The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas

Forty Years Journey: From Herro-Wine to Oxycontin and Heroin

July 5th, 2011 . by Alexander Fisher

Gerald D FisherMy dad worked at a local prison and was at the BCI, Ohio’s FBI, one day in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. A policeman came through the front door with a bottle of wine. He requested that the BCI laboratory analyze the contents of the bottle. When the agent asked why, the policeman told him he suspected the contents was "herro-wine". I don’t remember my dad ever laughing so hard when he told me this story.

Illicit drugs were only a burgeoning problem at that time. Most teenagers’ biggest problem was getting caught with cigarettes and 3.2% beer. In most small communities illicit drugs did not exist for the majority of people. Moms and dads were a little over medicated on the sleeping pills, diet pills, or anti-anxiety drugs, but not in any overly large amounts. There were controls on the system. There was no advertising the benefits of a prescription drug on television. Most pharmacies were locally owned. Pharmacist’s in all states knew most of their customer’s by name and could oversee the distribution of medications to these people. Now most pharmacies are parts of large corporations. Sometimes you can see your former local pharmacists working for the new super chains, filling prescription after prescriptions to unknown faceless customers. Whatever the doctor’s say, well it must be OK, right?

In the 1970’s, drug use became a profitable business for both local and foreign investors. The blame was always squarely put on that long haired kid on the corner. The blame then as now goes to those that finance illicit drug importation. I guarantee you that very few of these people were, or are, long haired kids, even if they are standing menacingly on the corner. The cocaine business that was broken up in Florida in the 1980’s proved that these people were more likely to be the more affluent in the community. They were usually standing alongside and contributing to local and national politicians who controlled enforcement of their illegal activities.

In many cases, government drug enforcement activity can stop drugs by controlling the sales/importation of needed supplies, and in some cases banning them altogether. That is how they dealt with bath tub made sleeping pills in the early 1980’s. I know that one day they were available in large quantities and a week later could not be found anywhere, ever again.

One reaction to the banning of these substances is always the producers lose a market for their products. No doubt that after the sleeping pill victory, many companies went out of business, both foreign and domestically. Only because they could no longer supply the illicit market that was affecting young people predominately.

Currently a similar situation seems to be a problem for our country once again. The illicit distribution of pain medications is causing a narcotics epidemic unseen in the U.S. before.

On the Al Gore owned cable network, Current TV there’s an investigative series called Vanguard. A recent episode was called Gateway to Heroin and discussed many things. But the most interesting thing was that, most of the Oxycontin in the U.S comes from real doctors, in Florida. I just can’t believe that the pharmaceutical companies don’t know what they are doing down there.

Contributing to the narcotics problem at all, should cause a stir among law enforcement agencies. Yet when most of these pills come from the same place, it doesn’t seem to. The inaction by law enforcement and pharmaceutical companies is a De facto approval or worse, of what is occurring. One could even theorize it is part of a larger plan. Get rid of dissent by drugging/killing the young people who at times have made trouble for foreign and domestic corporatists and the members of the congressional/military industrial complex. It sounds all too familiar to me.

There was no real heroin problem in the U.S. until after our Afghanistan invasion. Now the Afghans are swimming in heroin and the profits that have resulted. We in turn have a lost a generation of young people who are addicted to Oxycontin and/or heroin. Many thousands of people, die monthly from both drugs. Many times the numbers that die in all of our recent wars of choice. More than die from drugs like crack, meth, etc., combined.

Pharmaceutical companies and other Corporatists don’t want consumer protections. They want to pretend they are always the victims. They want tax bailouts, but no accountability, even in a situation where they are contributing to the harm of society in general. The greed that allows those that manufacture and flood the market with pain medication and those that import heroin, is exactly the same. One is definitely illegal from the start. The other only illegal after it is prescribed.

It is much easier to just hold the pharmaceutical companies accountable than it is to catch the heroin importers . That would be a start though. Oxycontin manufacturers should need to be accountable for every last pill. The heroin problem isn’t that hard to solve either. We have over 130,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, where almost all the heroin is produced. The Taliban, that harbored Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, did not allow poppy production, but since their defeat, the poppy crops have multiplied at an enormous rate

We have the troops that can shut down the heroin business maybe over night. We have law enforcement that could help Florida clean up its Oxycontin troubles. We haven’t yet. And why is that?

I shattered my ankle in the snow requiring extensive reconstructive surgery in 2010. My doctors have had me on pain pills ever since. I have decided to put away the pills after seeing that program. Even a remote possibility of me moving on to heroin, is too big a risk to take. It may work against me. As a gauge of my pain they tend to ask if I am taking any pain medication. If I answer no or that I am only taking over the counter pain medication, I risk losing my disability benefits permanently. That is a risk I think I need to take.

Some people can stop before they have trouble. Some can only stop if they hit bottom. And some need you and me to protect them from things like heroin or Oxycontin. Our failure is that we haven’t the will to stop a profitable untaxed windfall of profit for the worst among us. As unfortunate is that too many of the best among us are too silent as well.

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