©Val Douroux 2022


"I never had a problem with cannabis, mushrooms, or ecstasy.

It was the pills that were addicting."

I walked away from the car accident with whiplash and delusion. I was shocked to be alive, and therefore, I was "fine". On the surface, I was smiling. On the inside, I was dying a slow death. I was hanging on to something that was gone. I'd invested 2 years of everything into drug policy reform in Utah, and was grasping to pass it on to successors who'd betray me. On top of it all, my Grandma and Grandpa both died, 6 months apart from each other. Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, I was hurt, and would have done anything to alleviate the pain.

My older, wiser friend recommended I go to the doctor. My neck was inflamed and the entire left side was swollen. As I considered the cost of healthcare, I considered myself "fine". I just had an x-ray in Wyoming because paramedics insisted I could have internal bleeding. Turned out, it was fine. Which turned into a $5,555 medical bill.

My wise friend was careful with her words, and careful with her offer: She offered me 2 klonopin and 2 loratab. One to take now, the other, later. I paused like I had to think about it. In my mind, the decision was already made. Yes, God! Thank You! I took 2. 4. 6, 8! Who do we appreciate?!


Her offer was all I needed for a floodgate of disadvantaged opportunities to open.

Klonopin was my #1 pill. It made me calm, conscious, and grateful. The moment I took a pill, I'd breathed a little easier. I'd analyze every task at hand, lay out the steps, and patiently check off boxes. I'd call people I hadn't talked to in a long time and actually be excited about life. The only problem:

I couldn't remember anything.

I had a guy came up to me and say, "Valerie?!" "Who are you?" I'd asked. Apparently, we met while I was gathering petition signatures at Gallivan Plaza for the Good Samaritan Policy during a Twilight Concert. Apparently, I kissed this guy for a petition signature. As he was explaining this story, all I could think: Was I that desperate for a petition signature, or was I on Klonopin and that just seemed like a fun thing to do?

How do I not remember this?

Thank, God!

  1. That conversation got shut down in the name of the Lord! He was a friend of my boyfriend, and this was going down at homie's house. 4 homies in attendance.

  2. + 1 girlfriend who probably didn't kiss his friend.

  3. Oh! I cringed.

  4. Klonopin in all it's calm, spontaneous glory had me cringing time and time again! It also had me losing a lot of things. I lost my lipglass. My memory. My boyfriend.