How to help a friend addicted to drugs

15th December 2015: Sydney, Australia

I am feeling extremely pleased to be anonymous, especially bearing in mind the topic of the post. Prior to continuing though, I must share my awareness of people possibly drawing some contradictions in my writing. Most notably, how I have detailed my beliefs about the benefits for people who with Cancer using Cannabis Oil. My reasoning results from seeing the divide caused within my small audience when writing about Cannabis. In response, I can only highlight the fact of not touching any Cannabis for over a decade before trailing it as a means to support my health whilst utilising it to eliminate the side effects associated with my chemotherapy. Basically, my use of Cannabis is solely centred upon supporting my quality of life and survival. In contrast, drugs such as ice take a person into a completely different direction.

I am not going to detail the circumstances for my friend or provide a case summary about his life. Instead, I want to share some thoughts, and hopefully receive some tips from others who are either experiencing similar matters or had encounters in the past that they feel will help someone else.

Naturally, the lives of my friend and I have shifted in different paths of late, and each time his name is raised, a cause of worry surfaces about his latest antics. The question has always been, what can be down to help him, especially if he does not wish to help himself. When reflecting on that statement, I wonder whether it is not signal of the circumstances being too hard too deal with? If true, it seems people, including myself have chosen to ignore the situation, placing his life in a context of ‘being out of sight out of mind’. Today, my thoughts have been about the type of friend I have been to him. Yes, he is addicted to an extremely dangerous drug, however, is it not these times for friends to rise in unity? Fortunately, another close friend in my social circle cares about our mutual friend, and arranged to meet last night. In all honesty. I am not sure whether it was helpful, however, a few small outcomes were achieved:
1. A show of willingness from old friends to support him.
2. The sharing of stories, highlighting the fact that a different life is possible.
3. Reconnection with a world outside addiction and crime.
4. Future planning to meet, showing a commitment to see him in the future.
5. Advice on some criminal matters he is involved in.

I am sure we can explore this topic in great depth, however, in accordance with keeping posts rather small, I hope the post can stimulate some thinking, and lead to some discussion on the matter.

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Can the antioxidants in red wine be helpful for Cancer?

4th August 2015: Sydney, Australia

Two days ago the topic was Cannabis oil, yesterday we touched upon sunshine, so it is rather fitting to make red wine the focal point of discussion today. Upon first waking up this morning, I was researching about the varying types. Obviously, my intention was not to awkwardly shuffle my way to a bottle shop in order to purchase some wine for the day. Rather, further explore the supposed health benefits associated with red wine, and decide whether a glass of red wine aligns more with my future planning compared to say, a cider as was being consumed prior to finding out the tumour had regrown. In all honesty, I would be really stretching the meaning attached to ‘thatsortofhealthyguy’ if the first thought I had when waking up revolved around ways to obtain some alcohol!

My initial interest in opting for a glass of red wine over a beer commenced when first making lifestyle changes following the initial surgery. Supposed health benefits of red wine are commonly thought to be accurate, and my interest sparked when reading about specific options, particularly, the anticancer properties associated with certain wines from different regions around the world. The interest did not last long, mainly due to a feeling of acidity within my stomach when drinking a glass. Ultimately, I chose to virtually stop drinking, before a cider or two gradually began to feature within my social life.

I am now at the stage of revisiting the topic of red wine for future planning, and a review of the information saved from my previous research lead me into purchasing a bottle of Malbec. I actually enjoyed the wine, experienced no side-effects, and will be looking to buy another in the future. The information I have read suggests red wine, especially Malbec from Mendoza in Argentina or Madiran from the Gers region in Southwest France has some of the highest concentrate of Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin (OPC), making it a better choice of alcohol for my situation. To my understanding, OPC is derived from grape seed extract, and is alleged to be the most powerful known antioxidant. It is thought to reduce tissue damage, strengthens blood vessels, improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation, detoxifies the body, multiplies the effects of Vitamin C and other agents, protects and brain and nerves, and forces Cancer cells to commit suicide.

I should note, it is naive to consider a glass of red wine as a magical cure, however, when weighed against other options if opting to drink, then it does seem to be the better option. My hope is some people much more knowledgable than me in this area read this blog, and add some comments to help me and others make more informed choices in the future.

Complete intoxication is not the right coping mechanism

29th June 2015: Sydney, Australia

I once made reference to a quote stating, “some people in the world need a tap on their shoulder to make changes in their lives”. Initially I played with the phrase, adjusting it to my own circumstances by adding, “some people in the world need a tap on their shoulder to make changes in their lives whilst others needing a gigantic push”. Now, I pose the question of what happens if nether the tap or push is sufficient to lead to sustainable change? Does it then just signal no other chances at living will be provided? I ask these questions following a night of behaviours and lifestyle choices I thought had been in my past. Just to note, I am not referring to anything malicious. Rather, complete and utter intoxication over a period of two days. Interestingly, it happened in the midst of all this waiting. I ponder whether some significance is associated with the decision? If so, will the direction be an inevitable death at a much earlier age than I ever hoped? Alternatively, will it be a moment, recognised as a coping mechanism, implemented unconsciously to block out all the uncertainty awaiting me? Finally, could it just be evidence of me changing on a permanent basis, and the night was a singular necessary step backwards to ensure the long lasting life does in fact become a reality.

Alcohol and Cancer

30th August 2014: Wales

A four hour car journey from my girlfriends house to Wales was endured. The motion experienced of bumping around in the backseat wasn’t well received, particularly when bearing in mind that this feeling is somewhat now accustomed due to the side effects of my medication. The feeling associates itself with the decision made to reduce my alcohol consumption. Alcohol! I have come to realise that I am more than capable of polishing off a beer like the old days, well that’s if you only look at the first few sips before you’ll see I am holding onto the bottle (no longer pint glasses) like a familar prop till I take about my fourth swig, realising it has turned warm and I am longer desiring the taste for more. Alcohol! The car journey today whilst nursing the after effects of a drinking session. No way! If only these feelings could be shared with myself in the past, that is with the exception of times on a Monday at work after a heavy weekend. Honestly, I thought it would be missed a lot more than it is. Strangely, it hasn’t been a straining quest to overcome a thirst for a beer nor has it had to feature in any conversations with doctors. Of course, people will ask, ‘when you going to be able to have a session again’, yet, again, strangely, the thought of it doesn’t really tempt me. In saying that, a few beers or a wine or two with no ill after effects wouldn’t be so bad but isn’t that what most people would want? It’s not really going to be a case of people lining up to have a hangover or cover your morning hangover for you after an alcohol fuelled night is it? The only summary would be never say never, and the social aspect and laughs had over a few beers could, if given enough thought provoke nostalgia, however, at this stage, I’m happy to have my five sips and hold a warm beer before settling into bed, knowing my body will be in better shape to approach the night with a clear focused mind and wake up to enjoy the hour or so before popping the pills that recently were hinted as becoming a routine for the rest of my life. It is probably useful to mention that like a lot of topics discussed, this only captures my current thinking and experiences, and in no way do I think negatively about moderate alcohol consumption, and maybe still have a soft spot for the ocasional blowout. This is all about age and experiences though and is the fundamental beauty of a journal. Naturally, if I was at a different stage in my life then what I am writing may difffer. A lot of what is coming across is about a personal journey with no criticisms directed at anyone (well at this stage).