Let It Slide?

Chad William Forber

by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

“There’s a party in my mind…And it never stops
There’s a party up there all the time…They’ll party till they drop
Other people can go home…Other people they can split
I’ll be here all the time…I can never quit.”

– “Memories Can’t Wait” by Talking Heads, written by David Byrne and Jerry Harrison

As previously discussed here at Res Ispa Loquitur, some fashion choices can be downright criminal. This time our contestant on Felony Runaway Fashions is Chad William Forber, 41, from Blue Grass, Illinois. Like our previous encounter with those who have a daring fashion sense, there is no probative legal analysis of this case and no pressing civil rights issue. Just good clean fun(ny facts).  Also some not so funny (alleged) drug use. This time our designer’s drug of choice was methamphetamines. There is nothing funny about meth. Nothing at all.

On Monday, August 7th, 2012, police officers in Rock Island, Illinois, responded to the call of a naked man at 3:27 a.m. walking in the 2200 block of 3rd Avenue. When they arrived at the scene, they found Mr. Forber, walking down the street, naked, his shorts in hand. He told the responding officers that he had taken off his shorts because they were too big and would not stay on. It’s what he opted to wear instead of his shorts that is interesting enough to make even Tim Gunn pay attention. According to Rock Island Deputy Chief of Police Jeff VenHuizen, Forber had “lathered himself up in Crisco [Cooking Spray]. He was covered in grease, and was holding the can under his arm.”  But wait!  There’s more.

“He said he was looking for a place to party,” VenHuizen added.

His party abruptly stopped when the Rock Island P.D. took him in to custody. He was charged with possession of methamphetamine, resisting or obstructing a peace officer and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $40,000, he’s currently residing in the Rock Island County Jail and his case is assigned to the Public Defender’s Office. In a bit of good luck for Forber, the charge of lewd exposure was dismissed.

While all of this is intrinsically funny as a situation, the methamphetamines they found in Forber’s short’s pocket are not funny in the slightest.  Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant drug that is classified as a Schedule II drug. Although prescribed by physicians, its uses are limited and the dosage of legitimate prescriptions are small compared to the typical dosages of abusers. It can be snorted, smoked or injected and it works by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Much of the supply of this drug isn’t from pharmaceutical labs, but rather from home labs that are inherently dangerous and pose environmental hazards and health risks to both workers and anyone unfortunate enough to live near an illegal meth lab. Because of this “home cooking”, the drug also has the added danger of unpredictable side effects due to adulteration of the “product”. Short term use of the drug can cause increased wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, increased respiration, rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and hyperthermia. Chronic use of the drug can cause emotional and cognitive problems which can be long lasting if not permanent including psychotic features like paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions.  Add to this extreme weight loss, severe dental problems (“meth mouth”), anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and violent behavior.  It is one of the fastest growing illicit drug trades in the country today. In 1986, the DEA seized approximately 235 kilograms (518 pounds) of meth. In 2011, the DEA seized approximately 2,451 kilograms (5,404 pounds) of meth. It has become so prevalent in society that one of the most successful series on cable is “Breaking Bad”, a serio-comic drama about cancer patient Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who spirals out of control from a man reluctantly looking to provide for his family when he’s gone to full blown criminal drug lord.

On a personal note, I have one cousin who escaped meth addiction but not unscathed. He’s as mad as a hatter in addition to having numerous other health problems and is permanently disabled. I also had the disappointing news recently that two more cousins from another branch of the family have fallen under its vile thrall. It is a substance that I personally consider evil without reservation and that is a term I try to apply very narrowly.  I am for the reform of our drug laws including the legalization of certain substances, but methamphetamines are not one of them. I don’t think anyone in their right minds would consider this a drug that should be legalized after seeing the effects it has on people. It is physically and psychologically addictive and does horrible ancillary damage to the body.

It’s all very entertaining as television, but the reality is even more grim, violent and deadly than “Breaking Bad” could ever portray without driving away audience.

But is it wise to treat addiction as criminal matter rather than a health matter? Can we let methamphetamine users slide? Can we let methamphetamine production and distribution slide? Should law enforcement focus time and resources on manufactures and distributors and leave the addicts to the medical profession? Decriminalize possession for addicts but increase penalties for manufacture and distribution?

What do you think?

Sources(s): Huffington Post, Quad-City Times, NIDA, DEA

~ Submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

73 thoughts on “Let It Slide?”

  1. raf,

    If you’d hung out in a Conservatory of Music, the smell of burning rope would have stayed with you all your life … though heroin was the drug of choice.

    You are so right about the heavier drugs and the sense of helplessness.

  2. SwM,

    I’m pretty sure I have the gene … even if I don’t I’m going to assume I do. You know the rules … never drink because you have a problem, never drink to “loosen” up.

    My brother’s kidneys and liver were in pretty good shape … the excessive alcohol damaged his brain causing him to lose feeling in his feet, balance … etc. The doctors told me exactly what portion of the brain was damaged but I don’t remember now. He was dead at 52. He started drinking during Nam … it took about 30 years for the liquor to kill him.

    Meth can kill you in seconds.

  3. Blouise, My husband’s mother and my father were alcoholics so my kids could very well have the gene. I worried about it when they were younger but so far so good.

  4. Blouise and Woosty,
    I have to admit that it helped me as a parent to have dabbled with marijuana in college because I can still smell it a mile away. I suggested to my daughter and her friends one night when they had returned from a night out, that I could smell it and I never want to see it, or smell it again in my house. I never smelled it again. Maybe they just perfumed their way out of it, but I don’t think so. I don’t know what I would have done if heavier drugs were involved.

  5. Woosty,

    Both of my children told me when they reached 30 that they would wait to try drugs on their 40th.

    Since I’m way ahead of them I know that come that 40th birthday they won’t have time to sit down let alone find a supplier.

  6. You implied that drug users really aren’t sick people. Unless I am mistaken. My answer should have been prefaced by saying addiction is a sickness. A disease of the flesh. It’s a broken piece of genetic code that is responsible for bad brain chemistry. Everything you posess mentally, you work ethic, your willpower, your IQ, is a result of the unique brain chemistry you did nothing to earn. You didn’t earn the genes and environment then enable the life you have. They didn’t ask for the genes and life they have, but they have it. Drug addicts are just suicidal people who weren’t allowed to make the choice earlier in life. From the first time they did meth, they were already dead. The person they were died when their sick brain realized that it could trigger it’s pleasure center NOT by doing things that are good for itself, but now simply by ingesting a white powder. Right now the choice to use meth is seen by most addicts as, “Well, I’ll feel really great, it’ll be expensive, and I might go to jail…” and that’s all they think about. We need to let people know that they die when they use meth. We need to force THAT choice on them by making meth as comepletely freely available as water, so that at the age of 18 they are allowed to choose to live or die. We already trust them with that choice, anyone can drive a car off of a cliff at the age of 18 if they want to leave this world. Here’s a bucket of meth, a bucket of cocaine, and a bucket of heroin. Stick your head in that sucker and inhale deeply if you want to take all the happiness and joy you were going to have in your life, divide it by one million, and that will all be crammed into 1 day of sheer ecstacy and then you’ll die. If we do these things, I believe the perception of drugs will change very rapidly in society.

  7. Malisha,

    So far … (check your own bedroom, not the kid’s room if you want to find his/her drugs 😉 )

  8. Blouise, their asses are not only smart, but well educated. Congratulations! 🙂

  9. SwM & Malisha,

    I gave up the Savior complex years and years ago. I wasn’t any good at it. I remember something a friend’s drug councilor told me, a question he used to separate the addict from the simple user. He told me that no individual knew if he/she possessed the addict gene until that first use.

    The question: On a scale of 1-10 describe your first high.

    Those who say 11 or above are going to have a huge problem getting clean.

    So, where the kids were concerned, who had the addict gene? No way of knowing so impress that on them and go from there.

    I think marijuana should be legalized but since it isn’t, how to keep the kids away from it? No kid in junior high or high school knows what career they will choose as an adult. Illegal drug use can limit one’s choices, plain and simple. That’s part of the education package.

    I was hell on wheels and the kids knew it. There was no self-righteous religiosity to it … just plain old common sense … don’t f*ck up your future before you know what future you want.

    My final rule: When you are 30 years old, you can try any drug you want.

    The grandkids have a favorite toast at each and every family dinner … one imp will raise his/her glass and loudly clear their throat at which point the other 4 will raise their glasses and say, “Here’s to our 30th birthday!” Bunch of smart-asses.

  10. Alexander McNeely
    1, August 11, 2012 at 11:33 am
    I don’t see your point in relation to what I said…..but do you know what has happened to the funding for at home drug treatment programs while the war in parts afar was waging? Do you think as it winds up that we will see the same kind of problems w/addiction that the troops returning from Vietnam faced? Legalizing this crap now could endanger a lot of people who have lost health care coverage,homes, 401K’s, economic stability, in short been made more vulnerable due to socio-economic stresses imposed by failing industries. Is this a cheap way to skirt the issue of treatment costs and care of those MADE vulnerable by market forces over the past decade?

  11. But is it wise to treat addiction as criminal matter rather than a health matter? Can we let methamphetamine users slide? Can we let methamphetamine production and distribution slide? Should law enforcement focus time and resources on manufactures and distributors and leave the addicts to the medical profession? Decriminalize possession for addicts but increase penalties for manufacture and distribution?

    What do you think?

    We might consider tailoring a solution or solutions based on the environment within which such activity originates and is then acted out.

    What I mean is that in the sense that “it takes a village to raise a child”, it is also hazardous for a village not to take part in raising a child.

    We place all the “blame” on the parents and the meth head when the “raising” comes to fruition.

    It might be better to allow local communities at some level (town, county, state) deal with it rather than at the federal level in the form of a “war on drugs”.

  12. Alexander McNeely
    1, August 11, 2012 at 11:13 am
    I do concede the point that there are indeed some people who would use meth if it were legal. But….But, I say make it legal and make that the choice……..The alternative is that you are forcing someone to live who doesn’t want to live. And that sounds like torture to me……..
    It is a distortion to think that meth is as benign as marijuana. It is much more debilitating and damaging as well as probably more addictive than cigarettes…it acts like uber-nicotine on dopamine receptors in the brain and is akin to constantly driving your car with the pedal to the floor and even idling at full rev. Look at what it took for the tobacco industrys denouement…

    [My mother was ‘prescribed’ tobacco (as were many) by her doctor way back when to help her strengthen her lungs. She died of emphysema. Studies have shown tobacco to be harder to kick than opiates. ]

  13. “Are you sure it’s not that they are legal BECAUSE people who use them are seen as sick people who need to go to the hospital to get treatment for their addiction sickness?”

    You brain is made out of the same DNA-coded flesh that your other organs are made from. All organs are capable of failing to the point of killing you. The brain isn’t?

  14. Above is a fantastic movie about meth addiction and the people it affects.

  15. Apparently it’s no longer “cool” to do drugs because they’re legal and people who use them are seen as sick people who need to go to the hospital to get treatment for their addiction sickness. Alexander McNeely
    Are you sure it’s not that they are legal BECAUSE people who use them are seen as sick people who need to go to the hospital to get treatment for their addiction sickness?

    I agree that there are better controls when things become legitimized, but there are legitimate channels for obtaining this drug and the wars abroad have superceded much of what has been happening here in the US. Just think if all that energy had been put into programs here at home….

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