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September 30, 2012
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October 7, 2012
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I heard an interesting explanation about drug overdoses…

that I’ve been thinking about using in a short story. A research finding stated that a majority of drug overdoses take place away from the drug user’s home. I would have guessed it had to do with someone giving the drug user too large a dose, but that’s not the case. The dose that kills is typically a normal dose. Heroin users usually take drugs in environments that they are used to. They score, take it back to their home and shoot up. When they get high in the normal environment, there’s a certain amount of drugs that are required to get high. Their body responds in a familiar way to familiar circumstances. When they take the same amount of drugs in a new, unfamiliar environment, that same amount can cause death.

This all relates back to conditioned responses. Pavlov’s dogs? Basically, when the heroin was taken in a strange place the conditioned response didn’t work because the person was “expecting” the drugs. The usual dose then leads to an overdose and death. Originally I was thinking about using this idea in a short story, but the idea has caught on and I’m wondering about conditioned responses in my own life – about the things I do every day. My conditioned responses to writing: I typically write in my own home, on the back porch, occasionally in an airport or hotel, but that’s about it. When I pour a cup of coffee, open my laptop, and open up my word document my mind settles into a familiar pattern. But, what happens when things are shaken up? I’m thinking I should try writing long hand, in unfamiliar settings to see the outcome on the writing. I was in a car dealership recently and listened to a manager give his sales team a pep talk about a new car. The manager was over-the-top condescending. It would have been a great place to write…