Sunday, February 7, 2010

That Which Can Kill You, Can Kill You


I suppose that it's necessary whenever there is a public health threat out there to alert the public. But when it involves the quality of the heroin that one may or may not be doing, is it really necessary to make it sound so important? At the very least, please don't use that "something terrible has happened" voice when reporting it.

Down under at the fabulous Australian news source of news.com.au, we learn that "British authorities today warned drug users that heroin in London was highly likely to be contaminated with anthrax." Right. Because if there's one thing you don't want in a drug that can kill you, it's another drug that can kill you. Wait. What?

That's right! There might be anthrax contaminating heroin. Is that even possible? To "contaminate" heroin? I always think of things that are not contaminated as something that is pure. Something that is OK. Something that isn't going to kill you or make you so dependent on it that you lose everything in your entire life, end up homeless and destitute and having to defecate into a wooden bucket at some point (so I've heard).

According to a one Dr. Brian McCloskey, director of the Health Protection Agency over there in London. "While public health investigations are ongoing, it must be assumed that all heroin in London carries the risk of anthrax contamination." Oh, OK. Hear that, heroin users?! Are you paying attention to what the director of the HPA is saying about your illegal drug of choice? (I'm sure that they are. I'm sure that they just shoot up every day whilst watching a little C-SPAN or the British equivalent thereof.)

But fear not, responsible people who do not feel the need to inject addictive substances into your own bloodstream for the purpose of rendering yourself high as a kite and unable to do anything besides be high and drool! Fear not! That's because that same Dr. McCloskey has added that "...the risk to the general population was "negligible." Really? So, if you have heroin which is contaminated with anthrax and you don't actually do heroin, then there's nothing to worry about? Fascinating.

Here comes my favorite part. It's the part about what to do about this problem. That same doctor says that "Heroin users are advised to cease taking heroin by any route, if at all possible, and to seek help from their local drug treatment services." Oh. Well, why didn't you say so?

See how easy it is? All of you people out there who are addicted to heroin? Yeah, all you need to do is just stop doing it. That's right. If you were afraid that it was going to be some big, long complicated solution that involved various types of math or something, you're in luck! All you have to do is STOP doing the heroin! That's all. Just stop.

I think that we all know that the threat of dying isn't exactly something that is going to scare a heroin addict to stop cold turkey. It's not like they're going to hear about the anthrax and suddenly exclaim, "Wait a minute now! You mean this s*** can kill me?! Hoooolllld on! If you're telling me that heroin can kill me, well, then, that's a different story. I shall stop this moment! There! I just stopped doing heroin. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to clean this vomit off of myself and see about getting one of those job things that everyone is always talking about. Good day, madam!"

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