Lost Souls

Lost Souls

We all have people in our lives that we consider lost. The walking dead. The ones that have given up on themselves for so long, they’ve drifted out of our reach.

My father spent years trying to pull his sister Mary back.

The minute someone gives up on themselves, they start daring everyone they love to give up on them, too. We think of self-destruction as standing on the edge of a cliff to see who will stop you from jumping. Testing everyone around you and waiting for someone to grab you off the ledge. When we are losing ourselves, we expect this one drop that will mark the moment we become a lost soul.

That’s not how it happens.

It’s a quiet, slow process to lose yourself. It’s a quiet, slow process to declare our loved ones ‘lost souls,’ and it usually happens long after they’ve lost themselves. There is no line to toe between ‘here’ and ‘lost.’ There is only the footing of your family and relationships that you either stand on or chip away. The key is realizing that you are destroying yourself and there is no single moment that will decide whether you take hold of your own life or give it away to drugs. They key is knowing that only you are the one who can decide that you are not lost yet. The longer you wait, the farther you slip. No day in the future will be easier to turn around and find yourself than today.

Decide now.

For those of us on the other side, all I can say is that the earlier you grab someone who is slipping, the easier it is to pull them back. Talk to your kids. All the time. They’re not going to be the ones to bring it up.

Heroin killed Mary long after she had lost herself, and long after we had lost her too. It was slow. It was having Mary at Christmas, sober, one year and high the next, not there at all the next, until the day she was banging on our front door with a junkie boyfriend at in tow in the middle of the night and I couldn’t let her in. Even when she was alive, I knew her as the idea of what Mary used to be. She was too far gone in my lifetime to be found.

Please do not let yourself slip so much that you wake up one day and realize you can’t climb back to life.

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7 Responses to Lost Souls

  1. Jason says:

    First of all – I am a huge fan of your movie.
    Second – I too am working on a low budget film trying to create a name for myself
    Third – I know people have a problem with prescription drugs, street drugs .. I REPEAT – I GET IT

    Now comes the part everyone will remember, and forget the fact I understand that addiction is a problem and needs to be addressed.

    FOURTH – It is completely irresponsible to portray this drug the way you did WITHOUT showing the valid and immensely useful medication that it is to patients who need them. People who had lost loved ones, or are in the middle of dealing with addiction see the danger – and there is a clear and present danger – BUT – it is knee jerk reactions that usually lead to the biggest mistakes in history.

    ALL the press for oxycontin is negative. There is no press that I see defending the drug at all. What happens is that over time, while people are bombarded with the problems that oxycodone (of any form) and not the good parts – will inevitably lead to the banning of a drug that helps just as many if not more people than it hurts.

    I am a prime example. I had a devastating spine injury while at work (as a airline pilot). Jet blast (apparently) caused me to fall off while accusing an external panel… yes while on the ground.. I hit my head on the engine and then the tarmac below. I don’t recall falling just the aftermath. I have had several horrific surgeries and have some serious nerve damage and extreme pain.

    I was a victim of oxycontin abuse – but from yet a third side.. a patients side. Because of the problems with people abusing the drug – It was given to me so sparingly for the first three years that I had no way to control my pain. Once upon a time when someone like me was hurt the doctors would TITRATE the dose until the patient had the most pain relief with the least side effects possible. That is not the case anymore. Today there are so many doctors going to jail, so many cases where good doctors were charged with the death of a patient that most of them refuse to prescribe out of fear. And when they do they do not prescribe properly. Hell, I still haven’t been given a high enough dose but because of the hesitation of my doctor I am afraid to even ask. THAT IS NOT GOOD MEDICINE… I could see his reluctance with every increase, even though he had a clean bill of mental health from a psychiatrist specializing in addiction medicine and a consult from a pain management doctor… OH THATS A GOOD STORY

    The Pain management doctor said “you don’t need narcotics, take tramadol instead” – but as soon as I said that I am not asking him for the script, and that my other doctor simply wants to know the dose – he said: “well in that case, yes, to be honest I would give you narcotics for this kind of injury and a lot of them, I just don’t want the headache from the DEA, etc etc”. <— this from a pain management doctor, this is the kind of doctor that should be prescribing these medications – he continued "I will NEVER write a script ever again". How sad

    For over five thousand years narcotic pain killers have been available over the counter without a script. Sears had mail order heroin, and you could go to a dime store and pick up opium. In the 1800's morphine was synthesized from opium poppy and was available.. heroin was marketed for children as a cough suppressant.

    But the super religious right wing leaders (mind you I lean republican myself) urged congress to pass the Harrison Act of 1918 (or about) and urged passage of laws to criminalize any drug including alcohol. It was religious leaders comments such as this "100,000 N*ggers(sorry), hispanics, jews, and entertainers that are using drugs and alcohol and swing music to seduce our young white women" – so it was not fear of the drugs themselves but RACISM that caused the drug war to begin. And the drug war has been unfair to the black community from day one – penalizing the drug of choice in poor neighborhoods harsher … such as crack cocaine vs powder cocaine. During the Ronald Reagan administration passing harsher crack laws was a platform for midterm elections… with every congressman suggesting harsher sentences one after another – life in prison and the death penalty were even discussed openly.

    And when his VP took the oval office, it was another Republican (god this makes me look bad for voting republican now) it was George Bush #1 that set up a poor sap to sell crack cocaine at a park across the street from the white house. Never the less- after the entrapment Bush went on TV for his state of the union address and said that CRACK WAS SUCH AN EPIDEMIC THAT IT IS EVEN BEING SOLD ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE WHITE HOUSE – it was a few weeks later that the details of the case were finally discovered and the patsy who they conned into selling there had to get directions because that was NOT HIS PART OF TOWN.

    EPIDEMIC? Lets me real – the drug war is big business for law enforcement. In fact, they can RICO (sp) your property if they even BELIEVE that you MIGHT be using that property in the sale, transportation, etc etc of an illegal drug. So that means they get to seize your house, your car, your bank account and the police get to keep all if it for themselves – openly admitting that they auction off that property to further fund the war on drugs. So there is a financial incentive to find drugs on your property when the police come a knocking'

    With private prisons there is now a financial incentive for more people to be convicted too. In fact, high paying jobs are another way to incentives guilty verdicts…. it's good for the economy because we do all of it here – we don't offshore those jobs to china or india- I'll tell you that!

    Look – I have kids and I don't want them to get into drugs either. I would be devastated if a single hair on their head was hurt in any way… ESPECIALLY DRUGS.


    Either we live in a free country, and are allowed to do whatever we want as long as we are not hurting anyone else – you should be able to put anything you want into your body.. ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE IN HORRIFIC PAIN…. but any use should be acceptable really. Our soldiers have spilled millions of gallons of blood to protect our freedoms – and yes – with freedom you have less security – but people – do you really want to be trading your liberties for protection? Do you want the government to only allow you to do the speed limit at all times? Do you want to eat only what the government says is good for you? Do the jobs that they tell you to – get paid all the same – live in government property drive cars the government gave us – so we have job security? Do we want those protections or do you want those freedoms. Do you want to eat a salad every damn meal, or do you ever want a cheeseburger and fries?

    DO NOT BE A PART OF A DRUG WAR – hysteria has fueled these fires for far too long.. IN RECENT HISTORY.. because before that we had a lot more freedoms. They are slowly being taken away from us. And trust me, when you are hurt and need pain medication (not just a 10mg pill, but serious pain control) – do you want to wait three years of sweating and vomiting from pain thinking about suicide as a way out of the pain… I never did a drug before in my life, i was a pilot, screened randomly all the time – I never even smoked pot or associate with people who did – So i have no idea how to even get illegal drugs… so I suffered.

    ANOTHER HUGE ISSUE – which these guys that made the movie actually talked about is what happens when all the pharmaceutical grade oxycodone is taken off the black market. everyone who is "dope sick" is going to get heroin to make it stop. And guess what? Heroin is of unknown purity, unknown dose.. you have no idea what it is "cut" with – people died when heroin was cut with fentanyl – which is dosed in the MICRO-GRAMS not gram or milligram … it's so potent that the only way to get a script for it is via patch – and still people die from it. Some dealers even put rat poison – killing so many people – not caring because they didn't care about repeat sales. So your kid takes heroin which is so cheap, so unregulated, no idea of purity – whats in it or dose you are getting – and BANG- they are dead.

    A few nations are doing the exact opposite of the american drug war model- they are not only decriminalizing drugs, some are actually giving drugs out – for free – to those who are addicted. So much crime occurs when people are dope sick and NEED their next fix and have no money. They will shoplift, or break into a house – selling a 1000 dollar TV for 100 dollars just to get well again. Do you have any idea how much that costs our economy. I can tell you that my medications have a street value of about 120,000 dollars a year for my medicinal needs! So if I sell things for 10% of the value of what I stole, thats 1.2 million dollars in theft. not even counting the cost of breaking… windows, doors, etc etc. And then what happens when someone gets caught- and they have a gun… now people are dying because an addict just wants to get well. Then the costs people don't think about- people not going to work to fix the missing door, or the police department spending time on the report and investigations… then the cost of incarceration, the legal system costs.. it's millions… …… ….. ….. but if they wanted to dispense my medications legally, not street prices, my script is about 30,000 dollars a year. Which is cheaper?

    I also know my dose, and I won't have issues with abscesses and other injection of who knows what via IV. Clean needles for those who still "shoot-up" – and the doctors can have even the slightest control over dose because even though they give the addict what they want or need – they won't accidentally get the wrong dose and die.. or get fentanyl.. etc etc (sure some mistakes would happen but compared to what) –

    These countries are giving them the drugs they want – for free – for use in the office in front of staff – so that means no more "shooting galleries" – with used syringes, people having unsafe rape while passed out, etc etc. Think about what they would do to the city? Think about how much less crime there would be… less death

    I am going to close with this… In my grandmothers country (where she was born) there is no minimum age to drink alcohol. It is legal at any age. And there is a very low rate of teen drinking and of drunk driving. People have psychological issues with being told what to do…. and when you cannot do something it becomes so much more desired. Same with smoking… and now no one under the age of 18 seems to smoke there. This is true in many european countries – and in those with drinking ages -they are much much younger, like 12 or 14

    It's time to end this war, and it's time to decriminalize drugs. We regulate it, we tax it, and we use the revenue to fund treatment for those who want help. We spend the money oh helping people because addiction has nothing to do with the substance itself – but why it is taken.

    PS I apologize for improper grammar, spelling, etc etc . It is late at night and I just don't feel well enough to edit it after using speech recognition to write it in the first place It probably has a bunch of mistakes… sorry…. but ignore those mistakes and just please pay attention to the message

  2. Great stuff brother me and you together can touch the world!!!!!

  3. Benjamin says:

    I just watched the movie last night. I’m addicted to Lortabs and Xanax. Luckly I don’t drink, but I do smoke weed occasionally. At first, after watching this movie I was taken by the fact that Opiates are Opiates regardless of the strength and all eventually lead to the same thing. I’m on the path to doing harder drugs like Oxycoton and Heroin. I can see that now after 4 years of denial. Today I took 4 Lortabs, I’m out of Xanax and I feel like shit (ALL THE DAMN TIME)! I’m working hard to stop taking drugs – after seeing this movie I remember thinking, “Damn, I’ve seen all this shit right here in Oklahoma City where I live; If I don’t stop taking these EVIL-ASS OPIATES I’m just going to keep heading towards harder and harder forms of the drug, just like the actors in the movie did. I really don’t even know why I’m posting this, maybe hoping it will help me somehow to take that first steps TODAY to stop taking opiates. I’m in constant pain because of a condition I have with my knees – but now I wonder if that pain is even real anymore or if that pain is just my brain playing tricks on me because my body is craving Opiates. Doctors need to stop prescribing them so carelessly. That’s how I got hooked in the first place. The first pain pill I ever took wasn’t off the street, but rather from my own PCP! Thankfully, today the FDA is cracking down on it making it harder for me to get my drugs. It’s painful to withdraw from dope, but I realize now the sickness I feel is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING compared to what a needle junkie or oxy junkie is feeling when they are out of dope. I pray for these individuals now and will continue to pray for their souls, lost like mine! Lord help us! Junkies and family members of junkies – don’t give up yourself and others you love. Always treat people with dignity and respect no matter what – so as to save some part of your soul.

  4. thegnomeskinner says:

    making these pills tamper proof , did a lot. but the pills are still out there, and they are cheaper. for someone like me. who takes oxy for chronic pain, and insurance will not cover it. EVER. I have to pay 1300 dollars a month for my prescription of 90 . i could buy 1300 dollars worth of heroin and spend less a month most likely. states around the us ARE PUSHING PEOPLE INTO illegal drug use beacuse they refuse to let their general assistance medical insurance cover timed release oxycodone. who can afford 1300 dollars a month for a medication? then the doc says “oh you cant afford it?” im going to take you off cold turkey, when you are on hundreds of milligrams a day this doesnt give you any choice but to try NOT TO BE SICK. THeres people that dont need this medication and they ruin it for the people that use the medicine as prescribed. people who have severe chronic pain issues, and people who can function everyday and enjoy life when they are on oxycontin. some states are taking if overboard when its such an important medication. and when people like me move state to state we all of a sudden GET CUTT OFF COLD TURKEY BECAUSE the drug itself and doctors that prescribe it are under so much scrutiny THEY ARE TAKING IT OFF WHAT GENERAL STATE MEDICAL ASSISTANCE COVERS….BECAUSE OF ALL THE FRIGGIN PEOPLE THAT GET HIGH ON IT. THERES ALWAYS GOING TO BE PROBLEMS WITH DRUGS AND ADDICTION. ITS A MEDICATION THTAT SERVES A PURPOSE THOUGH.. I AM HAPPY AS A CLAM WITH MY TAMPER PROOF PILLS. ITS TEH ADDICTS THAT CANT STAND THEM. BUT PEOPLE LIKE ME EVERYDAY MOVE TO DIFFERENT STATES AND GET CUT OFF, then go to a doctor to try to resolve it, and are told to go to treatment beacause we have been on this medication for 6 years. its bullshit. dependeancy is not to be confused with addiction. anyone that has been on them as long as i have will be dependant. im sick pef doctors telling me that i would NEVER WITHDRAWL if i was using them correctly. they are pushing more people towards heroin. id never do it. but others would in a heartbeat.

  5. The truth is I don’t think that there is anyone out there who doesn’t know at least one person in their life who is battling some form of addiction in some way, shape, or form. I have gone out of my way to help a few of my friends dealing w…ith oxy/heroin addiction. Some I was able to save, and some I was unable to help. One of my best friends got into oxys. She first started sniffing, then started shooting, and when it got too expensive she turned to heroin. I saw that it was killing her, so i went to talk with her parents and had her sectioned. She was so pissed at me and said she would never talk to me again, which killed me, but as she got through the sickness and got clean, to this day she thanks me for saving her life and that made it all worthwhile. I have seen the movie a few times already and I have to thank Johnny for getting it out there and exposing how bad of a problem this really is. I have never seen anything like it in my life and we can thank the pharmaceutical companies greed for all of it!!!

    • jeff says:

      well said scott, i myself battled this shit along with xanys, and alcohol and whatever the hell us addicts do for bout 5yrs and tried every which way to stop was in and out of VA hospital ER’s, ICU’s’ Detox’s, 3-6 month programs only to get out and drink and use that day. it wasnt until i saw myself as everyone else was looking at me for the last 5yrs and realized with every fiber of my being that im an addict that i was ready for change. It wasnt easy and still isnt. It feels so god dam great no being sober, having money, and not living in humilation and chained to those son-of-a-bitchin basterd OC’s. Awareness is the biggest tool you need to get through it. Good Luck to any other addicts trying to get off um i constantly pray for you guys. when i think back i could vomit at the life i was living. it was putred

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