It’s a shame about drugs

It’s a shame about drugs

Posted On: January 25, 2011
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Comments: 4 Responses

If you’re a drug user – even of the most legally acceptable and moderate sort, I have a question for you:  are you ashamed of your ‘habit’?

Even though there are many drugs which it is legal to use, a lot of people I meet say they can’t publicly support a project like Know Drugs  because they don’t want to be associated with something that relates to drugs – regardless of the aims of the project or the fact it addresses drugs of all legal classifications.  The thing I’ve noticed is that these people have one thing in common: they occasionally or regularly take drugs which the law prohibits the use of.

Now my understanding of this project is that it aims to help lift the misery that so many suffer through the complicated web of drug use, abuse and policy:  the kids who walk into drug use with eyes wide shut, the people who die in or are forced into drug related crime, the heroin addicts who live only for their next fix, the moderate users who are criminalised because their choice of intoxicant is not deemed acceptable by law, the alcoholics who don’t think they’ve got a problem because drinking is socially acceptable, the people who are desperate to stop smoking but don’t know where to start, the people who risk their lives by taking drugs cut with all sorts of nasty whoknowswhat – and that’s the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  So why would you be reluctant to be associated with it?

This brings me back to the original question: are you ashamed of the drugs you use?  Or have you ever consciously thought about your use in those terms?

Here’s the dictionary definition of  ashamed: “embarrassed or guilty because of one’s actions, characteristics, or associations”.

Most of us try not to do things we feel consciously ashamed of.  We are masters of denial and distraction so we will not dwell on such things and refuse to think them through to their logical conclusion.  So have a think for a bit – in your heart, are you ashamed of the drugs you use?

If you are, then ask yourself why?  Is it because you commit an illegal act in taking the drugs you do?  Is it because you know you use too much or too often? Is it because you know it’s bad for your health?  Or is it because you know there’s a gap in your life but there might be a better way of filling it?  And do you feel differently  about your use of legal substance use vs your use of illegal substances?  It’s only by asking ourselves and others these kinds of questions that we can start to get away from conversations that don’t go much further than ‘I was so munted last night’ and hyperbole that paints all illegal usage of drugs as bad’ as substitutes for a more meaningful understanding of why it is that so many people choose repeatedly to alter their own consciousness.

And if you’re not ashamed – then maybe that’s because, for you, taking or drinking drugs is about having fun.   Pure and simple fun.  A bit of light relief from the daily grind.  And that is nothing to be ashamed of.  Is it?