Monday, June 3, 2013

Day Three - Your Views on Drugs and Alcohol

Paula at "Paula's Place" and Kwizgiver  at "what if this is as good as it gets" are both doing the June monthly challenge, I wanted to play along.  Here is day 3's topic:  What are your views on drugs and alcohol.

Sigh... wow, this is a deep one.

First one first -- drugs.  

In my lifetime, I've known people who have been  addicted to prescription drugs.  I've also known users and abusers of "illegal" drugs.  (I put that in quotations because even though prescription drugs are illegal if they're in the wrong hands, generally the term "drugs" insinuates those of the illegal variety.  That being said, some of what is considered "illegal" is, in my opinion, ridiculous... because of the second part of this question -- alcohol.

I'm not a big drinker.  Over the Memorial Day holiday I purchased a six-pack for me.  It is still intact.  I haven't had one.  Not even a sip.  Those frosty Newcastles are more likely to be given to guests that should pay me a visit rather than wind up poured down the back of my throat.  You know, I never have been a big drinker.  With my group of friends growing up, I never trusted anyone to NOT drink (Yes, I'm that much of a control freak) so that we all had a designated driver.  Therefore, I was always the designated driver.  Without fail.  Sometimes it really stunk because, let's face it, drunk people are annoying.  Drunk females are even worse!  Especially the ones that get all weepy eyed and start sobbing about lost loves -- SHOOT.ME.NOW!

I didn't grow up in a house of alcoholics.  I recall my parents drinking responsibly.  It wasn't ever an issue.  I remember as a kid my dad playing rec softball and after the games, everyone would gather around and have a cold one before the drive home.  He was a police officer.  He wasn't a drunk.  He knew he was driving his daughter with him.  And when he'd tuck me in at night, I could smell the beer on his breath... but it wasn't something I think of in disgust, it's rather a nostalgic tug at my inner little girl remembering that comforting feeling of having my dad near.  Nothing more.

Flash forward to my early teen years and my mother and step-father would host Christmas.  My step father's dad was a jerk of a drunk.  He would mix a bottle of Jack with a quart of eggnog, get shit faced and be a complete douche bag -- to everyone.  I recall him coming to OUR home one time (drunk, of course) and YELLING at my mother.  I don't remember anything specifically that was said, but I was in a room nearby and heard everything.  I remember it making me cry.  I remember screaming "You're a BASTARD!" at him when he was leaving our home that afternoon.  I hated him after that... and his rank smell of whiskey on his breath.  Clyde Fann.... you're a real piece of shit... always were... 

That was the extent of "alcoholism" in my family.

As a high schooler, there were parties and there was drinking.  I had friends that smoked pot.  I had friends that tripped acid.  I had friends that did other stuff but they didn't tell me about because...DUH.. my mom and dad were BOTH cops!  Around me, however, the most anyone ever did was drink or smoke weed.  I didn't partake in either, but I didn't care that they did.  I had friends that smoked cigarettes as well. However, knowing that I didn't, they were never offered to me.  Same with the booze or pot.  That whole "peer pressure" racket is a joke.  I think that comes more from an inner willpower than pressure to do something.  But that's a topic for another day.

So, that's my experience with drugs and alcohol.... but what's my opinion on them?  

It's two-fold.  I've seen the after effects of alcohol in my personal and professional life.  Drinking and driving kills.  I have seen girls become so completely wasted they were taken advantage of.  I've heard the guys brag about it.  I have seen people drink themselves into alcoholic poisoning.  I have seen people passed out BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THEIR CAR.  I've been on accident scenes while working at the Sheriff's Office in Colorado where there has been a fatality due to drinking and driving.  I have had friends killed by drunk drivers.  And alcohol can be lethal and is LEGAL.  I do not, however, have a problem with someone who can have a drink responsibly in a private or social situation and still maintain complete control of their mind and body with full faculties about them... should that be illegal?  I think not.  I mean, it's legal.  It's their RIGHT.  Right?

However, to the contrary, I have had friends who have smoked pot (which is ILLEGAL -- in most states) and have YET to suffer any ill effects from it.  I have never seen anyone become a raging asshole wanting to beat everyone down... from smoking pot.  I have never seen anyone wreck their car because they had too much... to smoke.  I have never heard of someone being killed from smoking too much in one instance.  

Do I advocate it?  Of course not... there is an unwarranted stigma attached to it.  

Do I, however, feel it should be ILLEGAL?  Absolutely not!  If anything, the government should grow it, regulate it, and tax the hell out of it.  National debt crisis solved!  

I mean, you could pull up statistic after statistic about death tolls and fall-out from being under the influence of cannabis ..and I could guarantee that it would PALE in comparison to that of the alcohol-related injuries and death.  Yet, one is illegal and considered dirty and gross and being sold in baggies on street corners in the dark -- and the one with the MOST destruction, death and fall-out is sold at Wal-Mart.  It's ridiculous.  As an aside, I don't feel that pot is a "gateway" drug either.  That's a highly perpetuated scare tactic to push some sort of legislative agenda.  And you can quote me.

Please understand, however, that this is ONLY involving cannabis   This in no way my opinion on meth, cocaine, abuse of prescription drugs or anything of the like.  I feel that our country, as it stands, is OVER MEDICATED (but that, too, is a post for another day)... and I feel that the medical professional -- in many cases -- are all to happy to write a script rather than treat the person.  For instance, my mom is trying to help a dear friend of hers, right now, detox from prescription pain pills that were abused for an ENTIRE YEAR.  

I think that medicinal uses for narcotics have their place under the watchful eyes of medical professionals.  Alternatively, meth, crack, speed, heroin, coke and all the highly coveted "legal" illegal drugs (oxycotin, hydrocodone, etc.) that are USED illegally and without prescription are just bad... wrong... and cause destructive behaviors, tendencies and bad juju.

However, much like the gun debate... legislating them and making them "illegal" won't stop people from getting them.  Where there's a will -- there's a way.


Paula said...

Wow! A very well written post on a delicate subject. For the most part I am in such agreement with everything that you have said. Except I do NOT want cannibis to become legal. And I HAVE known quite a few drug addicts in my 62 years on this earth and they all started with marijuana. It might be the government uses that as a scare tactic. But I don't want my grand-kids to do either: smoke or drink! This country tried to outlaw alcohol and it didn't work. I don't think it is working to keep marijuana illegal either. I think it is a subject that we will probably never see solved! Thanks for participating in the challenge. I always love your very honest opinions.

Cristy S said...

Great post!! Excellent points. I agree, tax the hell out of it. I think people who drink, just need to know their limit. I know mine, it is zero!! I can't stand those sobbing drunk girls, but the ones that fall all over themselves and hit on guys is hilarious!! I love to go to a bar and people watch. You can tell alcohol definitely lowers inhibitions. I think I got behind a guy today that was driving while on marijuana; he was going extremely slow and had a goofy look on his face.