Articles and Essays, Ruffled Draft, Works in Progress

On Crack

Boom, [Crack, / ya think you’re all that], / the Beat goes On / and on and on and on and on.”  I had this neighbor friend  in Albuquerque–yes, in the Bad-lands of Bryan Cranston and gang–whom I had to rescue from the throes of a seizure he was on from crack, and might have died from.  He lay there sprawled in the hall, a seemly smell escaping his apartment, and barely croaking my name out of his throat. He was wearing underwear; I think even tightey-whiteys just like in the show. His eyes were sunken in, and purple, and looked like a raccoon’s–I mean, literally, looked like a raccoon’s.  Glassy, beady, darting alllll crazy! Then I realized the smell was coming from him. He shook and convulsed, and tried to get up to step the one single step from his door that was perpendicular to mine to knock on my door. He couldn’t. He fell in jerky slow-mo half-in, half-out of his apartment, smacking himself against the door and the dirty hallway floor as he seized, straightening out–only his fucked up muscles and nervous system, mind you, not his life–in seizure after seizure that he was fully awake for, aware of losing control and his muscles tightening up so stiffly he smacked his body on whatever was available, and couldn’t stop it. He tried to look at me and talk to me through the seizures. Y’know, between when his eyes were rolling back up in his head so that I could only see the whites, like he were some evil zombie ghost from a movie.
Now, I had a friend who had epilepsy in college. She drank too much and that’s what gave her the seizures, nine times out of ten.  But this was different….
Since he didn’t have epilepsy, there wasn’t a somewhat predictable broken, sizzling neuropathway that the crack sent his body’s electricity on.
. . .

Standard
Articles and Essays, Kettle-Cooked Epaulets

Behavioral Health by Brainwashing and Horror [draft]

A Lit Review of the Exposing of the (For-Profit) Teen “Help” Programs

Concern from a friend over the shock tactic and lack of large study sources for this Cracked article on troubled teen treatment programs prompts me to surf from that starting point, with my magnifying glass out.

My summary response to statistics for sourcing is to put in a plug for Qualitative Analysis of Narratives and Interviews.  That covered, . . . .

It looks to me like that Cracked article is a personal experience account. Granted, it is an essay written with some emotional rhetoric including sarcasm and maybe some sensationalism, it is a “sensationalist” (horror) story she’s been through. Also, the links are more “legit” articles, like “causing . . . [teens’] . . .problems _TO_WORSEN_” leads to a Washington Post article (though hasn’t that top newspaper has had a few of its own issues?) by the author of the book “Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids,” journalist Maia Szalavitz.  Several of the articles linked to are stories based on the book or the findings of the book, including the Vice.com article the next link at “_MY_STORY_IS_NOT_UNIQUE_,” but this article also includes quotes from new interviews with not only author Maia Szalavitz, but also a former teen sufferer of one of the programs.

I followed a link from this article about the 6 deaths in the past 8 years ( D: ) at programs under Aspen Education, one of the main, for-profit companies behind many of these teen “rehabs.”   A Salon article “Dark Side of a Bain Success” proved very comprehensive–and the finding of the for-profit political torture goes all the way to the top. Beware, more information into these programs and their far- and high-reaching backing by former and candidate Republican presidents just makes the reader sicker.  TRIGGER WARNING if you’ve had a negative teen, or adult addiction, rehab program experience.

What’s even sadder, though, is that the Wikipedia article on Aspen Education DOES NOT CONTAIN MENTION OF THIS CRITICISM or even links to it, and only mentions ONE of the young people who died in their “care,” of those SIX teen deaths!  Let’s change that!
In fact, the “Criticism” section on the Wikipedia page is actually self-serving to Aspen Education and their programs, critiquing the fact that programs were closed and staff switched, without mentioning why, because of the consequence of interrupting the continuity of a treatment plan–in fact, therefore, promoting sub-textually that the centers not be investigated or shut down . . . when this is exactly what the real critics are calling for!
(c) Copyright Sabri Sky January 18, 2014

Standard