Drug Culture Thrives Among Techies in Silicon Valley

The Mercury News reports that a frightening scenario is unfolding in Silicon Valley: employers and employees in the rapid-paced, high-tech culture are turning to illicit drugs as strong as heroin in order to keep up with the frantic pace of their jobs.

A seven-minute video exists of one Google executive, Forrest Timothy Hayes, 51, a father of five, dying after heroin was injected into his bloodstream by a reputed high-priced call girl aboard his yacht in Santa Cruz.

Hayes’s addiction was not unique; as Cali Estes, a Miami-based addictions coach, notes, “I’ve had them from Apple, from Twitter, from Facebook, from Google, from Yahoo, and it’s bad out there… and it’s a lot worse than what people think because it’s all covered up so well. If it gets out that a company’s employees are doing drugs, it paints a horrible picture.”

Experts on addiction aver that the deadly cocktail of a sudden influx of money, the intense competition in the high-tech field and the subsequent harsh deadlines, and the burgeoning black market has created an endemic problem in the field.

Steve Albrecht, a teacher of substance abuse awareness for Bay Area employers, asserted, “There’s this workaholism in the valley, where the ability to work on crash projects at tremendous rates of speed is almost a badge of honor. These workers stay up for days and days, and many of them gradually get into meth and coke to keep going. Red Bull and coffee only gets them so far.” He added that many tech companies eschew drug testing because “they want the results, but they don’t want to know how their employees got the results.”


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