Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Guacamole

Best Guacamole

Best of 2012: San Antonio has its share of great guacamole makers, but it's hard to find a more devoted and careful team of avocado artists than those found at this River Walk... 4/25/2012
Best Public Place to Have Sex

Best Public Place to Have Sex

Around Town: Critic's Pick: 4/23/2014
Best Pizza

Best Pizza

Food: Reader's Choice: 4/23/2014
Best Sandwiches

Best Sandwiches

Food: Reader's Choice: 4/23/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

Helton's 'Drugs' doesn't demand destruction or redemption

Photo: , License: N/A

Drugs by J.R. Helton, Seven Stories Press, $15.95, 251 pages


There is, however, plenty of condemnation of the medical-penal industry. Helton's flat tone — not unlike the voice of the "straight man" in a comedic skit — gives way to passion when discussing the profiteering of big pharmaceutical companies, the countless payoffs to doctors, and the obscenely high amount of people in the U.S. incarcerated for illegal substance use. Drugs, as Helton ably describes, are not all the same. Some, like the opiates, are physically addictive. Others, like cannabis, are not.

Helton insists that drug use is inevitable — people always have and always will attempt to alter their consciousness.

Speaking with the Current last week, Helton, who lives in SA and teaches writing at UTSA, stated that drugs "can dumb you down, dumb you way down." But he went on to stress, "The number one thing I want people to take from this book is that you have the right to control your own consciousness as a human being, and if you don't, you're not free. We are not little children, we're adults."

Helton writes that drug use is properly a medical concern; the war on drugs is misdirected, it has only bred violence. The brutality of the cartels is chronicled daily in the press, but Helton has opened the window on another realm of drug violence. White, male, over 21, and middle class — Jake has no real fear of arrest and incarceration for his chronic law-breaking. He's a respectable man, someone the police defer to. Prison is for the poor, especially people of color. They are missing from this story, no doubt, already locked up in jail. •

J.R. Helton reads from Drugs

Free
5pm Sat, May 19
The Twig Book Shop
200 E Grayson, Ste 124
(210) 826-6411
thetwig.com

Recently in Arts & Culture
  • Free Will Astrology ARIES (March 21-April 19): If for some inexplicable reason you are not simmering with new ideas about how you could drum up more money, I don’t know... | 4/23/2014
  • Savage Love: Virgin bro My brother is 22 years old and mentally ill with social anxiety on the scale of agoraphobia (officially diagnosed). He’s made... | 4/23/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus