A time when a sprinkle of ‘salt’ could end your tenure on earth

Country Living with Francis Farragher

If I had a euro for every time that I was told Ireland was awash with drugs, then my little nest egg accumulation would amount to a tidy sum.

At this stage of my term on earth, I doubt if I’ll encounter any new drugs issues, apart from the few pints in the local or a couple of Nurofen Plus if the back ‘kicks up’ or I stupidly burst a thumb while cleaning the farmyard.

I do remember once, alas many decades ago, being offered what was described to me as ‘a pull from a weed’ in the old Cellar Bar in Galway, a favourite haunt for UCG students on the few occasions in the month when we might have a few bob to spare for a couple.

The offer wasn’t refused – and that’s not a boast – but whether I was being fooled or not the drag seemed to have no impact whatsoever on my system, and that’s where the issue has rested ever since.

My mother, many moons ago too, not being a woman with any grá for the alcohol, used to remind as teenagers, that there was ‘mí-ádh’ in drink.

One thing about the Irish language is how it throws up some wonderful words like ‘mí-ádh’, but her expression pretty curtly summed up where we could expect to end up if we ‘took to the drink’.

However, while the drag from the weed, made no impression, doubts have often been expressed about my willingness to take the ‘mí-ádh’ advice, but that’s another story altogether.

My only other experience with substances was a very medically and legally correct one around a decade ago, when a relatively straightforward knee operation resulted in a fair measure of acute pain for a day or two.

The first round of painkillers in the hospital didn’t work but I was assured that the next round would ‘do the business ‘and so they did . . . a shot of intravenous morphine which took me into a different world.

Now, I’ve come across people who’ve been put on morphine for a day to overcome acute pain issues, and who did not have a good experience with it . . . but for me it did the trick.

Pictured: Fentanyl: the equivalent of an extra shake of salt can be the difference between a ‘high’ and death.  

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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