Sometimes your mind just needs a little altering.

I vaguely remember, and I've read about a bit, the "war on drugs" before the outbreak. What I remember is that it was very controversial. It shouldn't have concerned me, since I was so young, but it just so happened that my mother had some serious mental health issues, and was therefore often heavily medicated, and a good portion of that medication was self-prescribed. When she got in the spirit to right her condition, the doctor usually prescribed her lithium. I remember how she would start being sick in the mornings for the first few days, then the drain in the shower would soon fill with the hair she was loosing. She was still beautiful, even with thinned out hair and the 10 or 20 pounds she would loose every time, but she didn't feel beautiful, so the treatments never lasted long. And so, whenever she got sick of being sick, and sick of being depressed, and sick of her imaginary friends all at the same time, she would call up her old friends who seemed to always be available. She used to say that even though mom wasn't her most regular customer, she was definitely her favorite. Mom would give her a big wad of cash, and she would hand her a little box. Once, I got curious as to what was in this secret box, and when mom was out one day I snuck in her room and opened it. It was full of this white powder, I thought it looked like sugar. I smelled it and it was smelled wrong, so I left it alone and didn't bring it up with mom. When I got to learning about human biology and medicine, I learned that it was probably cocaine.

Since my mother was a drug user, and I was a child who loved my mother dearly, whenever the issue has ever come up about drugs and the old war on them, I've had to avoid the conversation. But just because I've never voiced my opinions, doesn't mean that I don't have them.

Nowadays, there is no war on drugs. They're not legal, it's just that there is no extra military or police presence to warrant it. It's just become excessively hard to find them. Since everyone is basically living on government property, there are apartment checks to make sure everything is working properly, like stoves heaters and air locks. It's pretty difficult to grow suspicious plants or cook suspicious chemicals when a soldier could be knocking on your door at any given moment. However, there is still the occasional user and a few pushers left, they're just increasingly hard to come by. It's almost like people were using so much before simply because it was illegal, taboo, naughty.

I personally don't believe mind altering drugs should be legal. However, seeing what my mother went through, and seeing what the undead go through to get to what they are, I see the necessity for them. There are things in this world that human bodies and human brains are not capable of surviving. We can't live through some types of pains and illnesses and conditions without help. Drugs may not give you super powers, but they sure do seem to make your lack of super powers a little bit easier to cope with.

At the beginning of the outbreak, families of the undead could get prescriptions for controlled drugs, usually anti-depressants, sometimes something stronger. We stopped doing that a couple years in, though, because people were getting hooked. I think they were getting hooked for good reason. Who wants to remember every day that their oldest daughter suffered insufferable pain, then died, then wanted to kill you? Who wants to remember every day that their mother, who said she'd protect them from everything bad, turned into, for all intents and arguments, a fucking zombie? Nobody. It's one of those pains that a human body cannot survive alone. However, we should never have given those drugs to the public in the first place. That pain can be overcome in time, it can be survived, if you wait it out long enough for it to fade on its own, but if you neglect dealing with it for years, and suddenly you try to take it on by yourself, it will hit you with a force ten times what it would be initially. My aunt didn't believe the drugs would make things easier on me or her, so as my guardian, she declined them. I'm glad she did. I never would have made it to be the person I am today if I had avoided that chest-pounding sorrow.

I do wish, however, that we had a drug to relieve the pain of the undead as they die. The parasite, as you know, eats away at everything, the brain in particular. Fortunately for the parasite, and unfortunately for doctors, they burrow down to the center of the brain, and become so entangled in the nerves and tissue there, that you can't remove the parasite without killing the infected. This also means that there is no way to ease the pain they're going through. During the hours that they're dying, they feel pain everywhere: their arms, legs, back, everything hurts excruciatingly. However, no tested drugs can ease that pain because it's an action, not a reaction. Usually, pain in your body is your brain's way of telling you something is wrong, something is injuring you. The parasites bite down on the receivers and transmitters in your brain, and basically just confuse you so much it hurts. Your brain tricks your nerves into thinking there's something stimulating them, even though there's not a thing there except your brain and the bugs that are quickly making themselves at home and re-writing your neuro-pathways. It's terrible, and no chemical can relieve the resulting pain. No chemical kills the bugs, it just kills the human, so it's pointless to try that route, and anything that would usually slow brain function enough to relieve pain is cancelled out by those parasites, who work so quickly the brain is forced to keep up, regardless of the drugs pumped into it.

In short, we are no closer to relieving the pain of the infect than we are to curing them. The best we can do is try to keep everyone in this seemingly eternal quarantine til the bugs run out of food, which is unlikely to happen until the end of the human race. We haven't managed to go without an infection, world-wide, more than 24 hours, and 24 hours isn't even close to how long the eggs stay viable before hatching. The population is slowly dropping, by about 300 people a year world-wide. If we don't stop this thing by the time Belle's generation is dead, it's unlikely humanity will survive.

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