Poppy, once native to regions of
southeast Asia, is now being
harvested in Mexico and processed
in remote shacks before being
smuggled across the border into the
"Driving that train, high on cocaine. Casey Jones you better watch
your speed. Trouble ahead, trouble behind ..."
Maybe I should've paid more attention to the lyrics, or maybe I
just should have paid more attention.
I knew I hadn't seen that guy around the apartment before, but I
was more intent on catching a buzz than finding out who he was.
What did I care, I'd scored and that was all that mattered.
Now it was time to crank up the stereo, take a few tokes and get
my head together. All I could think about as I turned up the
"Dead" was that this rock better be worth the trouble I had gone
through to get it.
As I began the ritual of carefully loading my pipe, I prepared
myself for the first blast. It had been almost a day since I had
scored any coke.
The first hit scorched my throat and burned all the way to the
bottom of my lungs, but I didn't care because I knew that by the
second or third toke, my throat would be too numb to feel the
pain, and besides, I was getting used to it.
I held that first hit in my lungs as long as I could, the buzz began
about the same time. I closed my eyes and tilted my head back
enjoying the spinning sensation in my head and the tingling feeling
in my fingers and toes.
It was like all the troubles in the world had been lifted off my
shoulders, as if by magic. I didn't have a care in the world, and I
sure didn't feel like dealing with reality, so I took another toke.
I was just about finished with that bowl when I thought I heard
someone at the door.
"Come on in, the door's open," (and the party's just getting
started, I thought).
The door didn't move.
I thought it's probably just someone walking down the hall. My
friends haven't been around in a while.
So I load up another bowl and, I'm lighting up when, WHAM!
The door comes crashing open, and in walks the guy I saw in the
hall, and two cops.
"What the hell?"
"Shut up and get your hands up."
"You can't come in here!"
"You're under arrest."
"You can't do that! You've gotta have a warrant or something! I
know my rights!"
"We've got a warrant and you're under arrest. Put your hands
behind you and shut up. You have the right to remain silent. You
have the right to ... "
Cuffed, they take me downtown and book me. Then they put
me in a holding tank with this worthless drunk who smells like he
hasn't had a bath in a month.
What the hell am I going to do? I've got one call, but I can't
afford bail. I spent my last dime on coke.
How am I going to explain this to my ole man? He thinks I'm
spending all my money at the frat house. Dad's going to hit the
roof when he finds out, and what if he finds out this isn't the first
As the DEA kept a firm hold
on drug trafficking in Florida,
drug trade over the 2,000 mile
border between the U.S. and
Mexico increased. And that
means the drug supply in Houston was never greater. The
Houston Police Dept. routinely
raids crack houses where
"crack" or "rock", a potentially
deadly form of cocaine is manufactured from poppy. After a
raid on a crack house in the
vicinity of UH, the police spray
painted "Go ahead, make my
day" across the front as a warning to others waiting to be
All of these things, even happening less than a mile from
campus, seem distant until it
happens to someone close to
you. The hazards of cocaine become real when a friend drops
out of school or can't cope with
everyday life because of a love/
hate relationship with the drug.
And it gets worse — that person
stands a good chance of dying.
Yet, the drug industry is
thriving. Media attention soared
when twenty-two year old Len
Bias, a basketball player at the
University of Maryland with a
promising future, died of cocaine intoxication in June '86.
He was just one in a long line
of stars that have been victims
of its deadly pleasure. Ex-football star Mercury Morris now
does public service commercials
encouraging kids to not wreck
their lives with drugs the way he
did. New York Mets' pitcher
Dwight Gooden checked into a
chemical dependencies rehabilitation center. Two Rockets
players, Mitchell Wiggins and
Lewis Lloyd were banned from
the NBA for using cocaine.
And when celebrities die from
an overdose like John Belushi,
books about their problematic
lives become best sellers. But as
actors and athletes continue to
ruin their careers and their lives,
they continue to glamourize the
use of drugs — making profits
for dealers better than ever.
"I really will, say no-to-
drugs," says Jim Mclngvale, a
local advertiser. Local news
personalities are in on it too.
MTV, with their R.A.D. (Rock
Against Drugs) campaign, is a
part of the effort. They are all
part of a massive anti-drug
First Lady Nancy Reagan, in
her War on Drugs, uses the slogan, "Say no to drugs," which
was developed by the UH Social Psychology/Behavioral
Medicine Research Group. Directed by Professor Richard
Evans, the group originally developed the "say no" strategy to
use against cigarette smoking
among teenagers. Realizing the
similarities that make teens suc-
ceptable to peer pressure, the
strategy was expanded to fight
drug and alcohol addiction.
Richard Evans, however,
feels that this is not enough.
And so, for the group, which is
supported by a grant from the
National Cancer Institute, a
huge task lies ahead.