HOUSTON, Texas – Drugs and alcohol have long been a symbol of all that is wrong with the oil patch. Lost time incidents are at an all time low in 2013, but there is still an issue with excessive use in some areas, and especially within certain service sectors. From drilling to seismic crews, a thin veil of substance abuse continues to weave itself through the oil and gas service sector’s rugged fabric.
We always used to be stoned or drunk, man. It was a way of life. We were never that safe, we’d trip, fall, giggle, and do it again. Not all of us were crazy, but most of us enjoyed the times and just did what felt okay. We were never relaly worried about corporate policies or rules.
I rode the escape line on a coat hanger once on a dare. I could have died. But I didn’t, and I just look back and laugh. – Dallas Hymark, Tobago Drilling
The world has changed, it seems, and now there is a drive for the image of the rough and tumble roughneck of yore to become the urban metropolitan style whore, much like Timberlake and Bieber. And right in step with this new image is a new drug, whose exponentially growing use has industry officials alarmed.
According to a recent survey conducted in the field, hormone therapy, in particular estrogen, has become the new drug of choice for field workers, dwarfing the previous use of alcohol, pot, or even steroids. The use of estrogen apparently helps create a softer, more boy-band complexion, while softening skin and making patch labourers more sensitive and moody.
It feels very good to know that I’m beautiful. I used to come home from work on a 10 and 7 with dry, itchy, rough skin, all tired and pissed off.
Now I get home and my attitude is pleasant, I’m always smiling, and my skin is just glowing thanks to regular bubble baths and lotion made from honey and sweet, sweet milk from a calve. All the boys at the spa are jealous! – Kip Ramwik, Driller with Neighbors Well Servicing
The most potent strain of the injected hormone, Estro-Fem 32b7, is manufactured in Thailand, and typically shipped to pharmaceutical companies here in North America via approved channels. Field workers seem to be picking it up by the case load from coastal smugglers in the East, where it is disseminated through a network of service companies and hot-shot drivers from Pennsylvania to the Eagleford and then north up the California coast to northern British Columbia. The dealer network is said to be valued in the billions, and may eclipse BC’s marijuana trade within 2 years.
Originally designed for female hormone therapy and gender transformations, Estro-Fem 32b7 is an injected, and very potent form of estrogen therapy. It is safe, but males taking it will experience many side effects and some of them may not be welcome. – Gerry Mishbar, spokesman for EGO Pharmaceuticals
A new panel at the IAODC has been convened to address this issue and to decide if it is a danger that should be dealt with, or if the use of estrogen injections on work sites is acceptable and will not affect safety in any way.
So far there have been no recorded incidents other than lost time for crying, and thus far the panel does not have a clear cut case for banning the hormony therapy’s use.