Friday, July 27, 2007

Drink, Drugs and Methadone!

I was in town on Saturday with the hubby and kiddie winks, heads up the best brunch in Dublin is in the Elephant and Castle (and so worth the wait for a table), Eggs MC Swiggan....huge burgers, tables that can accommodate our party of five! So the family had a lovely stress free brunch, we chilled out and didn't stress the small stuff. kids were loud, though not annoying, food was delayed, but delicious when we ate it, baby was cross and cried, but then chilled so we could eat our yummy food. I love town (isn't that such a Dublin thing....I'm going to "town", love it, it's a throw back to the fact that we are all from the country originally).

So on Saturday we had a yummy brunch, we all had full tummy's, and before my hubby and eldest son and the princess headed off to Forbidden Planet as baby and I went over to check out the new (super/fantastic) Dunnes stores on Henry street, he headed up to get the buggy from the Temple bar car park. While standing outside the car park, babe in my arms, at one in the afternoon, We were approached by a woman, obviously drunk, with a can of Dutch Gold in her hand, and she started to talk to me about my baby son, asking me what age he was and telling me about her sister's daughter, her niece. She smelt awful, and had no teeth at all at the front of her mouth, she was bad.

So what did I do? Did i ignore her, try to walk away? No! I answered her questions, let her stroke my babe's little cheek ( you are shocked aren't you? Bear with me?) Meanwhile my nine year old can't deal with the drunk woman and turns his head in to the wall, avoiding the situation, he can sense the situation is strange. Then along comes a guy, obviously on methadone,eyes rolling back in his head, "any change?" "No" He then notices the baby, "Ah, look at the baby, I have a baby (then he gave the name) she's six months old!" I lost my breath, this guy is young, he is also out of his head, my nine year old is shifting uncomfortably now. He touches my baby, "Hello, I hope you never meet me in your life." I'm struck by the fact that these people are real people, they are three dimensional people. Sensing my son is feeling uncomfortable, I shake their hands, wish them well and walk away.

My hubby emerges from the car park, "you OK?, I saw those weirdo's talking to you?" Yes, of course I tell him I'm grand. I explain everything that happened, he thinks I'm mad and asks did I give them money which i didn't.

I felt strongly about this issue, these may be messed up people but they are human beings, they have families, they are at least all someones children! And worst case scenario they are parents. Should I not have spoken to these guys? Should I have not exposed my kids to this? But this is reality in Dublin, my kids will have to face this at some point, my son spoke to me about it afterwards, and it definitely opened up communication about drinking and drugs.

Temple Bar is full of beggars, people give them a lot of money there, I think a lot of the time when we give beggars money it's making an offering at the "there but for the grace of God go I alter", we are aware of the fact that any difference in our life could have brought us to the low point they are at. It makes us feel a bit better about ourselves, we give a couple of euro and feel like a nice person.

Town is so different from the shopping centers, when we are in Dundrum there are no druggies, or drunk people, it's like the Simpson's episode, with Hank Scorpio, where they talk about the gated community and they have no bums, but if they did have any bums, they wouldn't rush them! Dundrum is a created environment. there are no outsiders, you don't need to worry about your kids, there are no threatening people there.

That's why we like Dundrum so much, it's almost a gated community of shopping, safe, clean and people like us. But every now and again it's good to go into town, to expose them to a different reality. maybe people disagree with me, but I think it's important.


  1. My old man used to run a business in a really kippy part of Dublin. Dealt with the public 9 hours a day, 6 days a week, the general profile would have been quite similiar to your friends in Temple Bar.

    They were as rough as fuck but yet many of them would be the people you'd want with you in the trenches when times got tough. I remember one night in Temple Bar there was a massive commotion. Turned around and it was one of me dad's regulars with a guy up agains the window. Turns out my wallet was about to the lifted. The homeless guy who knew me was able to tell me every place I'd been that night, turns out he'd been watching my back

  2. You always amaze me mister...I swear you know EVERYONE there is to know, literally from the top to the bottom! It's a gift!

  3. TG does know everyone. Genuinely. He's been here 5 times already. It's a Buddhist thing.

  4. Bt if its all good then why did the guy you were talking to say he hoped your baby would never meet him? What does that imply about how he treats people he meets? And the fact that he realises aswell is a bit ominous, he presumably realises that he does 'bad' things but continues on doing them regardless? I think its really nice that you were able to have a conversation with two complete strangers in the street but I have to say I'm a good deal more sceptical than you. If any two randomers approached me in the street I think I would instinctively become very aware of where my wallet was and who else was about in the street. But thats what happens when youve been mugged a couple of times by people off their faces in town I suppose.

  5. Please see these videos and what actually goes on at clinics and

    Methadone is now the #2 Killer Drug in the U.S. This is a legal drug that has been thought to be safe for the past 40 years. Only recently when its use became approved for pain management patients has the cardio toxic risks emerged. Previously methadone has been used exclusively for replacement therapy for heroin patients and death was thought to be an effect of the accumulation of many years of drug abuse. With the surge in pain medication misuse and abuse more patients are being referred to methadone clinics and physicians treating pain who believe the myth that methadone is safer or non addictive because of it’s use with weaning addicts from heroin. Methadone is more addictive then any other pain medication including heroin and because of it’s extremely long half life, cardio toxic risks, numerous fatal drug interactions, dosages based on tolerance, and small margin of error. Up until Nov 2006 the government and pharmaceutical companies have been suppressing the numerous health and fatality risks related to methadone.

    there are between 800,000 & 900,000 (some stats give diff numbers) heroin addicts in the U.S and 1,881 people died from heroin in the U.S. in 2004.

    there are 200,000 people on methadone for drug treatment and I don't have the number of people on it for pain but even if we double the 200,000 and assume it's 400,000 total people on methadone there were 3,849 deaths in 2004

    It looks like the "gold standard" is killing more then the drug its supposed to save people from!!!!

    Every day 10.9 people die from Methadone (according to 2004 stats, not
    including car accident deaths caused by drivers under the influence of Methadone)

    We (the families of methadone victims) are requesting new laws surrounding who can prescribe Methadone, clinic rules and regulations as well as stiffer penalties for those caught selling their take home doses. The whole methadone maintenance system needs an overhauling. We cannot continue to allow a legal medication to be killing more people then the illegal drugs. Our government cannot be allowed to use tax dollars to fund their legal drug dealing operations.

    We are asking government agencies to enact stricter guidelines in prescribing methadone for any reason. It must be mandatory that all doctors be certified and trained in the pharmacology of methadone; inpatient stays must be required during induction to methadone; all staff be extensively trained in monitoring methadone patients for symptoms of toxicity. Clinic patients should be tested weekly for legal and illegal drugs that are taken with methadone to get “ hi gh” or experience “euphoria” such as benzodiazepines, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana etc… and face severe consequences or mandatory detoxification from the methadone program after 3 dirty urines. Selling of take home doses must result in termination from methadone program permanently throughout the U.S. When presenting inebriated at clinic, clinic should also document such activity as well as prevent client from driving. Take home doses for all patients receiving methadone should be eliminated thus preventing the risk of diversion or precautions such as pill safe should be implemented.

    Current statistics show that nearly 4000 people a year die from methadone. These deaths are mostly happening to pain management and detoxification patients’ wit hi n the first 10 days of taking initial dose. Most of these deaths are related to methadone prescribed with other medications that react as additives with the methadone. Diversion of methadone is a serious problem because it lands t hi s most deadly drug on streets. Statistics also state that methadone is contributing to more deaths nationwide then heroin and only second to cocaine deaths.

    The potential of abuse, diversion, and overdose to new patients being prescribed methadone is overwhelming. The unique properties of methadone, it's long half life, and it's negative interaction with numerous drugs make it an optimal choice as a last result treatment for chronic pain and addiction.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.


    Melissa Zuppardi