The Consequences of Death and Cocaine

I promised myself that I wouldn’t write about this but I can’t get away from it.  Everywhere I turn is overflowing with it so now it’s my turn.   Just to start you off I’m going to let you know how I already felt about it.  Most of you probably already know just how against drugs I am, cocaine in particular.  For various reasons, here are a couple of them.  My best friend ruined my life by suddenly committing suicide because he owed money from drugs he was supposed to sell.  He didn’t even take drugs himself.  I didn’t even know he was selling.  He was the happiest person I knew (or so I thought) and I’m so mad at him for wasting his life for a scumbag dealer.  I’ve never gotten over it.  One of my very good friends ruined her own life by taking drugs before she knew she was pregnant and eventually lost the baby that should have been my godchild.  She will never get over that.  Her dealer boyfriend threatened to burn my house down and cut my brother’s head off because she went out one night without him and he got high and wrongly thought she was with me.  I know young fathers who have been taken to the mountains, had their tattoos cut off and shot in the back of the head because they got caught selling (and therefore lost) the drugs that were going to make them a little money for their family at Christmas.  I know the devastated mothers, girlfriends and fatherless children left behind.  They will never get over it.

I’m caught in the middle because I know the families of the people that snorted cocaine and then decided to pull those triggers.   I have to be careful who I invite to special occasions because it could turn into a fucking bloodbath if somebody turns up and spots the father of the man who murdered his brother.  I’ve been asked so many questions because people are looking for vengeance…and I don’t blame them but hurting innocent people in retaliation is never the way. 

I’ve been threatened a million times by people who are only brave because they are on coke that night.  I’m not afraid of anyone.  Nobody scares me but I should be scared because they aren’t afraid either – as long as they are snorting.  Anything can happen then.  There was a report before that said most gun crime was committed while the person was high on coke.  I well believe it.   And that’s even before the health risks both physical and mental.  People can die almost instantly, they can be poisoned by what the coke is cut with, they can die after a couple of years, they can die because of the continued stress on their hearts, their personalities can change, they can appear psychopathic even sociopathic, becoming emotionless and aggressive. 

I don’t really give a shit if this sounds like I’m standing on my soapbox.  I don’t give two fucks.  Yeah I’ve had bad experiences, so what?  What about the people that I don’t know personally?  What about that party where a couple of cokeheads were refused entry only for them to come back and shoot through the windows killing a 21 year old mother?  What about the innocent people that get shot because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time?  It’s one thing when the scumbags are only killing each other but now it could happen to anyone.  Bump into somebody on the street and who knows what could happen these days.  Drugs are involved in everything now.   It’s slowly eating away at my country once again.  It’s no longer the poor areas either.  Everywhere is getting a look in.  Anyone could be touched by it.

So, after that unexpected rant, this is what my actual post is really about!  Yesterday was the funeral of one of Ireland’s most well known models, Katy French.  She recently turned 24, a week before she died she admitted that she had been taking cocaine for the past five years but that sort of life was over for her.  She warned people of the risks of taking cocaine.  A couple of days later she was in a coma.  Of course the media (and everyone else) jumped on the idea that she died from cocaine use.  She had a series of small heart attacks and her body basically couldn’t keep going from the stress.  I think it’s terrible that people made these assumptions before her family could even start to cope with the idea.  It has been said that traces of cocaine were found in her blood but even if she hadn’t taken it that day or night, her heart had still been weakened from five years of use.  People are wondering why she said she was done with cocaine only a couple of days before this but I’m sure she thought she was.

I have to back up a bit here.  This year in particular, the focus is on cocaine use in Ireland.   Please read that article to really understand what it is like here.  There has been a huge effort to bring awareness to the dangers.  In the last week alone an investigation came to light that said cocaine traces was found in over 90% of the toilets of pubs, clubs and workplaces in Ireland.  Read that article to learn more about Katy and recent events.  Every single day in the newspapers and on the news are warning articles and items about the epidemic of cocaine in Ireland.  A couple of weeks before Katy French came into the picture, there was an incident at a party where cocaine use left a couple of people in comas which turned out to be fatal. 

Ireland has a population of around four million people.  Four million people.  That’s a very small number in comparison to most countries.  For a couple of people to die in the one week from using cocaine makes a huge impact.  Or at least it should.  But it didn’t.  Those men in Waterford died and nobody batted an eyelid.  Gangland heads are getting shot over here on a regular basis and nobody cares.  I’ve heard people say about that party in Waterford things like, “ah, it was only a bad batch.”  Wtf, your next line could be a ‘bad batch” you gobshite!  Oh, but wait…the toxicology reports on Katy French have said that the last cocaine she snorted was pure.  What was that about bad batches?

I’m getting to my point, stay with me here…So we all know what the dangers are.  It’s thrown in our face constantly by the media.  I mean there is a concentrated effort on informing people.  Not just the possible instant effects but the long term effects too.  Katy warned people about them before she died.  But nobody cares.  Why is that?  Nobody wants to know.  Nobody wants to hear it.  Nobody wants to hear about the consequences.  Until now.  Until a pretty, blonde, famous model has her life snuffed out.  Suddenly, everybody is shocked.  I’ve even heard people say that it’s put them off touching cocaine for life.  This is the consequence of her death.  This is what it took for people to pay attention.  A young girl had to die for people to sit up and listen.   I hate that it has to be this way and I hate saying this but if it saved one person’s life then she didn’t die for nothing.  I feel so sorry for her family and the families of everybody else that is left behind.  But I can’t feel sorry for people who take drugs.  They know exactly what they are doing and they are doing it to themselves.   I hate that but not as much as I hate the people getting them hooked.

Can I just say that I have NEVER once been offered cocaine.  By anyone.  I have never been offered any kind of drugs except hash in the pub and once a school friend of mine asked me to split an E with her.  Other than that, nobody has ever tried to get me to take drugs.  That says one of two things to me.  Either they know by the look of me that they’ll be on the receiving end of a box in the mouth 🙂 or people have to go looking for it.  People who actually know me already know that they won’t be spending time with me if they are off their heads on coke.  Just for the record Ireland is supposed to one of the top cocaine using countries in Europe and one of the cheapest.  It’s freely available to those who want it and people from all walks of life use it.  If my children grow up to use it I will be both devastated and ashamed.  My heart would break if my children took drugs, I don’t know what I would do. 

I’m glad that young people in particular are taking notice of what could happen but I wonder how long it will last.   There has been such a flood of awareness over the last week, it’s been amazing but that kind of attention can’t be maintained.  So we will all probably be reading about more young dead people over the holidays.  Isn’t life great?

I know this is a horrible post but I don’t really care.  I’m sick of the whole thing and I feel better after writing it.  I know that what I say doesn’t change anything for anyone else in this world.  But I feel relieved now for getting it off my chest.  It pisses me off when young people with severe health problems would love to have the chance at life that so many people are wasting.  I’ve depressed myself, I might do a meme later to cheer myself up 😉

 Edit:  I just read this and thought you might like a less hysterical calmer point of view 😉


16 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    sleepyjane said,

    Good for you for doing this post! No one talks about it enough and I am glad that you did. If only for your readers!

    I can honestly say that I have never tried drugs (okay, except weed and that was only a few times and I hated the taste!) but I have never touched cocaine or anything else. I do believe it ruins lives and it saddens me that some kids do it anyway because they want to fit in and then get addicted to the crap!

    Again, good on you for this post!

  2. 2

    clairec23 said,

    I went a bit overboard to be honest but I feel like I’m drowning in it at the moment. Things are really bad here at the moment…

  3. 3

    melbs1969 said,

    it is amazing, that people…everyone…hears or has heard…of the ramifications of cocaine use, yet, they continue to do it or try it! and, the outcome is usually tragic. i didn’t realize the epidemic proportions to which cocaine usage was in, for ireland. wow! that’s crazy! and, a shame. i’m glad that you haven’t tried it. me either! i’ve never been into drugs…i was always scared of them. and, i hope, that rubs off on my children!
    so many wasted lives, due to stupid drugs…for what?!
    no…it wasn’t a horrible post. it was very real. the u.s is having major crystal meth issues…they’ve taken all of the cold medicines off the shelves because of it! that’s another stupid one…and highly addictive, too!
    don’t be depressed…be proud of yourself that you haven’t fallen into that drug trap!

  4. 4

    clairec23 said,

    They’re afraid that crystal meth is going to make it’s way over here. We’re an island, it’s easy to get the stuff in. I can’t remember the exact number but the value of the drugs that have been confiscated over here is insane. I didn’t write it to provoke anyone into replying, I just need to speak on it today, it’s always on my mind of late. My blog is the only way to get things straight in my head I think!

  5. 5

    yankeechick said,

    Claire, this is an excellent post! I wish it could be published everywhere as a “must read”!!

    I have an extremely addictive personality and I thank God that I never got into drugs!! There was a point in my life that I almost let booze get the best of me, but had the good fortune to be able to make the choice that I really did want to be able to be the best Mother I could, as well as be able to function properly at my job each morning. I think I nipped it just in time. As for drugs, I have smoked pot and at the moment I had a wonderful time! In retrospect, I couldn’t stand that I had been aware of what I was doing, but I had no ‘control’ of myself. Does that make sense? I can’t even do gas at the dentist for the same reason.

    As for the more serious drugs, when I was in high school and my brother was in college back in the late 60’s), a good friend of his (and of the family) died from drugs. They didn’t do drugs themselves, but partied at alot of ‘college bars’. This poor guy had been slipped some LSD one night when he & Tim were out drinking and he died that night. Tim noticed that something was seriously wrong with Darryl and was taking him home. As they left the bar and started to cross the street to Tim’s car, Darryl dropped dead in the middle of the street. I don’t remember now exactly what the cause….heart attack, perhaps. Doesn’t matter. It was a tragic event and scared the hell out of me! It was because of that, I’m sure, that I never went down that path!

    I am horrified to hear of the seriousness of the drug issues in Ireland!! I never had any idea!! It sounds so horrendously out of control!! I don’t envy you having to raise your children in that environment. The challenges of parenting are difficult enough without that being such an alarming issue!

    Sorry for the long comment 🙂 Hugs!!!

  6. 6

    clairec23 said,

    Thanks for the long comment 🙂 I think that it is easy to indulge and get addicted to just about anything…I’m so glad you were able to stop and control your own drinking. Drinking is huge over here too. Just as an example, Mr. Claire had a work christmas party recently. They got 15 free drink tokens. Those tokens were put into good use, let me tell ya!

    That’s something I didn’t even mention, people’s drinks getting spiked and stuff like that. That’s horrific what happened to your friend Darryl. That is scary because you never know. A friend of mine nearly choked on her own vomit after her drink was spiked. She was lucky she was out with her sister who looked after her, she had to be carried home, she was practically unconscious in her bed and vomited. Her sister was there beside her and managed to roll her over. A couple of my friends have had similar experiences, even my brother did too.

    Lack of control is a big issue for me. I couldn’t bear that feeling of not being able to control myself. I won’t accept drinks from strangers and I never leave a drink unattended. My friend’s boyfriend had his drink spiked by his own best friend “for the laugh” so I don’t trust anybody except Mr. Claire when it comes to that.

    It really is out of control here at the moment. In such a small country, it has a major impact on the way we live. I am scared for my children. I hate to think that this is the world they will grow up in and I don’t want death to be the norm for them. When I was growing up, everybody’s family had been affected by heroin, I don’t want them watching a similar epidemic as they grow up. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t seen it but this country prospered too quickly. People had more money than sense and nothing to spend it on. Publife is the only life. After an economic recession, suddenly people had money to spend on luxuries for the first time. People wanted fun after so much depression and unemployment. People seized the opportunity to take advantage of that and now we’re stuck like this.

  7. 7

    bluesleepy said,

    This is a really good post, Claire. It’s amazing to me why anyone would start with drugs, what with all the anti-drug messages the media has been throwing at us since before I was born. Like you, I have never been offered any drugs — but I haven’t even smoked weed. I know I am susceptible to an addictive personality, and I am so afraid that I would get addicted with my very first try of an illicit drug. That’s also why I don’t smoke cigarettes. I don’t think I could ever stop.

    As Mel mentioned, the US has a really bad meth problem. You can’t buy anything with pseudoephedrine (cold medicines like Sudafed have it) off the shelves anymore; you have to ask for it from the pharmacist. And you’re limited to how many packs you can buy at a time. It’s a key ingredient in meth, and apparently it’s really easy to make — and extremely addictive. The state of Washington, where I lived just a few months ago, in particular has a really bad meth problem. My friends live next door to what used to be a meth lab. And the thing with meth is, not only can you die by taking it, you can die by making it. Plus anyone can be taught to make meth — it’s made from easily gotten materials, not like cocaine which has to be smuggled across the borders.

    I’m so sorry that Ireland is laboring under this problem, and I’m sorry you’ve had such bad experiences as a result. *HUGS*

  8. 8

    clairec23 said,

    You didn’t make my country so fecking annoying blue 😉

    I had heard of crystal meth before but I wasn’t really clued up about it until recently – I read a bit about it. It sounds scary and it’s meant to be the most addictive and dangerous thing out there. I don’t know why people get into things like that. I just can’t imagine life like that. Girls I went to school with have had their kids taken from them and are begging on the streets cos of what we have over here already so I can’t imagine what it would be like with that stuff going around…That’s crazy about the medicine. At least, they’re trying to crack down I suppose.

    I’m very afraid of addictions, I’ve said before that I think addictive personalities are pretty much in my genes but I would hate to lose control like that. I would hate to live a life of constant need. It would be like always being hungry and having a longing for food and I hate being hungry 😉

  9. 9

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  10. 10

    cardiogirl said,

    Sometimes it seems so simple, in terms of raising children and teaching them not to smoke, take drugs, lie, etc. But the reality is that it is not that simple. There’s peer pressure and that child’s own personality to take into consideration.

    I feel the same way you do, Claire. It’s a scary world and I do worry about what things will be like when my kids are teenagers. I worry about my kids being those innocent bystanders who were not taking drugs but were victims of the other person’s actions.

    I’m not sure what the answer is. But I am sure being vocal about your beliefs is a good start.

  11. 11

    clairec23 said,

    It would be horrific if your own children were innocent bystanders only hurt becomes of the actions of somebody else. I can’t imagine how the mothers of innocent bystanders feel to know that their child was hurt for no other reason than some other person’s stupidity.

    I’m not one to be quiet about their own opinions as we all know 😉 I’m not going to sugar coat things either. I suppose you are right when you say that it might not be as simple as teaching our children right from wrong. I know they are going to make their own decisions at the end of the day, I just hope it won’t cost me a child.

  12. 12

    Aimee said,

    You are entitled to your soapbox and I for one don’t mind. I have lost several friends to drugs and stand on my soapbox and shout their dangers to the mountains.

  13. 13

    Terri said,

    Thank you and your soapbox! I’m so glad you had a place to write about this. It was important to talk about to as many people who will listen, and it sounds like it was even more important for you to write about and get it off your chest!!

    It’s so interesting to read about Ireland, even the stuff that isn’t so pleasant. 🙂

  14. 14

    clairec23 said,

    Thanks Aimee and Terri.

    Aimee, I am fond of my soapbox, having such a big mouth and all so I cant deny the sense of relief i feel to get that off my chest on a wide scale. Well, I don’t get that much traffic but you know what I mean 😉 I’m sorry about your friends but I’m glad that you “get” me…

    Terri, yes, it was more important that I got a chance to vent rather than a chance for people to listen. People believe what they want to believe, I just want to make it clear where I stand right now. Not everything about Ireland is unpleasant, just crap that doesn’t get said enough. It’s like we broadcast the cute, quaint parts of the country but the dark secrets are just for those living in the country. That can’t be right. We’re far from perfect!

  15. 15

    Good for you writing this post. You said at the beginning you promised yourself before that you wouldn’t write it… why was that?

    I’m sorry to hear about the horrible things you have witnessed because of drug abuse. It is very sad when young lives are wasted like that 😦

  16. 16

    clairec23 said,

    The reason I said it is down to everyone jumping on the bandwagon at the moment because of Katy French. I didn’t want to write about that at all but it had an impact on how I was feeling at the time. Hard to explain…again! I didn’t want to use her death to make my point, I don’t think that’s fair but then I wanted to say look what had to happen before people thought twice.

    Edit: I meant to say too, I didn’t want to go off on one like I did. It would be nice if I could be calm and rational about things but I am really sick of things this week so that was just a big gushing release 😉

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