The first time I wrote about this one, I laid out a fairly comprehensive list of all the drugs and alcohol issues and what I thought about them.
Then the last three years happened, and they changed my opinions on this issue as they did with most of the others.
Either that, or they forced me to be totally honest.
Day 20 ~ What are your views on drugs and alcohol?
That's not a loaded question or anything...
I live in Colorado, the state with totally legal recreational marijuana. I've been pot adjacent more times than I could count, but I still have never smoked it myself.
I know, right?
This may come as a shock to some of you, but it's the honest truth. I've never done pot....or any recreational drugs for that matter.
I guess I will address pot first here. I am a fan. A BIG FAN. Which is weird for someone who has never even tried it. I have never smoked it, but I know a ton of people who have, and the one that matters the most to me personally was my Dad. He was reluctant to smoke to fight the nausea and pain he was in from cancer and chemo, but finally went for it. I will tell you without a moment of hesitation that it worked better than anything else he was ever on.
He was giggly and happy, he ate everything in sight and kept it down. There was one night that he was out in the garage, smoking and watching tv. He was laughing so hard, and it was some Food Channel show about cheese. Towards the end, he had a routine that worked pretty well. He'd be sick and rely on the prescribed meds most of the day, but finally towards the evening he would go smoke and then sit and eat an entire jar of peanuts.
We went through a lot of peanuts in those weeks.
And it was awesome.
As far as my kids are concerned, they know that he was smoking pot. He didn't hide his pipe, they saw it in the garage. I treated it like every other medication in the world, and just told them that it was something that helped him, that he used it because of the cancer. It helped him feel less pain and made him hungry.
And the thing about kids is this - when you're honest with them about stuff like this, it makes sense to them and they just accept it. No drama, no wondering, no questions.
I WISH the drug manufacturers would actually work on meds derived from marijuana, and modify it into some form where the dosages are controlled - it would help SO many people. It boggles my mind that opiates are manufactured without the blink of an eye for pain, but marijuana is the third rail that no one will touch.
As for other recreational drugs, I am personally not a fan. I don't have personal usage experience, but I've seen enough people mess up their lives because of addiction. If we treated addiction like the medical problem it is, usually coupled with mental health services, if we realized that a great many users are self medicating for untreated problems, if we treated it as a health issue instead of a criminal one, things would be very different than they are now. The war on drugs hasn't helped anyone.
(Told you I am becoming a hippie)
The question doesn't ask specifically about cigarettes, and I didn't write about them at all last time, so here is the quick and dirty on them, and everything you need to know.
- My Dad was a smoker and died of lung cancer
- My Mom was a smoker and died of arterial disease complicated by diabetes and smoking
- I used to smoke (briefly) and forced myself to stop because I loved it
- I would probably totally smoke if there was a way to guarantee my health wouldn't suffer
- It's SO strong of an addiction that even 20 years after I quit, I still want to smoke
- I fucking hate cigarettes
Now, for alcohol. This one is harder even than cigarettes.
Alcohol scares me more than anything else in this question, because I know how easily I could go down that path. I've come too close before.
I've watched alcohol destroy lives, I've seen people fight this beast.
I drink. More than some people, less than others.
I know I have to be careful. And I am.
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