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SOS Message in a Bottle

SOS Message in a BottleWhile I studied at the University of the West Indies (UWI), I had a roommate who was a big fan of Sting. It was not uncommon for me to wake up hearing "Sending out an SOS... Message in a bottle."

It has been about 19 years since I first heard this song, but on some level it has remained one of my favourites.

When I heard of the recent deaths of Whitney Houston and Jeff Rice, and of Michael Jackson before, the same song came to my mind. Even though the original context may be different from what I am now writing about, it seems rather appropriate. For whether the drug be alcohol, heroin, Propofol, Vicodin, cocaine powder, Valium, or nicotine, the message from the bottle is the same - SOS.

It seems somehow that the true danger of drugs has been lost on our society. Yes, we can all repeat their names, and thanks to the Internet we can talk of their effects.

But the presentation packages surrounding these drugs seem to somehow pacify their true danger. So it does not seem to raise an eyebrow anymore when a celebrated athlete appears in a commercial advertising alcohol.


But it does not matter how you package poison, when you take it in, it kills. Like that young man said in the teenage pageant about two decades ago - "Drugs will kill you and make you die." You may not hire him to teach English (then again, it is a rather good example of malapropism), but you cannot deny his message.

Drugs are not a respecter of persons. It does matter if you are rich and celebrated like Michael Jackson, or nondescript like the crackhead on High Street, they kill just the same. And they kill even if there is a million-dollar doctor at your bedside.

These days, there is always something in a bottle being advertised that can "solve any and all of your problems". If you are too fat, too skinny, too weak, have no libido, stressed, depressed, anxious, cannot get a woman or a man, there is an instant solution in some bottle. But what they fail to tell you, like the mob, is there is always payback.

When I hear the term "recreational drug use," I wonder who coined that phrase and how that phrase was coined. There is nothing recreational about drug use. On the contrary, the so-called recreational drugs create brain changes that enslave you more than any physical chains can.

Therefore, if you are sniffing cocaine to keep you going, even though the lining of your nose is wearing away, it means you are a slave. Sooner rather than later, this master will stop your heart.


Likewise, if you cannot sleep without Valium or Propofol, it means you are also a slave, just like the cocaine-dependent person. And it does not make your conditions of slavery less harsh because these drugs are prescribed by a doctor.

When you become dependent, drugs control you. They take from you the things that normally give you pleasure, and tell you that they are your only pleasure. Everything else becomes secondary.

Your job is no longer fulfilling; your wife or husband is no longer attractive; your children become like mice; the bar room becomes your most holy place. You no longer ask how is my drinking or drugging affecting my job, relationships, family, and society. You now ask how are my job, relationships, family, and society affecting, or rather interrupting my drinking or drugging.

It is sad when we see intelligent, talented people get hooked. I even hear some suggest that without drugs, we would not have seen some of the talents of some of the great performers. But that is just one of the myths that perpetuate drug use among so-called high society.

When you watch the popular Hollywood flicks, the detrimental effects of drugs are more often masked. What we may see more often is the successful entertainer sniffing cocaine getting his groove on with the finest-looking chicks money can buy. Unfortunately, our children are buying into the hype.

It is not your school drop-out who becomes the crackhead, it is the crackhead that drops out of school. The crackheads we see around town, begging and eating from trash cans, are not there because they are dunce. They are there because they have became enslaved to drugs.

Now, what needs to be our message?

It cannot be OK to have drugs being portrayed in a positive light. Joe Cool cannot be that cool while he is puffing and pulling something into his body that is killing him. We have to let our children know the physical, mental, and social dangers of alcohol, even if it is endorsed by a Superbowl-winning quarterback.


Let our children know of the many who have been killed because of drunk and drugged driving. Let them know how many wives have been beaten and brutalized by drunk husbands. Let them know how many talented persons in all spheres of life have been left financially and socially bankrupt because of drug use.

Let them know that when they abuse drugs, drugs abuse them: "drugs will kill you and make you die".

Even if they are prescribed by a doctor, the long-term use of drugs that alter mood, induce sleep, or change our psyche may be dangerous and detrimental. Living out of a drug bottle cannot be soulful living.

We sometimes need to slow down, get some fresh air, eat food in their natural state, take a walk on a beach, go on a nature hike, spend some quality family time, disconnect from some of the technological gadgetry and connect with our Creator.

If we do not get this message out, the next SOS message in a bottle might be coming from our own son or daughter, sister or brother, best friend or spouse. While I love to hear Sting, I dread the SOS message in a bottle.

Dr Jerry Simon  (NSA Medical Surgical Rehab Centre, 268 4620631, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).


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10 Comments In This Article   

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@Dr. J. Simon

#10 dadlison » 2012-03-06 14:06

Thanks for your response. Interesting points to note. I look forward to similar pieces from you.
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dadlison

@ dadlison, interesting comments.

#9 Dr. J Simon » 2012-03-05 18:25

I work with drug dependent patients every day and alcohol is not only the most commonly abused drug but it is the one that has the most far reaching consequences both individually and socially.
It kills more each year than Aids and malaria.
It is good when we are in a position to make informed decisions but there has to be some level of protection when we can't.
I am not going to lie and tell you that marijuana has no medicinal use.
But like any other drug when used improperly it is dangerous and even detrimental.
When I worked at Clare Vue psychiatric Hospital, marijuana-induced psychosis accounted for most of the new cases of young males between 18 and 30.
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Dr. J Simon

Everything in moderation

#8 dadlison » 2012-03-05 13:34

I am not a hard or prescription drug user, nor have I ever smoked. I do enjoy the occasional drink though, and find alcohol unfairly vilified in this article. If I eat chocolate cake every day I will ultimately become Obese, get diabetes or other ailments and die. This doesn't mean that they should stop advertising chocolate cake, I just need to take my life into my own hands and control my cravings. The same can be said of alcohol. It being advertised on TV lets me make an informed decision of what is on the market. It is then up to me to consume in moderation.

As for Marijuana I don't know what to think. I have never tried it, but I hear people like you Dr. Simon who condemn it, and other doctors who rave on about its positive effects. I would love an article that gives an analysis of both sides of the drug.
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dadlison

RE: SOS Message in a Bottle

#7 nameless » 2012-03-04 20:27

I agree we all are held accountable for our actions and it starts with our culture and the people we put to govern us.
If we are led to believe that what ever is given to us by "people in authority" we should accept without question we are doomed!
If we dont asked our Dr's why we are given ANY drugs which she or he prescribe we are doom and if we choose not to educate ourselves on what is given we are DEAD!!!
When we have the FDA and lobbyist sleeping in the same "bed" we are DOOM but we are truly DEAD when we have law markers giving them the right to legally pedel these drugs,
We need to asked ourselves why our local remedies are been disregard and who profits????
Caffine is legal in many forms....it kills!!!! Morphine is legal if adminstrated by a DR but the end result is the same......it kills!!! I have yet to see a person have stop smoking weed have the shakes,cold sweats or goes into with-drawal!! go figure
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nameless

RE: SOS Message in a Bottle

#6 my way of helping » 2012-03-04 19:20

Interesting, thanks.
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my way of helping

to Concerned Parent

#5 Dr. J Simon » 2012-03-04 17:38

That I will do. And even in our society we need to know marijuana is no joke.
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Dr. J Simon

Healer!

#4 Concerned Parent! » 2012-03-04 14:46

Dear Dr. Simon,

Congratulations on this article! I think the most commonly used drug amongst teenagers is marijuana. I think also the potential problem of it is as a gateway drug!

Could you please consider doing another informative/insightf ul article on the dangers of marijuana? The young people tend to believe that it is not as dangerous as alcohol or other drugs. Is this true, and even if it is true, what are the dangers related to marijuana addiction?

Congrats again! Proud of you!
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Concerned Parent!

SOS indeed!

#3 Dig It » 2012-03-04 14:21

Very informative article! We heard and seen the implication of drugs in destroying families and lives, regardless, if that drug is used as an depressant, addiction, hallucinogen, or just to get high. Yet, still many of us won't yeild from this hari-kari! Doctor Simon, the message from the bottle is real, as floats around the world from shore to shore! The question is: how do we make access of drugs difficult, especially, "precription drugs" that have caused many over-dosed deaths of celebrities like Michael Jackson, Anna-Nicole Smith, and, is suspected in Whitney Houston's death? It seems the more money you make the more problems, and the pressure to be sucessful or live up to the publics' exceptation can me a constant battle for many in the eyes of the public. How do we get these people and ordinary folks help that drugs will "ripe your belly wide."
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Dig It

to Antiguan Abroad

#2 Dr. J Simon » 2012-03-04 12:58

Yes it is part of the list.
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Dr. J Simon

RE: SOS Message in a Bottle

#1 Antiguan Abroad » 2012-03-04 10:28

Good article. Dependency on prescription drugs is just as dangerous as the the so-recreational drugs (cocaine, crack, LSD, ecstacy, marijhuana, etc.). I assume you include ganja in the list of detrimental "drugs"?
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Antiguan Abroad

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Dr. Jerry Simon

Dr.Jerry Simon,a general physician, is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and Villa Clara (Cuba) Medical School. He has previously worked in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry. Presently he is Medical Director of the NSA Medical Surgical Rehab Centre and is a certified member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

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