Thursday, May 16, 2013

MY VIEWS ON DRUGS AND ALCOHOL (CHALLENGE DAY 3)

I love these 30 Day Challenge posts because not having appropriate accompanying photographs gives me an excuse to share my favourite music on the blog. 

If there is one thing I can say about illegal drugs and alcohol it's that they can be harmful to your brain. I am all about looking after one's brain: it's your very best asset! For some people, the short and long term effects of drugs and alcohol will be worse than for others. I know even after one drink, my memory isn't anywhere near as good as when I am sober. Marijuana is not for me personally - I've had it a few times in my life and most times it made me paranoid and fearful. But I do know that it isn't as addictive as any of the other drugs, including coffee (which I am addicted to).

I think Australia has a terrible culture of binge drinking.
I know people who can drink in moderation, who can say no to another glass, who don't change at all after a drink. But for every moderate drinker I know, there are a good half dozen binge drinkers and I know plenty of people who have struggled with alcoholism. I think that alcoholism goes undetected in a lot of cases because drinking to excess or on a regular basis is seen as normal in our country. I have seen a lot of ugly sights when it comes to binge drinking in Australia. I've seen countless fights, some that end in blood and bruising. I've seen people vomiting in the street. I've seen young girls in the emergency department, too drunk to walk, legs wide open, vomiting all over themselves. It's a state no-one wants to be in, but it happens every weekend to vast numbers of people.

Alcohol can tear apart families in the same way heroin can.
I've been in AA meetings and Alateen meetings. I've heard children of alcoholics tell their stories and seen the heartbreak on their faces. I would like to see more conversation about the way we drink in Australia. I would also like people to understand that alcohol is one of the most toxic drugs out there and what it really means to "drink responsibly". 

In the same way we have changed our attitudes about tobacco and junk foods, we need to do with alcohol. I think one of the best things in my childhood was the fact that my parents never drank when we were growing up. I couldn't imagine what it would have been like as a child to see them change under the influence. It was in my early teens that they actually did drink in front of us and I honestly wish they held out for a few more years because I think we got used to seeing drinking/drinking behaviour and didn't see it as an issue by the time we had our first drinking experiences.

As well as taking an ice cream scoop to your brain, you might as well put a gun to someone's head somewhere along the drug trail every time you take illegal drugs.
The more people buy illegal drugs, the more they perpetuate cartel activity, violence, corruption...

I fear that legalising drugs increases access to them and their potential ill effects. Not everyone is a responsible user. Not everyone can exercise moderation. We can't predict what will happen to each individual when they consume drugs. Having said that, I believe that marijuana has been proven to be excellent in managing many illnesses and I don't have a problem with it being made legal for medicinal purposes.

Drugs such as ice, heroin and cocaine I really wish did not exist at all. Alcohol, marijuana and pills aren't anywhere near as addictive as these things. You might think "just this once" but when you invite them in, sometimes there's no turning back. I know lots of people who can't have a night out without having a craving for cocaine. If they've got easy access to it, most people who have tried once will want it again. Same goes for heroin and ice. Very troubling stuff.

Drug addiction is one of the saddest things to ever witness. I have met a guy who stole from his own grandmother, a woman who sold her body, to fund a heroin habit. Can you imagine watching your father, mother, sister, brother or the love of your life going down this path? It has to be one of the most depressing things in the world. You don't need me to tell you about the sadness or angst that people experience when someone they love is gripped by addiction. You've all heard the stories of mothers and fathers answering the door to the police, who are there to tell them that their son or daughter is now dead from a drug overdose.

I think, as a society, we need to have more open conversations about drugs and alcohol. People from all walks of life take recreational drugs "just for fun" but no-one talks about it. Some people feel drugs are unnecessarily stigmatised, while others could tell you about the weird/dangerous/shameful/regretful things they've done while under the influence and put you off for life. I don't think we should be afraid of letting these conversations take place, if only for the comfort in knowing that people will be better equipped to make informed decisions.

2 comments:

  1. I haven't really seen many bloggers touch on this subject before but you mention some valid points here. As much as we all love to talk about shoes, food,make up and the general fluffy things of life there are alot more serious issues happening in the world. I for one don't understand how someone can willingly want to take something like crystal meth or Heroine seeing the effects it has on other people and there families, it's sad to say that I don't know how this will ever change and I'm not too sure if legalising is the answer either :(x

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  2. I completely agree with you, Anna. There's a HUGE culture of binge drinking in England - we're rumored to be the "Binge Drinking Capital of Europe". As a student who doesn't really drink I'm kind of unusual - especially as it's not for religious reasons or anything. I just realised that it's a poison and my body doesn't seem to metabolise it well - even one glass of wine leaves me a bit 'off' the next day and it gives me bad acne!

    I have a small glass of red wine on the rare occassion I fancy it, but I could quite happily not drink another drop again. I think people my age really don't consider how alcohol&drugs might affect them in the long term because they live so much in the 'now'. So I completely agree about needing to view alcohol with the same attitude as we do junk food - it's all about really taking time to consider what we put in!

    Flora x

    www.twowithseven.blogspot.co.uk

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