The year is 2025. Over the course of the past 6 years, the prevalence of Gold Card holders only continued to decrease; now, the few Card holders remaining are being frantically sought by droves of Gold-hungry Pushers. The other members of Generation H – the ones that have managed to survive, somehow – are either fighting for warmth on the streets of forgotten cities or finishing their days in Safe Using facilities. Forgotten cities like Chicago, Baltimore, and Seattle, all of which have become utterly unrecognizable; yellowed newspapers, trash cans full of burning garbage, and piles of blood-stained syringes litter the sidewalks and streets. Abandoned years ago by the working middle-class (The Normies), these cities are now solely inhabited by The Junkies – soulless sons and daughters who once naively thought, “That won’t be me.”
Government officials threw up their arms in exasperation roughly five years ago, collectively deciding to leave the cities alone and focus their attention on preventing future generations from traveling down the same path. Letting them die out before they have the opportunity to reproduce, the scientists say, is probably the best plan of action. And so the nameless, faceless bodies continue to pile up under the bridge – the bodies of the young men and women who lost their Gold Cards at 26, and could not afford to take residence in one of several national SU facilities. Only the wealthy were lucky enough to wind up in one such facility – the men and women with naïve parents, clinging desperately to denial and refusing to take an honest look at the current state of the world. The lucky Junkies either had parents like these or were under the age of 25 – still valuable trade for the Pushers. The Pushers would give them what they wanted. They would supply them with H (the best, the purest – they needed them alive); supply them with money and shelter and drain their Gold Cards and buy nice cars and big watches and plastic wives.
They prep The Junkies for eternal institutionalization, and ignorance keeps them safely institutionalized. They are set free and pick up H again immediately – they know no other way. No one taught them how to live. They are prepped for eternal institutionalization, and when their Gold Cards run out, they are left in the streets to die.
Does this seem like science fiction? Does this level of inhumanity seem unreasonable?
This is where we are heading.
Heroin is well on its way to wiping out an entire generation. Generation H, the Institutionalized… the young men and women who have been to 5 treatment centers this year, 8 treatment centers, 15 treatment centers and 26 detoxes… this is happening. Why? Because these children (hurt, confused, full of fear and self-loathing, unequipped to effectively deal with reality) are being thrown into treatment (bad treatment), where they learn that AA is the answer – where they learn that the only true consequence of ‘fucking up’ is being thrown back into treatment. These children learn that AA is the answer, and they work steps 1, 2, and 3 with a sponsor, sometimes 4 and 5, and then they get high again and go back, and again and again. Because there is MORE than God, because deep-seated, underlying trauma is not readily resolved; because they are being sponsored by other hurt, pain-filled children who sleep around and worship money. And the treatment they receive does not begin to touch on the core issues, the role of the family, the necessity of making authentic and lasting changes. Psychic changes; spiritual changes. Because they are being bribed when they are vulnerable, bribed by the marketers and the pushers who care more about the cold hard cash than the life of another human being.
Because the revolving door keeps revolving until the insurance runs out.
And what then? They are useless, they are worth nothing, then, and they keep using and using until they die. Because what else?
An Endless Cycle of Relapse and Readmission
They learn how to speak the lingo, and they learn what to say to get what they need. They learn when to turn on the tears and when to manipulate authorities. How to get EBT cards and sit silently in meetings. And they see the middle-aged men and women who come in, who come back – and they say to themselves, “That will never be me. I’ll quit when I need to.” But they can’t, because they don’t know how to. Because the disease of addiction is so far advanced, because they are so comfortable sharing bedrooms and scraping by. They don’t know what they want to do when they grow up. They have never been in school. They are introduced to the drug that will kill them and they love it and they love it until they are buried with it still in their veins and written up as another one of hundreds. “I can’t believe it,” their friends say. “I can’t believe it. He was such a good guy. She was such a smart girl.”
Drugs are killing us off, but so is ignorance. Because we think we’re indestructible. We think ‘one last time’ will fool our friends and our families, knowing we can just check ourselves into another 30-day program when we start feeling too sick or tired. Ignorance, heroin, bad treatment, corruption, greed. These things will eventually kill us off. Thousands of our peers are already dead. And still, we think, “Just this one last time.” When there is no pain, there is no pain to numb. So what do we do? We heal. And AA is indispensable; AA saves thousands of sick and suffering alcoholics from an untimely and gruesome demise. But things have gotten slightly more complicated. Things are changing. Messages are being muddled. Attraction is attractive, an illustrious ideal. And many will get it this way. But they have to do it. Need it, want it – do it. Not 1 through 5 and back to 1. Effective treatment, incorporation of the family, comprehensive healing in an intensely therapeutic setting. 12-step immersion. All 12 of them, and in succession. As a country, we are in desperate need of more effective treatment – just as much as we are in desperate need of the rapid elimination of horrible, detrimental treatment. Currently, there is far, far too much of that.
Treatment – One And Done
Addiction treatment is intended to be a one-time deal. In the olden days (when Alcoholics Anonymous was first founded), alcohol rehab was reserved for those who were teetering on the literal brink of death. Ideally, in the current day and age, inpatient treatment will last from between 90 days and 6 months. It will focus on uncovering and treating underlying causes of addiction in a therapeutic, clinical setting, while instilling fundamental life skills and coping mechanisms. Ideally, inpatient treatment will be gender-specific, and will be available to those who are willing to take it seriously the first time around. The only time around.
The revolving door will keep revolving until the insurance runs out, and your entire adolescence, young adulthood, and adulthood will be gone in a sterile whirl of brief interludes – clinging on, letting go, and crawling back. And then your name will be spread around, spoken in hushed shock for a day or two. And then your name will be forgotten; replaced by an infinitely growing number. And this number, eventually, will represent an entire generation. Generation H.