I suspect that someone I know may have a drug dependency issue.  I can’t say for certain because I can’t really talk to her about it. Confronting her with my suspicions won’t do any good because she just wouldn’t understand.  In the fourteen years I’ve known her, she’s been obstinate, set in her ways, and simply unwilling to listen to reason.

My “friend”, let’s call her “J”, started taking Percocet for the pain associated with a chronic hip condition a little while ago – not much, maybe a quarter tablet every eight hours mixed with some dog food. She seemed better after a while, certainly much happier, and eventually stopped taking the medication.  Then, last night, she started acting strangely – crying, pacing, bouncing, panting, barking. The fact that she was on the move suggested it wasn’t the hip issue – so what was it?  Seemingly sensing my confusion, she scampered over to the kitchen island and stared up at the Percocet.  Could it be?  Was she jonesing for a fix?

Another friend who was over at the time (let’s call him Lawren Bancroft-Wilson) to watch a certain television show (let’s call it American Horror Story, season 2) suggested that might be the case.  J seemed unusually agitated.  And noisy.  Eventually, I relented and gave her a hit.  Moments later, she was back in her bed, relaxed and quiet, neither bothered by the anxiety nor the onscreen potpourri of horror genre trappings.

Getting down with the get down
Getting down with the get down

I’d like to head this off before it balloons into a bigger problem so I consulted a website to identify some symptoms of addiction, just to be sure:

Dependence: Signs point to yes.

Mood and behavior changes: Absolutely.  See above.

Financial problems associated with having to purchase more and more pills: Unable to confirm – however, I think I’m missing five dollars from my wallet.

Neglecting responsibilities: She doesn’t have any responsibilities per se outside of making sure she doesn’t mess inside the house and even then her adherence to this simple rule has been spotty over the past few years.

Unusual smells on breath or body: Yes!  Further compounded by a reluctance to take baths!

Borrowing or stealing money: See Exhibit A below –

1Hmmm.  I think an intervention is in order.

 

34 thoughts on “April 10, 2013: I have this friend…

  1. If “J” still attends doggy day care perhaps she should consider buying her supplies in bulk and selling to the other doggies.

    It would then be Dodgy Day Care

  2. Sometimes, when dealing with a friend with an addiction, we fail to see that we, ourselves, are their enabler.

    And, in your case, perhaps maybe even their supplier.

    Before you judge, take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror, Joe…or, should I say, Joey the Joker. Yes, that is now your street name. I was going to go with Joey the Joculator…but it sounded too much like something athletes wear to protect their junk. 😛

    das

  3. I say, as long as “J” is not driving, using heavy equipment, pregnant, a mother with little children depending on her, a surgeon, school bus driver, student, policeman, teacher needing to set a good example, giving pills to her friends or siblings, has no outstanding warrants and it hasn’t led to jail time yet, but just in need of a hit every now and then to help with real pain, what’s it gonna hurt? Does this make you a pusher?

  4. Interesting. I wonder if J’s addiction is physiological or psychological? If pain doesn’t seem to be the issue you could try giving her a placebo and see if that has the same effect.

    This is why I don’t have kids . . . I’d be tempted to do experiments on them. Like teach them the alphabet in the wrong order or convince them we use a Base-16 counting system instead of Base-10. Hours of entertainment.

  5. try giving her a small treat if she gets real bad and extra attention , or else give a phone call to the vet and see have they got any suggestion or have they any idea of how long this can last before she is supposed to get back to normal.
    Hope this improves soon, she may use some extra walks to use up the energy.
    XO

  6. So…that must make you her dealer then! What’s the penalty for that?
    Will you be given community service and told to pick up all the dog poop in the neighbourhood? Or maybe you’ll be sentenced to hard time in the local pound!

    Either way, I’m sure the authorities…and the vet will sort it out!

  7. Oh come on, if the old lady requires a bit of a hit now and then, who are we to say no? You enjoy, Jelly baby. xoxo

  8. I like Line Noise’s placebo idea; it might help isolate whether it’s physical pain vs. dependency.

    @Line Noise:

    I’m flying off to Europe in approximately 0x6C hours (since you seem to like base-16 math 😉 ), and I’ll be in Bristol for the weekend of April 20th (staying near the M4/M5 interchange). Drop me a message on my blog if you want to meet up for that coffee.

  9. Intervention? Isn’t “J” 15 years old? Let her be an addict, I say. Sorry to hear she is still having some pain issues though. Please give her a hug from me. I wonder if you could try some alternative forms of pain control, like acupuncture or something? I’m not into a lot of medical hooey but I’ve heard good things about acupuncture.

    Das: Loved your post office story yesterday! You tell a story so well, I can almost smell the postage stamp glue.

    Everyone’s reply to your post was a hoot! Thanks All of you

  10. I almost posted a rant about meth on your April 9th entry, then I realized the expressions I intended to use made it sound like I was the one on it, then I didn’t want to downer your pretty time travel post. But Imma smash something today.

    Dependence can be very much physical, so, yes, medical advice on weaning is in order. I have a friend who feels traumatized by the physical withdrawal from a prescribed narcotic. His voice goes shaky every time he brings it up. And from early on he had every bit of medical supervision money could buy. It’s not that bad for everyone, how bad dependence and withdrawal are vary greatly.

    And weaning isn’t always the answer. Sometimes people with chronic pain have to learn …dogs with chronic pain? … how to co-exist with the addictive nature of the drugs they have to use. She could also get a pump for pain medication that gets delivered directly to her spine that allows her to go with a tiny dosage, but I don’t know how that fits in with a dog’s lifestyle.

  11. P.S. Anyone have problems from “The Storm” last yesterday? Nashville should get it today. We were lucky! Still have power and a roof.

  12. *hugs for Jelly* Poor baby girl! I would give her lots of belly rubs and lots of TLC. She sounds like she may be in pain. Dogs tend seek attention when in pain. May be you ought to call the vet.

    Sue Jackson

  13. If you decide to work in California, maybe you can enroll “J” into Passages – Malibu.

  14. Joey, I was just filing away my 2012 Nat Geos and came across an interesting dog chart in the February issue. The chart reflects how much of a dog’s DNA falls into the following 4 categories:

    Wolflike, Herders, Hunters, and Mastifflike.

    So, how do the pugs and French bulldogs rate?

    The pug has trace wolf and Mastifflike DNA, but is dominated by herder DNA, with a substantial amount of hunter DNA, too.

    The French bulldog has trace amounts of wolf, hunter and herder DNA, with Mastifflike DNA totally dominating.

    So, are your pugs herders, or perhaps hunters? A combination of the two? And what about Lulu? Is she police dog material? She does seem rather bossy…

    Just thought you’d enjoy. For more details on the 4 categories or If anyone else is interested, here’s the chart:

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/build-a-dog/dog-families-graphic

    (The links on that page also take you to the story, pictures, and other features from the article. Side note on the chart – I love the fact that the Komondor – a.k.a. The Todd Dog – is full of hunter DNA. 🙂 )

    das

  15. I don’t know, when a lady gets older and is dealing with aching bones I think you have to let them have whatever makes ’em happy. My great aunt loved to eat sweets, but my mom wouldn’t give her any because it was unhealthy; many arguments ensued. But once you’re over eighty you gotta just let them have cake. “J” needs her cake, man. .

  16. Ha! Just looked the chart over again, and saw that the shiba inu has the most wolflike DNA. I laugh because just a few days ago hubby and I were talking about what sort of dog we’d get if we’re ever in a position to do so, and though I would love a lab they’re just too big for our house, so I said a shiba inu. Maybe I should rethink that one. 😛 However, they are known to get along well with cats, so maybe it would be a good call. I have a friend with one and I just love that dog, and I love their face and appearance. They’re like little foxes…well…more like little wolves.

    Great. Now I wanna dog. 😛

    das

  17. The fact that you say, she was off of it. Then out of no where begged for it? Sounds to me if she knows it will relieve pain. Next time try giving her baby aspirin. Aspirin actually kills pain better than opiates, I know…former “HEAVY” user, who fights the good fight daily. If it’s an addiction issue, then pain relief just wont be enough. but give her the benefit of the doubt. From your blog she is having issues fairly regular. Imagine knowing there was something that could ease your pain and no way to communicate that to anyone. Good luck and I hope she feels better.

  18. Judging by that last picture, it does appear that J’s addiction may be escalating. Seems to have gone from pilfering $5 on the sly to now openly taking $100.

    You definitely need to do something about this before it gets too out of control. As Line Noise suggested, maybe try a placebo. If that doesn’t work, you may need to seek out some professional help. Maybe a doggy rehab center.

  19. Just got around to buying Stargate Universe Season 2 on DVD, and i’ve noticed that yet again all the episodes had commentary’s(yay!).

    What i was wandering is, at the time that the cast/crew got around to recording these commentaries(it appears they recorded them at their own homes/perhaps homes of certain crew/SG related staff), so did did this mean they took time out of their own schedules(i assume they weren’t under contract still when recording the commentaries, as the series had been cancelled?

  20. @ Tam Dixon – There are a lot of NCIS fans here! 😀

    (Ugh…and it’s Gibbs’ slap…I totally put the apostrophe in the wrong place! I noticed when I went back just now to read the replies. 😛 I are a idiot. )

    das

  21. @Das:

    (Ugh…and it’s Gibbs’ slap…I totally put the apostrophe in the wrong place! I noticed when I went back just now to read the replies. I are a idiot. )

    Well I guess it’s contagious because I are an idiot too…I made the same mistake 😉

    Oh and I forgot to respond to your Post Office story, so here goes:
    .
    .
    .

    😯

  22. Makes sense, if Jelly wants the tablets and doesn’t need them, best not to give, talk to a Vet, ask what ill effects may occur if you cut her off completely, if there’s none, just put on with a moody dog for a while lol

    You could just make Jelly some doggy treats, or buy some even to distract,

    @Kirk Eastment

    I heard this place called Bridge Studios, which secretly housed a Stargate program for years, has the ability for cast members to record commentary, don’t be shocked :O

  23. Joe, that was a beautiful post & look back in time, the other day. Are you making a decision about something, or writing a book?

    Jelly grrrl def. needs the vet’s input. Hate to say it, but having had an older dog, her pain level could be changing.

    Das — Great dog chart! My favorite breed, the Samoyed, is only half wolf and the rest herder. That makes sense! They were bred to herd reindeer in Siberia, pull sleds, tend the children, and curl up in bed on sub-zero nights, keeping everybody warm with their wooly coats.

    And the Gibbs thing? No hitting! 😀 but the editor in me has to tell you that no apostrophe is needed. It would be the Gibbs slap, just like saying the Heimlich maneuver. (The proper name acts as an adjective or descriptor.)

    It’s been a really tough week this week, and you all have helped cheer me up with your great stories, interesting shares, and hilarious escapades. JeffW, I never knew you were a head thwacker. 🙂 Deirdre, what would we do without you!? Thank you!!!

  24. @Randomness, yes i too have heard of Bridge Studio’s, however, there were a few commentaries that to me, were seeminly not done in a studio. Season 2 episode 1 commentary, Louis Ferreira commented that he and Alaina Huffman were at “Lauren’s” doing the commentary for that episode.

    They did the same for a few other episodes too for season 1, and was curious as to why.

  25. I suggest you switch out her pills with a placebo sugar pill and see what happens. If it is just psychological, then she will think you gave her her medicine. If it is physical, it will be more. Then you could always cut back the dose, and every give it one day, the placebo another, and see what happens. Always take written data to see. I’m an expert at behavior monitoring.

    Here is a funny video from your Amanda Alexander that will cheer you up. Apparently this is the french bulldog of the sound check guy on the show she is working (with Carl Binder): http://youtu.be/h-SrdtnQm_4

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