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Drug addiction takes its toll in furry fandom

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (14 votes)

To many furs in the world, young and old, the fandom and the content it produces can be a form of escape. A way to engage in a fantasy world with conjured characters. It works as a means to forget the menial and divisive day to day events. It keeps them sane in a world that can lose it in the spur of a moment.

Drugs in which are utilized recreationally also provide such escapes for some. Through stimulation or suppression of the senses, the user can achieve a state of mind that can help them take an edge off the sharp protrusions in life.

However, just because both tools seem to be a means to the same end, it does not mean that these worlds do not overlap. In many circles in the fandom the usage of these substances can be seen as revered, one such group that is a famous example call themselves the “Baked Furs” are well known for their pro-marijuana stances and usage.

Unfortunately, though, as drug culture has continued to grow along with the growth of the fandom itself, the dark side of these habits is becoming far more prevalent. A recent death of one furry has pushed the conversation to one that can no longer be ignored by the community. Today we go these examples of substance abuse in the fandom, and the impacts that it has had.

Ambulances in abundance

Midwest Furfest had a big problem in 2017, one that was covered by a furry formerly known as Fjord Frost (whose main fursona is now Quartz Husky). In a video he describes a dangerous culture around drugs that exists within the furry fandom. The most notable of these anecdotes was the description of a social gathering called a 'pill party'. At these room parties you have to drop a pill into the bowl prior to entry, in exchange you pick one out of the bowl and ingest it. I'm guessing there would be a random assortment thrown in at the start, otherwise there'd only be one pill in the bowl at given time.

It doesn’t take a pharmacist to see how dangerous such an act can be. Most people are going to be completely in the dark about what the pill that they picked from the bowl is going to do. If they have medical conditions or take other medications, they may end up taking something that has an adverse reaction with other drugs they take. In those circumstances it could have the same implications as playing Russian Roulette.

Irresponsible behaviors such as these create a frequency in which emergency workers are called to a convention in order to deal with individuals who are chemically compromised. It became quite an unfortunately standard site to see an ambulance parked at the curb of the Hyatt during the night and early morning hours. It has to be noted that their purposes being there could have been other issues such as injury or intense illness not related to drugs as well. However, when drugs are the first thing that furs assume these days when they see one, it highlights how much of an issue it has become.

Insidiously Social

While loneliness is a thing we often want to avoid, we can find that the wish to avoid it sometimes takes us down paths that can later haunt us. Peer pressure is something our government often tells us to avoid when dealing with the others our age trying to get us to do 'cool' things when we’re younger. Unfortunately the government lays off such advise when we’re adults. Probably because they utilize peer pressure in the form of partisianism in order to retain power, but that’s none of my business I suppose, and a bit off topic.

The reality is that when we’re rubbing elbows with our fellow furs, some have different relations with different drugs. For those who don’t want to appear to be rude, or as an outsider of the group amongst those that find drugs a normalcy of social interaction, it can be easy to be roped in by a sense of social obligation. After awhile for those who implement it into their habits this way, the joyous times held with friends in this environment soon enough becomes tied with the stimuli produced by the drug itself so that it becomes seen as a part of the individual.

In other words, they could start taking the drug of choice to evade the lonely feelings they have when they are alone.

For those who remain sociable, such as Alkali or Kage who are popular furs both known for their drinking habits, the behavior isn’t questioned as much by the individuals who have the habit. It becomes embraced by themselves and others as a lovable personality quirk. However, for those unfortunate enough to fall out of social grace, the key to their happiness and fitting in amongst their friends by partaking in the same drugs they do can become an expensive hinderance that holds them back in their ability to recover and to make other accomplishments. No longer is it seen as an quaint eccentricity, but a self inflicted wounding burden.

2 the Ranting Gryphon, in a video titled “I’m quitting” in June 2017 discussed his desire to break his habit of addition surrounding alcoholic beverages. In it he describes the road to becoming dependant. He describes it as a phenomenon, not in which one gets drunk with intensity, but when one becomes adapt at drinking casually and constantly. They live their life a constant state of intoxication. It's part of you from the time you wake up to the time you turn in.

Afterward that video he covered the recovery process in a series of videos called Finding Sobriety, the last being on December 2017 that discussed his progress in getting back to not being overly intoxicated all the time and back to what he considered a more reasonable levels.

“I can’t imagine being like that again,” he said of his state of drunkenness in the earlier part of the year. “The only thing you wind up doing is going out to get your booze, and that’s all you can manage to do because that’s all your energy.”

The word alcoholic is typically an adjective used to describe a beverage that is fermented and can make one drunk. In a dark poetic sense, when the adjective becomes a noun, it is defined as a person who is so lost in that bottle that the content becomes the entirety of their identity as well. As if the booze within became anthropomorphised into the form of the human consuming it, and thus the person has become in a way consumed by the drink themselves.

Colwyn Collie loses their life to heroin

The time when the impact drug use is seen at its worst is when a loved one who is caught in the snare of addiction. The opioid crisis is a growing issue that has had a major impact in Midwestern part of the United States, a region that is home to some of the largest fur conventions. One sadly viral story came to light of a journalist from North Dakota whose own daughter lost their own life due to her dependency on the drugs in question, while she herself was covering the crisis.

Furry is not immune from these tragic events either. One furry Youtuber, Kero Wolf, whose channel typically consist of more lighthearted videos (though probably most remembered for his interview with ‘normie’ Youtube celebrity Shane Dawson about furries) had taken the time to do a more somber video about his boyfriend. Colwyn Collie was found dead in his apartment by his family on a Sunday after the fur had died the Friday before when he had overdosed on heroin that afternoon.

In the video he passionately describes his wish for the fandom to be more reflexive on its drug habits and to know its limits. He asks for people who use drugs in an irresponsible way to understand the negative impacts those behaviors can have on others around them. Also, he requests that those who see this behavior of self destruction in others be there to help them to stop them from the road they travel if the see something wrong.

“I don’t want anyone feeling what I’m feeling right now,” Kero proclaimed. “No one’s talking about this, we need to be talking about this.”

Awareness in community and in self

The hardest reality is that while we should try and help those who wish to lower their intake, or eliminate their dependencies, we also have to respect one another as adults to make proper decisions on how we wish to spend our finite time on this planet. It is far too easy for those who live without drugs in our lives to seem elitist to those that do let their hair down. I personally have had some more party-hard furries that have roomed with me accuse me of giving a glance that seemed judgemental in my sober state, despite myself understanding that people need outlets for their life stresses. That’s absolutely fine to do so.

Because of this reality, self assessment is a key to successful change. I believe that one can find if they need to seek help comes down to one simple question: “When I am using am I enjoying myself as a result, or am I feeling that it is hindering in my enjoyment of life?”

If it is the former, then continue to enjoy yourself responsibly. As soon as the answer to that question leans more to the second part, it’s at that point that you should look for real help from others to bring the drug taking behaviors back to healthier levels. And please look to your friends and loved ones for guidance to help. The sooner one recognizes when they crossed that threshold and seeks the help they need, the better and easier it is to make the changes desired.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3 (7 votes)

A pill party just sounds unbelievably stupid and reckless. If you're going to use chemical substances you should at the very least know what you are taking.

I've not noticed too much peer pressure about alcohol or drugs, although I drink so I don't have to say no completely. It probably also depends on what circles you move in, I'm not a party person. Peer pressure can come into play for other things too, like sex or whatever else. If you don't want to be part of those things, you need to say so.

This comes back to what I was talking about in my Eurofurence report, there's a need for furs to develop self-acceptance and inner strength. If you don't drink, you need to accept who you are and say, "I don't drink. If you want to drink that's fine but if I am here, I won't." And then you need to be able to leave the situation if it is going against your personal values.

I'm not sure what the best way to cultivate that inner strength is and I wonder if there's a way to measure it easily. I might think that furs feel different already and so would find it even harder to go against people that already are offering them some sort of acceptance.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (8 votes)

Party person you surely ain't. No sir, you are a proper keyboard warrior.
You prefer to sit in your room and lord over your patch from afar while stroking that huge ego.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

Not saying that the growlithe certainly doesn't have an ego, because that would be a lie.

However, I can't help but find one belittling ego to be ironic from someone who just literally used the "royal we" in another comment section ;p

https://www.flayrah.com/7422/con-report-eurofurence-24-aviators-%E2%80%93-conque...

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

Colwyn Collie loses life to heroin, furs examine drug use

The time when the impact of drug use is seen at its worst is when a loved one who is caught in the snare of addiction. The opioid crisis is a growing issue that has had a major impact in Midwestern part of the United States, a region that is home to some of the largest fur conventions. One sadly viral story came to light of a journalist from North Dakota whose own daughter lost their own life due to her dependency on the drugs in question, while she herself was covering the crisis.

Furry is not immune from these tragic events either. One furry Youtuber, Kero Wolf, whose channel typically consist of more lighthearted videos (though probably most remembered for his interview with ‘normie’ Youtube celebrity Shane Dawson about furries) had taken the time to do a more somber video about his boyfriend. Colwyn Collie was found dead in his apartment by his family on a Sunday after the fur had died the Friday before when he had overdosed on heroin that afternoon.

(Unsolicited editor: in the midwest? If not, perhaps open with a location-relevant example)

In the video he passionately describes his wish for the fandom to be more reflexive on its drug habits and to know its limits. He asks for people who use drugs in an irresponsible way to understand the negative impacts those behaviors can have on others around them. Also, he requests that those who see this behavior of self destruction in others be there to help them to stop them from the road they travel if the see something wrong.

“I don’t want anyone feeling what I’m feeling right now,” Kero proclaimed. “No one’s talking about this, we need to be talking about this.”

(Unsolicited editor: insert short segue about role models)

2 the Ranting Gryphon, in a video titled “I’m quitting” in June 2017 discussed his desire to break his habit of addition surrounding alcoholic beverages. In it he describes the road to becoming dependant. He describes it as a phenomenon, not in which one gets drunk with intensity, but when one becomes adapt at drinking casually and constantly. They live their life a constant state of intoxication. It's part of you from the time you wake up to the time you turn in.

Afterward that video he covered the recovery process in a series of videos called Finding Sobriety, the last being on December 2017 that discussed his progress in getting back to not being overly intoxicated all the time and back to what he considered a more reasonable levels.

“I can’t imagine being like that again,” he said of his state of drunkenness in the earlier part of the year. “The only thing you wind up doing is going out to get your booze, and that’s all you can manage to do because that’s all your energy.”

(Unsolicited editor: discuss 2 switching poisons to join a cult and how real therapy groups might prevent relapse more than continue dependency. Close with recognition of continuing fandom health topic)

(Unsolicited editor: pill party anecdote not that much better sourced than legends about human sized litter boxes, etc. use caution and perhaps insert vid with minimal comment as segue where midwest is referenced)

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

I don't want to outright call the person talking about "pill parties" a liar, but I also feel like it's kind of hard to take at face value that people are openly mixing various prescription psychoactive substances to be taken wantonly at a furry convention room party. More dangerous drug parties have happened but I need more than anecdote on that one personally.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

Also, I agree with the above anon that you kinda buried the lede here.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

I saw his critiques, where is he saying the lede was buried?

If you're talking about 2's decisions outside the realm of drug habits, then that's not quite relevant to this particular story and has been covered quite a bit in other stories.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

They completely rewrite your title and move the discussion of the furry fan who had died from the penultimate section to the beginning of the story.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

Gotcha, that's why the did that. Fair enough.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (4 votes)

That's not the focus of the story, the focus is on drug addiction. It makes more sense to put the death at the end because then you have an escalation up to death. If you start at death then everything else is a let down. (In terms of story.)

e.g. When Trump was finally indicted they found his crimes included littering, tax evasion, sexual assault and murder.
vs
When Trump was finally indicted they found his crimes included murder, sexual assault, tax evasion and littering.

It's same information but there's more impact to build up than to start at the top and then taper off.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

That's a good way to write an essay, not a news piece. It's called an "inverted pyramid"; news style isn't supposed to escalate. You don't build to a climax; you start with the most important thing first, then the next, and so on and so on until the end is almost trivial.

So, your second example is actually the correct one:

When Trump was finally indicted they found his crimes included murder, sexual assault, tax evasion and littering.

Yes, it's anti-climactic, but knowing Trump murdered someone is more important to know that he littered. So, it should be listed first.

It was invented by American journalists during the Spanish American War; back then, both sides were cutting telegraph wires so their enemy's lines of communication were interrupted. War correspondents started putting the most important stuff first instead of writing pretty prose because they never knew when or if their editors would get the whole story. Newspapers then found out that their readers actually kind of liked getting their news up front like that, and the editors also liked getting stories that they could cut wherever if a story was running long or the issue was short on space.

So, I could edit your original statement too ...

When Trump was finally indicted they found his crimes included murder.

... and the main story is still there, just some details that were less important were omitted. The reader still knows the most important thing (Trump was indicted) and the second most important thing (Trump apparently murdered someone) and that there are further indictments.

Which isn't to say all news stories should be written this way; most people don't actually get their news from newspapers anymore, and articles like this are less about "breaking" the news and more about "providing context" for the news. Also, obviously, communication, even in war, is much better today, and with the Internet, space is less of an issue.

No, I don't know why they call it an "inverted pyramid", either.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

I get all that and it will have its place too but look at the sort of article this is. It's not about a specific news incident, it's about a whole phenomenon. So what needs to be done here is to, as you say, provide context which means that people need to understand and not skip things. For this article, building up is a better format then putting the most dramatic thing first. It would be possible to allude to death so people know what is coming but you would still then build up to it.

We also don't have to do things a certain way just because that's how others do it. You probably have heard that most people don't read all of an article.
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/06/how_people_read_onli...
There are probably several reasons for that. For one thing, you need to see the first bit to get an idea of what its about and to know if you even want to continue. But it's also possible that conventions like putting the main news first are part of the problem. People start reading, get the big, juicy takeaway and leave. The problem is, they miss out on all the context and analysis which is required to really understand that main takeaway. Perhaps building up to the climax in news would force people to read the whole article and result in a populace which has a better understanding of the issues of the day.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 2 (4 votes)

Perhaps building up to the climax in news would force people to read the whole article and result in a populace which has a better understanding of the issues of the day.

It's good to force people to understand things. Someone should have told Colwyn Collie that broccoli is better for you than heroin, he would still be with us today.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I'm pretty sure broccoli isn't habit-forming

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

So um... what's with the percentage of scrolled through content line on the bar graphs on the linked article going up to 120%?

I don't see that explained on their numeric diarrhea anywhere.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I wasn't quite sure of that myself. It could be that the actual content ends at 100% but the page continues, maybe with advertising or comment sections?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Maybe they're fans of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

If a news article about the president of the US listed littering and tax evasion before murder I would be even more critical of the decision of their focus.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (4 votes)

In a say/just saying moment.

We could spend the time 'talking about this' as a fandom if some furry featured in this article (who is not 2, ironically) wasn't committing acts that make someone want to drink themselves under the table...
.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

:(

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (3 votes)

You all should chat me if you sense any connection between an unexpected death and the release of shocking info.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Shocking info is already out about this, as far as I know it has nothing to do with the death in discussion other than they had relations.

Your rating: None

Turns out that "Colwyn Collie" was apparently a fursona name invented specifically for memorializing and wasn't used before death. Why? The one that was used was notorious for activity on a darkweb site of radioactive toxicity.

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (10 votes)

A couple of non-drug abusers arguing for moderation can't change the habits of a whole society, but your article is well-intended and appreciated. Stopping drug abuse either legal or illegal is something that won't take years or decades, but centuries, to be solved. I won't see it in my lifetime.

If anything I'd ask substance abusers to do it in private or not around minors, so they don't set a bad example. This petition would extend to Uncle Kage et al. I'm not going to care for their health more than they care for it themselves. As adults they have an agency of their own. There's a limited number of photographs of cirrhotic livers, or black lungs, or cadavers, I'm willing to see. We live in the information age, so clearly the problem is not a lack of information.

Your rating: None Average: 2.1 (18 votes)

Limited number of photos of cadavers unless of course they're jewish. Then it's happy funfun "shitposting" time with your nazi pals.

Your rating: None Average: 2.1 (15 votes)

I hope that there's just an anon following Mike around and he's gonna do this to all his comments, forever.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Wait. I just re-read this and it talks about "Baked Furs" as if that's a current real thing and not a joke/parody group from 10+ years ago that's not a thing anymore. Huh?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Oh, it's still not a thing...

I thought you told me I wasn't old! Why did you lie to me.

Your rating: None

A lot more needs to be said because this article seems to conflate all substances, purposes, and intents. The concerns raised are not in any fashion whatsoever unique to or particularly associated with this fandom. Futhermore, as half a decade of progress in places like Colorado have demonstrated to the entire world, there are drugs and then there are relatively safe substances or plant teachers that are in fact quite benefitial when used suitably and with respect.

One might avail themselves of the Internet and discover why and how alcohol, opiates, amphetamines, and other metabolic drugs are basically a suicidal-type foreseably downward spiral path to choose to go along. Then one might discover how some plant-derived entheogens backed by proper intent and great care might spark or illuminate the discovery of paths that one can take (also leading away from increased substance use) toward expanded consciousness, spiritual awakening, and/or healing. The point of all activity and self-cultivation in the end should be to flourish and be well, to clear old densities and open you heart, to let the universal flow through you and into world and become like a beacon of light, illuminating paths forward for all.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

when you drop acid once

Your rating: None

lawl as if

Your rating: None

What isn't debatable, the ambulances showing up to the cons.

Yes they have been in recent years.

Your rating: None

Very true. To the point I stopped being able to enjoy cons unfortunately. For a large, often seemingly majority part of the furry community, it's "cons = drug time!" or "cons = drunk time!" and unfortunately the percentage of people where "furry = Tiny Toons and Rescue Rangers" (or equivalent) has dwindled.
Basically the time for cartoons and what made us furries when we were kids is somewhat gone and given over to fursuiting (which used to be a fairly small part of the con population, lucky if it hit 10%), drugs, and other random stuff to the point it can be kind of hard to chat it up over My Little Pony; most popular furry cartoon show of the last decade.

Your rating: None

I noted the almost complete lack of actually discussing furry stuff at Oklacon, which is one reason I didn't go to a convention for another decade. (Umm, not the main reason, but a reason.)

Of course, Oklacon is the con that was basically shut down for alcohol abuse (and the, umm, impaired judgement that comes with it).

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About the author

Sonious (Tantroo McNally)read storiescontact (login required)

a Kangaroo from CheektRoowaga, NY, interested in video games, current events, politics, philosophy and writing