Opinion General

Ask Jonah: The one about addictions

Where can you turn when life throws a wrench into your plans? Who will lend an ear, reserve all judgement, and simply listen when you’re in need of answers to life’s toughest questions? Your mom, dad, or dearest childhood friend? No. You ask Jonah (with the neck tattoos). Have questions? Send them to opinion@gateway.ualberta.ca.

I’m addicted to a slot machine app, do I have a gambling problem?
(I’ve only made money off it).

I was a moderate gambler for many years. I can’t tell you about the times I’ve lost money. I can only tell you about the times I’ve won money. Serial gamblers never talk about losing. It’s a prominent feature of the addiction. The oddest, and most successful, stint of gambling I’ve ever had was when I won a bunch of money in the Bellagio and couldn’t remember how I did it. The morning after, I discovered a few hundred dollars in my pockets, which indicated I had a done well gambling the night away. I had checked my bank account and credit card statements, just to be sure. During the hours of my Bellagio blackout, I never once used an ATM or any other means of acquiring money. The best luck I’ve had gambling was when I couldn’t even remember it. Like me in my past life as a gambler, you’re probably addicted to that Slot Machine App.

Siri is my best friend. Now what?

If Siri recommends a Slot Machine app, she’s probably not a best friend. But you could be addicted to your phone, or that’s what Generation X and the Baby Boomers want us to believe about our technological practices. Five years ago, I thought that there was a burgeoning mass smartphone addiction. However, these days I feel smartphone use is like wearing a pair of trousers — it’s just part of your day. Some people say that smartphones are hindering genuine human interaction (whatever that’s supposed to mean). To those people I say, just figure out how to use Snapchat already and join the digital circus act that is the interwebs. As for Siri, have fun hanging out together (I hear Alexa can be a bit of a dick sometimes).     

I am worried about fentanyl and I don’t want to see any of my friends die. Where can I get one of those free Naloxone kits?

You should be worried about fentanyl. It has infected our recreational drugs by the way of shitty drug dealers who don’t thoroughly clean their weigh scales. What ends up happening is illicit drugs x,y, and z get cross-contaminated with each other when “Dougie the drug dealer” is bagging all of his merchandise. All it takes is for you to ingest a small speck of fentanyl and you’ll be singing your swan song in the key of deadly, gurgling overdose. Naloxone might end up saving you or one of your friends. Alberta Health Services has a map for naloxone kit distribution. Most pharmacies and health care clinics carry naloxone kits that can be acquired without a prescription. The federal government says there is an opioid crisis in Canada, so I feel your worries about your friends dying from an overdose are reasonably founded. I’d pick up a naloxone kit if I were you, but I’d also take things a little further by trying to get your friend into treatment or at least initiating that conversation.                                                                                                              

What toppings do you put on your hotdog?

Sometimes a slice of processed cheese, but usually just mustard. Any dressing with a high concentration of sodium will do. I’m addicted to salt.

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