Drugs? What Drugs?

What Exactly Do We Mean By Drugs? We often hear people in society using the word drugs in a very generalized fashion when referring to various illegal substances. However, there is a view that we are unconsciously giving out mixed messages by indiscriminately referring to all currently illegal substances simply as 'drugs', with no real distinction or clarity. As we currently understand it, the word 'drugs', as applied by the authorities, the media, and following on, many of the general public, seems purely to pertain to illegal substances, of one form or another, and there is all too often no real discrimination between the particular substances being referred to. The only criteria seems to be that, if it is a currently illegal substance, it is 'drugs'.

Not Alcohol And Tobacco? At the same time we somehow disassociate alcohol and tobacco as if they are somehow not 'drugs' and so perfectly acceptable with no real acknowledged or related problems. This, of course, is because they are both legal and therefore they are somehow not referred to, or seen as, 'drugs', even though they both are, and even though they are both quite serious, addictive and potentially harmful drugs, notably more so than some of the currently illegal ones. We also tend to overlook the many legally prescribed drugs, many of which have their own inherent problems, dangers and side effects and the message often seems to be that if it is legal, it is perfectly ok, if it is illegal, it is not, and of course, this is simply not true! The point is, if society doesn't discriminate and present a clear and accurate picture, how can anyone know the true facts?

What Exactly Is A Drug? In actual fact, a drug is anything that can chemically have an effect on the physical or mental functioning of the body. This, therefore, encompasses a very wide range of legal and illegal substances, both manufactured and naturally occurring. They all vary immensely in effect, degrees of potency, potential side effects, and potential dangers. The drug list is endless and the list of things containing drugs is also endless. Such a list will even include things like tea, coffee, food items, soft drinks and sweets. Not all illegal drugs are the same, far from it, consequently, we need to get much more discrimination and clarity into the situation so that young people may develop a clearer understanding of what is what, and what to avoid!

Poles Apart: For example, there is a lot of difference between cannabis and heroin or crack cocaine, and we mustn't forget that alcohol is a drug, as is nicotine and as is caffeine, present in tea and coffee. Also the many types of 'e' number, as found in, amongst other things, children's sweets and drinks. If you've ever seen a child go berserk and run wild after imbibing certain soft drinks or eating certain sweets (and I have a daughter who was just like that), this is the reason why. They have been taking 'drugs'. On one such occasion my daughter, in a 'drug' stimulated, over excited and hyped up state, put her tooth through her lip. Worse injuries have happened to other people's children whilst under the influence of such 'e' numbers, I'm sure. It may be alright having them run up the wall but when they fall off at the top, it's not so good. There are also a great many recognised legal drugs that have consequences in the form of considerable dangers and side-effects. The issue of 'drugs' is a very complex subject, with many things to consider, therefore, it should be considered important to be a little bit more picky and definitive, and so discriminate properly between the various 'drugs' so as to present a clearer picture and a better understanding. They are not all the same and if society doesn't properly discriminate, how can young people? We should all know the difference and not be led to believe all drugs are simply drugs! Because even though they are, they are not all the same!

Say It Like It Is: By generalizing too much, and by presenting the picture as we currently do, it is very easy to give people the impression that all legal drugs are perfectly ok and all illegal drugs are somehow on a par. This is one of the reasons why people think that smoking cannabis leads onto harder drugs, because sometimes it can, purely and simply because there is no real distinction, and people can be fooled into thinking there all much of a muchness. Sometimes people realise, through the personal experience of smoking cannabis, that cannabis isn't that bad, even though it's illegal. Therefore, it is very easy to think that perhaps other illegal drugs, such as heroin, aren't that bad either, that is, if you don't know the facts. By the time you do realize, it is often too late, and you have embarked upon a life-damaging ride that will end who knows where! It is important for our society to underline with a passion, the difference between all drugs and their associated dangers. Let us be a little bit more discerning and start living in the real world! People will do drugs. Let's make sure they know the difference and which ones to avoid!