Addiction

Bottle vs. rock = Slide vs. slam

Crack Cocaine (image source: DEA)

Crack Cocaine (image source: DEA)

Addiction develops much more rapidly with cocaine than alcohol, often within a few weeks or months, and especially when smoked as freebase (crack). Thus, the dynamics of cocaine addiction are different from those of alcoholism, including its impact on the individual and the family. Cocaine addiction can be likened to a rapid-onset trauma that stuns its victims, compared with alcoholism, which progressively and insidiously debilitates the drinker over a much longer period. The cocaine-affected family is less likely to show the deeply ingrained systemic aberrations and codependent relationships so commonly seen in alcoholic families.

~ from “Outpatient Treatment of Cocaine and Crack Addiction: A Clinical Perspective,” by Arnold M. Washton and Nannatte Stone-Washton (PDF)

Finally! A Greensboro store owner gets charged with food stamp fraud

ebtThe News & Record and WFMY report that the owner of the University Mart in Greensboro has been charged with food stamp fraud. He’s accused of making purchases at local grocery stores with food stamps that weren’t assigned to him. The University Mart is on Warren Street, near the intersection with Spring Garden.

Both articles say the arrest resulted from a joint local and federal investigation. I’m glad to hear it. I posted previously about my frustration with entitlement program fraud, but I never heard about anyone doing anything about it.

I wonder if there will be more arrests? There’s more than one store in this town where you can get cash — 50¢ on the dollar — for food stamps.

For those who might be wondering how I know about food stamp fraud: I’ve learned a lot doing street outreach. This is one of those things that makes me angry, frustrated and sad, all at the same time.

Center City brown bagging and homeless violence

From a formerly homeless friend’s Facebook:

Was walking thru the center city park…seems like it has turned into an alcoholic playground. Everywhere i turned there were cups being filled with brown bag specials….i would love to sit and toast in the park…but then again its scorching heat…..pray with me for our homeless friends….i saw a lady at the library with a gash in her head..sitting in the sun…prayer breaks the devils spirit and saves lives.

This is sad. Physical and/or sexual violence is a leading cause of homelessness among women and children, and homeless women are more likely than housed women to be victims of violence. I will be praying for the lady at the library.

And I’m discouraged to hear about the drinking at Center City Park. The park has provided a peaceful place for many homeless people to spend time, and my initial fears that they’d be unwelcome there turned out to be unfounded. I hope that no homeless people are among the brown baggers. Alcoholism is an illness and I don’t judge, but it’s not just against the rules to drink at the park, it’s disrespectful, too. The brown baggers need to find another spot to get their drink on. :(