Home' Scoop : Scoop 54 Summer 2010 Contents FORUM opinion
perception, that in the short term drugs can be fun: they can mellow you
out at the end of a long day, help you compete, make your muscles bigger,
make you run faster and longer. And they can pick you up at work and let you
party all night long. After all, Ben Cousins had a lot of fun and still won a
premiership while using, didn’t he? And if alcohol, smoking, coffee and anti-
depressants are all leg al, who are you to say I can’t take a little pot, cocaine
and ecstasy on the weekend? And the risk is minimal. People die on the road,
but we still drive cars – right?
Wrong. Drugs are the scourge of our society – public enemy number one!
They fund organised crime and street thugs. They led to the death of one
of our most beloved football heroes and publicly destroyed the career of
another. Six out of 10 males charged with a serious crime test positive to
illicit drugs, and drug drivers are now linked to more road accidents than
drunk drivers. There’s also a proven link between drug use and teen suicide
– the cost to our community is incalculable.
This is why it is important to be fully informed, so that we can educate
our kids – with some measure of credibility – about exactly how stupid it is
to turn to drugs. Plus, we also need to know what to look out for and how to
handle drug-related situations. That they are stupid (it’s only luck that ensures
you don’t take a bad batch of party drugs and die), boring (you can turn into
a jibbering mess – so people laugh at you and not with you) and uncool (in an
era of ethical awareness, taking drugs can help fund the death of others) are
far more convincing arguments against drugs than relying on the rather banal
argument that drugs are illegal and therefore bad.
My thinking has always been that kids aren’t stupid; they are just poorly
informed. Particularly when faced with a heavy dose of peer pressure, it’s hard
for any of us to relate seemingly harmless fun and seemingly commonplace
behaviour with the remote prospect of potential harm. We need to do more
to demonstrate that drugs are not the answer for dealing with life’s issues.
That they are a sure-fire way to set yourself on a path to r uin.
The difficulty with drugs is the impact is often more insidious, is often
harder to measure and therefore more difficult to dramatise. That’s one of the
reasons why there is so much widespread ignorance out there. The dramatised
cases are just the tip of the iceberg.
The bottom line is that as an adult member of this community,
a policeman, a politician or as a young adult, ‘just
say no’ is no longer a sufficient argument. As
a parent, if you are simply relying on threats,
keeping your kids away from the mythical ‘bad
crowd’ and distracting them with sports, you need
to do better. And you’re not alone – we all need
to do better. We can no longer stick our heads in the
sand and hope that the problem goes away. It is
time to get better educated about drugs. S
Turn to p96 to read our in-depth stor y on drugs and
p104 for David’s ‘Top 10 Reasons Not to Use’.
*Newspoll study, 1998. ** eatingdisorders.org.
CALL TO TELL THE WHOLE STORY
Response to: Up in Coke, Scoop 53, p74
I have lived in Perth for 11 years now, coming from England, and am horrified
at how massive drugs are here. Scoop magazine is mainly aimed at the ‘higher
social economic’ people in Perth. But, how about you roll up your sleeves and
see what’s really happening on the streets?
Coke is only available and affordable to those in higher circles, then it is cut
so much to make it go further, as it is so rare. That’s the stuff that rots brains. It is
great to address this problem, but it goes so much deeper than footballers and
models (who can actually afford it).
Crystal meth is the street-gutter drug of the moment, the one that the masses
are more likely to afford and get their hands on. To be honest, it’s the worst out
there... An ugly, ugly drug. I have watched a college friend and a prominent
business owner abuse to the point of no return on that stuff, and it is very
upsetting as you cannot help them. I witnessed one’s business go bankrupt and
marriage disappear as all of her time and money went on the gear. And why? To
relieve stress, have a good time and relax (isn’t that what [Ben] Cousins said?).
I have also seen my best mate lose his sister earlier this year due to a heroin
overdose. She was being tested weekly for meth and pot abuse, but looked for a
loophole in the system to still use and to get her own ‘escape’. She was found dead
by her father and daughter. Nothing glamorous about that for her 12-year-old.
You only have to go to any music festival and see 20,000 people with their
eyes hanging off their faces to see there is a big problem here. Some of them
are just kids and their brains are not fully developed yet. It’s very sad. This affects
everyday people. The biggest shock would be finding out how many drivers on
the road have used prior to jumping in their cars.
I myself battled with pot for many years, as it had a calming effect on my
hectic lifestyle as a business owner and single mum. I have learnt that in effect
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