Event Adventure

I attended a community event yesterday geared toward addressing opioid addiction in the area.

The woman I went with has to take opioids for her severe pain, and hasn’t become addicted. Neither did I become addicted when taking opioids after I destroyed my arm. In fact, back then, the doctor told me I wouldn’t get addicted even though I was on super-high dosages. One thing no one has ever explained is why some people get addicted, some don’t, and how to tell the difference. Despite all the hype, opioids aren’t a problem for everyone, and if those opposed to the drugs manage to get them banned, a whole lot of people will be in a whole lot of pain.

But that wasn’t what the event was about. It was more for those who need the services of the community to help with their present addiction. One big focus was the use of Narcan. A couple of local youths put on a brief skit about how to use Narcan and to show that there are no effects for someone who doesn’t need it. One sober youth fell to the ground. The other went to the rescue, opened the Narcan, and squirted the Narcan up his nose.

(My murder-mystery brain went into overdrive, and I immediately imagined they had killed the poor fellow. He was fine, even though he’d accidentally been given a double dose, but in a future book, he won’t be. Poor guy doesn’t even know he’s going to be murdered in absentia. Not by Narcan, of course, but by some drug that had been substituted by nefarious folk.)

After that sixty-second training course, we were given boxes of Narcan to use on all our drug-addicted friends. So, if you come to my house and fall down in a drugged stupor, I’ll be able to revive you — unless I murder you first for bringing drugs (and bad karma) into my house.

Although we were told that Narcan is safe, I can’t imagine there is any drug that is perfectly safe for everyone, so if by chance you did come to my place and collapse from your addiction, and if by chance I allow you to live, I won’t give you the Narcan. I wouldn’t want it to interfere with all the legal drugs the doctors have you taking.

To be honest, I was more interested in the coloring book that was being given out at one of the booths. I remember when coloring books were for children — now they are for adults. Apparently, kids have better things to do than color someone else’s artwork.

Oddly, many years before the adult coloring fad hit, Jeff and I thought coloring might be a soothing activity, so we got coloring books and crayons. Despite the intriguing designs in the books, we were both bored out of our skulls. So, if you do come to visit, and if you don’t expire from drugs (or from me), you can color in what is sure to be a still-pristine coloring book.

By far the most interesting thing about the evening is that while we were standing in line to be served dinner (free to all of us who attended), two different people came and talked to me as if they knew me, though I had never seen either of them before.

One of the people, wearing a shirt saying, “Don’t meth with me,” mentioned he always saw me walking by his house, and another asked about my car. Admittedly, I do sort of stand out, what with my hats and my vintage vehicle; nevertheless, it’s discomfiting to find out that I know fewer people than who know me.

And here I thought that by settling down my adventurous days would be over. Who knew community events in small towns are their own adventure!

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

7 Responses to “Event Adventure”

  1. Wanda Hughes Says:

    I used oxycodone for my knee surgery and will again but I didn’t get addicted or even dependent. Still, when I stopped taking it as the pain lessened I went through a 3-day ‘withdrawal’ that wasn’t all that pleasant. But I will use it again as nothing else helped dull the intense pain of having a knee joint amputated and a new one put in it’s place. However, when I come by your place I promise I won’t collapse from drug over-use.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      There’s really nothing else that works. They tried everything. Morphine didn’t even work for me. So for many of us, if they succeed in getting oxycodone off the market, some of us better hope we never have major pain again. As for your visit — if it comes to that, you I might save.

  2. snakesinthegrass2014 Says:

    For years my doctor used to annually prescribe three oxycodone pills for me because I’m prone to getting kidney stones. They were my little “insurance policy,” especially when I’d go on a trip. Just knowing I had them was a relief. But those days are long over, and I finally tossed the last ones I had (and thankfully never used) because they were as old as the hills. I too worry about all the people who suffer from pain and can no longer receive them. – Marty

  3. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Yeah, I’ve been in that situation where more people know me than I know them. One of the downsides of being the son of two rabbis, unfortunately.
    And I think you should totally write that story. And when you do, look up something called “Narcan parties.” It’s a real thing that made the round in newspapers a few years ago. I think you could make it part of your story if you felt like it.


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