Bouncer Ponders Pharmaceutical Escapes at Olive's Happy Hour

Categories: Bouncer
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The best bars in S.F. don't have to try too hard. Olive is small and artfully arrayed, like a hipster Munchkin. Bright, abstract paintings line the walls. The proprietor has put a lot of DIY love into the place, and made sure to hire friendly staffers. No fewer than three of them approached me when I was cozily ensconced in a corner booth, waiting for the rest of my entourage to arrive. I got there early to save the seats, which proved to be very shrewd, as the place filled up one by one with postwork imbibers, all jockeying for a stool. My guess would be that most of them work in Civic Center, possibly in the courts that handle those unfortunate aspects of alcohol -- DUIs and other misdemeanors -- all day long.

I was also there for after-work revelry. Eventually my co-workers showed up. We had planned on a cathartic, job-related bitchfest, and chose Olive for its cheap drink and food specials at happy hour. They ordered the signature olive martinis and I got a $8 pizza. By then the whole bar was filled with others engaging in cathartic bitching, and you couldn't hear the music over all the chatter. This was okay with me, because when I arrived they were playing some pretty stale mash-ups and Katy Perry.

Our conversation ran the gamut, but turned to drugs eventually, as all good conversations do. Our jobs involve doling out some pretty serious opiates -- Vicodin, Oxycontin, and even fentanyl. We all remarked at how liberally they seem to be prescribed, which led us to talk about what could probably be the nuttiest legal medication out there: Ambien. Alcohol, apparently, is not the only way to voluntarily check out and go berserk.

Ambien, it seems to me, is one of those drugs you'd better get while the gettin' is good, because once the 10,000,000th person does something completely insane on it, the FDA will pull it off the market. It's one of those substances where you suspect scientists created it in a lab, studied its effects on mice, and then figured out which ailment they should market it to for maximum profitability. Since it probably knocked out all of the lab rodents, insomnia became its application. But using Ambien to help you fall asleep is like shaving your legs with a lawnmower.

Read more about Katy St. Clair's Ambien-fueled adventures in this week's Bouncer column.
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Olive

743 Larkin, San Francisco, CA

Category: Music

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Dilaudid Abuse
Dilaudid Abuse

Probably, Shauna goes into damage-control mode when Vince must pass a drug test after being caught in a compromising position; Ari escorts an old flame to Bobby Flay's restaurant to get back at his wife following a rancorous session of couples ... On the other hand, we had to be thankful to the other characters in the show for they continue to indulge our night with terrific twist of their story and particularly on giving their best to delight our night and deliver such a spectacular show. ...

Dilaudid Abuse
Dilaudid Abuse

Probably, Shauna goes into damage-control mode when Vince must pass a drug test after being caught in a compromising position; Ari escorts an old flame to Bobby Flay's restaurant to get back at his wife following a rancorous session of couples ... On the other hand, we had to be thankful to the other characters in the show for they continue to indulge our night with terrific twist of their story and particularly on giving their best to delight our night and deliver such a spectacular show. ...

Coolnigga420
Coolnigga420

hmm.... perhaps I am new, but I cannot seem to make the connection between any of the implied occupations in your post, and "doling out" a variety of extremely heavily regulated Schedule 1 pain killers. Indeed, as the opiate pain killer "cycle" goes, recently regulation has increased for all drugs stronger than vicodin (excluding methadone). it is now more difficult than ever to prescribe the fentanyl, oxycodone, demerol, dilaudid, morphine, etc than it has been (probably forever).

so what, are you a pharmacist? a doctor? how do these jobs correlate with "Bouncer." how does someone who "doles" these drugs out not know about all of the hilariously increased regulation (regular urine testing to ensure that the patient is actually taking the drug, as well as for thyroid and liver function, no prescription refills, mandatory visits every 3-4 months, etc).

I know people who CANT get anything stronger than vicodin because their doctors are too afraid to even prescribe them low dosage oxycodone or dilaudid, or some other high strength opiod (injuries include 3 vertebrae spinal fusion from a motorcycle accident)

as I pointed out earlier, we are currently at the cusp of a "cycle" in prescription opiod use/treatment. certainly, more than ever before, prescription (and hence pharmaceutical, not illicit) opiods are at/near their peak of use and abuse.

but growing discontent is not new. it happened in the middle part of the 20th century. indeed, the 1980s and 1990s just barely started a resurgence in medical "re aquaintance" with moderate to strong opiod prescriptions for pain management.

with all that said: crippling addictions aside (cough nicotine cough alcohol cough benzodiazepams cough), if we could magically change the SOCIAL perception of opiate use, and magically legalize them overnight...

opiate addicts would no longer be gutter scum. legalization makes the drugs cheap, so no more theft or scrounging paycheck to paycheck for an addict to buy smack or llicit pharmacueticals at 10,000x their actual price

opiate addiction would no longer destroy lives and families because the SOCIAL stigma would no longer exist, and opiate users would on the same level as alcoholics and smokers.

it is just as easy to die of an opiate overdose as it is to die of an alcohol overdose. Go to the store and buy some Bacardi 151, and drink the whole bottle. for people who are not major alcoholics, this will kill you without intervention.

go to the store and buy some chewing tobacco, and swallow it. this will also kill you (unless you are a major nicotine addict) just like slamming 1 gram of pure heroin into your veins.

my point is this:

the genuine reason why opiates are illegal is because they have been illegal since victorian england and the opium trade. we have an inherited social stigma against their use.

laudenum and equivalent morphine extracts were extremely common in the 1800s because it was not widely known/advertised that they were identical to opium in all ways.

ultimately none the legal strictures has anything to do with the dangers of the addiction or the chemical itself.

these drugs are illegal because..... THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN illegal.... you cannot point to a MODERN scientific study or legal discourse.

these drugs have been illegal or socially marginalized since before the end of the Civil War.

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