When Will We Wake Up?

I’m mad . . .
I learned some news this morning. More than another one gone, it’s another two gone. And I’m mad.
I’m mad that I can’t place their faces to their names anymore because at this rate, we are losing so many and guaranteed to lose more to this so-called war on drugs.

I have said this before and I will say this again; we are right here on the front lines of a battleground and fighting an enemy we can’t, but yet, this enemy is everywhere and its in everything and yet, of course, the “Not in my backyard” people say it’s not them.
It’s not their kids. But it is their kid.
I was their kid.
Good home. Good family. I had the decent neighborhood, middle income with middle income problems and living a middle income life but either way, none of this matters.
It doesn’t matter the name of the town or the color of our skin. Where we live and how we live is unimportant in this fight.
And I’m mad.

I’m mad enough to fight back. I’m mad enough to fight dirty and spill blood. I mad enough to scream and mad enough to cry, because why goddammit?
Why do the numbers keep increasing despite our efforts?
Why do we allow statistics to prove or disprove anything?
Why do we allow town officials or county officials give us data from their so-called treatment plans without honestly quantifying their numbers.

Oh, but wait. I know why.
I know exactly why.
The problem is there is no synergy. There is no cohesion. There is no unified front. There is only opinions and politics and programs and people that say pray my way or live like this because this way is the only way.
But none of this is proven and only works in a limited number of cases.
There are people looking for either the spotlight or the paycheck or both.
They say they are fighting back and winning but the battle is uphill.
Know what I tell them?
Wrong . . .

There is a line, which I always recall from one of my favorite poets named Saul Williams. He said, “Stealing us is the smartest thing they ever did. Too bad they don’t teach the truth to their kids”
In his use, this line was intended to describe the injustice and inequality in racism.
To me, “Stealing us was the smartest thing they ever did,” means something else.
I was stolen the first time I was ever bullied.
I was stolen the first time I ever took a sip of a drink that was not intended for me.
I was stolen that time we all passed a joint for the first time.
I was robbed a few times too. I was robbed of my dignity the first time I tried to like a girl; only, she never liked me back which lead to a scene of public humiliation.
I was stolen when I was laughed at.
I was robbed that time I sat around a small fire in a vacant lot. There was a group of us. I was already on two purple-double-barrels but someone landed a few twenties of the good stuff—or should I say the real stuff. The white stuff.
I was stolen by the little mirror. I was robbed by my own reflection as I hovered my nose over with a straw we took from McDonald’s and cut up in to a few pieces.
I was stolen once I grabbed the mirror from underneath and dragged the bottom of the straw across the line, sniffing in and feeling the sting turn numb.
I was stolen once the chemical took to my bloodstream and changed my system into something I had never expected.
I was stolen the minute I was warned not to try this.
I was stolen the minute someone told me how deadly this was, but yet, the true theft was the reason why we steal: to acquire, to gain, to get what we want by any means necessary, no matter who this hurts because of all things, the one thing we all want is to constantly and completely feel better.
And we learn this young.
We learn the first time we cry as infants, in which we are pacified by some external source, which is what we do—we always look for an external source to solve the discomfort of an internal dilemma.

I was stolen that time I sat in the passenger seat of a white 1979 Tran-Am with blue interior. I was stolen when I was offered a glass pipe and someone said, “Here, you wanna get high? Try this.”
And I did . . .
But there are other thefts I’ve seen.
I watched the theft of my Mother. I watched them steal her with medication and promises.
Stealing her was the smartest thing they ever did because she was like a long list of others, stolen, one by one, to pump the financial machine of Big Pharma because they only mask the symptoms instead of fix the problems. Besides there’s more money in symptoms.
They mask the symptoms with pain pills and get paid by returning and reoccurring customers.
I wonder though.
I wonder if the doctors knew. I think they did.
I wonder if they knew or if they would prescribe medication to their mothers or fathers of children of their own the same way they prescribed opiates to my Mother, who, at the end of her life was chained to the opiate leash until she died.

You know what?
Come to think of it, I watched my country stolen by something we called a mortgage crisis.
Remember that?
Mortgage companies were robo-signing loans away to anyone with a pulse. Meanwhile, no one could pay the loans. But someone made money. That’s for sure. Someone stole. And what happened? The government bailed them out. They flooded out country with mortgages and the government came along to bail them out.
But wait . . .
Isn’t this the same thing that happened with the opioids? The market was flooded, lives were stolen, people died and people are still dying but where’s the bailout now?
That’s why I’m mad.
Where is the synergy?
Where is our unity?
Not in my backyard?
Bullshit. This entire country is our backyard. If it happens to you then it happens to me.
So it is in your backyard. It’s in every backyard.

We only make up for 5% of the entire world’s population, but yet we take up more opiates than anywhere else by consuming more than 80% of them. What does that say?
What does that say about your awareness models? What does that say about your war against drugs?
But wait, I’m forgetting something.
What is a drug?
Is alcohol a drug? Isn’t it?
Cigarettes? Vapes?
Meanwhile, every one is up in arms about the opiate epidemic right? We are dying in record numbers they say, right?

Wanna know why I’m mad?
72,000 people died as a result of opiates.
88,000 people died due to alcohol related deaths.
An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States
Thanks to: https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics)

Want more?
Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.
Thanks to: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/index.htm

Stealing us was the smartest thing they ever did . . .
I wonder what they’ll tell their kids when their children look up and ask why.

By the way, as I write to you, I am not too for from Silicon Valley where they are creating our Nation’s next up and coming technology.
But the inventors are smart.
They won’t allow their kids to interact with their inventions because they don’t want their children to become mindless or dependent upon technology like the rest of us are.

Stealing us is the smartest thing they ever did, even if they do teach the truth to their kids . . .
The problem is we keep giving ourselves away.
We weren’t stolen. We offered to go . . .
Until we learn to stop giving ourselves away to the next best fix, this war of ours is not going to end well.

That’s why I’m mad.
Mad enough to fight back
Even if I have to go at it alone, then I’ll go at it alone.
I don’t want anything to ever steal me again because it’s a hard thing to steal your life back.
Don’t believe me?
Go ask the parents and families of the lives that were lost and see how they feel about it

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