It’s a funny old topic, drugs. Everyone has an opinion, but no one has a definitive argument. There are, as far as I can see, no right or wrong answers when it comes to the different sides of the debate on drug use or the influence of drugs on culture and society.
Yes, drugs kill people. Often, young people. Drug use is intrinsically linked to mental health problems (hence why it’s such an important subject for CALM) and these are, of course, terrible and tragic consequences of drug use. The fact that the age old governmental ‘war on drugs’ is still being waged, decades on, proves that this is more than just a cut and dried case of illegalising ALL drugs and therefore preventing drug use completely. That would be ridiculous and unrealistic. Drugs, including alcohol, are as old as the hills. The ancient Greeks were getting off their faces on wine whilst us Brits were still rolling around in mud, Henry VIII‘s insatiable appetite for booze is well documented, Samuel Coleridge wrote his best work whilst tripping his tits off on opiates, and Queen Victoria took cannabis (for period pains ALLEDGEDLY). This doesn’t mean illicit drugs are good, it just means that drugs, in whatever form, have been, and always will be, an intrinsic part of human life. From tribes in the Amazon licking frogs, to the opium smoking witch doctors in Thailand, to your mate Boz who can’t get out of bed without smoking a fat spliff, humans like to get high. It’s a global and historic issue, so where do you start?
We at CALMzine are not here to judge. If you take drugs, that’s your business. It’s about personal responsibility. Focusing on the reasons behind drug use and tacking the problem from a personal and therapeutic standpoint is perhaps more helpful than a government spending all their time and money on criminalising drugs and driving them underground, which in itself creates a dangerous network of suppliers, traffikers and dealers. I’ve seen Scarface. I know the score (“Say hello to my liddle frien!” Erm…no thanks, Tony. But thanks for your hospitality.) Lets face it, drug industries, both legal and illegal, are not going to be awarded a ‘fair trade’ stamp any time soon.
The articles in this next issue of CALMzine cover a variety of standpoints – from how music and narcotics have gone hand in hand from year dot, with varying outcomes, to a Bill Hicks influenced piece on the pro drugs argument and a brave and honest first person account of how drug use and depression led to attempted suicide in Inner Life. It’s a vast topic, impossible to cover in totality in only 36 pages, but I hope what we have done is open up some areas for debate, either between yourselves and your mates, or on our website. Like anything else, talking openly about these issues is the way to learn and make educated decisions about personal actions, and hopefully we’re on our way to achieving just that.