Opioid Madness

My friend Rich, who lives in the cell next to mine, gets released in 2 weeks after serving 5 years for a gun charge. You would think nothing could damper his spirits so close to the doors of freedom. But after hanging up the phone the night before last, he realized how delicate the reality of life actually is hearing that his younger brother died from an overdose.

Yesterday, speaking with my 17 year old daughter, I was informed that one of her friends older brother also died from an overdose.

The opioid epidemic is still ravaging our nation.

There’s been more than 100,000 drug-overdose deaths in the 12 month period ending in April, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 100,000 dead in 12 months.

Thankfully the sources that created the opioid epidemic crisis are being held accountable by paying a settlement of a combined total of roughly $25 billion dollars. Johnson & Johnson, and the drug distributors Amerisource Bergin, Cardinal Health inc, and McKesson corp. all agreed to this settlement, but it wasn’t an admission of liability or wrong doing.

$25 billion.

More than 100,000 drug overdose deaths in 12 months.

Zero criminal prosecutions.

No surprise at that.

The Sackler family, who owns Purdue Pharma, are also paying a settlement of $6 billion after being accused of fueling the opioid epidemic.

Yet again so far…

Zero criminal prosecutions.

Flaco, another friend of mine here at Canaan, got charged with distributing a kilo or more of opioid’s. He’s 28 years old and got a 30 year criminal sentence. He accepted responsibility for his wrong doing. He wasn’t accused of being the source of this epidemic, and no one overdosed from his drugs, but you would think he’s being held responsible for those over 100,000 deaths in the last 12 months attributed to the Pharmaceutical companies.

Maybe he is.

He’s not alone since there are plenty of people here at USP Canaan with super long sentences for minimal amounts of opioids. If they had a few billion dollars, could they have brought their way out of the criminal prosecution by paying a settlement?

Seems like it.

But for now, these low level dealers take all the blame, pawns in a lost drug war where black and Hispanic individuals are the first to be sacrificed.

Gangster Turned Guru Presents: “Catching An Epp”

Oct 10, 2018 at 4:23 PM

Suddenly an agonizing outcry interrupted my afternoon spades game. It’s the wailing I was used to after spending over a decade in the penitentiary where stabbings are methodical occurrences that happen every week. Yet, in the two and a half years I’ve been back in M.D.C. Brooklyn on appeal, there’s only been two stabbings on my unit, which would really be labeled as scratches, not that serious at all. 

But this currant screeching was reminiscent of the past, felt in my bones to where I assumed someone was being punctured to the point of loosing their life. 

Up on the top tier, a cell door slammed open, amplifying the screams from this 6 foot 2, muscular mountain of a man, about 35 years old, struck with a look of pure terror. Blax, my new celli, tried pulling this huge man back in the cell, only to be swatted away like a fly while his yelling continued. 

Mountain man, sprinted to the stairs with the attention of the entire unit watching. A two second hesitation, which I suspected he needed to take a deep breath for the continuing hallowing as he threw himself down the stairs. This was a enormous guy, about 250 pounds of muscles, coming down each of the 15 steps hard. 

Crashing at the bottom, he sprang up, spun around and raced back to the top, bellowing out the piercing scream of horror.
He grabbed the same steel cell door he just kicked open, slammed it against the wall and began punching it bare knuckles, like a young Rocky Bowbowwa beating up a side of beef while training in the ice box. 

By now of course, we all figured out what was going on, he was having what we call an epp, short for an episode, after smoking synthetic weed, known as K-2. These are the weekly occurrences I’ve become used to here at M.D.C., it’s just that this one took the crown. He continued beating the steel door until the C.O.’s ran in. It took five officers to restrain him while he kicked, punched, screamed and defecated on himself, until finally he was cuffed and carried out. 

You would think that guys would see this as an informitable warning that what’s labeled as synthetic weed is nothing like weed at all. Smoking crack doesn’t make people act like that! 
But in this strange world where down is up and up is down, as soon as they let us back out of our cells, all the smokers were running around trying to get some of what he had! How crazy is that.