John Cale talks about the heroin scene in Wales

An interesting programme from the former Velvet Underground bassist/viola player, John Cale takes a searching inventory of the treatment drug users experience in Wales. Of particular interest are the massive discrepancies in service availability/accessibility between North Wales and urban South Wales. Mr Cale handles the subject compassionately, probably stemming from his own difficulties with overcoming opiate dependence. This is definitely worth a look for an honest and sobering update on the drug and treatment situation in Wales, which we -in the rest of Britain -rarely hear much about.

http://youtu.be/SbIDJ7lNHik

Whitney…A Life Shared?

Didn't We Almost Have It All

Whitney's bathroom where she holed up to smoke crack -perhaps not all that different to bathrooms and coffee tables we know?

This was written just after Whitney died though just tidied up and re-posted today.Hi, I just felt I should raise a flag, have a moment, share a thought about Whitney Houston. Now although it isn’t really relevant here I will say Im not a great fan of her music as such, despite acknowledging her incredibly beautiful voice, but that shouldn’t stop me from feeling something for a sister lost the fight to stay alive and function well whilst taking drugs.Whitney, I remember, informed me (through reading about her escapades) of crack smoking methods for the very rich; ie -she made her own ‘the crack blunt’ or ‘crack cigar’ -basically using cigar papers, (or by emptying a cigar) she’d roll up marijuana, stuff loads of it in there, and stick an 8 ball of crack in there as well -and that was how she would smoke! Now thats an 8th of an ounce my friends (3.5 gms yes?).  She talked about this on her 2009 Oprah interview.. Now just imagine that to blow your Godamn socks off! And of course she would cook up her crack, it appeared looking at the fotos of her bathroom that were exposed a couple of years back (and re-exposed recently -see pic). She would cook up coke in the spoon, so she had obviously ditched the fussy freebase way and just gone straight for the bicarb. Although her chauffeur of many years has recently come out and said his car caught fire when Whitney and Bobbi were freebasing in the backseat of their limmo which they seemed to do regularly, inbetween her late night limmo rides to Compton, a dangerous gangland area where she could buy crack and dope at any time of the day or night.

whitney's bathroom

Now anyone who has experienced the scary intensity of a stimulant dependence will know, looking at Whitney’s bathroom pics, at what kind of state she would have been in, and when your bathroom gets like that, then things are pretty intense. But it was the psychological stuff that was really concerning, that level of drug activity is going to end up in disaster -and with stimulants you just know that paranoia is going to set in at some stage down that drug smoking road when your using massive amounts of stimulant drugs.
Whitney’s psychosis got so bad (she sent her cleaners home, moved Tina Brown in to tidy up and be her smoking buddy when Bobby wasn’t around-Tina being Bobby’s sister who also had a crack problem) and she just lived in her bathroom and bedroom. Tina, after some time sold her story to the press, with pictures of the bathroom, but worrying had said said that Whitney would be covered in bruises where she used to hit and punch herself really hard becoz she thought demons were coming up through the floor into her body – or she would see them trying to get out of her body and into Bobby Brown so she’d hit herself again. It must have been crazy to live like that and it is incredible really that it seemed to go on for so long.

It really sounded like a painful existence, to have all that money and all those drugs, and because society does not let us discuss our drug user sensibly,  and the media will not let celebrities have a drug problem without screwing them to death over it -people just hide stuff, take cover, get out the way of people who will judge you as so often so many do…

Whitney’s daughter seems to have her own problems, her ex boyfriend saying she has a serious coke problem and pictures being leaked of her snorting lines…How on earth she managed to grow up level headed in those extremely intense and excessive surroundings -must have been almost impossible –  however she certainly did have a close relationship with her mother – who did seem to share an especially strong bond with her -which surprises none of us as we know how deep that love for our children goes – drugs or no drugs.  She ‘appears’ to have a drug problem as cited by ex boyfriends etc, and she was certainly around her mum and dad when things were at their craziest (the chauffeur stating Whitney regularly smoked crack in front of Bobbi, as well as her husband. I imagine the drug taking would pale into insignificance when trying to cope with a large helping of cocaine psychosis. According again, to Tina Brown, (though it clearly has a ring of truth to it mirroring dutifully what really does happen in coke induced freakouts) Whitney would get screwdrivers  to pull apart all sorts of appliances  and objects thinking she was being bugged and spied on, and would spend months in just her pyjamas. How Bobbi jnr will fare is anyone’s guess in Hollywood with all that money and temptation all around you to just wanna forget…

We are starting to hear now about the days before Whitneys death and her totally wasted state. I dont know what im trying to say about all this except it seems painful indeed to watch (becoz we can watch it all) how someone, who really did have one of the best voices of all time -fall into such a desperate state. Her interviews with Oprah make compelling viewing, she was clearly in love with Bobby Brown, truly madly and deeply, despite him appearing like a temperamental bully, who would flip into a rage at a seconds notice and whom she always seemed to be appeasing. What a mess it all got. How awful to have ones messes thrown across the pages of the worlds tabloids and gossip columns for all to see..However for reading the views of people really quite well placed to comment, Whitney was also a victim of the addiction society has of stigmatising drug using women -there either the victim -usually of bad men -(like Whitney) or the temptress and vixen, like Courtney Love. Amy Winehouse (victim of bad men again), Lyndsay Lohan (temptress and manipulator).  Whitneys chauffeur of 4 or so years said it was Whitney that 9 times out of 10 wanted to go and score, demanding to get high, now, and not Bobby the demonized husband. (Though he does appear the violent and jealous type with a huge chip on his shoulder struggling under the shadow of his way more talented wife)…

It is said Whitney has spent her 100 odd million fortune and was effectively broke just recently. That is some serious goddamn money to go through on drugs and fast living and Im sure she had some good times amongst all that! There was a purpose to all that activity! Fun! Imagine what you would do with all that money and drugs and resorts to indulge in! And then, you start taking drugs to forget the mess your leaving all around you…

Again, im not sure what i am trying to say, just that I wanted to remember her, hold up a little torch and say -as a using community – we understand the difficulties of drug dependence when it gets really ugly -and I just wish we didnt have a society that has made it almost impossible for society to learn how to use drugs in moderation, not in excess, that we could buy clean, safer, cheaper drugs…It is perhapsnot suprising at all however that we will probably find Whitney died from prescription drugs given to her by a multitude of doctors who just kept accepting the cheques she gave for another prescription (but we cant blame the Dr’s really either coz we know how they get hassled and pleaded with to prescribe something to help/get through). But it is typical nevertheless -Get her off the illicit drugs only to stuff her full of the legal ones. Im not blaming anyone here, just trying to show some sadness for the way Whitney spent the last years of her life. It doesnt seem right does it? It doesn’t seem right she appeared to be left in this truely psyched out state, for so long. What happened there i wonder? She was clearly a diva and had a rotten temper of late but so many people claimed to adore her…Was she just too difficult and people had pretty much given up? Or were people turning a blind eye, and what they didn’t see every day, didnt happen. Too complicated, too hard, too busy today….

We will remember her amongst our using community, as yet another victim of Hollywood’s massive excess, (though not, as stanton Peele says, because of Hollywood itself) the hypocrisy, and a developing drugs culture in our society that has no ability to guide generations effectively through the tricky minefield of psychoactive substances.
RIP Whitney..

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