Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Drugs have been on my mind ever since we flushed large amounts of Oxycontin Pills down the toilet in Florida. This happens on a daily basis down in beautiful, warm and "better taxes" Florida, when all the elderly who live there die - one after the other - because that's what old people do. The nurses and doctors witness this and sign the forms vouching for the fact that the drugs have been "destroyed". My husband was tempted to keep a few for skiing backaches as well as hip and knee agony, but the nurse didn't let him.

Oxycontin, a potent time release painkiller, was a true blessing for my mother-in-law's long and painful death from breast cancer. It is what it was designed for. It was not designed for parties, nor for fish food - nor skiing, I suppose.

My other "experiences" with Oxycontin are the mother who came to our meditation a few years ago, whose daughter - freshly graduated from Highschool - had just died. She came with her younger son, the girl's twelve-year-old brother. The daughter's boyfriend had given Oxycontin to her at a party, celebrating going off to college. The Highschool diploma somehow didn't help to prevent the decision of opening up a time release drug capsule and taking it all at once, subjecting the brain to life threatening shock and disbelief, simply for the "party fun" of feeling one's body go numb. The risk versus reward calculation went terribly wrong and could have been prevented with a little more respect for, or understanding of science.

Three years later the same thing happened to the son of our carpenter. Both were working on our house at the time, including the friend who provided the Oxycontin as a "gift" one night. The father found his son in the morning on his front doorstep, after he had heard him come home late at night, thinking he was having his usual Friday Midnight Smoke, enjoying the moon and stars, as he loved to do.

Now the poor fish in Florida are on Oxycontin, too - and many other drugs as well. It is illegal here in California to flush drugs down the toilet - but in Florida it is required. Water is water and it circles the globe - so Florida "is" California, for all intents and purposes.

How useful these drugs could be to people who cannot afford them. How harmful to the fish and therefore to our food supply. People in Florida joke about how happy everyone will be on all the anti-depressants and painkillers in the water - leave alone all the illegal cocaine and other concoctions that get flushed down toiltes and sinks in all states, when the police knocks on the door.

Well - now that I may have depressed everyone, most drug use among teenagers - is actually way down in the US, - except for Oxycontin use, which is up 30%, as is Vicodin. See this graph, here. Thanks to people, young and old, who fight drugs with education in schools and on the Internet - often former drug users themselves - as well as our under-appreciated police departments, military units, and government agencies. Lots of good people there who don't make the news, but make all the difference. Thank You.

People come to meditations, or fall in love with "Here You Are" - even heavily tattooed and pierced teenagers - hoping to find a way out of their sorrow and suffering from those kinds of situations. Meditation and ancient teachings can provide this way out, far better than drugs. Losing a child is one of the most difficult paths there is. Most difficult, and therefore also the most precious and sacred of motivations to discover the innermost treasure.

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