Buying Fentanyl: A Beginner's Guide
This story might be true or untrue depending upon who you are
I’ll give a quick update on Christopher’s medical status below. But first, a foray into the fun and frivolity of how to purchase fentanyl on the streets. I’m not a pro, by any means, but I think my approach is pretty solid.
Trigger Warning: If you are prone to fits of drug-war induced, pathological moralistic bullshit, this might trigger you. I’m going rogue and will be discussing “Illegal” activities. Specifically, my own illegal activities.
Full Disclosure: These illegal activities are not my first or most egregious - I’ve got a distant past that I’m not proud of. However, these illegal activities, like taking a US Army tank for a joy ride (ask me privately), fall under the category of, “Yep… I’d do this again.” Less enjoyable than the tank but definitely a “do again, if needed.”
Being a good dad is not really that hard. Take your kids hiking a LOT! Support their interest over your own. Take them on adventures. Listen to, and support, their dreams.
And when necessary, you wade into the world of homelessness and addiction, find a drug dealer with a name like, East Coast or Tweety , and buy a dose or two of fentanyl for them to shoot into their arm.
Parenting baby! It’s not for the nervous.
I think context may be important here. It won’t be to some. Context is one of the casualties of soundbite news & political outrage.
While the story is about buying fentanyl, it is really about policy and perspective. Shh… don’t tell anyone about my hidden agenda!
Christopher was in the hospital with Septicemia. MRSA (Staph infection) was traveling through his blood. It had taken up residence in his spine, heart, and other organs.
He was sick - very sick.
I won’t divulge the hospital he was at. Take your pick of places in the Los Angeles area. He’s run the gamut.
Whenever Christopher has been hospitalized over the past few years, well - the times I knew about it - I would speak with the ER Doctor and other hospital staff. I’d let them know that he was already starting to withdraw. He is getting “dopesick” as we speak.
What this means is that, if he is well enough to walk, there is a high probability that he will. He will leave the hospital AMA.
AMA: Against Medical Advice
That’s the term. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it dozens of times. And every time you’ve hear it, your heart sinks!
I found this page with statistics on patients who leave AMA. There is even a handy chart. Note: Septicemia & Substance disorders rank highly on patients who have left AMA multiple times.
Hey, my kid is normal. That’s something every parent worries about. But statistically, using the chart above, Christopher is pretty normal. Whew! Three cheers for normalcy.
When I speak with the hospital, I make sure they have my name and number. I ask them to call me WHEN (not if) he threatens to leave.
I have had some, albeit moderate to poor, success in convincing Christopher to stay in the hospital to receive treatment. At least for a few more hours.
What are we treating?
During these stays, the condition the hospital is tasked with treating is an infection. That is the danger. That is the medical condition that drives the hospital visit.
The addict has had enough of a realization that they need to see a doctor. This is important because this is where perspective and policy is killing people and putting others at risk.
You know what they are not treating? The addiction. That isn’t the goal here. Every doctor, nurse, and social worker knows this.
Every time Christopher was hospitalized over the past few years I would ask the doctor to dose him with fentanyl. I would try to calmly - and not so calmly - explain that he’s NOT going to go clean cold turkey. This means, he will most certainly leave the hospital before the course of treatment is done.
This means he will carry that infection back to the streets.
This means that others - not just addicts - will be exposed. It also means that he will be back… eventually.
I suggest that a low-dose of fentanyl, tapered off (if we must) over the next several days, will keep him in the hospital and allow the infection to be treated.
The infection to be treated!
For those in the back: The infection to be treated!
In case you’ve missed this important fact, the infection is the condition that needs to be treated in the immediate.
In each case, I am told that they cannot do this. They will try to get him on suboxone and give him medication to alleviate his dopesickness; the nausea, headaches, and anxiety that comes with fentanyl withdrawal.
But, for the addict, who is NOT interested in getting clean, suboxone is a poor substitute for fentanyl. It’s a mediocre substitute for the addict who wants to get clean.
When you want chocolate cake, you don’t want, sugar-free, gluten-free, chocolate substitute, flavored cardboard. So, like that, only worse.
I’m not indicating drug addiction is like dieting - only, sort of, I am.
Get by (buy??) with a little help from my friends
“Your son is threatening to leave the hospital AMA, can you talk to him?”
“Of course. Give him the phone.”
“Dad, I’m leaving!”
“The fuck you are! GET. THE. FUCK. BACK. INTO. BED!”
“I need fentanyl.”
“I will try to get them to dose you or give you something.”
Then it occurred to me…
“If not, I’ll go buy some fentanyl and bring it to the hospital.”
“If you do that, I’ll stay.”
“Put the doctor back on please.”
This is paraphrased but this is the gist of my conversation with the doctor.
Me: “If you cannot dose him with fentanyl, I’m going to go buy some, bring it into the hospital, and dose him myself.”
Doctor: “I totally understand what you are saying and I agree with your approach. But I can’t have you do that. When you get here, call me, and send him out for a cigarette break.”
~blink blink blink~
Me: “Okay! Thanks.”
THAT IS A GOOD DOCTOR!!
He also asked me to NOT let any hospital staff know this was going on. He said, “There are some who just wouldn’t understand.”
Disclaimer: If you are a moralistic do-gooder or an official of any type who would be inclined to research this and get anyone in trouble, let me make this clear, I am making this all up. Of course, it never happened. It would be a cool story if it did but I am a compliant sort of chap and believe in the same “law and order” bullshit that you do. (Did that sound sincere enough?)
“You are too loud and you look like a cop!”
And that is how I found myself near Koreatown. I knew to look for two drug dealers - East Coast or Tweety.
I knew where they set up shop so I parked around the corner and walked over.
I wasn’t scared - not of the drug dealers, gangs, the streets, or the police. I’d spent enough time around Christopher and his addict friends, that I was as comfortable as a middle-aged, non-addict, non-homeless person can be.
The situation was ludicrous. I chuckled at the thought of having to call my girlfriend/partner.
“Hey… I’ve been arrested for buying drugs. Can you come get me?”
Honestly, the thought of it is still hilarious!
I approached the place where East Coast and Tweety had a lemonade stand looking tent. This also struck me as funny. This was not some back alley operation.
Across the street, in an abandoned building’s covered porch, were six or seven addicts. Down the street, a line of tents common to this area of Los Angeles.
As I got closer to the “lemonade stand” I said, “Hey… Is East Coast or Tweety here.”
A guy came out to meet me. He said, “I don’t know who you are talking about. Who are you?”
“I’m Chris Moran’s Dad. You know him.. sometimes he’s called big foot or OD Chris.”
Big foot because the infection had caused his feet to swell up. OD Chris because he’s overdosed on the streets enough times to get that label.
“He’s in the hospital and I need to get him fentanyl so he’ll stay. I’m not here to cause any trouble. I’m not upset at you. I just want to keep him in the hospital.”
The person who was definitely NOT Tweety (it was definitely Tweety) said, “I can’t help you. I don’t know who East Coast or Tweety are.”
I tried to explain again but he waved his hand and walked away.
I started walking back to my car. I’d find another dealer somewhere.
“Hey sweetheart! What are you doing out here?”
I heard that shouted from across the street and turned to see Tasha crossing the street toward me. Tasha is an African-American transvestite addict.
I need the descriptive label as it adds to the early 1970’s, Freebie and the Bean, Starsky & Hutch, Mod Squad, Dirty Harry-ish caricature of who you might find on the streets.
It’s so silly that this story cannot be true, right? (this is added for the aforementioned do-gooder.)
I’d met Tasha during earlier visits. She is a friend of Christopher’s and has called me a few times from the streets when he needed help. I like Tasha a lot. We’ve had a few deep and interesting conversations about how she ended up here. I might tell a little of her story one day.
I explained to Tasha what I was doing. I explained that the person who was definitely NOT Tweety, would not sell me fentanyl.
Then Tasha shook her head and said, “Honey! You are too loud and you look like a cop! Let me help you.”
Tasha took my money and walked back to the lemonade stand. She came back with two doses… er… cups of the lemonade and said, “If you need something out here, come find me. I’ll help you.”
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
And there you have it!
Should you find yourself needing to purchase some fentanyl and you are a middle-aged, white male, who looks like a cop, I strongly suggest you call on your African-American transvestite addict friend. They’re there to help.
We could make it standard policy that addicts with infections that can cause public health challenges receive whatever drug they’re addicted to - low-dose, controlled - while the primary medical condition is treated. We could try that.
But then we wouldn’t get to meet Tasha or Tweety.
An update on Christopher:
Christopher had surgery a couple weeks ago. A partial mitral heart-valve replacement. He is also recovering from his stroke. His speech has mostly returned. He’s walking with a walker and getting stronger every day. We are discussing next steps and options.
Christopher wants to go into rehab. He wants to be clean. He rarely expresses how he personally feels. The truth is, shame will do that. He keeps repeating, “I fucked everything up. I did this to myself.”
And he’s right… but he still needs to speak to someone about his fear, his addiction, and how he might stay on track.
Fortunately, the VA is one of the better facilities for this type of treatment. I find the process frustrating and slow and am hoping to help get as many resources lined up as possible before Christopher is discharged.
If you are interested in this topic specifically, Christopher’s mother and I are hoping to write a memoir and journalistic book (or something). Sign-up here to stay up to date on this project.
re: Moralistic Do-gooders:
I’ve seen, spoken to, and observed these people for many years. Sadly, they often come from church environments - which should be the last place to find moralistic do-gooders. They spout loud and unhelpful clichés about tough love, “love the sinner, hate the sin”, and fret and fear the policies that might prove helpful. You might hear them rail against purchasing “crack-pipes” for addicts leading to more drug use. While ignorant, it sells advertising… can I get an amen?
Predictably, the White House distanced themselves from this ridiculous, know-nothing attack. I’d gladly support a politician who proudly proclaimed, “Yes.. we are going to provide needles and crack-pipes, if that will help alleviate the other issues. We should explore every INFORMATION-BASED policy and NOT capitulate to those who know little to nothing on the issue.”
I know at least two moralistic do-gooders who have cheated on their spouse multiple times, been caught, “forgiven” and still find the hubris to moralize others. The disconnect and hypocrisy is pathological.
Just remember: Do-gooders, rarely do good and never discuss solutions.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
Matthew 23: 27-28
re: Legal Ramifications and Partners
I read this to my partner. She expressed fear that I might get in trouble for admitting to buying drugs. I pointed out that I make plenty of disclaimers. I said, very clearly, that I am making all this up. It is a fanciful work of fiction… right? Everyone nod in agreement.
Also, I don’t believe law enforcement cares. They have far bigger issues to contend with and we need them focused on things like domestic abuse & violent crime. We’ve pushed the problem of homelessness and addiction onto police and it doesn’t belong there.
Please consider watching Johann Hari’s TED Talk and his interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Or grab his book, Chasing the Scream.