Justification for using drugs

I would consider myself a pretty clean cut individual. Even as a senior in high school, I have never been under the influence of anything more than a glass of wine. I do however have quite a few friends who dabble in drugs in various degrees.
Anyway, I’m not trying to be some preacher to my friends, and I’m not some sheltered goody two-shoes, but I’ve been trying to think of something profound to say to them to really make them think about why they do various things. Now getting stoned isn’t something I have a major problem with. Smoking dope doesn’t seem to have any solid evidence that it produces long term effects. But acid, shrooms, etc. just seem to screw your body up too much for someone in their right mind to use. I just need something thought provoking to say, that won’t make me sound like a dope or some sheltered child.

LSD and psilocybes, if used in moderation, don’t tend to be all that harmful (except for bad trips, of course). But that’s not what you wanted to hear, was it?

Really, even if they were dangerous, I don’t think there’s anything you could say that wouldn’t come off sounding preachy and DARE-ish. And then you’d be harshing their mellows and they’d resent you for it. :slight_smile: If you see their drug use start to spiral out of control and they start using hard drugs, it may be time to open your mouth…but don’t expect a very warm reception.

Maybe you just need to find some new friends that share your interests. It can’t be all that fun being sober around a bunch of people who are tripping, can it?

Methinks this thread belongs in IMHO or MPSIMS.

This is the problem I have with using drugs…and you can take it from me, I know. I was a teenager in the 70’s which other than the fact that LSD wasn’t quite the same potency as the 60’s drugs were very prevalent during my teen years.

It is true…using milder drugs, such as pot and alcohol can lead to using stronger drugs, like cocaine, heroin etc. Being willing to try one and find no harm in that will often lead to experimentation with stronger chemicals. I know, I’ve tried just about everything but “shooting up”. I would also say that most people begin their experimentation with drugs either during high school or college. Many of these people develop a life long dependency to drugs. No one can tell for sure at this point which of your friends will go on to a life devoted to getting a buzz. You’re playing Russian Roulette with your life. Others may disagree with me but I’ve seen it. I also know the statistics, especially about alcoholism. Many seriously effected alcoholics will admit that they have been drinking since they were young teens. There is something else I have observed about the psychology of drug use…Many people continue on thoughout their lives and for them drinking and drug use is their favorite or ONLY source of entertainment and relaxation. Everything they do revolves around catching a buzz. I don’t know about you but I enjoy lots of activities that do not warrant being high.

Problem is that no one ever feels that THEY will develop a dependency that can haunt them the rest of their lives. People just don’t think that can happen to them. I know because I’m one of the lucky ones. I have been able to experiment and dabble in using drugs now for over 30 years and never have I been in the situation where I could not stop. But it has broken my heart to see so many old friends and new people that I meet who’s lives have been ruined or at least diminished by substance abuse. It’s a crap shoot. You just can’t know.

Of course many people who become dependent on drugs and alcohol often have an underlying disorder. The incidence of what is called “comorbidity” (having an addiction along with) is very high for individuals with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders. These disorders, particularily schizophrenia often do not present themselves until right now, the teen or young adult years. A drug problem can sometimes mask the true underlying problem for years, by then it’s too late. You have two terrible, debilitating psychological problems for you and your family to cope with. And that is the ticket you know…“no man is an island” and a loved one with an addiction effects the entire family. They say that for every alcoholic at least 4 other people are effected by their disease. I would contend that this figure holds true for any addiction.

Anyway, that’s my advice. I have no idea what to tell you because I know how teenagers are, they just don’t think about the future as a rule. I’d be willing to bet you might have a little hint yourself just which of your friends might go on to a lifetime of drug use. And that would be fine if they could “handle” it, but just so many don’t.

Needs2know

You present a very accurate picture of the nature of addiction, Needs2know, but I really have to take issue with this statement. The gateway theory has been debunked many times, most recently in the highly-publicized IOM study that also concluded that marijuana has medical uses. I’m not saying that it never happens, but the vast majority of soft drug users never move on the the hard stuff.

I’ve been smoking pot for 6 years. I’ve also tried LSD and mushrooms (though I haven’t tripped in a year and a half). I never touched a hard drug and never wanted to. Most pot smokers I know are the same way. I smoke pot on the weekends and drink alcohol maybe once or twice a month. I’ve had people offer me coke, but I declined. Too risky.

Of course, if we had honest drug education in schools that drew a solid line between soft and hard drugs, I don’t think we’d have near as many addicts as we do now. But that’s a subject for another thread.

If you think trying LSD and mushrooms isn’t trying hard drugs then I believe you are simply trying to downplay your own experimentation. I do know that there have been studies done on this subject and I’m aware of the outcome. It’s true many people who experiment with pot don’t bother with anything else but I think our guy here is concerned about the drug use by his peers, and well he should be. I think most people who are willing to experiment draw their own lines somewhere, but pot alone just doesn’t seem to cut it for a lot of people after awhile. Basically an observation not drawn from statistics. Oh yeah and I’ve been smoking pot on and off since I was 13, 29 years ago.

I admit I have no knowledge of the newer drugs like X. But then I live in the southeast and Raves aren’t common here. No around here the biggest problem we have now with young people who are using serious drugs is crack and heroin. I just cannot tell you how dangerous even recreational use of these drugs can become. A couple of years ago I met a young pregnant girl who was recovering from a heroin addiction. She had never “shot up”. She’d only ever snorted the stuff, but an overdose had damaged her heart and she was on medication. She had about as much stamina as a new kitten. Recently I heard that she was still clean and her baby was cute as a button. I had so hoped she would turn out OK.

Anyway, the truth is the scariest thing about drugs is that when the time comes to be sober you just might not be able to put them down. Then of course there are the consequences should you ever be arrested. Small quanities of pot in most places only carry a misdemeanor, but ANY quantity of coke or even residue or paraphenalia is usually a felony. A felony conviction will usually get you time, behind bars. Nobody who is planning on going off to college one day wants a felony following them off to campus.

Oh well, enough preaching. Truth is I think alcohol in the hands of many people is as evil as any other drug, with maybe the exception of crack. Using that shit will never bring anyone good.

Needs2know

How about discussing why you (and they) do any number of things? I’m sure that drugs are not the ONLY things that your friends do.

If you try to convince them that ‘DRUGS ARE BAD’, you are going to come across as preachy. But I’d be willing to bet that ALL of you have made bad or poorly-thought-out decisions, only some of which were drug-related.

Giving thought to the possible consequences of one’s actions and making the best decision for oneself at the time is a much-needed skill - it can apply to drug-use as well as the rest of life. And the practice will do you all good.

Oh, obviously you’ve not spent much time at that pastime, my friend. It can be MOST entertaining. :wink:

[/quote]

Needs2Know, get over it. Almost everything you said is the usual bs crap that they teach the kids in school…and most of it is false. I notice that YOU still do drugs and won’t admit a problem…so you must be an addict, by your own reasoning.


IME, people who develop drug addictions do so because of underlying problems. With some exceptions, drug addiction tends to be a SYMPTOM, not a disease. If those particular individuals never try illegal drugs, they will become alcoholics, workaholics, religiaholics, or find some new thing to obsess over and become addicted to. To say that no one should ever try drugs because a few people may have problems is equivalent to saying that no one should drive automobiles because some people die in car wrecks.

IME, MANY MANY more people experiment with drugs in their youths than ever have problems. I do know some folks who have/had serious drug problems. But most people grow out of any consistent drug usage as they get older, and many more develop perfectly viable lives that incorporate the occasional use of recreational drugs.

Please note, I am NOT advocating drug use for any particular individual. That is a decision that an individual must make for himself. I have done my best to persuade some individuals to avoid any type of drug use, when circumstances made it obvious that they did/would have problems.

But these wholesale ‘drugs are so evil scary that you can’t even imagine’ diatribes do nothing to fight ignorance OR promote safe use of drugs. DARE and similar programs have been PROVEN to be ineffective in keeping kids off drugs, for the simple reason that if you lie to them long enough, they’ll catch you.

Redtail you are full of shit…period. Perhaps the stuff they try to teach kids in school is valid. I know we don’t really want to think on that now do we? And let’s face it being a workaholic does have it’s problems but it simply does not compare to being a crack head by any stretch of the imagination, or an alcoholic.

I’m an old “head” from way back so are most of my friends. The ones I’m still friends with went on to live productive lives, the ones I don’t ever see anymore got sucked into the cocaine thing back in the 80’s and never shook loose.

I am not a drug addict. No I’m the next worst thing, an “enabler” a “codependent type personality”. Yeah, I smoke pot occasionally. When I’m in a group or with a friend that wants to “blow one”. But I never buy it myself. Haven’t sprung for a quarter in years. Yeah, I drink, but I almost never drink alone. Everything I do is social. I’m so damned lucky that if there is a God I need to thank him for it. Other than the fact that now I have to keep my sympathy meter in check. It’s very easy for me to get sucked into someone else’s addiction. I try like hell to stay away from places where I might run into drunks and druggies. Most of them are amiable,charming, fun loving folks.

I do believe I mentioned the fact that addiction goes hand in hand with other psychological disorders. If you’ll look at my first post. I also noted that most of these disorders usually begin to present themselves right around the same time the individual begins experimenting with drugs. It’s a dangerous combination.

And I know that people can experiment with drugs and then go on to lives that either do not include drug use or infrequent drug use. I’m one of those people. My dearest and oldest friend is one of those people.

Just because you’re one of the lucky ones doesn’t mean you should advocate using drugs. (I know you said you didn’t but there is just something way to vehement about your statments.) When you’re 15 how do you know? You can’t. There is no way you can tell that a little experimentation can lead to something worse. That’s why I don’t advocate experimentation. Name me a teenager that doesn’t have some kind of angst about something? Well is that angst or depression? And did that little party the other night lead to years of “self medicating”. We won’t even get into the hereditary link that is theoried to sometimes be a key to alcoholism and addiction. What’s the point?

By the way…did you inhale?

Needs2know

I have two grandparents that died of alcohol and drug abuse. They use to take my dad and his brother to porn movies when they were little kids. My grandfather threated my dad with a handgun often and beat him up even more often.

My brother has been in jail for several weeks and then sentenced to a work camp over stealing things to support his drug habit.

My wife has a cousin who has been imprisoned several times because of things he did high on marijuana.

[sarcasm]But unlike most other people, my family members tried drugs and alcohol with the sole intent of becoming addicts.[/sarcasm]

Nobody starts using drugs hoping they will become addicted. They always start recreationally or just to try them. So how do you know whether or not you’ll get addicted? You don’t. So why try it?

Any argument for “experimentation” is unsound to me. Why risk it?

Unfortuanately, when we are teens, most of us think (or thought) that we are bulletproof and that nothing will happen to us. Because we are so gifted and talented and smart, I guess. And besides, those people have other problems; I’d never become an addict. blah blah blah blah blah.

Tell your friends what you think. If they continue to use drugs, find other friends. If they stop later, resume the friendship. That’s called tough love, and as hokey as it sounds, it’s the right thing to do.

You are at a crossroads here. This is what separates the men from the boys, so to speak. Standing for what is right might get you ridiculed, but it is better to be right than popular. Just make sure that you are kind. Right + Mean does not equal Right. Gracious words are always more effective than rude ones. Regardless of how much name-calling gets thrown your way, maintain composure and don’t let them suck you into being rude. Later, if they come to their senses, they’ll remember your conduct, so make it above reproach.

OK, I have officially Had It. Always, always, thread about drugs turn into insults traded with insults.

No more. I have not had time to read this thread to see who started it, nor even to see if this is the appropriate forum for the thread. I hope to get that time tonight. But right now I don’t care.

I am not going to ban discussion of drugs in this forum. That is not what fighting ignorance is about. Instead, I’m going to do something about those who break the rules.

The very next person who levels an insult at another member in this thread, for any reason, justified or not, will be banned from this message board. Take it to the Pit if you have a problem.

I trust I have made myself clear on this matter. My apologizes to those who have contributed to this thread without breaking the rules.

I’m sorry Amadeus…I didn’t really address your question did I? I really don’t think there is anything you can say without sounding like you’re preaching. I know you care about your buds but the truth is at your age keeping your own shit together is about all you can do. (That usually holds true no matter how old you are.) Take it from someone that has spent large amounts of her time and energy trying to do exactly what you are attempting to do.

I guess the best way to handle your situation is through example. Continue to be the one guy that doesn’t need to experiment with drugs. Maybe your actions will be noted by a few of your friends. It certainly will when you go off to college or the working world and start making a life for yourself. Some of those guys are gonna get left behind, believe me a certain percentage will. Just don’t get sucked into a one on one scene with anyone where you are worrying more about their well being than they are, that’s codependent behavior. And believe me hun it’s the next most heartbreaking thing to being an addict yourself. Good luck, and stick to your guns.

Needs2know…James…I’m so sorry to hear about the problems in your family. You really do sound angry. Do you have anyone you can talk with about your situation? It’s fine to be angry, it’s healthy and natural, but you can’t stay that way forever and not have it effect you adversely.

needs2know,

I think you misread me. I’m not carrying around anger about anything that happened in my family. My brother has been clean for a couple of years. My whole family went to Al-Anon for months while he was in treatment. My grandfather has been dead about 40 years; I never even knew him. My grandmother has been dead about 20 years, and I barely knew her.

Those examples were given because amadeus asked for something thought-provoking to say. Drugs and alcohol impair your judgment. Why else would someone point a gun at their kids or take them to porn movies? My dad and his brother were model, straight-A’s students; one ended up an actuary, the other a dentist. Their parents’ behavior was uncalled for and criminal, I think. That’s what drugs and alcohol do to families. To me, that’s thought provoking.

I’m passionate about fighting drug and alcohol ab/use, not angry. I’m sorry if I came off as angry. If anything sounded like an attack, I apologize. Just point it out, and I’ll ask manhattan to delete it from my post.

Why do you think your friends take drugs? Are they recreational? Is it like going out for a few beers or are they taking drugs to escape ( temporarily ) other problems. Then be a friend and help them deal with their problems. But the only problem with using marijuana or shrooms is that it is illegal and they could go to jail. Or that the person who sold them the drugs cut it with some bad stuff. Either way if they are otherwise able to function (hold down jobs, don’t knock over convenience stores) leave them alone.

I’ve never smoked pot. Still, two things I’ve observed from watching a good friend who smoked pot for years (sorry, no stats or double-blind trials; just this unscientific case study):

  1. Marjuana can make you stupid and unmotivated. Or at least, there’s a high correlation between the two, if not causality. Back in college, one of my friends who smoked regularly specifically stopped smoking on Saturday nights because he felt too slow-witted on Sunday and Monday morning, and couldn’t study. (He kept smoking on Friday nights for a long while, though.) Add to that the number of loser potheads I’ve met, and you get the main reason I never started smoking pot.

  2. Marijuana can make you paranoid. Same friend once jumped out a third-story window while high because he thought his roommate who was coming in the front door was actually the police. (He hung there from the windowsill for about a minute, trying to figure out if the grabage cans down on the sidewalk would break his fall, before his roommate found him and hauled him back inside.)

  3. Unless you grow it yourself, you don’t know what’s in pot. Same guy once smoked a joint he got from a friend and I wound up chasing him outside around the block for two hours in the snow at night. The pot was laced with something odd (PCP, we think, but who knows). He started hallucinating, tore off half of his clothes, and became convinced that he was the Messiah. When I finally got him back to the apartment bldg., he tried to set the doormat on fire with his mind (pretty funny) and then, once upstairs, tried to jump out the second story window because he was sure he could fly (less funny; I guess he had a thing for windows). A bunch of us sat him down, away from any windows, and waited for him to come down. He prophesied (incorrectly) the coming deaths of a number of our grandmothers, before coming to his senses and finally declaring, “Boy, it sure is a relief not to be Jesus anymore.”

He never smoked pot again.

The moral of this story: pot CAN be dangerous and make you dumb and do dumb things. But it makes for some really funny stories if you survive. So maybe that’s not such a good moral.

Oh well. Stay off the drugs, is my advice.

And now, a musical interlude for manhattan’s entertainment whn he returns to the thread after a hard day at the office…

{clearing of throat}

*Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke
You gotta understand
It’s just our bringing up-ke
That gets us out of hand.
Our mothers all are junkies
Our fathers all are drunks
Golly Moses, naturally we’re punks!

Dear kindly Judge your Honor,
My parents treat me rough.
With all their marijuana,
They won’t give me a puff.
They didn’t wanna have me
But somehow I was had.
Leapin’ lizards, that’s why I’m so bad!

My daddy beats my mommy
My mommy clobbers me
My grandpa is a Commie
My grandma pushes tea.
My sister wears a moustache
My brother wears a dress,
Goodness gracious, that’s why I’m a mess!

Gee, Officer Krupke, we’re very upset
We never had the love that every child oughta get.
We ain’t no delinquents,
We’re misunderstood!
Deep down inside us there is good!

> It is true…using milder drugs, such as pot and alcohol can lead to using stronger drugs, like cocaine, heroin etc.

Actually, the real gateway drug is McDonalds food. Studies show 99% of heroin users have eaten at Mickey D’s.

Speaking of pot, I know lots of people who have used it, some a little, some a lot. None of them went on to harder stuff, & most of them quit when they got older. When they used it, smoking a joint was like someone else having a six-pack- similar effects, except for the puking that can result from beer.

The thing about the drug debate that saddens me most is the one size fits all mentality, which actually pervades most American society, anyway. Ex: One kid breaks his arm climbing a tree, Mom gets upset, and now all kids are banned from climbing that tree. The re-criminalization movement in the 80s started that way. It does rile me that people die every year from pharmaceutical drugs (even from mere weight loss pills), and there’s no movement to criminalize pills and pill takers.

As with anything in life, drugs are a subjective matter. I thought the Different Strokes theme taught us that? “What might be right for you, may not be right for some…” I personally would like the decision to be mine. I recognize that not all people can be trusted to make their own decisions, lest they choose to do crack all of the time and steal my cheap CD player, winter coat, and favorite, worn-out hat from Jackson Hole. But I think that should be a priveledge to be lost, not gained.

It has been my experience that the previously mentioned concept of drugs-masking-psychological-problems is quite accurate. Drugs are not the problem. Granted, they usually exacerbate, often causing actual chemical changes, but getting rid of the drugs won’t get rid of the problem(s). An addict is an addict and will find shopping online or risky sex or fundamentalist religion or whatever to take the place of drugs. Same addict, different addiction.

Fact is, so many drug and narcotic-related problems could be resolved through decriminalization, especially in regards to marijuana. If it were legal or at least less illegal, Angel Dust in my quarter bag wouldn’t be on my worry list.

Nobody can work me up quite as much as one of my friends. She’s a regular X user who likes nothing more than to preach against my occasional indulgence in a few lines.

ME: “So you’re saying that something that gets completely flushed outta my system in 48 hours, tops, is WORSE than something that gives you a buzz for up to a week?”

HER: “But X makes you feel good for a week, and it’s a lot of fun at parties.”

ME: “Have you ever actually tried coke?”

HER: “No, but I know some people who have, and they turn into violent assholes.”

ME: “Ever seen me turn into a violent asshole?”

HER: “No, but…”

ME: “So wouldn’t it make sense that those people who turn into violent assholes while on coke might be predisposed to violen-assholeness anyway?”

HER: “All I know is that coke is bad, bad, BAAAAAD.”

Listen: If your friends don’t seem to be having a problem, ie, if their recreational activities aren’t bleeding over into other aspects of their lives, just mind your own business. Try and change them, and you’ll probably lose them. A few years ago, my best friend, a guy who I’d known since preschool, suddenly up and ended our friendship over a couple of lines. This is a guy who I’s shot up morphine with, who suddenly got a hair up his ass about drugs. Of course his daily twelve pack didn’t count as a drug. What a putz. It really pissed me off.

"So I ask him, ‘Why do you do drugs?’

"He says [mock-pretentious voice], ‘It intensifies your personality.’

“‘Yes, but what if you’re an asshole?’”

OK. On further review, it seems clear that the OP is seeking advice on how to advance a particular position, as opposed to seeking a debate.

I’m going to move this thread to MPSIMS, where perhaps some of the good folks there will have some advice for him.

And perhaps folks will behave better.

Uke Ike, you are going to hell. Keep the beer on ice until I get there, willya?

I hate how you can’t edit posts on this board. I stupidly turned on email notification on one of my posts, and now I can’t get the thing to shut up about this thread.