(Harbor Freeway, Los Angeles)
There are days when I wonder if somebody’s out to get me.
A couple of weeks ago I was walking through a supermarket parking lot not far from the store’s entrance. A car came from out of nowhere, moving way too fast for a parking lot and nearly hit me. Missed hitting me in the back by maybe an inch. Or less. A security guard nearby made a comment about the driver being “nuts.”
Yesterday, I was crossing the street in front of my house, at the corner, and a car came barreling in at high speed. I had to run to avoid being hit. The driver waved at me as he passed by. The bonehead actually waved at me. Acknowledging what? That he’s an idiot who shouldn’t be allowed to drive? The road was clear of traffic for a block in each direction when I stepped off the curb (I do look both ways before crossing), so he must have seen me for at least a block before reaching my location. Apparently he had to really step on the gas to have even a chance at running me down. Which appears to have been his objective. Or, maybe he’s just brain dead or on drugs. Those are distinct possibilities. Legal and illegal, more than half the city is on one drug or another.
A study in 2008, indicated that more than half of all insured Americans were taking prescription medications on a regular basis.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration:
- Nearly 7 million Americans are abusing prescription drugs—more than the number who are abusing cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, Ecstasy, and inhalants, combined. That 7 million was just 3.8 million in 2000, an 80 percent increase in just 6 years.
- Prescription pain relievers are new drug users’ drug of choice, vs. marijuana or cocaine.
- Opioid painkillers now cause more drug overdose deaths than cocaine and heroin combined.
- Nearly 1 in 10 high school seniors admits to abusing powerful prescription painkillers. A shocking 40 percent of teens and an almost equal number of their parents think abusing prescription painkillers is safer than abusing “street” drugs.
So maybe that was it? The incident in the parking lot wasn’t far from a hospital and numerous doctor’s offices, so maybe the guy had just seen his doctor for a refill?
I don’t like jaywalkers. They irritate me. But I wasn’t jaywalking. I was legally crossing the street at an intersection. And I wasn’t dawdling around, I was moving right along. In both cases, it felt like these guys were making an effort to hit me.
Be careful out there people. There’s something in the air. Maybe it’s just here in Los Angeles? Whack jobs and dopers behind the wheel?
Beyond that, if you’re lucky enough to escape the danger posed by driver’s on drugs, you may be at risk from the drugs themselves.
Melody Petersen, author of Our Daily Meds, writes that more than 100,000 Americans die each year from taking prescription drugs, and not because the doctor or the patient or the pharmacist has made a mistake. 100,000 die from taking the drugs as prescribed.
You have to wonder why the media (what used to be called “the press”) isn’t paying more attention to the problem. Digging in and doing some real journalism. Getting to the bottom of it. Think the millions of dollars big pharma pours into advertising has anything to do with it?
Like I said, be careful out there.