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Drug Culture

In the modern world, drugs are a way of life. Cigarettes are sold in sweet shops, alcohol is sold in the pub, cocaine is made available at ' sophisticated' parties, crack is sold on the streets, cannabis is smoked in schools, amphetamines and ecstasy are part of the rave scene, while those too young to be allowed out all night may console themselves with glue and other solvents inhaled out of sight of the parents (who are comfort eating at home).

It seems like practically everyone is looking for some addition to their lives, something to make them feel more relaxed, or 'out of it' or in some sense different from their normal lives. To some extent, all this is an extension of our consumer society - we can no more help putting 'extra' things into our mouths or noses than we can help buying things we don't need at the shops.The incentive comes in the form of advertising, peer-pressures or stress. However much of this is bad for us, and in some cases, it will kill us.

There might have been a time when 'recreational drugs' were relatively harmless, but no longer. The police have found some instances, so-called 'amphetamines ' sold on the street contain as little as 2 per cent of the drug. These days, cannabis is often cultivated using pesticides which can have a very adverse effect on health. For example, in Mexico they use paraquat which, even in small quantities, can cause irreversible lung damage, while in Jamaica, Columbia and Belize they tend to use glyphosate. Many pot smokers have developed strange illnesses which seem to have no identifiable cause, ranging from temporary loss of sight to loss of strength or swelling in the legs and partial paralysis.

Meanwhile hashish is so 'cut' with shoe polish and other non-narcotic substances it can no longer be considered a 'natural ' drug, 'Cocaine' is more likely to be rat poison than a derivative of the coca plant, while 'crack' is just junk making the junkie.  

So-called 'recreational drugs' have other dangers. Cocaine strips people of their character so they no longer know the difference between right and wrong. Coke-heads become like soul -less cadavers, a danger to themselves and everyone around them. Obviously heroin is pure evil and any one taking it at any time needs his or her head examined.

Alcohol is by far the most widespread drug, loegal and taxed, but is said to kill more people than all other drugs combined. In America, half the accidents on the roads are caused by people under the influence, and because of them, 22,000 people die each year. In 1990 a total of 65,000 Americans died as a result of alcohol - which causes cirrhosis of the liver, heart damage, throat, mouth and tongue cancers, gastritis, pancreatitis, brain damage and many other things.

Depression and anxiety are other effects of the drug. Although Europeans tend to think of America as the home of the lush, in fact America consumes a third of the alcohol it did in the 1830s and today. Korea leads the world per capita alcohol consumption, while the Japanese have doubled their intake since the 1950s. Each country tends to have its own drinking patterns - with the Italians centering the activity around daily meals (20,000 deaths from cirrhosis of the liver each year) while the finns tend to binge and fall under an oncoming bus.

From all I have said, you might think I'm an old fuddy-duddy who disapproves of people enjoying themselves. Far. from it, but, drugs in any form are dangerous if not taken in moderation and with caution. There is a worldwide history of people wanting to escape the normal parameters of daily life, but we must somehow strive to lessen the dangers inherent in this activity and find substances which can enhance our normal humdrum lives without killing us or making us ill.

Reference: The Fragrant Mind : Valerie Ann Worwood