.
Once your in the addication, no it's not about moderation, it's about recovery.
Recovery only happens when we, learn how TO FIGHT THE IMPULSE THAT DRIVES THE ADDICTION in the first place, and your right, " that's when it's on."
Moderation has nothing to do with it.
In acknowledging my fight There's no other option, but to do the damn, thing". because I'm a firm believer, If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk,it builds character and integrity, because actions have always spoke louder than words. It's not necessarily, what we say, but what we put into action, that truly counts.
So, if we can speak it, we should have enough courage to not only own it but act on it ,and follow through the process. Otherwise, there's no sense in saying anything,until we're ready to work it out.

CareyCarey said...

Lil Bit, I am glad you came back to cleanup the distinct differences in your 2 following sentences

"fight the impulse that drives us to being addicted"


Also, I disagree with the following sentence.

"most folks do know when something is good for them or not or if they're partaking in it too much, or if it's altering their life, yet we do it anyway, because we get caught up in the hype, but we know"

Lil Bit, that's simply not true. There are several factors that form our decision making process. If we knew the ending to our story, I doubt we would do most of the things we do. And, if the addiction process was so simple to understand, we would not have millions and millions of lost souls. Really, if we KNEW the whole truth, we would not start.

See, most humans think they are real smart, to a point in which they can "out think" the affects of a drug. And consequently they will say "that will never happen to me". "I'll know when to quit...." "I'll know when it's starting to alter my life"

But, Lil Bit, I see it every day! It does NOT happen like that.

Anonymous said...

Carey Carey Carey,
It's not about knowing the end of the story, it's about knowing or having an idea at the beginning of the story, but doing it anyway. ( making the DECISION in the first place) and we do know, when were indulging too much. Like I said, we get caught up, in the hype or think as you said, that will never happen to me, but the fact still remains, we've made a choice to ignore what may or may not occur. It's not about knowing but making "a decision" to ignore what we do know, that causes us to do it anyway and suffer the comsequences.

CareyCarey said...

Lil Bit Lil Bit, little bit.

I see you don't believe fat meat is greasy. So now I have to ask you if your comments are your personal or professional opinions? Here's why I have to ask you that question. Your words are reminiscent of the hundreds that I've worked with over the years.

Listen to me now, one hour ago, I was in conversation with another... another professional in the field of addictions. In fact, we were discussing state codes and regulation to move forward on a project in which I would live among a group of individuals who are presently struggling with "life threatening" issues.

Our correspondence (e-mails type), always comes with the following words. Read it, and then I'll share something with you.


Now Lil Bit, I don't think the following will violate that order, so here's part of todays exchange.

"[Carey] Just got done with our meeting – we have it worked out – give me a call at ***** today or Lawn Oaks tomorrow so I can share the details and how we proceed from here – thanks for your patience and for this good idea"

In short Lil bit, your words my have bits of substance, but you can't give away something that you don't have. When you learn it, live it and walk it, then you're on to something. Otherwise, there's nothing I can say to convince you that you may be voicing a few untruths.

Anonymous said...

To Clarify my position, without all the rhetoric. The addiction process is very complicated and there's many factors that are involved, your absolutely right, It's not simple or easy. My thoughts were just reflecting, that if 1)things were done in moderation, there would be no addiction.and 2) because things aren't done in moderation for whatever reasons,we find ourselves with an addiction. But at some point, in order to begin the recovery proess, we have to acknowledge the addiction.(by understanding, we have altered our life style by partaking too much.) Then we have to "learn how to fight the impulse that drives the addicition", with the help of the many resources & professionals that are available. It's a long hard eye opening experience, but that's when we DO KNOW, when something has been or is good for us, and that's when we either learn it, live it and walk it or not.

CareyCarey said...

Hello Lil,

I am glad you came back. I think you've just about covered it. It is a long grueling process, in which the overwhelming major never find the solution. Particularly for all the reasons we've mention.

First, the person has to believe from the bottom of their heart that they have a problem that's going to kill them. That idea alone will take 80% of the people (that's suffering from this problem)... right off the table. They will never admit, and/or believe they have a problem, that they alone, cannot cure.

Then, as you said, those that do admit they are battling a huge problem, the real fight begins. And then, all the things you mentioned (and much more) to have a sustain recover, is more than most can handle, ie, changing their life style, finding the right help (that's big! I emphasis the RIGHT help), fighting impulses, and most of all... there is no moderation! It's do or die. Only a few make it through.

Thanks for coming back.

Anonymous said...

Your on point!!!!!
I'm sure, dealing with this issue, on the job, on a daily basis, you, get the up close and personal side that, we layman out here don't see, the magnitude & enormous undertaking that is involved in the recovery process, unless we've had to deal with it, ourselves or with a family member. It's truly a up hill battle at the very least. That may or may not be conquered.
My only brother, battled alcoholism for 20 years, before he got the help he needed. It's been 12 years now, that he's been sober and I've seen his life turn around.(Thank GOD) So, I somewhat understand the odds,and the ups & downs, of the process.
Your on point!!!!!! and it's folks like yourself,that are in the trenches everyday, that extend that helping hand and guidance to folks like my brother, to make it through, & try to beat the odds.

25champ said...

Very interesting post....addiction is a b tch, but the 1 thing that can cure all is faith...I'm only 30 but I've quit smoking for the past 11 years after 4years of really was faith driven....Alcohol is very deadly and even though I do drnk...i try 2 stay away from hard liquor these days...I thnk addiction comes in the form of things that are not obvious, like food or 1 who eats pork everyday aint know better than some1 who drnks a six pack per the end of the day its faith that can get the thru 1 day at a time.

Anonymous said...

Hello, it's me CareyCarey.

I'm locked out of my blog. I don't even get notifications when someone comments. So, if you're reading this, give me a holler at the above address. Maybe you can help me. Or, you can just say hello. I miss all of you.