Vegetables AND Turnips

Vegetables AND Turnips

Posted On: January 17, 2011
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Comments: One Response

Why do people talk about ‘Drugs and Alcohol’? – look, even the Home Office do it.

Talking about drugs and alcohol is exactly like saying ‘vegetables and turnips’, ‘fish and mackerel’ or ‘weather and rain’.   It doesn’t make any sense.   So why do government, media and even reputable charities continue to reinforce this artificial separation?

A conspiracy theorist might suggest that referring to alcohol as a drug is somewhat uncomfortable for our institutions – because if people commonly think of it as a drug all sorts of difficult questions are raised about why we’re permitted to use one drug, but not others.   And then people might start to think there was flawed logic in our drug policy.  A non-conspiracy theorist might say it’s because people ‘forget’ alcohol is included in the term ‘drugs’ so they need to be reminded.   But if people have forgotten alcohol is a drug – then maybe there’s flawed logic in our drug policy?

Know Drugs looks at all kinds of drugs – those which the law deems it acceptable to use and those which it doesn’t.  It’s about taking people that have used different drugs and asking them to talk about the reasons behind their choices on video in long form interviews.  The aim is that these honest and open testimonies help us all to get to know more about all drugs and in so doing, better understand our motives for making the decisions we do about what drugs we choose – or choose not – to take.   Because let’s face it – all drugs – and that includes alcohol, have benefits as well as harms.  If they didn’t  – why would people keep using them?

The  interviews explore all the drugs a person has tried and their attitude to, experiences with and beliefs about those drugs.   At present, none of these interviews are available to the public to view – but they are being collected all the time so that when our full site goes live – we can ensure we have as many voices as possible to further all our understanding of a mighty difficult subject.

I am not advocating a direction for a change in policy – but I do think that if a policy is even potentially flawed, an intelligent citizenry deserve a chance to understand why.   I also think we deserve politicians and a media who are prepared to discuss with honesty the reasons why things are the way they are.  Thankfully,  the internet means we no longer have to wait for that to happen and we can start to have this discussion for ourselves.

Signing off with a great quote I found from John Lennon:

The basic thing nobody asks is why do people take drugs of any sort? I mean, is there something wrong with society that’s making us so pressurized that we cannot live without guarding ourselves against it?