Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How to be a Drugs Worker Part 2

Always address your client as man.

When speaking to clients use hippy terminology, such as heavy, far out and groovy. Always refer to money as bread.

Another prayer request

I am feeling frustrated at the moment because I have not started the main function for which I was employed. I am in the post, but I cannot do the job until a certain agreement is made with another organisation. A result of this is that I am travelling a lot further to work than I am supposed to.

Please pray that this agreement is finalised and signed.

Thanks for all your prayers, people.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Drug Tests

I am temporarily based at the service in Watford.

Today I learned how to carry out urine and swab tests for drugs (for clients on probation). Not something I will ordinarily be doing, but it is good to learn new stuff. When doing the urine test, you have to watch the client do their business.

New Car

My parents got me a new car on Saturday. I am picking it up next Saturday.

Its a second-hand Hyundai Get.

I have to drive to the outskirts of London to pick it up. I am a bit nervous about the journey so I would appreciate your prayers.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Moderate or Good

Believe it or not I am setting my radio alarm really early these days so I can listen to the shipping forecast.

I just love the shipping forecast! Like every other landlubber, the shipping forecast means absolutely nothing to me, yet that is why it so pleasurable to listen to. I can just lie in my bed and let these mysterious announcements wash over me and be glad that I don't have to worry about it. It has such a soothing effect.

Meanwhile the captain of a ship somewhere is bracing himself for a terrible storm.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Organising a formal debate

I was due to lead the structured day programme today. This is a programme of group activities for people with drug and alcohol problems. The activity that had been planned for the group had been cancelled and so my boss asked me to come up with an activity for the clients.

I suggested getting them to do a formal debate and she liked that idea. She got them to debate the causes of addiction:

Addiction is due to personal choice


Addiction is caused by society.

A great subject because it addresses questions of blame and responsiblity.

The clients found the activity very challenging, but they nevertheless had a really good debate.

I bet you never realised how diverse drugs work can be.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cooked Breakfasts

For over a week I have been eating cooked breakfasts every morning. Not a full English breakfast with all the trimmings, but sausage sandwiches or black pudding (by the way, if anybody thinks Christians should not eat black pudding, see on of my earliest posts).

The great thing about cooked breakfasts is they give you so much energy to get through the day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ATM Cash Machines

Did you know that if you exceed your overdraft limit on an ATM cash machine, the screen flashes the message:

Think again, pal. Your shelf is empty!

Actually, I just made that up. But it would be cool they did.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Monkey: Journey to the West

I have been listenting to some amazing music.

Remember the BBC theme tune to the 2008 Olympics? The amazing cartoon with the monkey? That was a remix from Damon Albarn's most recent musical project.

Damon Albarn, formerly of the rock band Blur, surprised everybody recently by composing a Chinese opera based on the Chinese epic, Journey to the West, by by Wu Cheng'en. This music is absolutely amazing. It makes use of electronic music elements and a little bit of rock music, but it utilises the Chinese pentatonic scale rather than western musical structures.

I started reading Arthur Waley's translation of Journey to the West and am really enjoying it. It tells the story of Prince Tripitaka, a Buddhist monk who journeys to India to retrieve sacred scriptures. He is accompanied by three strange characters, the deified monkey king, a pig-like creature and a river demon. If that sounds a little familiar, it may be that you have seen the 1970s Japanese tv series based upon the story.

Journey to the West is an epic story, with fantastic monsters and creatures to rival Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Yet it is a story on an even more cosmic scale, taking place in heaven as well as earth.

The story contains some hilarious political satire. The Chinese believed their gods were organised along the lines of their own society. Journey to the West reflects this by portraying the celestial realms as being run by divine, but small-minded and incompetent bureaucrats.

Part of the reason I love this work is that it is based on a supernatural cosmology. The various beings of earth interact with heavenly beings who have a definite physical location. The tragedy of modern science is that it has left the west with a cosmology that is entirely physicalist and materialist. It sees only a vast material universe of decaying stars and cold, dead planets. Christianity has largely abandoned the idea of a definite place called heaven. Theologians are often quick to insist that there is no heaven 'up there.' If that is the case, then we have a real problem making sense of the Ascension of our Lord.

We have to recover the idea of a cosmos composed of regions celestial, terrestrial and infernal, populated by spiritual as well as earthly beings.

First male client

Usually drugs services treat more male than female. Strangely, enough I only did my first male client assesment today. So far most of my clients have been alcoholic ladies with child protection and domestic violence issues.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Professor Nutt had a point

Outrage was expressed in parliament yesterday over comments by one of the government's senior drugs advisors, Professor David Nutt. Nutt had pointed out that horse riding caused more deaths annually than the drug ecstasy. The home secretary, Jackie Smith demanded he apologised for the comments.

It is unfortunate that our leaders are so quick to miss an obvious point; that is that ecstasy causes only a small number of deaths in comparison with activities that are seen as perfectly normal. If the sole reason for keeping ecstasy illegal is that it is dangerous, why are other more dangerous activities permitted?

The home secretary has made it clear that she will dismiss recommendations by her scientific advisors that ecstasy shoiuld be downgraded from a class A to a class B drug. This raises the question of what the point is of having advisors if government ministers announce they will ignore their recommendations.

Monday, February 09, 2009

How to be a drugs worker

I say to the client:

I forbid you to ever take drugs again.

The client goes home and never takes drugs again.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Travelling in bad weather

I just made an horrible journey to Watford in this dreadful weather. I made it here, but I still got to drive back.