7 responses to “Why I don’t think it’s funny to use Limbaugh’s drug abuse as a punchline.”

  1. Kaitlyn

    By his hypocrisy I assume you mean his opinions on drug laws?

    His hypocrisy (and his voice…) burn me up. Why can’t he be sympathetic to… reality different yet similar to his own?

    I do understand this post, and since my pain has increased, I have never gone, “Ha ha, he’s a drug addict.” I do – if I think about him – rarely address his pain medication usage, except for the hypocrisy. It’s not a joke, it’s an addiction, and he doesn’t deserve derision. I’d say he deserves sympathy, but I’m no saint. Maybe understanding? I’d love for him to talk about his struggle with pain or pain killers… but I don’t see him admitting a “weakness” like that.

    I hate that it’s called “hillbilly heroin” – classist and ableist! Plus, he got so much derision for taking it and omg, now I’m taking it, what does that make me?

  2. Gossamer

    Thank you for writing this. I feel the same way about people shaming Rush Limbaugh for having an addiction as I do about them shaming him for being fat. Neither one is a valid criticism. I can think of many others things to criticize him for, just off the top of my head.

    Also, I’m not positive but I recall reading that he began taking narcotics for back pain/surgery.

    I’m sorry you have to deal with this crap, Amandaw. Sorry any of us do.
    I just don’t have the energy to fight people’s assumptions and condemnations concerning the treatment of my chronic pain. I feel so powerless to do anything to change people’s opinions or inspire any empathy, I just want to curl up and cry. If I’m too assertive in defending narcotic pain control, then I’m clearly an addict who’s afraid of my supply being cut off. If I’m silent about the subject, I’m not allowed to complain about the effects of this stigma on my life, ’cause, you know, I don’t do anything to fix it. Can’t win. It’s not enough that the pain’s wreaking havoc, also have to contend with the judgment, disdain, etc. It’s not fun. I want to be able to focus on my life and getting along with it.

  3. Elana

    I agree that no one should be denied necessary pain relief or any other medication, just because some people choose to use it recreationally. I also do not disagree with you that ableism contributes to people not taking your need for pain relief seriously.

    However, I think there is another angle that this could be taken from.

    I don’t think that your access to medication would be nearly as hindered by people wanting to get high if recreational drug use wasn’t stigmatized and criminalized.

    Many if not most recreational drug users are responsible, and the problems associated with drug use are caused or made worse by stigmatization and the war on drugs – not made better.

    Addiction is particularly stigmatized and people seem to forget that no one plans on getting addicted to drugs. But once someone does get addicted, addiction is a disease, and stigmatization and criminalization hinders access to treatment.

    This blog entry seems to be normalizing the stigmatization of recreational drug use, and I’m not sure if that’s helpful for anyone.

  4. Elana

    I just wanted to clarify one thing. When I say that addiction is a disease, I’m not referring to people who have built up tolerance to their pain medications and who experience withdrawal if they go off it.

    I’m just speaking about people who use substances compulsively, even when they know its not in their best interest.

  5. Kaitlyn

    Gossamer – I have Al Franken’s mid-90s book on Rush Limbaugh. I hate the title, which I won’t repeat here. (It picks on his weight and “intelligence”.) (I cannot believe my father listens to him – I have 3 sisters – he picked on a young girl because he disagreed with her father. And there’s his Matthew J Fox “impression”.)

    I don’t actually think about the man too much, unless he says something outrageously racist or sexist enough to pop up on a show or blog.

    You know what else bugs me? Whether he has pain or not (maybe that’s why he’s so grumpy *nods*), I’m sure his wealth and celebrity make it easier for him to chemically deal with it. While I spend a week crying and lashing out because my insurance is made up of sadistic robots. And since he’s had health problems, you’d think he’d be more sympathetic to insurance issues. (I like to out hyperbole them – they have “death panels”, I say “the man on TV wants me dead.”)

    Of course there’s always the question that accompanies the more extreme right wing voices – is this an act or do they mean it? What’s worse?

    This isn’t the place to discuss it, of course, it’s been hashed out a million times.

    Amandaw – Using him is a great idea. It’s “oh, he’s in pain, poor guy” vs “shut off the radio NOW” – how dispassionate can you be when dealing with the issues.

  6. Snarky's Machine

    I come from a harm reduction framework and have worked hard to rid my language of terms which aren’t in line with that model. That said, having spent the better part of the 90s listening to his show (due to a boss who loved talk radio) and hearing some of the truly vile things he has said about POCs and host of other marginalized populations I can’t say I can feel much of anything for him.

    That said, I do not support folks taking cheap shots at a person who is clearly going through some things. There are tons of legitimate critiques of him and while generally I am all about some Schadenfrauden, I cannot get down on this particularly brand of it.