by Brad Nelson 3/20/15
A man — more animal than man — wandered onto our business property today. Many people cut through our property as a shortcut, but when I see anyone suspicious walking by (yes, I do indeed profile), I’ll generally take a look and see if he’s moved on or is camping out somewhere. This guy was camping out, seated on our steps with a bag of something. And he was raging at the wind. And when I told him that he’d have to move on, he raged some more.
Fortunately my older brother was with me. He’s an ex fireman and has seen it all. He noted from this guy’s appearance (beyond his extreme disheveledness) that he was likely high on meth because of his rotted teeth and blemished face.
When someone is raging a string a foul words at you — and my brother told me that guys high on meth can be very dangerous — you feel both fear and pity. This is the legacy of easy drug use and surely some other unfortunate background elements that we couldn’t possibly know about regarding this poor creature.
But those background elements, whatever they are, become irrelevant when someone is in the grips of drugs. Sure, maybe their girlfriend left them or they were fired from their job. They might have had an initial good reason for feeling very bad indeed. But the circumstances no longer matter because it’s the drug that is in control.
And anyone — especially including libertarians — who promote increased drug legalization are off their rocker and should be called on it. There is a very fine line between a civil society and one where walking zombies such as this fellow predominate. Libertarians, in a strange lust for a sort of disembodied sense of liberty, ignore this aspect. Just give me my drugs, they say.
One should have pity on these people lost to drugs and therefor strengthen their resolve to keep really stupid ideas (such as legalizing more drugs) out of the realm of possibilities. Libertarians are much too intellectually disengaged from the realities of drugs. Drugs leave empty shells wherever they go. We should not give in to libertarians’, or anyone else’s, vapid rhetoric regarding “liberty.” The man I saw was far from free and deserving to live in a society that continues to find such behavior unacceptable. We were made for better things.
This fellow — with the two of us staring at him, with nothing else to do because we realized rational conversation with him was impossible — did finally walk on past our property and down the street. In the meantime my brother had called 911 because he said that a fellow out of his mind on meth can be dangerous, and who knows whose yard he would wander into next. Just because he wandered out of our immediate sphere of concern did not mean he could be forgotten.
I never did hear if the police found him, but I followed this guy down the road a bit and relayed directions to my brother who was on the phone with dispatch. One hopes, even prays, for this fellow to find a life for himself. And one hopes that the rank-and-file of our citizenry will once again play the role of adult and quit facilitating such behavior in the name of liberty or anything else.
Heavy users tend to experience hallucinations and delusions. Some users develop sores on their face or body when they have been picking at their skin, thinking that there are bugs crawling under their skin that they can’t see.
Because of the caustic nature of the chemicals and the fact that the drug dries up the flow of saliva, a meth addicts teeth may get rotten and brown. This is referred to as “meth mouth.”
Meth users suffer from poor judgment and may engage in risky lifestyles and risky sex. When a person becomes a meth addict, getting the drug becomes far more important than taking care of the home, children or work. The children may go unfed. Animal feces around the home may not be cleaned up. Used diapers may be found all over the home. Drug paraphernalia and drugs may be within reach of children. If there are children in the home of confirmed meth users, families should take effective action as the children of meth users may come to harm due to neglect, abuse or worse.
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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