Opiod Epidemic-It’s not just about the Drugs

I have chronic pain and am no longer on opiods. (Safer, off-label, organic alternatives abound). I was on them off and on for years as a result of sports injuries from exercise bulimia. I loved high impact sports like running, tennis and professional beach volleyball.

I paid for my excesses. With interest.

In terms of the opiod epidemic, why not me? I have bipolar disorder and am the most addictive person I know. Somehow, I didn’t fall down the rabbit hole.

For me, Opiates were simply a means to a pain free life.

The side effects eventually made me uncomfortable enough to quit, which I did  alone in my home; assisted by a muscle relaxer.

Today I put up with more pain, but that’s ok with me.

I just worry about other people who are in even more pain than I am whose access will be cut due to this ‘epidemic’ fueled by criminals and addicts looking for a high.

When I say it’s not just about the drugs, I mean this: In the United States, a semi-synthetic opiate is being developed for use as an antidepressant.

What we need is a non addictive pain medicine for those of us who are legitimate pain patients. Why isn’t there one?

Indie Pharmacies an Endangered Species…The only kind who understands and cares


I am on a tear to save independent pharmacies being driven out of business. If you read my stuff, you know I have bipolar/tardive/borderline diabetic side effects. When I got tardive my publix of fifteen years bumped me off. My complications were too much for them. I found an indie which is why I wrote this story. Indies are being driven out of business. Conflict of interest/collusion between pharmacy benefit managers and the drugstores they own and government laws that benefit….well you get the picture.

One click is all I need to support this movement.





My thing about film directors and the “auteur” theory

Peter BergThis is former actor, former director, writer and now uberproducer Peter Berg. I first saw him in “The Last Seduction” with Bill Pullman and Linda Fiorentino, both people deserving of work and hardly ever working. But Peter Berg, first in Chicago Hope, then off to “Friday Night Lights” a producer/director job with Interscope….he’s developed some really interesting work over his career and does delightful cameos in his stuff. Right now he’s playing the Miami Dolphins owner in “ballers.” I follow this guy around like crazy.

Other directors who put the ‘auteur’ stamp on their work

the late Robert Altman

Quentin Tarantino

Ingmar Bergman

Oliver Stone

and so forth. Often you can judge if a movie is good by who produced or directed it. This is my theory.

Comments in Books “the sober truth” and “unbroken brain” on addiction/alcoholism

unbroken brainunbroken brainsobertruth

There are a couple new books about that jettison the ‘wisdom’ spouted in AA. I spent thirty years in “the program” but as a person with bipolar disorder and then three years of uncontrolled tardive dyskinesia, if I shared anything about these issues wanting to make me drink, the whole room would erupt into haters and ‘me toos’

I got tired of tripping on IED’s and left the program over two years ago. These books shed light on different approaches to treating addiction and point out that AA’s success rates, and this includes people who go to expensive thirty day rehab…those success rates are 3-5%. Of course this goes way up if a person stays, gets a sponsor and works the steps. Then the success rate for lifelong sobriety is thirty percent. But what about the other seventy percent of us??? Don’t we deserve an alternative?

“Unbroken Brain” suggests that addiction (and she’s a former opiate addict now successful author and freelance writer) is a ‘learning disorder’ in other words, by experimenting with drugs to begin with, we activate the dopamine neurotransmitter and if we could just unlearn that and replace it with a healthy way of getting ‘high’ we’ll be ok.

“The Sober Truth” points out many flaws in AA philosophy and the multimillion dollar rehab industry and other 12-step treatment providers, who think “abstinence only” is the only way to go. If you remember 8 in 10 people who start taking opiates took it for pain and still have that pain, then you can see that for someone like the late Prince, who had excruciating hip pain, “abstinence only” is not going to cut it. They always relapse and take the same amount they used to  take, but their tolerance has gone down and they OD. It’s a sad story.

Just like with heroin addicts, methadone, always has been legal and it’s proven that it cuts OD’s by 75% percent, cuts down on disease transmission (dirty needles) and cuts relapse on dangerous drugs like Heroin that’s laced with God knows what like crazy!

Everyone screams and demonizes the opiates instead of laying the blame where it belongs…the addicts who abuse the pills.

Oxycontin was terrific in terms of being safe and time-released except addicts figured out a way to trick with the coating so they could get the ‘rush’ of the entire dose right away instead of letting it slowly time release.

And we pay for the ‘high’ they were chasing. I don’t take Opiates anymore but I did so safely and conservatively for twelve years. It bought me a quality of life I can only dream of now. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take them anymore due to side effects. Since I stopped, I’ve canceled gym membership, let my pilates classes expire and can’t write nearly as long as sitting in the chair aggravates it.


2 trusted shrink/internist of 17 years re chronic pain, bipolar, side effects, Stanford Tardive & Ali



Thanks to former BFF outta cash and cut outta the will. Dad can’t understand stuff like how  25 years psych meds and side effects, meds for the side effects for the side effects etc. It really DOES happen and according to him, it’s all my fault.  She didn’t understand either, thought the salads for the prediabetic condition side effect and my compulsive carrying of back issues of the new York times to read in waiting rooms was ‘crazy.’ as she built her case about me in silence, totally two faced, she caused more harm than she’ll ever know. She relayed she thought her friendship was a ‘gift’ to me. It was. It keeps on giving, too. I’m still picking up the pieces!!!!!!!!

w/Stanford Volleyball and exercise bulimia the combination of tardive dyskinesia and my annular tear, three herniated discs, spinal stenosis and psoriatic arthritis…well most people would have offed themselves by now.

Dear Reader. If you’re still here the following is actually interesting reading.

And if I may say so myself, I’m published in the local tribune outlet, Meloday maker UK, Hits mag, The Album Network, Arizona Republic, Bipolar Magazine, NAMI and International Bipolar Disorder Foundation (IBPF) in San Diego, the city I grew up in. I am working on a piece on tardive dyskinesia, also called “Extrapyramidal symptoms” for Neurology today for their next issue. My current publisher reached our with both hands; requesting a movement disorder piece when their sole source of income is from a drug company. Tardive is rarer than ever but still, mighty white of them.

This is pursuant to the crisis caused by former bff  projecting her 3 attempts going on a fourth suicidality on me, calling the cops and my father about my deteriorating state. He’s tried his best to help me financially in every way possible but….not have anything to do with the family. He just can’t figure out, understand how someone can possibly have so many problems. But then he’s never been on an MAOI or Clozaril or an antipsychotic causing tardive dyskinesia and a spiral of unending spasms and pain.

First order of business to take care of myself. Because of certain choices, side xfx,  not all my fault. I’m not a bad person. Dad thinks so. I can’t afford to think that way. I make bad choices and things get worse! Physical, ongoing mental health still paramount. Pain, bowel still problematic. Still needing 290 mg (top) Linzess and once weekly emergency injections of Relistor, an 80.00 copayment even within catastrophic period. I’m still looking for a healthier way. 16.00 copay to see original pain specialist of three years, still picking people’s brains. Followed through w/appt.  Saw a new, likely temporary pain doc (anti narc) studying to be an All Cash “Functional” (read: Holistic)  Medicine”specialist. For a less toxic, least constipating solution, she wrote 7.5 Microgram Butrans patch, still a narc. She gets it. Copy Enclosed.  Of course I didn’t fill it. I was just picking her brain for free, like I did when I first got Tardive Dyskinesia and  saw 15 doctors who weren’t able to treat me and couldn’t admit it. They said ‘psychsomatic’ (Cleveland clinic female doc) were sexist, stigmatizing and didn’t want anything to do with me.. afraid I’d sue them which I never would. I just want to get well.

Still journaling the box, diet and exercise changes, trying to make it work. I’m in more pain but that’s not THE most pressing I hurt too much to exercise the way I used to– partially a good thing. Spine mindfulness, so to speak.  Gentle walks, stretching and at home mat pilates swimming for now. Discontinuing Y membership and beloved NYT. 100.00 Savings. First Haircut in a year. Thanks, Clair. I don’t think you meant well. I think you need help for your brain tumor, beneign as it may be, it’s interfering with your decision making process. I feel for ya. I don’t feel so well myself. But we’re not good for each other and never will be.

More Shark Week Shit


I swim in ocean. For a long time, over an hour.  I see sharks. This is a Hammerhead. Perfect for Shark Week. Attacks in Florida are on the rise but something else will kill me first. (Statistically speaking).

I love to swim. If I were to die of a shark attack I’d at least of died doing something I love. And I love swimming. I can crawl a mile between 1:10 and 1:45 minutes and that’s in the ocean. It is aggravating to my back but all exercise seems to be. I come outta the florida ocean a brand new woman, filled to the brim with the euphoria caused by endocannabiniods, not endorphins, which are too large a molecule to pass the blood brain barrier and get you high. Can you believe we thought that bit with the endorphins all those years?

Anyhow, I’m at the store today and see a magazine with a big picture of a hammerhead with it’s mouth, it’s cavernous jaw wide open, teeth long, many and sharp. Ok, fine. Do you want me to buy this? I look at price. It’s over 11 bucks, with tax.

What is it about Sharks that gives us that shivery feeling and made Steven Speilberg of Jaws an overnight sensation. We’re scared but we still go in the water.

When I first moved here, I saw a shark in pursuit of an ailing Mantaray. He was black and white, a round body of contrasts, sort of like the high contrast Kosher black and white cookie you get at a deli. (I do miss Nate and Al’s in Beverly Hills and their tongue sandwich with Russian and Cole Slaw on Rye bread).  You could see the two beasts going at each other in the clear water of the breaking surf, you know, when the wave is at its’ peak. They shut down the beach. More recently I ran across a four foot spinner shark. He saw me and quickly reversed direction and ran away.


Declaring a Stigma Free, Demilitarized Zone in New Bphope.com (Bipolar Hope) article!

tribal 078

So ironic this article coincided with the passing of the world’s greatest boxer, ne Cassius Clay then Mohammed Ali. Also the opiate wars escalate with the DEA and FDA at cross purposes. It used to be that if the DEA suspected a pharmacy, any pharmacy, of dispensing to abusers or if they suspected a doctor doing the same (and how would a doc or a drug store even know if it’s not on a database but street action) they used to be able to just ‘shut ’em down a la Rico Statute. No more. So anyway, for now, it’s a Stigma Free, demilitarized zone.

I know, you see me as a fighter but bipolar disorder mood cycles and many other things can’t be won by resisting to waging war.

click me and see!


Move Over, Movement Disorder: Tardive Dyskinesia and its impact on chronic back pain.




I know many are upset about the CNN report with Anderson Cooper on “The Opiate Epidemic.” I could go on and on about that one and my 16 years of a high quality of life due to these ‘dangerous’ drugs. Tardive Dyskinesia takes an injured low back and adds in jerky twists, turns and torks of my torso. Oh, my gosh. Even on pain meds I can feel the instant delivery of shots of pain from the twitching and spasm. Oh well. Seven years of STIMA and Chronic pain. So the topic of chronic pain magnified by tardive dyskinesia has come up because I finally had to quit using my ms contin after 16 safe, responsible, uncomplicated use. I even drove my dose down to a 1/3 of what is was before when I finally stopped due to side effects. 16 years. And I’m a person with a former history of substance abuse, exercise addictio9n, left handed, and bipolar. The very person they think is most at risk of going to the streets, to heroin or abusing their prescription. Puleeze!!!

Enough on that topic. It is what it is and that’s why I’ve stopped “Fighting” it.


I’ve been listening to 90’s hardcore Grungers “Mudhoney” and their epic “Don’t Touch Me, I’m Sick!” In my 7 years with Tardive Dyskinesia, regarding stigma, they lay it on thick. Real thick. Some doctors won’t even take you on.  They see you as a walking lawsuit. Not in a million years.  I’m in enough physical and mental pain and don’t want others to suffer just because I do. I wish Deb Houry from the CDC who says opiates don’t benefit long term, noncancerous pain!!!!!!!!!


But on Tardive I have really good news!!!!

A few years ago, I wrote about this. It’s food for thought if you are on an antipsychotic, new or old. However,  MUCH LESS CAUSE FOR WORRY side effect wise. Newer drugs are much cleaner of this neurological and even metabolic fallout.

Tardive Website links and Utube:

Blog: http://www.ibpf.org/blog/move-over-movement-disorder

Tardive Vlogs Utube

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCOR_YVo-ks

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqfEX8jl-Zs

Trauma, Drama Weaks of the Word (Words of the Weak)



The thing with my BFF getting me locked up by calling the cops on me, my ongoing chronic pain, the fallout after my BFF called my father and told him lies about drug abuse on my husband’s part…so much to deal with in a short amount of time.

Then I called Medicare to find out if the blood lab had violated Medicare law by denying me service by using the reverse diversity hostile stall technique. And I filed a formal complaint with an agency you might be interested in if you are on Medicare or have family who is.

The Medicare Beneficiary Centers for Care and Quality Improvement. I wrote them a 7 page letter; reflecting the litany of abuse I took over a seven year period but if you really need to unload you can leave them a detailed message. 844-455-8708.  I’m following through on this one, even though reliving it’s a nightmare. I sure wish their was an agency I could use to deal with for my former BFF.

So many ideas for stories but I am so close to the material that I must just jot down phrases and ideas and wait for some time to pass. Do you guys know what I mean?

This piece of paper that has all my new words on it is my way of normalizing much of my life. I don’t even know what day it is, let alone what weekend to program this for so I’ll just do it for today ok?

abjure (in reference to saying now to interviews) solemnly renounce.

Numinous  of Divinity or Sacred

Palindromic: a Word that reads the same back and forth.

Trogladyte (used to describe Trump) People who used to live in caves. Paleo.

Wonkish ( I think I’ve done this one before) Nerdy.

Poujadist extremist conservative movement in France, the emphases being on protecting their assets. This would apply to certain 1%ers.


For Prince’s sake, Cut 2 chase, cut the carnage, widen access to MAT & wipe out black market!!


I heard about Prince. So tragic. The Suboxone thing might not be the answer but it does reduce mortality by accidental and intentional overdose by 50%. Restricting access and insisting everyone immediately wean off does nothing to address the 8 in ten drug abusers/addicts who originally took narcotics for pain, both short term and chronic. Studies show 99% of them will relapse back onto heroin or worse. When you go to the street you get no medical warnings or advice and you never know what’s in the drugs you are buying.

I don’t think “The Box” is the Answer, in fact, I wonder about it being its’ own Satan, the negative facts suppressed for profit.

Everyone makes out, the pharmacies, drug dealers, doctors, drug companies…everyone but us.

Rapper Scarface: “We Can’t afford our drugs so we all gonna die CVS is slingin dope on every block worldwide!!!!!” They don’t have any responsibility to use because they’re in healthcare…why should they????? Not necessarily. Then there’s the beaurocratic nightmare of federal officials trying to do the right thing coming up against powerful lobbyists who want the Oxy to continue because it IS safer if used as directed. I had conservative, safe, minimal use of MS contin for 16 years before I quit because of side effects, my body unable to relieve itself of the meals eaten yesterday. That can kill you too. Then there’s the prescription laxatives that only buy a few more years of time. But we’re all buying time.

I for one am sooooo tired of paying for everyone who is chasing a high. I kid you not. I used to be an addict, now I’m not. Furthermore, I don’t abuse drugs…they abuse me. That’s why I quit. Cold Turkey. Done. Hundreds of leftovers left over that I rarely think about. Might need them if I get in an accident and access is so limited I can’t stand it. I’ve had ‘failed surgery syndrome’ when the bones of my feet wouldn’t knit together lasting three years after surgery, steel pins holding my feet together. Foot pain worse than back pain. Of COURS I took narcotics. Then, when they healed I immediately stopped. But the point is I was in legitimate pain due to doctor error and on pain meds long term and then stopped for ten years until my next ortho operation, thanks to ongoing exercise bulimia.  The switcher upper in my fight against cocaine addiction to suppress my appetite. It’s all sort of a hazy dream and my family has now disowned me. Bipolar My fault. My foot problems, my fault. Every new side effect or illness, my fault. My choice. This has been going on since DX.

I’ve been dealing with a night mare that would drive someone less stable to drink or another unhealthy coping  mechanism. Stigmatized by family since my diagnosis of bipolar, Stigma and I are fast friends. Because it came from family I associate it with love and don’t know when to walk away like in the case of the “BFF calling the cops on me and saying I’m suicidal, even though she’s got the plan and the means to attempt it for a fourth time secretly stashed away in her closet. And then this…….It’s about reverse diversity….do ya feel me?

Hey you guys…I just wrote this up. A formal complaint of long term abuse I endured by Quest laboratories over a seven year period because I was ashamed, cowed and didn’t think I deserved better. They almost succeeded in denying me my critical lab services to get my most important mood stabilizer. They are NOT going to get away with it. I may be one of the ‘little’ people but I’m “mad as hell and not going to take Stigma any more.”

Local Lab Chain’s Long Term Abuse, shame shame shame on YOU@!



To: Medicare’s Beneficiaries and Family Centers Care and Quality Improvement Center for quality Improvement Organization.

Re: Systemic and local problem in my seven years as a monthly client of Quest Labs, 3343 Sheridan Street Location, Hollywood, Florida. 33021-3606. (the last four digits of zip were hard to read).

This long letter, I’m sorry but there’s a lot to cover, chronicles a litany of abusive treatment, jeapordy of my health, healthcare and access to a most critical medication by one of your providers.

It’s a case of stigma, and if you get to page 8 you’ll see the ‘diversity in reverse’ racial discriminatory aspect as well. I don’t come out and say who’s what color but I do remember distinctly a conversation I had with the supervisor whose name is Augusta.  You’ll be able to see this sad scenario in full blown Technicolor. But there are other types of stigma, abuse, and discrimination as well. A systemic aspect infecting all aspects of the corporation. It can’t continue. You must be informed of this so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

(I will be sending this to better business bureau, chamber of commerce and any other regulatory agencies I can find too. ‘

Do you want to hear the rest of it?  Let me know.