Mentally Ill Dying in Prison Transport Vans

When I was driving home from my tardive dyskinesia neurologist appointment in Gainesville I read an article that made me shudder. It could be me. Prisoners being driving from one facility to another are at the mercy of untrained people who drive the vans and have more of a trucker mentality. It’s about how many people you can get quickly from one place to another. So they jam the vans, deprive the prisoners of bathroom breaks, etc. When a mentally ill person doesn’t get their meds for three or four days they can decompensate and start babbling loudly or drooling, one person died of Xanax withdrawal.

 

I thought…’It could have been me.’ I’ve been privileged to have good care and avoid the hospital for seventeen years but when my former bff called the cops on me and told them I was suicidal, I was in a holding area very similar to a county jail. A long time ago, the eighties, I had legal problems re my drug habit and went to jail five times, so I know what I’m talking about.

 

The problem is the privatization of public prison and jail systems. These people know how to penny pinch but it’s at the expense of those they transport and their human rights.

Suicidal Bipolar Projects ‘Plan,’ and I’m in Hospital?

How else can I say it, title it?

allicat

You are my people. My resource.

You hear it first.

My life is messy.

It’s not the worst.

My BFF turned my life upside down.

You guys know I have chronic pain and was looking for a way out. I went Cold turkey for over a week. The worst pain I’ve ever had except for the 60 day flare in reaction to an ‘interventional pain management’ pain doc. Yeah, ‘interventional’ all right. Between me and my life. Between me and my pocketbook. Once back on, thought I could not get off. But I’ve been sick ever since. Hey, you play you pay.

Weak and sick I wanted to go to the ER and check for an obstruction. On the way gonna stop by my BFF’s. I’d packed my low sugar high fiber foods and protein Shakes with Pomegranate in them and Off I was gonna go. Except for one hitch. She’d called the cops and said I was suicidal. Cuffed and dragged off to the psych ward. Then she called my father and told him private stuff. She’s always hated my husband. Partly because he doesn’t have money and she thinks I could do so much better.

I’ll really miss her. Foreign films, world affairs, someone intellectual, worldly and brainy to be around and another former disc jockey.

I think it’s a marketable story. What can I call it in seven words or less so that betrayal and paradox jump right off the page; promising a publisher clicks? Can I Sell it to Buzzfeed? Vice? Gawker? Who?  It’s got to be a rebellious type of publication. One that questions the system a tad.

The two publications I write for probably wouldn’t appreciate my caustic tone when I describe yanking the warden’s chains; claiming I’m a nationally published writer who is also in their daily newspaper, a mantle of credibility which happens to be true. People get starstruck.

The puzzlement on their faces was precious. Priceless.   Maybe it’s true. Maybe she’s here by mistake. Our mistake.

Where does this story of one friendship (probably a sick, codependant attachment) end and a new life of healthier pursuits and a more balanced set of associates begin?

Because it’s not really about what she did to me, it’s about why I attract people to my life sicker than I am. That’s what’s nuts.  Then I share my intimacies. Totally Bonkers.

All along I assumed she understood and she’d just been laying in wait to get me locked up somewhere.  She’s disapproved of my level of care and self care all along, right down to the cooler full of raw foods, low sugar fruit, protein and water I carry around.

Under the Bridge in Kabul-opiate addiction

 

 

Addicts languishing on the banks of the Kabul River

afganaddictsAnyone remember the song about addiction and homelessness by The Red Hot Chili Peppers called “Under the Bridge?” Here we go again.

Man, I thought heroin addicts had it rough in this country. At least we have Methadone clinics for the overflow of addicts who can’t actually kick. That program reduces the spread of illness, so even though it’s less than perfect, it’s a long term temporary solution for some addicts who don’t ‘graduate’ to sobriety, such as it is.

In Afghanistan, cheap heroin, easy access, unemployment, lack of housing, fraying families, malnutrition, and untreated mental illnesses are just a few factors of the epidemic most vividly illustrated by a New York Times piece about the heroin addicts gathering in informal ‘drug camps’ under the bridges of the River Kabul. It’s gotten to be such an eyesore that other residents line up on the bridges to watch. Schadenfreud. Again.

It’s said that  you walk on the riverbank you can hear the crunch of hundreds of thousands dirty needles underfoot. Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opiates and reports say 12% or more adults there are addicted.

Something’s being done about it but it will just staunch the bleeding. These people are rounded up and being sent to some ad hoc sort of treatment program at an empty United States Military base from 2003.

When the base was abandoned apparently we took all the goodies, televisions, kitchens, but they are doing the best they can. They are only allowed to stay for 180 days and there are no aftercare programs to help prevent relapse.

When I read the part about the needles crunching underfoot, I got a powerful visual.