Al-Kawwan Ellis


Feb. 27, 2017

A Correlated Overdose of Addiction, Recovery, Mental Health, and Jail

The correlation of addiction, recovery, mental health and jail all root from unfortunate circumstances in controlled situations to controlled institutions beyond the control of the individual and his or her family. Millions of individuals are facing heavy addictions in unbelievable situations, horrific circumstances and inhuman conditions in institutions and poverty. While many others use their addictions to achieve much success, power, and wealth until they themselves become out of control and lose it. In any event, especially with addicts the word control must be used very liberal.  An addict can flip your mattress with you in it without you even noticing. There are many presumptions and misunderstandings about uncontrolled substances and the people who use them. There are all kinds of drugs, each affecting different people differently. The most important rule to remember, everything is not for everyone. An addiction or addict is not even defined by a drug. People have bad habits and good habits. It’s much easier to replace a bad habit with a good habit when the individual is happy and proud to do so. Forcing a person to stop, taking away the narcotic and isolating them in categories labeled with unappealing and embarrassing unattractive stereotypes make it difficult to connect with the person who the drug has taken over to find support in their recovery. It can push them to say “fuck it,” and go faster and harder down a destructive path to get the narcotic, when they really want to slow down and don’t know how to regain control of their lives. That’s when intervention is most prevalent and can be used.
An addict is a human being with a beating heart struggling with an addiction. An addiction is just an ill behavior that can be more harmful than beneficial. Behaviors that may disrupt and disturb the general public are usually considered against the law, thus leading to the current mental health crisis in the Dept. of Homeless Services as well as the Dept. of Corrections.
The atmospheres in these services are clouded with uncontrolled substances and superegos. People who push these substances earn respect and power among their peers and even some employees. They become even more vital than the communities doctors, as street pharmacists who know what the community needs to self-medicate any present issues. Looking out for everyone, and watching everything moving. They risk their freedom for a few dollars, and generously share with the community, willing to give it all up for the next man to eat.

Unlike the corrupt doctors and politicians living in luxury, they either have a wealthy lawyer or spend most of their lives behind bars. Those who only care about the money are the problem, not the individuals who truly care about the people hand to hand. Unfortunately, their level of freedom depends on their status and wealth in society.
Recovery is a state of mind that incorporates healthy habits and behaviors into a healthy lifestyle, saving lives, given children their parents back, given parents their children back, and shown to be a mandatory and monitored approach towards rebuilding communities stricken by unfortunate acts of biochemical-warfare. The effects of drugs aren’t all bad all the time. Nor are the people influenced by them. Misusers are often considered suicidal from a non-users perspective. Moderate users known as weekend warriors are not addicts. They can relate to the feelings that come with the drug, not the addiction. Their life remains manageable and drugs do not interfere.  Some need drugs to manage their life and shouldn’t be punished and locked away for others mistakes.

Vast comparisons, communal misunderstandings, and mass miscommunications about narcotics confuse service providers more than the people using. Discrimination against narcotics fosters more confusion and anger all across the board. Non-users want to kill users, weekend warriors and light users want to kill addicts, and heavy users want to rob and kill everyone. Large numbers of people dying every day due to ignorance and arrogance. Instead of learning to live together, we teach our children how to tear each other apart thriving on competition instead of loyalty and compassion. We were taught that repetition is insane, however repetition makes practice perfect. WE found something we liked and went O.C.D., never learning how to balance a long healthy successful lifestyle.  Stuck on sour, leaning on dope, sipping on syrup, partying on ecstasy, yes I’ve done it too.

I didn’t like who I was. I hated where I lived. I used these drugs to cover everything I felt was irrelevant to get me where I wanted to be. Nothing bothered me, because nothing mattered. Drugs gave me temporary confidence to socialize and maneuver through all the college parties. In recovery I cry every day. I feel every pain that ever traumatized me on the daily. Bearing that weight can rip an average man to shreds. Recovery is only for strong-minded and willed individuals. When I became aware of my ignorance I drank less and opened my eyes to the daily paper, educated myself, grew some esteem, and built a stable rock to stand on. Something I prayed for so long and I know God is never done with me. The blessings of my recovery have been beyond my imagination.
Mental health hygiene is also a strong thread in the fabric of my success. In recovery I found untreated childhood issues to be the root of depression, branching into bipolar and other disorders. By my teenage years, I was already self-medicating without a diagnosis. By twenty-one, I was a hopeless college dropout (w/HIV), diagnosed with poverty. Living in prayer, distanced from peers, totally submerged and consumed by my natural surroundings, manipulated by my circumstances, while still feeding all those childhood dreams and aspirations I won’t let go secretly in the back of my mind. Humility put everything and everyone over my personal needs. Remember I had no pot to piss in, sleeping from pillow to post, so I was vulnerable, gullible, and easy to manipulate. I relate to the troubling stories of our youth today through my own testimony.
The most important observations of all the people I got support from taught me that I have to know when to have patience and when not. In twenty-four hours a lot can be done. My personal experiences are the key to my success. Recovery is not the same for everyone. The effects of drugs are not the same for everyone. Therefore the same method will not work for everyone. Only you know where you want to be, even when you don’t know how to get there. Recovery opened so many doors for me with many options and directions I could go. I never belonged in jail, although I accepted my time as a learning experience.
Jail became my second home, after living in the street from pillow to post that little hard bed was mine. The safest place I thought I could be was detention, of course I didn’t know better. Just having intelligence is not enough. Using my intellect behind all my degrees and certificates to share my experience in an impactful way is what I went to school for, not money. My reward came from a nineteen year old first time offender, when he asked me for advice, and afterward challenged me to use my skills. He gave me a new perspective of our situation. Besides all the brotherly love and advice you can’t get anywhere else, jail is still a dangerous place with dangerous people where no addict ill from their addictions should suffer.
Jail is not a rehab or a homeless shelter. That’s where majority of the detainees need to be. In my personal study of “Presumption of Guilt, The Global Overuse of Pretrial Detention,” written by Open Society Justice Initiative I felt more passionate to enter the field of prison education, looking forward to growing in this field, and contribute to the solution in this global massacre of human justice by officials.
People who need rehabilitation must not have their lives and health in any further danger than it’s already in. They should be receiving the best care until they can care for themselves. Lying sick and ill in the midst of more drugs and heartless criminals while in withdrawal stages became a lifelong process of repeat offenses and waste of taxes. Years of someone’s life and dignity could have been saved with a better solution. That time and money could have been used to treat them with mental health hygiene, self-care, and learning healthy habits that lead to success. I’ve even seen hospitals not efficient or equipped with proper staff or equipment to perform effectively in this crisis. Though these detainees display unusual behavior their often overlooked with low risk security and become common victims and targets of abuse.
A correlation in addiction, recovery, mental health, and jail tied communities and organizations around the globe in search of a solution to these epidemics saddening the global economy.


4 30 2016


Community Intervention


Health care is the intervention that will end aids by 2020. That includes homes and services for the population most at risk, especially affecting those living in distress. .


Did you know that there were no births w/AIDS in 2015, but more infections?


For there to be more HIV diagnoses and no births with AIDS health care is doing something right and some things wrong. With more training and more work, more confidence and faith in NYC will come through.


Have you heard of HARM REDUCTION?


Healthcare is a necessary factor of human development. Numbers show HIV diagnoses rising in young adults, and births with HIV eliminated. The health care system is losing money, patients, and facilities and instruments to perform. Taking these services to supportive houses where dense populations of people at risk live is a huge climb to ending AIDS by 2020.


The fabric of our environment depends on the lives of its people. Our states’ falling in a dangerous depression due to oppression where any one can lose interest in living and become a threat to his or her safety and those around them in a bipolar minute.


Harm reduction is an increasingly recognized approach to the management of substances aBUSE AND OTHER BEHAVIORS THAT MAY POSE SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS, recognized by physicians in the book Harm
Reduction: Pragmatic Strategies for Managing High-Risk Behaviors…