Wednesday 18th August 2010 www.ianyoung.co
Yesterday, the news across the UK was partly taken up with a top Doctor – Sir Ian Gilmore, from the Royal College of Physicians calling for a drug law review and towards decriminalising controlled substances, thus drastically reducing crime (obviously) and improving health (possibly). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-10990921
I’m not too sure where I stand on the legalisation or decriminalisation of drugs, but I can draw upon my own experiences for guidance.
It seems clear to me that decriminalising addicts from using their drugs of choice (or no choice in some cases) would be a public service in many areas, so long as their supply was available and addicts no longer needed to commit crime (person to person in particular) to support their debilitating lifestyles.
But would this improve their health or the health of our society and the next generation being raised upon the principles that mood and mind altering substances are a positive influence upon our personal psyche and a good way to have a night out?
Well, in my opinion, the best I can say is that I have no opinion… at this time.
Because I simply cannot imagine what society would look like if all drugs became available for personal recreation. I see the problems that alcohol causes society, but I can’t bring myself to agree to make it illegal. So why can’t I agree that, at least morally, legalising all drugs is the way to go?
I shall consider my own experiences with drugs such as alcohol, ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, amphetamines, cannabis, heroin, etc.
Have you ever considered the real reason why people use drugs?
The easiest way may be for you to consider why people drink alcohol – the most commonly consumed of all the hard (and soft) drugs excluding nicotine.
It’s because it is believed that whatever substance they consume will enhance the experience of whatever they are doing.
So in the case of alcohol, it could be a social lubricant or Dutch courage, but so could cocaine, ecstasy and other stimulants. The only problem seems to be the come down, which is equally anti-social for people the morning after the night drunk before.
So why would people consume substances that bring them down or to “get stoned”? The opposite of the “high” feeling associated with stimulants and surprisingly Alcohol – since it is actually a depressant.
Well cannabis is often a very bonding experience when consumed in small groups with friends.
Heroin though, is far from bonding – or so the media would have the public believe. But no one would start taking heroin if they went “Straight into a gouch” (falling asleep whilst still awake, day dreaming whilst appearing unconscious) and isolation.
No, the real reason why people take heroin is actually very similar to alcohol – it gives people the courage to face a situation and feel confident dealing with it. Heroin allows us to face our fear and deal with it, often inappropriately, but with a sense of purpose we may have been unable to find without the substance.
It’s only when we over consume that the state of “nodding off” occurs. Prior to that it makes us feel invincible.
The simple fact is this – heroin and all other drugs work!
That’s why we consume them. Because they work – they make us feel better. At least for a short while.
They may not all work for all people, but for many people they will find a substance which does work and commit themselves to it.
This is where addiction begins – as we attach ourselves to a particular drug and begin to depend upon it for our own artificial salvation. As the dependence becomes deeper routed, the difficulty in coping without it becomes harder and less imaginable, until we cannot function without it. However, by this stage we may be unable to manage with it either.
This is when our lives become Unmanageable.