whitefang Posted August 30, 2004 Share Posted August 30, 2004 Well, this weekend I got into one of those old arguements again. But first, let's get a few things clear... Drug abuse of one form or another has been sadled on mankind for centuries. As recently as the 19th century, opium and opiate by-products such as laudaman plauged many. Then it was heroin and cocaine for the entire 20th century. Plus other drugs that need no introduction. But as much as the perception of drug addiction has changed, one area hasn't. More on that later. I have always been straightforward about my past drug addiction. I have done so with no regrets, and scant denial. That denial came not in the form of thinking my doping was harmless; one would need be a total fool to think so. But rather, my denial was in the form of thinking the amounts of dope I took were too few to cause any harm. And of course, I was wrong. But still, I enjoyed it all. I had no misconceptions about why I did dope. I did it because I liked the sensation. More on that later as well. But the perceptions most of society had about drug addicts was never tenable. Most felt that dope addicts were primarily "niggers and white trash!" But the fear was that evil "pushers" were always on the prowl, looking for ways to get kids hooked. Many of my friends often recalled with humor of their parents warning them, at a very young age, not to accept any chewing gum from a stranger. Their reason being that the stranger could be this evil pusher, and the gum could be "dusted" with heroin. Then what? An eight year old kid gets hooked? Considering at the time all the anti-drug naysayers were grinding out stories about dope fiends having $300 a day habits, one would wonder where an eight year old blue collar kid would come up with that kind of money. But the "niggers and white trash" rule prevailed and superceeded anything else. By the time the late '60's rolled around, hippies were added to the mix. The difference being that many "hippies" were in fact the sons and daughters of affluent parentage who became disenfranchised from their "set". And of course, once a hippie, you were living no better than white trash anyway, so the perception wavered little. But in the early '70's, around this neck of the woods, a newspaper article addressed the fact that in Lincoln High School of Bloomfield Hills(I beleive Robin Williams attended that school for a semester or so)there was a growing epidemic of heroin use among the students. For you out-of-staters, Bloomfield Hills is pretty affluent. Buying a house there today would run you roughly $400,000. And those are the cheap seats! So now, people had to deal with the facts that drug abuse wasn't limited to the socially and economically disenfranchised. It had long before crossed income brackets. And that the reasons people did drugs are as varied and as numerous as the drugs they take. But in more recent times, American snobbery had to deal with the fact that drug abuse wasn't isolated to those with a pattern of self destruction. Many celebrities, Rush Limbaugh the most recent, have become addicted to drugs given them for very valid reasons. And the long held disbelief that drugs were taken by many merely for recreation is just now beginning to sink in for many. But, dopers know addictive drugs come in many forms. Did I say I quit doing drugs? Well, that's not entirely true. I am currently hooked on nicotine and caffiene. THIS is the area of drug addiction that has always escaped the social perception. And the one that causes that old arguement I first mentioned? Alcohol. Ask any caseworker or medical assistant in most rehab clinics, and they'll agree. Booze is a drug. And alcoholism is drug addiction. But the legality of liquor keeps it off the radar of public drug addiction perception. People will look at the heroin or cocaine addict, and mistakenly think they're mental weaklings, unable to deal with life, and get doped up to "escape reality". However, they've come to accept that the alcoholic suffers from a "disease". And therefore are more sympathetic to their plight. But when you consider the cost of most street drugs, you'll realize you can more economically escape reality with a shot and a beer. It also doesn't seem to sink in that our own government is involved with the business of drug dealing. I'm not talking about the pharmecutical kickbacks. I'm talking about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. They don't exist to try and keep American citizens from becoming hooked on nicotine and booze. They exist to make sure the government gets their cut of the profit. There's also the hipocrisy of it all. I remember reading an article long ago about several organizations griping about the Cheech and Chong films and their agenda of "glorifying" drug use. But lets look at the facts. Did you ever see a beer commercial feature a pot-bellied slob in a cowboy hat on his hands and knees, vomiting on the barroom floor? Hell no! According to most beer commercials, the beautiful people from the Bally's ads all hang out in "clubs" with impeccible ambience drinking whatever brand that's being advertised. The only "losers" in these ads might be some geek in the corner drinking some other brand. And as geeks go, they're not really that bad looking. Certainly, they're NOT pot-bellied slobs in cowboy hats, vomiting on the floor. Well, sorry. But in spite of what my brother-in-law tries to claim, beer seems to be the drug of choice these days. Yesterday, I went to a nephew's house for a big fish fry he was having(it was walleye, and it was DEE-licious!). Not only did he have five huge coolers full of beer, but several of his guests brought their own 24 can cubes with them. Now, I mentioned my brother-in-law. He wasn't there, but once a long time ago, he tried to convince me he wasn't an alcoholic. His reasoning? First off, he still had his job and his house. "If I was an alcoholic, I'd have lost them years ago." Then when that didn't work, he reasoned that he was a beer drinker, and beer wasn't really like drinking alcohol. To be sure, certainly not as bad as doing drugs. And THAT'S the old arguement I got into last night. A man that was sitting at the same table told his nine year old son to go get him another beer. He then asked if I wanted one. I said no thanks, I don't drink. Instead of leaving it at that, he asked me why not. So I said, "I quit doing drugs, except nicotine and coffee." He looked at me puzzled, and then asked, "What's drinking beer have to do with drugs?" So I told him a short reply of the missive above. He replied, "Hey, just because I drink a few beers, that doesn't mean the same as if I was hooked on dope!" And I allowed that. I said I knew many guys back in my doping days that could get high on some weekend, and leave it alone for months. The addiction comes in, I explained, when one can't go through some occaision without it. I explained further that one of the reasons(among many)I quit doing dope was that these types of occaisions were planned around it. I had to make sure that I had enough pot to take with me, or else timed when I took my hit of mescaline in order to "properly" enjoy the evening. Then I told him about my friend Dave's parties. When we were in Jr. High, and through most of High School, his parents would let him and his brother Doug have paties at their house. The only drug present was the nicotine in the cigarettes they didn't mind us smoking. There was no sneaking out for a nip or a toke. You could drink only half a beer, follow it with two packs of peppermint gum and smother yourself in cow manure, and Mr. Mackey(Dave's Dad)could smell it on you across the room. That meant you were outa there! And we had the time of our lives at those parties! WITHOUT being drunk. WITHOUT being stoned. I started thinking about just what was it about those parties, or about me, that made it possible. Having that much fun without drinking and doping meant that obviously, the booze and dope weren't neccessary. The man persisted. "That's all well and good," he said, "But that's not my case. I don't NEED this beer(his fourth in a half-hours time)to have a good time." So I reached over, grabbed his can of "Blue" and moved it across the table. "Fine", I told him, "Then you're having Pepsi the rest of the night." He gave me an odd look, and I gave him his beer back. I then told him that I really didn't care, just don't try telling me something's not what it is. But I did ask him to consider this...next time there's a party, clambake, barbeque or whatever, try drinking Pepsi all night, instead of the beer. Just for the one occaision. If you feel you didn't have as much fun without the brew, I've proved my point. Don't get me wrong. This is not intended to be a lecture or the rantings of a crusader. You like getting drunk or high? Fine by me. But just please be honest about what it is. Don't lie to ME about it. But more importantly... Don't lie to YOURSELF. Whitefang I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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