If you have watched enough American children’s TV you will know the effort America puts into keeping teens off drugs. Schools in America are littered with Public Service Announcements declaring the ‘war on drugs’. Despite their attempts there will always be kids that try drugs. In the UK there is still a strong focus on drug misuse but when I was growing up it felt very light.
When I was 13 I tried cannabis for the first time, I was not in with a rough crowd, and I did not succumb to peer pressure. I was with a crowd that specifically decided that they would try this drug, and I asked to join them of my own free will. When I tried it for the first time the feeling was intense, and just like in films everything slowed down, and sensations heightened in many ways. When I tried cannabis it was fun and exciting, part of the amusement is knowing that you are indulging into something which is naughty. Breaking the rules and being anarchistic as a young teen comes hand in hand with drug taking. Enough Rock and Roll inspired the ‘fuck society’ attitude.
For a long time after this I never encountered drugs until college when it became an infrequent recreational activity. I think a big misconception is that all drugs are to blame when people die from over using them. People often like to say that cannabis is a ‘gateway drug’ and that as much as a few puffs of weed, and the next thing you’ll be shooting heroin! We know of course that this is not true. I know that there is a big leap between cannabis and Heroin. I have only ever tried one A-class drug but have never had the passion to try others. I was put off by mind-altering drugs ever since a friend of mine had a bad trip on acid and mistook eating strawberries, and witnessed vomiting his own intenstines. With cannabis you can easily see the plant that you are taking, and it feels more natural. The effects of cannabis are more relaxing and it feels like someone is rubbing your shoulders after a hard day. The only negative effects I have found is the burden of paranoia or the occasional ‘whitey’ but this is nothing that a tall glass of Orange Juice couldn’t cure. With manufactured drugs there is no way to see what you are taking. I find it astonishing that people will purchase white tablets or powder from some lanky snotty nosed druggy, and with no knowledge of what they contain put them into their bodies? I said to a friend of mine that he should think: what if you were the person who bought drugs for a party and gave them to a friend and that ended up killing then? Could you live with that guilt? If the government intervened and sold drugs legally in a controlled fashion people could still enjoy stimulants with none of the risk. Despite some recognised risks Britain has clearly made it’s mind up about self-medicating with drugs, and even though the UK received 29,000 signstures for a petition to legalise cannabis, they still declined to consider it in parliament. Part of me wonders if they ever will?
When you have people who are going through a hard time in their lives and have access to drugs, this is where abuse will happen. If you are having a bad time drugs will solve your mood, they will be the PERFECT distraction. The government is worried that if drugs are made legal it will be chaos and that it sends a message that they encourage this abuse. They must think of extremes like Russia where 65% of the country is addicted to Heroin. Russia is a poor example though, because there is no control over selling. I believe that if drugs were controlled and sold legally then drug use would be a lot safer and if enough support is given to those individuals they will not want the drugs at all, Or will be able to use them in a sensible way. In Scotland currently they are trialing 24 hour walk in centres that allow for the legal injection of Heroin to help drug addicts to lull their addiction. Alcohol is sold to this country and not everyone is an Alcoholic. Alcohol doesn’t wreck ALL lives, and those that it does cause problems there are support groups like AA.
It’s curious that a large number of death’s in the UK are through alcohol (10% In 2014) and tobacco (163,444 death’s in 2014) which are still sold and consumed in large quantities. Both of these are destined to increase your chances of numerous cancers by 57% and diseases. Despite all the evidence they still are sold, en yet some recreational drugs have limited statistics on long term harm, and remain illegal. Cannabis has actually been proven to aid the prevention of some cancers specifically through the use of hemp consumption of its oil.
There is a hypocrisy between the selling of things that clearly harm us as opposed to the exclusion of certain drugs and making them illegal. I have read books on drug taking and how it has weaved it’s way into our societies and world history, so why is it kept illegal when there is historical proof that drugs can be responsibly accepted into society. It is natural for us to want to use drugs to try out experiences. In an indirect way when we try drugs and feel sensations from them we are realising the incredible power of our own brains and how they allow us to bend our senses.
On a seperate note, to end this blog I want to say that there are some things in our daily life such as caffeine and sugar which have all the strength and addictive qualities of most illegal drugs, contributing to obesity and cancers but are common place. The truth is that sugar and caffeine sneak their way into our foods whether we like it or not and there is so much processed food that it is hard to live without it. I have heard of people who attempted to remove artificial sugar from their diet and they experienced withdrawal symptoms and mood swings. Much like a recovering drug addict the person who can live without it for 1 month comes out the other side feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. As a personal goal I am going to try and go 1 month without added sugars or processed food. I will document my feelings and note them in a weekly blog. I will either write my achievement or my failing to do this, but I want to try! Think you can do this too and join me on my quest to beat sugar? Drop me a message and give me all your tips and advice I’d really appreciate it.