To say I wasn’t planning on spending my 40th birthday last week spaced out on narcotics would be an understatement. In fact, the possibility hadn’t even occurred to me. I hadn’t touched a pain pill in roughly 4 years at that point and even then, my pill popping phase ended a long time ago. In a way I consider myself a bit lucky. Back when I had an unquenchable thirst for this sort of amusement I was somehow fortunate enough to never have a consistent enough hook up. I’d come into some pills and they’d be gone after a few days of indulgence. It’d be at least another month or so before I found any more. Sort of impossible to develop a serious addiction when you can’t consistently find junk. Again, lucky because I love the stuff and it very easily could have become a serious problem. Hell, it could have fucking killed me in all honesty.
I seriously doubt many kids have this sort of supply problem these days, which as it turned out, was actually a stroke of sheer dumb luck in my case. I haven’t gone intentionally looking for narcotics in ages and truthfully, I’m mostly over it. The last time I had a bottle of 5 Vicodin I took like one every other week until they were gone. The desire to go balls out on that front left me completely after eventually figuring out how much it fucks with my mood days after the fact. The euphoria predictably has a blow back in my world, and often isn’t really worth it. So how did I end up getting wasted on pills for my 40th? Who was my new supplier? Well, my dog’s vet as it turned out.
As a back story, my dog had some minor surgery and as a result was prescribed some pain meds. We were supposed to give him a quarter to a half a pill every morning with his breakfast as long as he needed them. What’s funny is that after giving him his first quarter pill, you could see it affect his behavior almost immediately. The first night he lied back in the most relaxed position I’ve ever seen him in, eyes completely glazed over roughly a minute after ingestion. He didn’t move for hours. One morning I watched him stop in his tracks shortly after I gave him his pill and stare at the wall for like 5 minutes standing up in a daze. Most other times, he’d stop what he was doing and immediately go lie down. You could literally see the things kicking in just by watching his behavior and it was sort of hilarious. Needless to say I didn’t really want to have a junkie dog and he didn’t seem to be in much pain, so after giving him 6 quarter pills over a 5 or so day period we stopped.
I took 2 days off for my birthday and on day 1 I saw the pill bottle still sitting on the kitchen counter. My curiosity was piqued. Pain pills, ehh? How many of those are left? As it turned out, 8 and a half. That’s right, for some reason our dog was given 10 whole pain pills after minor surgery. He weighs 14 pounds. Shame if those went to waste I thought to myself. What on earth is Tramadol exactly internet? Oooh, a narcotic. Score.
I wasn’t getting too excited though. Since it was prescribed for my 14 pound dog and I’m a musclebound 175, I wasn’t expecting much. I took 1 and half pills just in case 1 wouldn’t do it. A few sips into my glass of wine later and I was sufficiently fucking toasted. Oh, that wonderful bliss of narco-paradise. I hadn’t felt it in so long and it was like catching up with an old friend. Just pure euphoria. What I love about pills is that in that high you could be doing absolutely anything and find it amusing. Shitty TV show? Somehow not annoyed. Dumbest song ever? Meh, I’m fine with it. I feel too good to get up off the couch. I was watching summer league basketball and somehow having the time of my life. I made a simple drum loop and geeked out on it for hours.
The next morning (my actual birthday) I woke up still blissed out but a bit concerned. Jesus, how fucking strong was that stuff? In looking at the internet the answer seemed to be not that strong at all, but I could still feel it the next morning. No wonder a quarter pill was fucking up my pooch, I can’t even handle this stuff. My wife was taking me out that evening so I took one more, not because I really wanted to, more just to even myself out and ease the comedown. I was again trashed. I drove home from the restaurant thinking: Jesus I probably shouldn’t be driving right now.
Same thing on my way to work the next morning as I was almost nearing “nodding off in traffic” territory. That’s no good. Yep, this is why I don’t take narcotics very often anymore. I felt slightly spacey for the next 3 days. To be fair, I had a few too many drinks at a bachelor party a month or so earlier and was hungover for nearly a week. Welcome to being 40. I’d love to party, but I’m just sort of incapable of it these days. To say this has been a lifestyle adjustment would be more than a bit of an understatement. Sorry I didn’t make it out to your show. At least I can still handle weed.
Anyway, it was in the post-narco haze the next morning that something occurred to me. How fucked is this? I still have 6 of these things lying around for some reason. Sure, for me it was a fun little treat for my birthday, but for a former addict it could have been a full blown relapse. For my dog’s minor surgery, he was prescribed at least 85% more narcotics than he needed. This could have been the careless action that ruined someone’s life. Someone could have lost a father, a mother, a daughter, a son. As we find ourselves immersed in the midst of a full blown epidemic, I can’t say I’m confused as to why. I didn’t even go looking for drugs on my birthday but they somehow found their way directly into my home anyway. My dog’s minor surgery came with some complimentary narcotics apparently, while I’ve personally been thrown in jail for possession of LSD. Welcome to God’s new America.