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Mephedrone Kills - Ed's journal
Mephedrone Kills
So there's a 'new' drug in the news, and there's a furore over how dangerous it is, because people have died. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8571935.stm
I was pondering that on the way home tonight. Y'see, this might sound a little odd, but I don't particularly fear dying. I mean, I'm not overly keen on the idea you understand, but in the grand scheme of things, everyone dies sooner or later - what's important is how you live before then.

Think about your average 20-something, who's trying recreational drugs. Chances are good that they've never had to face permanent debility. Might understand what 'dying' means, but ... in most cases, won't have actually been faced with it.

Is it any surprise that 'you have a very small chance of dying' isn't actually much a deterrent to drug use, amongst the population group that's most likely to commit suicide?

But look at the stuff that will cause permanent debilitation and impairment, and you get a lot closer to something that's horrifying.

The only long term solution to substance abuse is NOT to criminalize it, but instead ensure that everyone who's inclined to try, is also properly educated about safe usage, side effects and consequences. It's also to regulate - bad quality control is probably as much - if not more - of a killer than the substance itself, and not least because diluting something means you get to make more profit.

Methedrone was popular, because it was cheap, legal, and because of that possible to get a decent quality without having to worry about it. There's not a lot of research to indicate how harmful it is. Also, bear in mind that the people who died from it, had been drinking.
That's just not a good idea, y'know? Alcohol is a pretty harmful substance too, and mixing that and something else intoxicating _is_ dangerous.

But you know, a lot more people die of smoking and drinking than do of taking mephedrone.
4 comments or Leave a comment
purp1e_magic From: purp1e_magic Date: March 18th, 2010 12:04 am (UTC) (Link)
As a teenager you always see matters as all or none in this regard. There's no "maimed and eating through a straw" in between. And young people are young because they haven't experienced as much of life. They haven't met the grieving family and friends or the guy who wasn't as lucky. They're just myths you are vaguely aware of. Part of the problem is that the kids who will never touch the stuff are sometimes given the most horrific things to think about, while the kid who will do what they like doesn't listen to stupid horror stories anyway. It not only polarises view it also alienates those who cross that line, so that they've 'gone bad' and other kids will give up on them, creating self-fulfilling predictions.

I don't care about death much either. I've had this weird feeling that I'm likely to die young for whatever reason, and it doesn't change much. I already live like I want to live and fill my days. I have ambitions that I hope to achieve, even though some of them may take me longer than I expect will be possible. I don't think it would matter too much knowing that I was definitely going to die tomorrow. I guess the only thing I'd really be sorry to miss would be raising the two tiny people under my care. But I can't speed it up or dedicate more time to it to better effect or anything, so it doesn't make any difference, really. Anything could happen tomorrow, and all I can hop is that my teaching and training so far is enough grounding to build on for them.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: March 26th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't remember how I felt, but I think that in general, dying - whilst tragic - is ... well, sort of a step change. Something that's done, and leaves only echoes and memories.
And something that's inevitable - the length of your lifespan isn't inherently good or bad, either way.

I really do think that the 'horror stories' are counter productive - it only takes one person to 'prove a lie' - the mortality rate of cannabis is quite low. Actually, in a 'controlled evironment' the same could be said of even the most scary of the class A drugs - morphine is administered medicinally, and it doesn't cause a great deal of long term harm, if it's done so 'safely'.
But even a 1% 'mortality rate' will mean that a casual user will 'get away with it' quite a few times.

But having a very specific description of ... well, almost from someone who _has_ done it, and ideally with supporting evidence of what it's cost in the long run - and then ... well, choose or not.
From: dj_rws Date: March 21st, 2010 10:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Darwinian theory:

Drugs are known to be bad. If take you drugs you may die. If you take drugs and do die then net overall IQ increases for remaining population. Survival of the cleverest.

I believe in freedom of choice but if you want to do stupid things then be prepared for the consequences. Let them eat cake.
sobrique From: sobrique Date: March 26th, 2010 04:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
How stupid is recreational drug use though? Most people I know consume caffeine, alcohol on a regular basis. Some also include nicotine and more esoteric substances in there.

I don't think they're 'known to be bad' at all - yes, they have consequences, but so does sitting in a box doing nothing at all with your life - we do, after all, all die eventually.

So I'd go with survival of the cleverest too, but I'd take that as the difference between those that are prepared to figure out how to use a substance 'safely' and aware of the consequences and risks, and those that do not.

It is, as you say, natural selection - they only tragedy is if you fail to actually kill yourself in the process.
4 comments or Leave a comment