Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


Oklahoma breaking bad

tragedy maskI have no idea what to put as an image for this post. It’s a subject very difficult to ‘picture,’ as the search for images only reveals the profound decay of users — ‘before’ & ‘after’ pictures that somehow seem more tragic than enlightening.

Methamphetamine usage is big business in Oklahoma: Tulsa County has the most labs of any county in the country, according to a CNN article. Meth manufacture has replaced dog fighting and cock fighting as one of the state’s big moneymakers for the rural (and urban) poor. That’s why I can’t watch Breaking Bad: I’ve known too many cases similar in too many respects.

The lovely student whose father began meth use — once considered only a minor deal — as trucker driving trans-continental. The children my sons knew in elementary school: some dead, some in prison, all shattered lives. The young mother left alone with 3 children — father a confirmed meth addict & dealer.

The problem is not laws, despite what many say. Cutting back legitimate access to the various elements used to construct meth (like Sudafed) only penalises the allergy-prone (my husband, for instance). Instead, we need the only thing that seems in short supply these days, politically speaking: compassion & rehab.image

Under Richard Nixon (of all people!), drug rehab became the… treatment of choice (yup, I really did that) for drug offenders. And surprise! Drug use went DOWN! One of the very few times it has. Because face it: NO ONE wakes up as a child and says – I want to grow up to be a drug addict and dealer! It’s always circumstances (and there are many) that conspire.

One of the most critical circumstances is poverty. Oklahoma consistently places in the bottom 10 of states for median income — the bell curve hump. Last year we ranked41st nationally. Perhaps if we had work for the many urban & rural poor in our state, there would be fewer who turned to the quick fix of drug dealing…?

Certainly drug use is a choice, initially. But methamphetamines are tricky devils: they will addict you verrry quickly. And they’re pretty cheap. So before you know it, if you’re not well-up on their horrific effects, you too can be a meth addict.

heartbreakAnd that’s why ‘Breaking Bad’ is nothing I will ever watch. Yes, I realise that it might help people ‘understand’ meth use. But it also glorifies much of drug/ outlaw ‘culture.’ At any rate? I can’t bear to think of the thousands of Oklahoma lives wasted (which I do whenever I even think of the show).  It cracks big fissures in my beginner’s heart.



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