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Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the roland-hedley-jr-is-on-the-case dept.

Businesses 511

The recent death by overdose of Google executive Timothy Hayes has drawn attention to the phenomenon of illegal drug use (including abuse of prescription painkillers) among technology workers and executives in high-pay, high-stress Silicon Valley. The Mercury News takes a look at the phenomenon; do the descriptions of freely passed cocaine, Red Bull as a gateway drug, and complacent managers match your own workplace experiences? From the Mercury News article: "There's this workaholism in the valley, where the ability to work on crash projects at tremendous rates of speed is almost a badge of honor," says Steve Albrecht, a San Diego consultant who teaches substance abuse awareness for Bay Area employers. "These workers stay up for days and days, and many of them gradually get into meth and coke to keep going. Red Bull and coffee only gets them so far." ... Drug abuse in the tech industry is growing against the backdrop of a national surge in heroin and prescription pain-pill abuse. Treatment specialists say the over-prescribing of painkillers, like the opioid hydrocodone, has spawned a new crop of addicts -- working professionals with college degrees, a description that fits many of the thousands of workers in corporate Silicon Valley. Increasingly, experts see painkillers as the gateway drug for addicts, and they are in abundance. "There are 1.4 million prescriptions ... in the Bay Area for hydrocodone," says Alice Gleghorn with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. "That's a lot of pills out there."

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Red Bull (1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#47548765)

Did you seriously just call Red Bull a gateway drug?

Tim Lord, you're a moron. Stop posting stories, this isn't your personal blog. And no, writing them and then having Roblimo or another slashdot editor post the stories doesn't make it any better. Just stop, we don't want your thoughts.

Re:Red Bull (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548809)

Did you seriously just call Red Bull a gateway drug?

Tim Lord, you're a moron. Stop posting stories, this isn't your personal blog. And no, writing them and then having Roblimo or another slashdot editor post the stories doesn't make it any better. Just stop, we don't want your thoughts.

He didn't call Red Bull a gateway drug, the article(s) did and he paraphrased to ask if anyone else's work environment treats Red Bull as a 'gateway drug.' It might be interesting to note, as we're all aware, that Red Bull is most commonly not treated as a gateway drug. If you arrive new on the job and a sage elder looks at you drinking a Red Bull and says "I remember when that sufficed but give it time and you'll be on the hard stuff like the rest of us ..." *taps his nose* then it might be considered a gateway drug.

Re:Red Bull (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549045)

He didn't call Red Bull a gateway drug, the article(s) did and he paraphrased to ask if anyone else's work environment treats Red Bull as a 'gateway drug.'

No, I work in a place where my manager needs to document why he failed, print it out, sign it and then deliver it his manager in order to ask a developer to stay late. And since everyone gets a minimum of 4 weeks of vacation per year, all project schedules assume that workers have 11 months of availability per year.

We probably ship just as much code per developer as any other shop.

Re:Red Bull (5, Insightful)

kentrel (526003) | about 4 months ago | (#47548879)

It's kind of a gateway drug, in that once you open the Red Bull gate you are entering a world where you pay triple for the equivalent energy of a banana, and the equivalent caffeine of a cup of coffee. It's kind of like a gateway to a world of dummies.

Re:Red Bull (4, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | about 4 months ago | (#47548943)

It's kind of a gateway drug, in that once you open the Red Bull gate you are entering a world where you pay triple for the equivalent energy of a banana, and the equivalent caffeine of a cup of coffee. It's kind of like a gateway to a world of dummies.

Unless of course you shop for Red Bull at Costco vs buying your Double Mocha Lattes from Starbucks. In which case your Red Bull caffeine price will be less than a quarter than that of the Starbucks content.

Re:Red Bull (2)

kentrel (526003) | about 4 months ago | (#47549155)

But then you could also buy your coffee at costco, and a nice flask, and you get your cheapest caffeine every day and less disposable cups going to landfills. Though, another point worth mentioning is that coffee's stimulant effect on the body wears off after a while as the body learns to adapt. Some athletes will give up coffee so that their caffeine gels are a bit more effective on race day.

Re:Red Bull (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 4 months ago | (#47549307)

But then you could also buy your coffee at costco, and a nice flask, and you get your cheapest caffeine every day and less disposable cups going to landfills.

You could also live in a country where you could grow and roast your own coffee beans. There is always a price vs convenience tradeoff.

Though, another point worth mentioning is that coffee's stimulant effect on the body wears off after a while as the body learns to adapt.

Which is great reason to kick the caffeine addiction habit in the first place.

Some athletes will give up coffee so that their caffeine gels are a bit more effective on race day.

There was an Australian Modern Pentathlon competitor who was sent home from the 1988 Soul olympics due to excess caffeine levels (but was later cleared).

Re:Red Bull (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549037)

That's mild financial stupidity compared to paying for a bottle of water instead of getting it from a fountain or tap.

Re:Red Bull (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about 4 months ago | (#47549035)

No, he redefined what "workaholic", "family man" and "high end" mean yet you choose to quibble over what constitutes a drug.
Even so, 32 oz of Redbull is no longer a felony in New York, while the non-collection of taxes on cigarettes still carries the death sentence.
Despite moderation, Eric Garner seems to be relevant to any discussion. Mostly because the right to life is unalienable, if you (and the police and Slashdotters) believe in God given rights. Or God. Did I miss anything?

Winners don't use drugs! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548767)

Insert coin

Re:Winners don't use drugs! (3, Insightful)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 4 months ago | (#47548997)

Winners do whatever the fuck they want, and succeed at not getting addicted.

Ban caffeine! (2)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 4 months ago | (#47548773)

It's a gateway drug!

Re:Ban caffeine! (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 4 months ago | (#47548859)

Ban the 'D'! It's a gateway letter for Drug!

Re:Ban caffeine! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548935)

Ban the 'D'! It's a gateway letter for Drug!

You can have my 'D' when you pry it from my cold dead hands! Wait...

Re:Ban caffeine! (5, Funny)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 4 months ago | (#47549219)

I guess the Mormons were on to something.

[John]

The only good thing (5, Insightful)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 4 months ago | (#47548781)

is that now that rich white people have drug problems (ie, "real" people), maybe we can muster up some sympathy for other addicted people now?

Nah, I'm dreaming.

Re:The only good thing (3, Insightful)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 4 months ago | (#47548797)

Why should they get sympathy? No one told them they had to get addicted. In fact they're constantly warned by society not to take them.

Re:The only good thing (3, Insightful)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 4 months ago | (#47548801)

Well I guess that's enough then.

Re:The only good thing (0, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#47548847)

Yes, it is, takes some fucking responsibility for your own actions.

Taking responsibility? Ha! (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#47548865)

Yes, it is, takes some fucking responsibility for your own actions.

That's delightfully naive of you. You think someone who is taking drugs to get high is somehow going to be interested in increasing their level of responsibility?

Re:Taking responsibility? Ha! (4, Insightful)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 4 months ago | (#47549013)

Why did they "have" to start taking drugs in the first place? If you take drugs and get addicted, that's your responsibility. Not anyone else's.

Re:Taking responsibility? Ha! (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#47549207)

I suspect that this conversation is a lost cause; but it's worth pointing out that that is one of the reasons why public health types get twitchy about prescription opiates.

Among those otherwise without access or interest in fairly serious drugs, an attempt at pain management following injury or illness can be a compelling introduction to the exciting world of stuff that's pretty close to heroin with better quality control. Not everyone develops a habit, of course; but it's an introduction that can happen regardless of circumstance.

Re:The only good thing (3, Insightful)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | about 4 months ago | (#47548855)

Where's the '-1 heartless' mod?

Re:The only good thing (-1)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 4 months ago | (#47548981)

How is that heartless? Addicted people get themselves into it. When I was in primary school, I was taught by all teachers to not take any drugs, smoke or drink excessively, even painkillers. I weighed up the consequences and decided not to do any of those things and not to hang around people who do those things. How hard is it to not do something, especially when almost everyone tells you not to?

Re:The only good thing (5, Insightful)

polyphemus (473112) | about 4 months ago | (#47549085)

When I was in primary school, I was taught by all teachers to not take any drugs, smoke or drink excessively, even painkillers...

Well, one problem is that the teachers lie through their teeth, demonizing marijuana along with heroin. But then you get to high school, and your friends are smoking weed, having fun, and they look fine. You've got older friends who have smoked pot on & off for years without visible consequences. So you try it and, sure enough, it's not the drug you were warned about by your teachers; it's actually fine, except for the consequences of getting caught. Your teachers lied to you, and now you know it.

And the irony is that the most dangerous, most addictive, most popular drugs (alcohol and tobacco), well, these the ones your teachers tell you to use in "moderation." They imply that there's relative safety in these drugs, which is another lie.

So how should you know about the dangers of addiction from heroin or methamphetamines, when your teachers are demonstrably lying to you about drugs?

Re:The only good thing (-1, Flamebait)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 4 months ago | (#47549225)

Well, one problem is that the teachers lie through their teeth, demonizing marijuana along with heroin.

As they should. I don't agree with the libertarian obsession with marijuana. I don't consider those teachers to have lied at all.

But then you get to high school, and your friends are smoking weed, having fun, and they look fine.

Then you're a fucking stupid kid who can't tell the difference between people looking fine and people being fine.

Your teachers lied to you, and now you know it.

No, because I look at all the kids who started marijuana very young and most of them do nothing of their lives except to look for the next high, the teachers were right that it could ruin your life. I have never felt life required mind altering drugs to be enjoyable. And I wasn't anywhere near those "popular" kids at school - I was an outsider and I made peace with that fact instead.

And the irony is that the most dangerous, most addictive, most popular drugs (alcohol and tobacco), well, these the ones your teachers tell you to use in "moderation." They imply that there's relative safety in these drugs, which is another lie.?

My teachers told us NOT to smoke at all. Some of them even said not to drink at all. And this was in a public school, not a private religious one. In health class, they also regularly showed videos about alcohol and tobacco. It doesn't take a genius to extrapolate that taking those substances at all might become worse.

So how should you know about the dangers of addiction from heroin or methamphetamines, when your teachers are demonstrably lying to you about drugs?

Because you should have learnt not to be a fucking nuisance and try to get along with the teachers. Me, an unsocial nerd all through life, had enough empathy to realize that my teachers weren't there to torment me. I even got suspended a few times, but still I understood from their perspectives the kids were just fucking arseholes.

Re:The only good thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549087)

How is that heartless? Addicted people get themselves into it.

It's heartless because it implies that addicts sat down at the kitchen table, made a Pro-Con list of addiction, and came to a reasoned decision to become an addict.

The reality, of course, is that many people hear all of their teachers' admonitions not to smoke, drink, or do drugs, and wonder what all the fuss is about. They think that one time won't hurt - look at all the teachers who smoke or drink alcohol. Look at all the successful celebrities who do drugs. And, inevitably, some of those who try just once want to do them again. And again. And eventually it just snowballs out of control.

It's heartless because most of us have made a bad decision while intoxicated, to the point where we'll disown that decision. "That's not who I really am - I was drunk." Or spazzed out on coffee. Most of us know that there comes a point where "you" aren't really making the decisions, because the whole point of drugs is to alter your thinking. It's a vicarious warning not to get out of control, but addiction ought to evoke some fucking sympathy.

Re:The only good thing (4, Insightful)

LainTouko (926420) | about 4 months ago | (#47548907)

How about the entirely unnecessary, bigoted coercion and force used against them by society to incarcerate them, which they wouldn't have to suffer if they were addicted to something mainstream, i.e. alcohol or tobacco?

Having your life ruined merely for being different is something which should attract sympathy from anyone.

Re:The only good thing (1)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 4 months ago | (#47549009)

Note you're the one bring the war on drugs into this. I'm merely addressing the CHOICE people make to start taking drugs in the first place. Why? Taking drugs is not "being different". You're not born taking drugs. In fact you have to go out of your way to do those things. Taking those substances is one of the very few things you are not forced to do in advanced society. Even if there were no war on drugs, people still get addicted and ruin their lives, or die, for something completely unnecessary.

Re:The only good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549139)

You live in a gated community, don't you?

Re:The only good thing (0)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 4 months ago | (#47549193)

Do you drink coffee? Congratulations: you take a recreational drug. And no, you didn't start with any more information then anyone else. You did it because everyone else does it.

Re:The only good thing (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about 4 months ago | (#47549245)

Just for me personally, no. I don't drink coffee or alcohol.

[John]

Re:The only good thing (1)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 4 months ago | (#47549303)

Do I drink coffee? No, actually. At least, not regularly enough to be called a "coffee drinker". I certainly don't drink it for the caffeine - I'm not sure I've ever felt the effects of it. I drink it for the bitter-sweet-milk taste. Otherwise, I mostly drink tea.

Re:The only good thing (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | about 4 months ago | (#47549051)

Yup, they're constantly warned by old people and movies alike, that only dumb, cool, sexy people with exciting lives do drugs. It's much safer to live like your boring suburban parents, who incidentally probably also do drugs-- at least alcohol, coffee, and antidepressants, if not marijuana and cocaine.

I actually don't do any illegal drugs or prescription drugs. I'm just pointing out that our society sends some seriously mixed messages.

Re:The only good thing (1)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 4 months ago | (#47549109)

Do teachers tell their students to take drugs? That's a pretty fucking clear message. They even tell kids not to believe in movies. Even as a kid I knew to listen to them. What excuse do other kids have? That they didn't want to be teacher's pets?

My parents never did drugs. My father escaped communism in China and my mother's family were poor. They buckled down and got out of poverty and avoided all addictions, even gambling. It isn't hard to not do something that isn't necessary.

Re:The only good thing (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 4 months ago | (#47549159)

Fine, you're a shining example and the rest of us larvae are not worthy, but please note you are living on a planet with 7 billion people on it; chances are they are not all as amazing as you. Hell, we can't even build integrated circuits with the latest and greatest technology that well.

Re:The only good thing (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | about 4 months ago | (#47549129)

Did you seriously just compare prozac to alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine????

Re:The only good thing (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548871)

"Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car." --Philip K. Dick

Re:The only good thing (5, Insightful)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 4 months ago | (#47548917)

Or the decision to be born into a hopeless environment with poor parents, all the while being kept that way by the drug and soda companies that profit hugely from your misery, like the Appalachians.

But hey, it's not like we don't give them a chance, right?

Re:The only good thing (1)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 4 months ago | (#47549031)

The people working at silicon valley don't sound poor to me.

Re:The only good thing (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 4 months ago | (#47549039)

Um, who said otherwise? Are you intentionally misunderstanding or was I too quick?

Re:The only good thing (1)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 4 months ago | (#47549075)

By bringing up economic status in the comments for an article about Silicon Valley workers, YOU. Otherwise, your comment was irrelevant. One or the other. Incorrect or irrelevant.

Re:The only good thing (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 4 months ago | (#47549181)

You always spend your time responding to incorrect or irrelevant posts, or do you just like to read yourself type?

PS: The summary itself brought up economic status, so I don't know what your problem is. Perhaps you should go back to your Mensa meeting and fellate people on your own level instead of wasting your precious, perfect time on grubs like us?

Re:The only good thing (1)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | about 4 months ago | (#47549243)

The summary brought up people working in Silicon Valley. You brought up poor people. Irrelevant.

Re:The only good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549329)

It's time for you two to get a room and have some make up sex.

Re:The only good thing (2)

h5inz (1284916) | about 4 months ago | (#47548999)

A guy has written a couple of nice stories. Oh lets quote him on a medical science issue, he can't be wrong!

Re:The only good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549073)

Pretty fucking sure PKD knows a thing or two more than the average asshole like yourself about drugs.

Re:The only good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548993)

It's not a drug problem if you can afford it... that's why rich white people have done drugs for years and no one cares. It's when you start stealing VCR and car jacking to buy your crack that it really becomes a problem.

Re:The only good thing (1)

colin_young (902826) | about 4 months ago | (#47549003)

Of course. That's exactly how it played out in the financial industry in the 80s.

Money - the ultimate natural selector (5, Insightful)

src1138 (212903) | about 4 months ago | (#47548811)

The article goes on and on about "workaholism" fueling the need for drugs. My ass - the key story referenced is the one about Hayes getting offed by a hooker injecting a heroin overdose on his yacht. I don't feel a lot of workaholism in that story - ridiculously overpaid unscrupulous douchebag with too much time and money that has saddened and humiliated his family managed to have what looks like plenty of leisure time.

Oh, and this shit is not new at all - been happening in this industry for decades. more noticeable now that a Googler has publicly disgraced himself.

I feel for his family - what a piece of shit.

Re:Money - the ultimate natural selector (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548913)

Drugs are a geat way to network.

Line up a guy with some coke, next thing you know, you got a job.

It's done in other places too and with other substances. How many of guys got a job at a local bar during happy hour? Or get the inside scoop on a new position?

I mean the folks who think skills are all the matters or even are the most important thing are fooling themselves.

It''s all about who you know. Obviously, you can't be a fuck up because they'll know you're one. But if you're good enough and save them the whole hiring process, you're in.

Re:Money - the ultimate natural selector (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548941)

You're a real armchair critic. What did this guy do to you that was so terrible that it warrants calling him a piece of shit? Live and let live. He was probably a better contributor to society than someone like you. Get out of your parents basement much?

Re:Money - the ultimate natural selector (1)

src1138 (212903) | about 4 months ago | (#47549055)

I got out of my parent's country as well - go back to your room, junior.

And, yes - what he did was bad enough for me to declare him a pile of feces.

Re:Money - the ultimate natural selector (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549191)

What did this guy do to you that was so terrible that it warrants calling him a piece of shit?

How about what he did to his family? Either he was this massive workaholic--that the article tries to imply is a basis for the drug use--obviously too busy getting drugged and/or hookered up on his yacht to spend time with his family or he was just someone who was too busy getting drugged and/or hookered up on his yacht to spend time with his family. Sure, "Hayes' family requested that the media not approach the front door of their gated $4.2-million mansion on Laurent Street" and they have the yacht to sell. But he's fucking dead. He could have well enough left the industry and retired some time ago to spend more time with his family, but then how could he fuel his drug/hooker addictions?

Live and let live. He was probably a better contributor to society than someone like you.

Yep. If he's paid millions of dollars, then all his moral wrongs can be just ignored in the name of being rich. And of course he deserved it, as clearly there's a hundred million jobs in the US that pay millions as a salary so it's just a matter of working hard and nothing to do with a severe selection bias that limits a handful of people who, no matter how hard they work, are paid disproportionately most heavily as a byproduct of luck. And it's all just to feed the most important things in his life--not his five kids or his wife which are relatively cheap, but his drugs, his hooker, and his yacht. Guess what got him killed?

Get out of your parents basement much?

Sure. To work. And since plenty of people work in areas with such high property rates, actually getting out of one's "parents basement" is a very uphill climb. Of course, in the old days it was considered pretty standard to live with family for a good bit of one's life because (1) family was important and (2) there wasn't some inherent shame in living with family. But, no, we got to have everyone be self-made millionaires who move out on their own. But since in cities there is so much more value out of commercial vs residential zones, be prepared to live in a shoe box apartment. Or if you live in the suburbs to pay through the nose and burn through plenty of unneeded gas because the public transport system wasn't built out property when the suburbs came in and those in the suburbs now don't want to have to be with the "common" people on the trains or otherwise see their area be devalued in any way or pay more in taxes to subsidize any sort of public system.

Because to make it, you have to have your own house with your own lawn and your own car. And that ridiculously expensive house can't go down in value or your "investment" just lost hundreds of thousands dollars. But damn the city for all those property taxes!

PS - Yea, over the top. And I agree the GP was to some extent, too. But the way you quickly fawn over the guy as "better" because of his "[contribution] to society"? The biggest way any father can contribute to society is by being a good role model for his children and helping to mold them to be good members of society. I don't think his death on a yacht helps in that regard.

Re:Money - the ultimate natural selector (1)

pla (258480) | about 4 months ago | (#47549081)

I don't feel a lot of workaholism in that story - ridiculously overpaid unscrupulous douchebag with too much time and money that has saddened and humiliated his family managed to have what looks like plenty of leisure time.

I agree with you about the workaholism angle as complete BS, but I think you go too far with the second half of your statement.

Geeks in general seem to seek out novelty, which as an underlying character trait, makes us good at what we do. Seeking altered states of consciousness, in my experience, just comes with that territory. That doesn't depend solely on having too much money and free time (though the lack of either certainly limits opportunities to get high) - Just how we view the world.


Oh, and this shit is not new at all - been happening in this industry for decades. more noticeable now that a Googler has publicly disgraced himself.

Really? I don't see it as all that disgraceful - He died having a good time, rather than lying in a hospital bed in agony. Good for him! I hope to die as well, someday.

Re:Money - the ultimate natural selector (1)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | about 4 months ago | (#47549103)

I hope to die as well, someday

Don't worry, you will.

Re:Money - the ultimate natural selector (1, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 4 months ago | (#47549157)

I have worked directly with CEO's in the past, when they are doing leisure they are still working. Their phone will go off all times of day.
So he may be on a Yacht, he was probably still working there.

The issue with drugs is it gives people an unfair advantage. At the cost of their long term health. If you are in an environment where everyone else is working 80+ hours per week, you need to in order to not look like a lazy employee dragging everyone down.

Darwinism in action ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548813)

If you can't take the heat, take meth.

If that kills you, you just weren't meant to survive.

No sympathy.

LSD and Intel (3, Interesting)

scum-e-bag (211846) | about 4 months ago | (#47548821)

Internet folklore from the days of Usenet had stories of Intels R&D divisions using LSD to creatively solve problems. It was never talked about, except when the compulsory workplace drug testers came to find their walkway blocked by higher powers when entering the R&D division.

Google has removed references from its search results.

Abusing Ice... (4, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | about 4 months ago | (#47548829)

I must be doing something wrong if the only thing I'm abusing is the ice pack on my sore back from sitting in front of a computer all day long.

Workaholism for the mega wealthy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548833)

Did you just fucking make an excuse for a super rich person getting addicted to drugs? Because he overworked himself? SERIOUSLY?

I bet you also look down your nose at the very poor to get sucked into drug addiction.

FUCK YOU

Re: Workaholism for the mega wealthy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548905)

It is called workaholic for a reason. All addictions have the same underlying causes.

And now that decriminalization . . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548839)

And now that decriminalization of all drug use (not just pot), by the WHO, is being suggested as the means to get rid of AIDS in the world . . the smart guys are going to do what?

Re:And now that decriminalization . . . (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#47549101)

not have to buy shady cut up drugs, and therefore have less of a chance of an OD because they can gauge how much they are taking??? no thats to loggical

Anytime there is significant money and pressure (1)

bferrell (253291) | about 4 months ago | (#47548849)

There are "solutions" that become problems in and of themselves. Workaholism is in the same category... It solves a problem for a while and then becomes a problem itself.

Dragnet (1)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | about 4 months ago | (#47548853)

"Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up amphetamines."

Re:Dragnet (5, Informative)

Skater (41976) | about 4 months ago | (#47548891)

That was Airplane!

Re:Dragnet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548989)

That was Airplane!

+1 Informative (if I had mod points left)

Prescription != illegal != illicit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 4 months ago | (#47548863)

illegal drug use (including abuse of prescription painkillers)

Is it illegal to abuse legally obtained drugs?

Re:Prescription != illegal != illicit (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#47548889)

Is it illegal to abuse legally obtained drugs?

Yes, it is. If your prescription says to take 1 tablet every 6 hours for pain and you take the whole 30 tablet bottle in a day you are illegally abusing a legally prescribed medication.

Re:Prescription != illegal != illicit (1)

Pascoea (968200) | about 4 months ago | (#47548927)

Is it illegal to abuse legally obtained drugs?

Um.... Yeah, it is.

Taking it in any way that is contrary to the written prescription is illegal.

I love the little mitigatory clause in there (5, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about 4 months ago | (#47548869)

"...illegal drug use (including abuse of prescription painkillers) among technology workers and executives in high-pay, high-stress Silicon Valley. ..."

I know a shit-ton of people whose lives/work is JUST as stressful working their 3 jobs to make ends meet, but since it's not "high pay" that would probably mean they're not worth talking about, right? Certainly, we're less interesting in the 'why' of their drug abuse issues, because they can only afford cheap mood-altering chemistry like booze and cigs.

Personally, I'd say the fact that Silicon Valley folks make stupid-large amounts of money means they have even LESS of an excuse to complain.

Lots of people have more stress for much less self-inflicted reasons than pursuing of giant piles of cash.

Re:I love the little mitigatory clause in there (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548957)

But you don't understand.
We can't have the rich assholes in California dropping dead from drugs. Poor people are boring and can fix their own shit.
But we need those rich people. Otherwise how will their money trickle down to us if their not there it make it and spend it?

Re:I love the little mitigatory clause in there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549023)

isn't the point rather that they do drugs because they can afford it - poor people have to suffer without.

Re:I love the little mitigatory clause in there (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549161)

Those people working 3 jobs are lucky, LUCKY!
Their low pay is keeping them out of harms way, they're not taking illegal drugs BECAUSE of their low pay.

Those highly paid googlers, they're living with that sword of Damocles above them. Think about that for a second.
That's why they deserve the extra pay.

This explains a lot (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 4 months ago | (#47548881)

No wonder there's so much shitty software being thrown out. People are too stoned or drugged up to have any idea of what they're doing and as a result we get crap such as Windows 8 or the near-monthly Facebook "updates".

But hey, drugs are cool and in no way should the deaths of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Peaches Geldoff, Cory Monteith, Heath Ledger, Dee Dee Ramone and a whole slew of other folks who felt being high was so great that they didn't care if they killed themselves in the process.

Unfortunately we'll have to keep hearing about how poor [insert name] died, how they were a good person and blah, blah, blah.

Fuck that. You think drugs are cool and being high is the thing to do, go for it. Just don't expect the rest of us to give a shit when you're found face down in your home.

Re:This explains a lot (5, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#47549173)

drugs are bad, and i will say that as a stoner. HOWEVER the war on drugs is even worse. We need to stop treating drug addiction as a criminal issue and treat it as a medical /mental health issue. If people who were addicts had access to clean, uncut drugs, one - they would stop dropping dead from ODs because they would be aware of how much they are taking, as well as not having to worry about what its cut with killing them. 2 they would be more likely to seek help as the stigma of being a criminal would be gone.

all you have to do is look at Portugal. they did this 10 years ago and drug related issues have dropped dramatically.

Re:This explains a lot (0)

reanjr (588767) | about 4 months ago | (#47549213)

You can believe all the misinformation if you'd like, but every single one of those people dies from heroin. Cocaine is a very safe drug (though highly addictive).

Not suprised (5, Insightful)

Alarash (746254) | about 4 months ago | (#47548883)

When I see the kind of shit my colleagues from Sunnyvale, who are on 80+ hours/week schedules, tend to release, I'm not surprised one bit. Of course I'm a lazy European socialist who only work 40-50 hours a week so what do I know.

Re:Not suprised (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549119)

The poor quality is probably less a matter of drug use than it is of ignoring a century's worth of research which says that working 80+ hours a week results in worse productivity and *far* worse quality than working 40 hours a week.

My experience with hydrocodone... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548887)

A couple of years back I broke my leg. I was given a prescription of hydrocodone and being afraid of them due to all of the addiction stories and the fact that, for some odd reason, my leg never really hurt that badly, I did not take them but I did keep them around. A few months after recovery I was working on my gait and felt something pop in my lower back. The next day I was in severe pain (it was at least 11) and I was told it was a pinched nerve.

I broke down and took one of the hydrocodones and about 20 minutes later, through the slightly lightheaded haze, I experienced some of the most intense, intense hours of extreme focus. I dedicated my time and wrung out tomes of code. It just flowed forth, from the mind of the keys to the screen. After about four hours, it would subside and I'd look back at my work in astonishment. The code was really, really good. I remember thinking to myself "I wrote that!?"

I continued for the next two weeks while my pinched nerve slowly became less inflamed and everything returned to normal. I had about two weeks worth of hydrocodone left in the bottle. But you know what? I had absolutely no desire to take them once the pain in my back was gone. I had no withdrawl symptoms, no shakes, fevers, or anything else. I also did not have a dimwit Valley manager breathing down my neck to finish a project so they could get their next bonus at my expense.

Having spent time working in the Valley, I have little desire to return, if any. Between the terrible drivers, rude hipsters, astronomical real estate prices, strange inexplicable odors, ridiculous grocery prices, PG&E, Comcast, the diseased hot-zone known as Fry's, wall to wall people who are completely oblivious to their surroundings and stand right in the goddamn middle of every aisle in every store ... living in the Valley is absolutely madness! If you live there and like it, you're either nucking futs or you've never experienced normalcy.

Re:My experience with hydrocodone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548933)

Classic ./ Post! ...and I just gave away my last modpoints dammit.

Re:My experience with hydrocodone... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549089)

I was given a few Adderalls by someone who's dose was increased. Just to see what it's like I broke one in half and took a very small dose (2.5mg). I can say my experience was similar to yours - focus like I've never had before. I can see how it would be tempting to keep taking them; probably could have gotten straight A's in college.

Re:My experience with hydrocodone... (2)

EzInKy (115248) | about 4 months ago | (#47549117)

Just an FYI, any one who gives an 11 when asked what their pain level on a scale of 0-10 is pretty much automatically labelled a drug seeker. 10 means the pain is the absolute most you could ever imagine experiencing. Think being disembowelled while being roasted on a spit here and the marinate being tincture of iodine. There simply is no higher score than a ten by non-druggies.

Re:My experience with hydrocodone... (3, Informative)

swb (14022) | about 4 months ago | (#47549319)

I had a bad accident which resulted in 2/3rds of my left ring finger getting amputated and the end joint on my middle finger getting fused. Needless to say, I was on a lot of painkillers. 40 mg oxycodone per day for about two weeks, which gradually tapered down to about 5 mg as needed, which amounted to about 5-10 mg a day for maybe 4 months.

Like you, I got kind of tired of the large doses after a while. They made me feel kind of sluggish and lazy. Even when I had tapered down I really kind of resisted taking a second 5 mg dose in one day unless I felt there was a compelling need. It seemed to be more bad side effects and less good value.

I eventually ended up mostly taking a single dose in the morning; for some reason my hand hurt worst in the morning and even if it didn't, not dosing in the morning usually meant my hand hurt worse than normal by mid-day and it was harder to recover (more meds, more time) once it got painful.

Like you, that single dose in the morning seemed to have a kind of calming focus. I'm also a huge coffee drinker, so I would imagine the combination was the key. But I never really wanted another dose during the day. I couldn't recapture the effect from the morning. I just got sluggish.

Unlike you I took them all, probably past where I had a hard-core need, but when they were gone -- zero sense of any withdrawal symptoms. Nothing. My sense is that addiction requires big doses that keep your level up nearly 24 hours a day for weeks. Tiny doses, like 5 mg, once a day probably just can't produce a true physical dependence because you go "dry" after about 8 hours.

I'd probably keep taking them if I had them, but only once a day, and that may be the difference. People who get addicted don't have that "it doesn't work so well in the afternoon" effect; for them it works every time and they really notice it when it stops. I just had no interest in more, it worked against me.

Hydrocodone, Cocaine, and Methamphetamine (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 4 months ago | (#47548893)

They're not an epidemic solely in Silicon Valley, and although I get

that location makes it a nerd story, you can tell this same sad tale in nearly any modestly sized City.

An interesting question is, "Are the abused prescription drugs more widely available to top earners?"

The oxys and hydrocodone are super-addictive, and may (to their detriment)

be more widely available by prescription to folks who seem to have their act together... physician's discretion, if you will.

Biaised article and subject (2)

Jules IV (1010773) | about 4 months ago | (#47548899)

Timothy Hayes died from an heroïne overdose, likely injected by an escort. Its murder first degree and not an executive that was hooked or had any narcotic issue. If I were his family, I'd rather be very angry about anyone linking his death to a suddent increase of narcotic abuse in the IT world...

Re:Biaised article and subject (1)

SpzToid (869795) | about 4 months ago | (#47549223)

It could've been an accidental overdose, although reports from The Prosecution regarding the video evidence seem to indicate the alleged and easily identifiable tattooed hooker was rather cold-hearted given the accident/situation, and more than willing to walk away from all of it entirely, with the curtains drawn once it all went down, perhaps even with some sense of thrill given her past praise published on the internet for the TV series known as 'Dexter'. She could have looked around for a phone somewhere and at the very least dialed 911 as quickly as possible.

If this case was a result of Google Exec stress, then it has to due with the levels of competition not just in order to compete and to survive within Silicon Valley, but also the extremely high cost simply trying to live to get a job in the first place, and then subsequently have anything close to an actual life there. Some will survive and survive very well, and others will not. Which is what this story is all about. Stress is stress after all.

I think Charles Dickens even wrote a book on the subject called a Tale of Two Cities. Economists have termed this phenomenon as economic disparity; which of course drives competition.

But a psychotic self-absorbed young hooker might also be the predominant story here.

Red Bull as a gateway drug? (5, Insightful)

Galaga88 (148206) | about 4 months ago | (#47548911)

I've known a lot of people with very poor time management and life skills, who lived in constant panic and crunch time as a result. Rather than managing the introspection required to address their personal failings that were leading to this, they'd just down as much Red Bull as they could under the misguided belief that it'd give them the energy to deal with all of their crap.

So is it any surprise that they then turn to meth or other real drug to try and improve on the boost energy drinks may or may not have been giving them? (I have no idea if they work, they just made me short term wired and irritable.)

Red Bull's not a gateway drug - but it's often co-morbid with personality types that are going to find their way into meth. Obviously the vast majority of people aren't using it as some kind of "gateway" to meth, or else we could call coffee a gateway drug too.

Re:Red Bull as a gateway drug? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549247)

Rather than managing the introspection required to address their personal failings that were leading to this...

Ah, yes! All it takes is to sit down and think about it because everyone is brought up the same way and with the same values.

See, I grew up in an extremely angry alcoholic household. I didn't know it growing up because as far as I was concerned (I was a child after all!) that was normal. As I grew up, gradually I started to see a pattern but was clueless as to exactly what was the problem - I pretty much thought that people sucked. Drinking a bottle of wine at a time was normal. Screaming at someone to be "assertive" was normal.

It was when I sought CBT (a lots of money on it because insurance didnt cover it and I didn't want the MIB and subseqquently the insurance companies to know I had psych problems - pre Obamacare that was a REAL problem).

After 10 years and over $60K, I got a bit better. Money well spent because I was on a track to stick a .45 up someone's ass and end up in jail.

I am still a bit "odd" as some of my aquaintances have told me, but I've decided that social odd is OK.

In short, many screwed up people don't realize it because it's normal for them.

And I'd like to point out, our consumerist culture and valuing this "live to work" attitude is pretty fucked up. This measuring people by the size of their income is incredibly shallow.

And looking at someone else's life with 20/20 hindsight is incredibly judgementmental and compassionless. Which I find extremely hypocritical of social conservatives who profess to be "Christian" when that whole religion is about caring, compassion, and forgiveness - at least when you tear off the Old Testament from the Bible.

As far as me, I follow the 8 fold path in Buddhism when I don't have a clue about how to act or treat people.

Never the less, if you have truly lived you will make mistakes that at the time seem prefectly reasonable and looking back, someone will say, "How could you have been so stupid!?"

I on the other hand, will just nod my head in empathy and I might ask if there's is something I can do to help because I have probably been there too.

Where's the drug tests? (5, Insightful)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about 4 months ago | (#47548929)

There are those who would test all welfare recipients for drug abuse on the grounds that poor folks are users. Never mind that the data shows most people on welfare work and stuff.

Those really looking to solve societies ills might do better to test the other end of the economic spectrum.

NO WAY!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47548969)

Young people with money are doing drugs!!! You've got to be freaking kidding me!!

Here's an idea. (1)

KDiPietro (3765499) | about 4 months ago | (#47548975)

How about if everyone simply agrees to stop telling everyone else how they should best live their lives - before everyone else starts thinking they have a right to tell you how to live yours. Yes, I know, land of the free apparently means we have the freedom to tell everyone else how to live.

Wolf of Wall Street (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549021)

If that movie has even a grain of truth, then it would seem that this behavior is common in many people with lots of money regardless of industry.

Top Advice! (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | about 4 months ago | (#47549057)

It is very hard to write C code, machine and the logic for chip fabbing whilst stoned or tripping. Let it all wear off before jumping on that terminal! That's today's top advice. Peace! :0)

How is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47549111)

Rich executives taking cocaine/drugs, who would have thought.

The magic D word (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 4 months ago | (#47549121)

As soon as drug usage is mentioned in a given area of commerce, the federosaurus gets to suspend the Constitution. Silicon Valley is being seen as a place of wealth right now, and invoking the drug war gives authorities the right to steal however much of it they want without due process.
And no, developers don't shoot heroin to get projects completed faster.

Silicon Valley problem? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47549149)

Silicon Valley problem? No... it's an American problem. Is there anyone here that doesn't know someone with an addiction problem? It's part of our culture. Who we are, and what we have is never good enough. There's always someone better on TV, the movies, the internet, and why aren't our bodies like that? Why am I not that calm? Why am I not that strong? Why can't I deal with stress that well? We're spoon fed lies via a screen and then find there is no natural way for us to meet our fictitious ambitions so we turn to unnatural means.

It's like the High Striker hammer game at the fair.
The bells not the goal.
Try, do your best, then be proud you had the opportunity to attend a fair and waste some time trying to hit a bell.
Injecting yourself with steroids just so you can hit a damned bell is insanity.
And yes, the majority of our life goals in this country are about as inane has trying to hit that bell.

not worth it (3, Interesting)

fightermagethief (3645291) | about 4 months ago | (#47549167)

To anyone considering the use of meth or adderall or whatever, the quality of any creative project will suffer for it. I find it easy to not get addicted, but there is no upside whatsoever to speed use. You will feel like you are reaching new levels of productivity or alertness, but all carefully measured reason goes out the window. You will wake up after regaining sobriety, perhaps years later, and be severely disappointed with any work that you did under the influence. If you have to absolutely stay awake, like maybe a nightmare on elm street scenario, if you can do ONE single key bump of coke it may be okay. DO NOT try and continue the 'high'. Source: I did meth once for like 5 years.

Here in Providence, RI (1)

kilodelta (843627) | about 4 months ago | (#47549261)

All first responders from cops to firefighters all carry Naloxone for heroin overdose.

Which is proactive in my opinion. But the problem exists even here. We've had a number of heroin overdoses the last few years that resulted in death. Now that there's a treatment available people no longer need to fear the first responders so much.
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