Thursday, November 21, 2013

Watching Major League Baseball channel today.  Darryl Strawberry answering interview questions about his current work.  Darryl Strawberry had a serious cocaine problem for quite a while.  It damaged his career a lot.  I saw him several years ago on Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.  I know, I know, trash TV.  I thought this show was going to be really cheesy and melodramatic.  Actually, I found it compelling.  Those people for the most part really struggled with their addictions.  Anyway, Darryl said he is doing well now, engaged in a lot of productive activity with baseball and preaching.
I thought about some of folks I saw in prison who were caught up in drug addiction.  One woman had been "turned out" to work as a prostitute when she was twelve, because of her mother's addiction.  This woman developed her own hard core heroin addiction at a very young age.  She was in corrections center.  When her parole hearing did not go well, she decided she was leaving anyway.  She got up into the ceiling and got out of the center undetected, but one of the agents chased her down and brought her back.  She was quite a little firecracker, arguing with staff and the parole board member at her parole hearing.  She was very upfront about her addiction and what she needed to do, but she was still working on controlling her impulses.
Another young woman I saw at the women's facility had a serious addiction.  When I looked her up on Offender Tracking, under description, it said she had scars, track marks, all over her body.  She was actually a pretty young woman who had no intent or desire to cure her addiction.  One day she came for a hearing along with another young woman who had just barely come through the prison door.  She was definitely a "fish".  They were the last hearings of the day.  They sat out in the hall waiting for me.  I asked who wanted to go first.  Prisoner S, the drug addict, told the other girl to go first.  The new kid said she was really scared and nervous.  So I said, "Yeah, I'm a really scary person!"  Prisoner S started laughing, saying, "Oh, Ms. Falkenstein, you are not scary!"  Then she told the new prisoner, "She's really nice."  I was a little disappointed,  A little while later, I came to work one day and learned that Prisoner S had committed suicide by hanging herself when she was taken to segregation.
Another prisoner, a man, often worked his grounds maintenance assignment up around the administration building where my hearing room was located.  He really worked at it and all the plants he took care of were amazing.  I talked to him a little from time to time when I went outside for a breath of air.  He told me he worked in landscaping/gardening on the outside, but he blew it because he had a cocaine problem.  I thought about what a shame it was that the world was being deprived of this guy's talent for creating beauty. One year, I planted dahlias in my yard, but moles ate all of their roots  and they died, so I decided to ask this guy about it since he seemed to be a really good gardener.  He told me to find something that contained coyote piss and spread it on the flower beds to keep critters away.  I liked that suggestion, although I admit I never got around to trying it.
Drugs are the scourge of this society.  Just recently there was a long article in the Monroe Evening News about heroin flooding that community.  There are two ways to attack the problem, 1. Reduce supply.  2. Reduce demand.  The War on Drugs addressed supply, with little success.  We need to put a lot more resources into reducing demand, treating addiction.  We have to reduce demand AND supply in order to have any impact.  OK, that's it for today.