Having bipolar disorder is starting to be considered a plus if you're an artist. Gonzo journalists are writing about their trip to Peru to take Ayahuasca to treat their Schizophrenia. Stars are outing themselves about their previous Oxycodin abuse, and I'm starting to think "is it becoming cool to be an addict?"
Across Canada, the tragic spike in opioid-related deaths has brought to national attention the large and complex issue of drug use and misuse. As fentanyl-related overdoses are gripping the country, there is a connected, but separate crisis of doctor-prescribed opioids being increasingly used on a regular, long-term basis.
In Canada, men account for three out of every four suicides -- with seven men dying by suicide every day. And the risk is even greater for gay and bisexual men, who are four times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual men. Which isn't surprising since they also experience higher levels of harassment, discrimination in the workplace and are more likely to be the victims of violent crime.
As all smokers know, quitting is challenging and terrifying. It took 25 years of my doctor insisting I quit, before I was able to successfully stop smoking. I tried everything, including cold turkey and prescription medication; nothing worked. I knew I wanted to change my life around for the better.
Like many people around the world, I too, felt the shock waves of the election and Donald Trump being elected as the 45th President of the United States. Many of us are in disbelief that someone so brash and caustic is set to become the leader of the most powerful country on the planet. Yet, here I sit at my computer feeling grateful... Grateful that I'm an addict in recovery.
That men have higher rates of addiction than women do is not surprising, as men's social and emotional experience is rooted in what could be regarded as an abusive system which gives men only one emotional outlet (anger) and social expectations to uphold a masculine tradition that serves only the antiquated system that created it.
Hundreds of codeine tablets stolen from the medicine cabinet of an elderly person living alone in a rural community. Hydromorphone tablets being distributed at weddings and high school parties. Fentanyl patches being cut up and sold for a profit on the street. This is the reality of the opioid crisis in Canada today.
When I reached the bottom with my own addiction to pot and prescription drugs almost 30 years ago, I too realized that I had to change my life or I would die. I knew that I didn't really want to die, but that I couldn't go on living the way I was at that point. I had grown quite tired of being a caterpillar, though I had no idea how to become a butterfly.