Monday, May 2, 2016

Drug Bust, Legal Habits, Adventure, and Regrets

1. Started watching an episode of Water Rats.

2. Wondered if Gavin (Brett Partridge) lied to the people at a party.

There's an unconscious young woman (Chloe Allan), and Gavin tries to get information about what she ingested.  Alcohol? Drugs?  He tells the party people that he's not aiming for a drug bust. He needs the information so it's easier to help the woman with her medical disaster.

Someone speaks up and says speed was going around.  Gavin then asks the speaker if he knows who the supplier was.  I wondered about that—wouldn't that be a drug bust path?  But I argued against myself.  Maybe he wanted to talk to the supplier, so they could get more information about what drugs the woman took. Maybe it would help with her treatment.

Now, though, the woman is in a coma the hospital and the police are questioning her parents.  If they're not trying to do a drug bust, why do they need to talk to this woman's parents?  What kind of information are they seeking if not drug bust stuff?   

3. Thought about the drugs in the episode.

The episode is very anti-drugs. The drug creators and sellers are the evils of society. The police are the heroes who fight the drugs.

I just wonder why is it that speed is shown as a big bad evil, but then there's no such action taken against alcohol.  

4. Wondered if speed is that much worse than alcohol.

I think it would be hard to measure, though, because more people are going to use alcohol since it's legal.

Alcohol probably causes the most damage of any drug because it's the most easily obtainable.  

5. Figured that to get a semi-accurate picture of how dangerous a drug is, it would be best to divide the number of users by the number of deaths caused by the drug.

How many people use alcohol on a regular basis?  How many of them die from the alcohol?  

How many people use speed on a regular basis?  How many of them die?

I guess there'd also be disastrous situations with irregular use.  There are people who might not often use a drug, but then use too much of it on a specific occasion.  

6. Thought that underlying health conditions might be an important variable.  Then with that, I think we'd need to know how common the health condition is.  If a drug is likely to kill anyone with type A blood; that's different than a drug that is likely to kill someone with a rare metabolic disorder.

7. Tried to find studies that look at use divided by deaths.  I haven't found anything yet.

I found this article, which I'm trying to understand.  Drugs were rated by how much they harmed individuals and how much they harmed society.  They don't really explain, though, what that entails.  

If a drug hurts society is that due to the drug itself or the laws surrounding the drug?

For alcohol, I think it's often the drug itself.  For example, driving while drunk can kill people. That's about the alcohol, and not any anti-alcohol laws.

For other drugs, the criminality of it might cause more problems.  In order to get the illegal drugs, people might lie, kill, steal, etc.

8. Thought it might be best to look at the chart and compare oranges with oranges.

How do legal drugs compare to other legal drugs, and how do the illegal drugs compare to other illegal drugs?

For legal, alcohol is rated much worse than tobacco—72 vs. 26.  It's interesting then that we have more rules to marginalize smokers than we do drinkers.  How often do we go to a hotel that has non-drinking rooms?

9. Had confusing thoughts about the whole thing.

It seems to make more sense not to allow smoking in public places.  There's the whole second hand smoke thing.  It's not just bad for the smoker's lungs, it's bad for the rest of us.  If someone drinks near me, it's not like my brain cells and liver will be affected.  

10. Wondered.  If drinking was more marginalized, would it cut down on things like domestic violence and drunk-driving accidents?

At first, I thought maybe.  But then I realized people would just take it underground.   

11. Wondered if anti-smoking laws have cut down on smoking at all?  From what (I think) I know, smoking has been drastically reduced in the past decades.  But is that more from health education or the fact that all these rules have made it difficult to smoke?

When a teen is offered that first cigarette, does she think.  Well, if I get into this, I might look cool  But it might be a problem, later on, if I get addicted and want to take a long flight to Europe.  How am I going to handle not being able to smoke for all those hours?  

Do people say, What's the point of smoking if I can't smoke at any club in the city?  

12. Started to look at the illegal drugs.

Heroin (55) and crack (54) are about the same. Amphetamines (23) the villain of the episode of Water Rats is actually lower than tobacco (26), and much lower than alcohol.  The police worked hard to find the amphetamine dealer, but did nothing to find out who was providing the alcohol.

13. Started to read up on amphetamines and was reminded that ADHD drugs fit into the category.  So, although it's an illegal drug, it's not always an illegal drug.  The same can be said for opiates. There are illegal versions and legal.

14. Thought it was incredibly odd that society has had legalized amphetamines and legalized opioids for the last few decades...or even longer, maybe?  Meanwhile there's been this huge controversial struggle to legalize medical cannabis.  

15. Went back to watching Water Rats. I have a few minutes left. 

16. Saw scenes of the brain dead speed victim.  It made me think of something I read. It was one of those controversial speeches down at the Sydney Opera House.  What's that event called?  

17. Googled.

It's the Festival of Dangerous.

Okay, so there was one speech about how people see drugs as a bad thing because sometimes they kill people. Yet there are extreme-adventure type activities that carry a similar risk, and people look at those things in a much more positive light.

The girl on Water Rats took speed and ended up brain dead.  The conclusion is that drugs are very bad, the people who supply the drugs are very bad people, and the police who fight against the drug dealers are doing a good thing.

How about when someone climbs Mount Everest?  That's a pretty risky endeavor.  If a person climbs and survives, they're celebrated. They can maybe write a book about it, or at least brag about it at dinner parties.

Yeah, a drug user can write a book too, but impressing the reader is usually going to come from OVERCOMING the drug habit not from the drugs himself.  

Back to the climber.  Let's say he dies.  He doesn't make it to the summit. He doesn't make it home.  Are the police going to try to find the person who talked him into going on the climb?  Are they going to arrest the Sherpa who helped with the climb?   Well, that might be the case if the Sherpa did something unethical.  But let's say he didn't.  Let's say he followed proper safety and health procedures.  If the climber died, would the Sherpa be presented as a villain?  

18. Tried to find the Festival of Dangerous Ideas topic.

I failed.  But I'm pretty sure I didn't dream it.  

19. Finished watching the episode.

20. Learned that Sonny Leunig, the son of Michael Leunig, has published a book.  It's full of uninspirational quotes—an antidote to all the inspiring messages that bombard us.  

Tim was a fan of a similar thing a few years back.  I forgot what it was called.  

21. Compelled to admit that I have some inspiring quotes on my screensaver. Sometimes they do make me feel better.  Other times, I realize it could all be bullshit.

Anyway, some examples of some of Leunig's messages:  

No Regrets: Just deep inconsolable sorrow buried in a bottomless pit of missed opportunities and shattered dreams. 

Today is the day for positive change. Tomorrow is the day to default back to our inevitably disappointing self.

I like the honesty there.

It's nice to have no regrets, and I think some people have good enough lives that they can move forward with appreciation rather than backwards with sorrow.  But there are people who took the wrong turn, and they ended up on a nightmare path.  AND they're still on that path.  It's kind of unfair to ask them not to have regrets.

22. Started watching the rest of All About E.

23.  Thought that the movie has a good example of a regret.  

E (Mandahla Rose) cheated on her girlfriend Trish (Julia Billington) and got caught.  This led to E being dumped, which is a problem because E still loves Trish.  It would make sense that E regret cheating, or at least regret being caught cheating.  

If E didn't still love Trish, then there'd be less reason for regret.

24. Realized that there is a way around the regret.  E could take the attitude that things happen for a reason. Yes her mistake led to her losing Trish, but eventually something better might come along.

I think, though, that it would take a huge amount of inner strength to truly believe that. For most people who say or think they believe it, they're probably lying to themselves.

25. Thought that things that cause regret are probably a combination of our own choices and how others react to them.

What if Trish forgave E for cheating on her?  What if they didn't break up?  Then E might not regret her transgression as much. 

26. Thought that our level of regret is also probably determined by luck.

A person who drinks and drives and makes it home without incident is probably going to regret their misdeed much less than someone who hits a pedestrian and ends up going to prison.  

27. Thought that this movie has the most explicit lesbian sex I've ever seen.  

I haven't seen many lesbian movies, though.  I don't have much to compare it to.

28. Thought that the sex was interesting at first, but now I'm getting bored.

29. Thought that Julia Billington looks a little bit like Marcia Brady.

30. Finished watching All About E.

I ended up liking it more than I initially expected to.  

31. Went to Random.org to pick my next thing to watch.

It's a movie called A Few Best Men

32. Looked at the cast.  

Rebel Wilson is in it, as well as Xavier Samuel and Olivia Newton John.   

33. Saw that the director of A Few Best Men is Stephan Elliot.  That name was very vaguely familar to me.  It turns out that he's the writer and director of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. 

34. Saw that there's a sequel coming out to A Few Best Men.  It's called A Few Less Men.  It has the same writer as the first movie (Dean Craig) but a different director.  

Deborah Mailman is in the sequel, and so is Saskia Hampele from Neighbours. 

35. Wondered if Saskia Hampele is still on Neighbours.

She left around the time that I was forced to stop watching, but then, I think, she returned.  Is she still there?  Or did she leave again?

35. Saw that Hampele is listed as being in only one episode of 2016 Neighbours. 

36. Checked to see if Hampele has written any more blog posts.

I don't think she has, unfortunately.