Category Archives: Addiction

Avoid Addictive Plea

It was time for me to ditch another persistent addiction.

Yesterday, without a word, I deactivated Facebook for the third and hopefully final time.

Addicts: you know how you kick something, and then you relapse and it’s like a hundred times worse than last time?

That’s kind of how my last Facebook jaunt went. I was only back for a few weeks and I literally could not get out of this chair because I kept getting notifications.

Laundry piled.

Bathrooms were gross.

Gym? Nope. Couldn’t miss a notification. Always had an excuse. Maybe next Monday.

Self-care? Just barely.

And lots of other minor things, just things that need doing when you are the housekeeper and a disabled 48 year old man with responsibilities to yourself and your family.

I knew what all of this meant: Facebook was causing depression when I wasn’t on it. And I kept Facebooking to stave it off. Sure, you can’t snort, smoke, or shoot Facebook, but that right there is a textbook definition for maintenance of an addiction.

So, upon the suggestion of my wife, I shut it the fuck down with prejudice, not even a goodbye post. I handled it like I had picked up something hot and I needed to drop it quickly. I didn’t think there was any way to cut down on my Facebook time. I was a junkie, and I suspected Facebook was going to be one of those drugs that I was not going to be able to step down from.

Cold turkey is tough too. Because I’m going to miss my political allies. Fellow atheists. Family. Old friends. New friends. I will miss all of the music groups I was in that steered me to fascinating bands and outfits. I can’t share my wife’s online life. My mouse lingers over that big blue F on my homepage and I accidentally click it still out of habit. I know I have twenty or thirty messages already since leaving. But Facebook will consume me if I go back.

I don’t know what it is about Facebook in particular that causes this. Maybe you do (here’s some scholarly stuff on it). Because I’m an active Twitter user, and I don’t feel the same addiction potential that I know exists for Big Eff. There is a quest for followers that could cause some issues, but mostly I enjoy reading it because I get to rub elbows with famous and smart people and folks who used to blog back when doing what I’m doing right now was hot shit. Twitter is very sparse, with its limits on how much you can say and how correct you have to come-you will find out what kind of an idiot you are very fast if you say the right thing the wrong way and vice versa. But the bottom line is it’s easy to get up from.

For now.

I’m not well known enough on Twitter that I get a response, a like, a retweet or a follower note every minute. So perhaps Twitter may in due time become as bad a drug as Facebook, but for now I’m just chipping. And that’s far, far better than the dope I was into yesterday.

A Few Thoughts On Kratom

I have a lollapalooza of a katzenjammer this fine Sunday morning. I am glad I am not religious, because Jesus would undoubtedly have taken a back seat to this hangover. I decided to take some kratom to dial back the symptoms and I am sure I will feel much better in a few minutes, or at least I’ll be happy enough while I suffer through this mother.

So: let’s talk a little about kratom, which is the powdered leaves of mitragyina speciosa. There are loads of misinformation out there on the nature of the drug (and yes, that’s what it is). I have been a user for probably a year or so, and I believe I have standing on kratom, pro and con.

One thing that is certain is that if you are gonna be hooked on something no matter what, you could definitely do worse than kratom. Good strains will lighten your mood, untie your tongue, and make you feel like you are on prescription cough syrups. It’s far, far cheaper than having a pill habit, and many people swear by kratom to replace an opiate addiction from fighting chronic pain. It doesn’t show up on a piss test because it’s not looking for the metabolites of mitragyna. You can get it in head shops, but there are sources for bulk buying overseas where you can get discounts for the amount you buy. You can also get premium stuff through the mail, unless you live in a handful of states or cities who have scheduled kratom as illegal.

What’s not to love about all of that?

The size of an average habit is a subject of debate, but that’s what happens when you cripple good research and have to rely on your own empirical study to get at the truth. Take this stupid page; they say a low dose is 10 grams. I can tell you with certainty that a person who does 10 grams at a time is a heavily developed, full blown user. You don’t need more than 3 grams to get off. However, remember that this is a drug, and one that you can easily develop a tolerance to if you go at it too much, and consequently you will need some more to tickle that
μ-opioid receptor.

Kratom advocates can be somewhat disingenuous about its addiction potential. I realized I was addicted about a month ago, which is my primary reason for writing this. There are many ways to ingest kratom, and I either mix it in a shake, or dump it straight down the gullet with a drink nearby that I can chug to wash it down. I had an 8-9 gram a day habit, broken up into two administrations. How did I find out I had a monkey on my back? I needed a hit before a grocery trip but the wife was in a hurry. Guess who came first? Kratom. What’s worse is that I flushed hot while I was measuring the dose on a small digital scale. I know what that means, even if I have only really been truly addicted to cigarettes. At that point, I wasn’t even enjoying myself anymore even if I bumped up a gram. I was now doing maintenance to feel normal. So I knew I was dealing with a problem that needed my attention.

I am now stepping down, slowly but surely. I have cut my use by more than half without issue, and that is another one of the good things about kratom- withdrawing slowly does not cause any discomfort. I’m going on vacation in late May, and I will not be taking kratom with me so I have a mission-to either stop completely, or cut the dose so low that I don’t need the drug as much anymore and I can go days without it. With luck, I might be able to get back to enjoying it as a pleasant occasional high.

All addicts understand the hedging I am doing about quitting.

To close, respect opioids, no matter what form they take. I still think kratom should be legal, researched and regulated and should be a part of modern American medicine to fight pain. No one’s going to do any crime to get some. It’s certainly not something that belongs anywhere near the schedule table. But if you are going to have fun with kratom, know the risks concerning addiction like you would any drug.


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