Home' Scoop : Scoop 54 Summer 2010 Contents 104 SCOOP SUMMER 2010
ISSUE drugs opinion
t’s no secret, and your kids know it, too, that many young people have
experimented with drugs and gotten away with it. However, there are
thousands of other bright and promising lives that have been ruined,
and it all started with a first bong or first party drug. Research shows
even one ecstasy tablet can cause irreparable damage to the brain
and one ‘toke’ on a joint can cause psychosis in some. There are front-page
instances, too, where party-goers drop dead at concerts or a ‘bad batch’ of
drugs leaves a trail of deaths. But all this ignores the personal and anecdotal
evidence that doesn’t show up in research and statistics. Like anyone in their
40s living in Perth, I have countless friends and associates whose lives have
been ruined or seriously impacted by drugs. Many live with massive regret,
wishing they knew then what they know now. Unfortunately, it’s a perspective
that young kids don’t have, and that needs to be better communicated to give
them more reason for saying ‘no’. Not talking about it is not the answer and I
think it is time for parents, and the community, to take off the gloves. Here are
10 reasons I will be giving my kids when they are old enough to be at risk.
LOSING PLEASURE IN LIFE Think of the feeling you get from all
the things you love in life. Now think what your world will be like when
your brain is so impaired that you no longer receive pleasure from any of
them. Now think what your world would be like as a serial drug user. You just
have. In the case of some drug users, it gets to the stage when dr ugs don’t even
give them that pleasure, it only gives them a sort of ‘nor malcy’.
LOSING PERSPECTIVE Drugs affect the way your brain works and
your ability to think clearly. Your perspective can fundamentally change.
The problem is that you need your brain and clear thinking to objectively
measure the impact of drugs on your life. Welcome to the drug spiral.
TURNING INTO A MORON While many see pot as harmless, it is a
major contributor to youth suicide and psychosis. Yes, pot might help
deal with anxiety, but anxiety isn’t all bad – it can lead to resolving the
issues behind it. In my experience, even after they stop using, most long-term
smokers lose the capacity to deal with any difference of opinion – forever.
BECOMING A SCREAMING IDIOT In my experience, drugs
can exacerbate character flaws and take a lack of confidence into the
realm of arrog ance. While the user is often oblivious, it is an easy
phenomenon to recognise. And, over time, it can be a relationship killer that
becomes apparent only when the drug-fuelled world falls apart.
5RETARDING YOUR BRAIN Imagine waking up and not being able
to speak without slurring your words, or remember the way home, the
names of friends and relatives. Reading becomes impossible. How about
waking up in an institution, needing long-term care to live independently? This
is the risk a user takes and is endemic to serious alcohol and meth users.
ADDICTION It can be a gradual thing or it can happen in an instant.
Once you have it, you typically have it forever. Imagine walking through
the desert for two days without drinking, then having a cool glass
of water placed in front of you. Imagine waking up with that thirst, that
distraction, that temptation – every day. If you are wondering what impact
that has on a person, look at the face of an addict, using or non-using.
BULKING AGENTS & PURITY You may have noticed many drug
dealers aren’t particularly bright or caring. Nor will it surprise you to
learn the guys mixing the chemicals for your next hit, or using bulking
agents to increase weight, are not usually chemists or medicos. When they get
things really wrong, the results are a run of deaths and mental damag e.
SUPPORTING CRIME AND DEATH It has been estimated that a
third of WA prisoners and up to 60 per cent of violent crime is drug
related. The thugs that ruin places like Northbridge and make nightlife
in Perth a nightmare, breaking into houses, stealing cars – that’s who the cash
goes to. Not to mention international crime syndicates...
IT IS ILLEGAL That means far-reaching impacts beyond a jail
sentence. You can kiss travel to the US and other countries g oodbye –
forever. That ‘have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence’ box
on application forms and ‘police clearances’ will mean something – forever.
Two years ago, a friend’s 17-year-old son was busted at a concert and thought
it was all over when he escaped jail. Since then his house has twice been
raided. Convicted first-time users or dealers are on the radar – forever.
DEATH While death is less common compared to the amount
of mental damag e, drugs are ready to take the lives of the first-
time user or the long-term addict – it’s really luck that determines
who g ets to live. Even our most treasured heroes – a legendary footballer,
husband, father of two and one of life’s true gentlemen – Chris Mainwaring
was not immune. And death, of course, is... forever. S
There are better reasons for your kids not to use drugs than
their being wrong or illegal. David Hogan comes up with 10
NOT TO USE
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