All posts tagged: Drugs

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Baked Goods and Bad Trips

Last June was our 16th anniversary, so Scott and I spent a weekend at this funky hotel in the Catskills. Every room is themed at this place. I chose a space-themed room. It was appropriately far out. Before we left, Scott mentioned that one of his coworkers, a fellow video editor, had gifted us an edible. A pot cookie, in other words. (I feel like I’m a million years old when I say “pot cookie” but I don’t feel like I’ve earned the right to say “edible.”) He apparently was a frequent user (and baker, I guess) of such things, and thought we’d have fun with it. Sure, I said! Pot’s fun! Couple of important details: First, I smoked pot plenty in my twenties, but not really since. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s … changed a little, in the past twenty-odd years. I learned this a couple of years ago, when I shared a one-hitter with a friend and spent the next few hours paranoid and hyper, my face in a jumbo bag of Cheetos. Number …

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I Read Banned Books and Hope You Do, Too

When you think of the word “censorship,” what comes to mind? You might imagine a black bar over an image, a political speech, perhaps something sexually explicit. But you probably won’t think about a young Iranian girl, a sensitive teenaged boy or a character created by one of our country’s most revered authors. All of those — and many, many others — have been and are on lists of the most frequently banned books of the past. . .year. That’s right. Not past century or decade but just this past year. Even in modern society, we’ve made so little progress on some fronts that literature of great merit continues to be banned in some classrooms due to “controversial” topics. (The phrase “controversial subject matter” is actually used by more than one book-banning group to describe a volume on this list.) Banned books change with the times. Once, these titles were the most frequently challenged; in 2015, the five below have hit nerves. Notice that almost all of the books on the “older” list are now …

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The Self-Medicated Woman

I’ve learned to love my Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I’ve also learned to accept and even love the legal drugs I use to manage it: caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. As many of you reading these words today amid your 500 other to-dos know, ADHD is blessing and a curse. My morning preamble to sitting down to this article was marked by a frenzied dance through a series of tasks I felt compelled to undertake no matter how inane, including chopping beeswax to make “cutting board butter” (thanks a lot, internet), muscling the sludge off of the side of a bottle of liquid soap (it builds up!), a step in the long process of making homemade apple jack (America’s first legal drug), repairing a broken window (it’s cold out there) and, oh yeah, getting my son out the door and to the bus on time. All before the sun had barely crested the treetops. At times, I feel ridiculous, but after a half-century of flitting from task to task, I’ve come to trust the process …

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The Drug Talk I Never Needed to Have

I’ve never had the drug talk with my twelve and fifteen year old daughters because I’ve never felt like I had to. So many people in our lives have died from alcohol and drug addiction that discussing the point seems moot. Death has been talking loud and clear. My daughters’ first life and death lesson with addiction came when they were eight and eleven. I was picking up the youngest, Dev, from an after school activity one early fall afternoon. A bunch of us parents were waiting in the school parking lot for the kids to be dismissed, when a young girl ran up to me. “Excuse me, Dezi’s mom,” she said, tears about to spill out of her eyes. “My dad drove me here to pick up my brother, but he was driving weird.” Her dad was drunk, she said, and she didn’t want her or her brother to have to get back in the car with him. Stacy was a sixth grader like my daughter, Dezi. Her brother and my youngest daughter were …

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The Waiting Room: Details of a Diagnosis

“Fakakta…shit.” “Fakakta…shit.” In a packed radiologist’s waiting room in midtown NYC, a 70-something woman sits next to me, scribbling in a stack of forms and muttering loudly in Yiddish-English. “Fakakta…shit.” The woman says this roughly every 10 minutes.  I want to whisper to her, “My feelings exactly.” I’m here to get a precautionary mammogram to rule out any additional cancer. Four days prior, I learned that I had — well, what looked like — ovarian cancer and, because my mother and grandmother had breast cancer, my gynecologist thought we should rule out B.C.  Hopefully, I wasn’t a cancer factory. This brown-carpeted clinic smells like sanitizer and sadness. I fumble with my keys in my jacket pocket. I’m still zipped up in my puffy orange coat, ready to get in and get out because this isn’t me. This isn’t me. Fakakta…shit. *** Allow me to back up and start from the beginning of this C craze. Back in September of 2015, I’d bled for five days. Hey, we ladies bleed; not weird, right? Well it was weird …

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8 Things You Know About Medication…That Are Totally Wrong

Drugs are everywhere. They’re taken in the bathroom stall next to us when we’ve gone out to a nightclub. They’re spread across the news and social media when one of our beloved artists meets an untimely demise due to an overdose. And they’re lining our cabinets and dressers when we reach for our birth control, aspirin and host of other pills. We’ve become desensitized to drugs and medications, whether experimenting during college or taking Vicodin after an intense surgery. And, of course, as with anything that is commonly used there comes a whole heap of misconceptions and myths that pervade the landscape without anyone ever making sense of them. So where does one go to find the truth in these ideas?  To dispel some common misconceptions and fallacies, I consulted three-time author Dr. Susan C. Vaughan, who is currently a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst on the faculty at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and author Dr. Frank Lipman, founder and director of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center. Misconception: #1 Manufactured drugs have dangerous side effects, but …

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A Conversation with My Teenage Son About Drugs

When my 16-year-old son came into our family room to play a video game, I was delighted. I don’t get a chance to sit and talk with him often, so I quickly turned off the episode of Intervention I’d been watching. He sat down beside me. “What do you think makes a person try their very first drug?” I asked him. “Been watching drug addicts again?” he asked in return. I admitted I had. “After however many years of saying no, they one day say yes. What makes them do it?” “I have no idea, Mom,” he answered, taking off his sneakers. “Of course not,” I countered, “but try anyway.” Tactics I’ve used with middle school students in my classroom for 14 years work just as well on my son. First, acknowledge they may not have an answer, and then demand one nonetheless. I’ve learned you can’t assume to know what’s going on inside a teenage brain. “Okay,” he said. “I guess they want to escape and feel good.” He chewed at the edge of a fingernail. …

Margit’s Note: Altered States

As someone who is going through a crazy mixed-up illness, drugs have become my lifeline and a new curiosity. The last time I smoked pot in earnest (am I sure I’m not running for president ever? No? Oh, it doesn’t matter anymore? Ok, continue…) was several lifetimes ago, but with New York now making medicinal marijuana legal, my interest is piqued. Also, because a friend told me her chemo treatment was saved by smoking pot, that the opiates her docs prescribed made her ill. While legal for medicinal reasons, it’s still not easy to access — there’s only one dispensary and there are convoluted protocols and an online course you have to take before your doctor can write that particular prescription. Not easy. In lieu of that, friends have offered to hook me up. One pal texted me that she’d happily drop off some “special legal chocolate… if I like that sort of thing. I was like, “sure, I looove chocolate. But um, isn’t it always legal?” not getting her gist for the first five …