- Yesterday I ran out of milk. This is a “can’t happen” in my household because I put milk in my coffee. Without milk there is no coffee, and a day without coffee is like night. When I staggered into the kitchen I realized how screwed I was. I knew I had some chocolate covered espresso beans in the fridge, but that wouldn’t be a complete solution. From experience, I knew that nothing but liquid coffee would do.
In the carafe was yesterday’s leftover coffee. It was tepid and slightly burnt from going the whole two hours before the heat element switched off. There was about a pint of it. I poured it into a pint beer glass, chugged it (blrughggl), and chased it with two of the beans so that the chocolate would sweeten the acrid taste of room temperature slightly burnt coffee.
Then I realized it. This was the morning that so many alcoholics had described. Bad liquor with no ice, chased with something else, because without the hair of the dog the DTs would start. With the bitter rancid taste of dead coffee on my lips I started to laugh at myself.
- I’m taking Vicodin right now for torticollis and focal dystonia of shoulder muscles. I don’t take painkillers, haven’t since I was 14. I’m always interested in risk, so I read up on the stuff. Obviously one shouldn’t take more than what’s prescribed, and it’s not a long-term solution to anything. And it’s well known that mixing the stuff with alcohol is dangerous.
Of course this stuff is widely abused because doctors and dentists give it out freely and people share and trade and sell it. And the abuse is sometimes just taking many at once, and sometimes washing it down with alcohol. This is clearly risky behavior because of the synergistic effects and the possible coma/breathing problems/brain damage/death.
But there’s something else about Vicodin. It’s what used to be called “Tylenol #3,” and it’s a blend of codeine and acetaminophen (Tylenol). It’s recently been noted that Tylenol is a liver toxin in large amounts. For example, people do a suicide gesture with a bottle of the stuff and later feel fine, and then drop dead a week later because their liver has been killed.
And as you can imagine, Tylenol and alcohol is a very bad mix. Because drunks get a lot of headaches, they sometimes eat handfuls of Tylenol or painkillers that contain it, worsening their liver damage tremendously.
Since the last 20 years has seen a huge rise in abuse of drugs like Vicodin, particularly mixed with alcohol, one has to wonder: what kind of liver disease wave are we going to see starting in about ten years? Do any of these people know that they’re not only rolling the dice with coma, but destroying their livers so fast that it’s not so much dice as just suicide?