I'm researching heroin again. Last time I perused the internet on this topic was when I was writing one of my NaNoWriMo novels. It was really quite sickening, at two in the morning everything is more poignant and vivid, and the vision in my mind's eye regarding the difference between "popping" and "mainlining" made me want to abandon the plot point.
And this in turn makes me think about San Francisco. Think about what to do with my summer. Think about Summer of Service with YWAM, and whether . . . well, why not? I can't really think of a why not. But I feel apprehensive about applying anyway. Uncertain. What's the worst that could happen? They say no, okay. They say yes . . . do I go? I don't know. But it wouldn't be hard.
So I'm reading about heroin, for my psychology class. Which is gratifying to me, because it's just an intro class, but this is what I wanted to study psychology for. My university has a drug counseling certificate program, and, I don't know, we'll see. I just think it's really interesting. A few new pothead friends have come out of the woodwork this week, and I really just have a billion questions, I'm so inconsolably curious, probably too much for my own good.
But anyway, it turns out that most heroin "overdoses" are not actually overdoses at all. Though they occur in experienced users who theoretically have a high tolerance, in autopsy it's frequently discovered that victims don't have very high levels of the opiate in their system at all. Which is curious. I'm assuming the point to the article is to demonstrate the role of Pavlovian conditioning in these overdoses [which is really sharp of me to ascertain, since that's the title of the article], but I'm not sure what that role could be. I'm trying to guess before I read the rest of the article. Conditioning increases sensitivity?
Oh. Next sentence. They die because tolerance is not developed. Because of Pavlovian conditioning. Spoiler warning.
It's all so clinical. With statistics and citations and bland sentence construction. All information, no life. Which on the one hand is fitting; the facts, just the facts, no value judgments or disrespect. But on the other hand, it's dehumanizing in its detachment. Were these not individuals? Did they know, did they know when they started that they would eventually kill themselves? I do feel naive. I could never know, never understand what drives a person to pick up such a habit. I am, after all, afraid of needles. And I have it so easy. But.
Evangelism and justice are not an either/or but rather a both/and.
He came to seek and save the lost. Seek and save.
So I try to understand. And if not understand, then learn.