Oph on Drugs!

A drug is a substance that has an effect on the body’s metabolism. We all take them everyday even if we don’t know it.

We use drugs for many reasons:

For Pain Relief

There’s a lot of this ranging from aspirin, ibuprofen, and paracetamol to opiates.

Opiates are highly addictive and dangerous but they have a use. Nobody need die in agony anymore.

For treating illness and disease

We have statins to reduce our cholesterol, blood pressure drugs and drugs to cure cancer. They have helped us live longer and healthier. They have cured us of many killer diseases.

For mental health

We have a range of drugs to reduce stress, anxiety and treat severe mental disorders.

For performance enhancement

Whether it be steroids to build up muscles, metabolic enhancers to provide more energy or brain enhancers to enable the brain to work better, there are a range of substances used and abused.

This produces all manner of controversy. Some people are so keen to win a race or pass an exam that they would go to any lengths. Do we want clean athletes competing against those using enhancers? Or do we want people gaining advantage over others by boosting their brain power for an examination? How do we ensure a level playing field?

For pleasure, leisure and social

There is no human society that has ever lived on this planet that has not used drugs for pleasure, leisure or as an aid to social situations. Different cultures use different drugs. Whether that be inviting one in for a cup of tea, sharing a pint, a spliff or a peace-pipe.

The drugs presently sanctioned by our western culture include sugar, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. These are not really viewed as drugs at all. All have substantial health implications, are extremely addictive and are prone to abuse from excessive use. Indeed sugar, nicotine and alcohol are probably among the most dangerous drugs. They are responsible for cancers, obesity, strokes and heart disease. But hey – they are legal.

Other drugs from other cultures – such as cocaine, mescaline, psilocybin and marijuana are considered harmful and banned.

A whole range of other laboratory produced substances – such as ecstasy, LSD, Crystal Meth are also banned.

Spiritual exploration

Many societies or cults have used various psychotropic drugs for spiritual exploration. Drugs, such as mescaline, psilocybin, marijuana and magic mushrooms have a long history of use by shamen and holy men or in various spiritual ceremonies. They play with brain chemistry and alter perceptions. They are considered mind expanding and put us in connection with other dimensions or states of mind in which it is thought greater understanding can be ascertained.

My thoughts

All drugs have a risk. No drug is completely safe. People die from normal doses of aspirin.

Addiction is a terrible thing. It destroys lives.

All drugs can easily be overused and this becomes an abuse. Repeatedly using a drug to excess is dangerous, detrimental to health and socially corrosive.

Using a drug responsibly can be both pleasant, social and healthy – a social drink or spliff. They can relieve tension, cause pleasure and make for a healthy social life.

Using psychotropic drugs to explore one’s consciousness in a spiritual sense is a valid experience.

Some drugs, such as opiates, have no place outside of pain relief. They are simply too dangerous and addictive.

Banning drugs has merely placed them in the hands of unprincipled criminals who do not care about the purity of their product or the consequences. There are huge profits which have fuelled gangs and other criminal activity.

People using illegal drugs have no certainty about strength or purity and sometimes suffer severe health problems or even death because of impurities or variations in strength.

It is human nature to experiment.

Many illegal drugs have uses. Long-distance bomber crews used amphetamines in the war in order to stay awake and alert through the night. Troops stormed the beaches on amphetamine which kept them full of energy and fearless.

Banning drugs has made them more alluring to kids. They are attracted by the fact that the act of taking them is a form of rebellion. Whole drug cultures have grown up around drugs.

Kids no longer believe anything said to them about drugs because they consider it all lies and propaganda – and a lot of it has been.

The war on drugs has exacerbated the drug situation.

I believe all drugs should be legalised and their use treated as a health situation.

Instead of imprisoning users we should provide care to help them.

If drugs were available their quality and strength could be controlled.

It would take the profits out of the hands of criminals.

It would reduce the gang problem.

Over time I think the drug culture would reduce and the social damage lessen. It would lose its allure.

I think it is a human right to investigate their own consciousness and spirituality.

I think the banning of drugs, while allowing dangerous drugs such as alcohol and nicotine, is hypocritical.

I think that dealing with the education and health support would cost a fraction of criminalising and would not ostracise and criminalise a segment of young people.

Presently there is a whole industry of legal highs with untested drugs being churned out from dubious laboratories in China. This needs addressing.

I think legalisation would make our kids safer.

There are so many new advances in the production of drugs law enforcement can’t keep up.

I think it is time to legalise and think through the whole use of drugs. Criminalisation has not and will not work. The whole issue of drugs has become a political football and hypocritical puritans have been pulling the strings.

We need a thorough debate!! What do you think on the points I have raised??

2 thoughts on “Oph on Drugs!

  1. It’s not the issue of trying to make a case that I object to, far from it actually, But what I do have good cause to complain about here is to do with the actual content and specifically the claims made about the supposed negative properties of many of the drugs mentioned. I don’t think I’ve read such misinformation in quite a while.
    I really can’t be bothered with having to go through the 101 reasons why, but as a sample, start with your claim that Nicotine is “probably among the most dangerous drugs”.
    It isn’t. It isn’t dangerous at all.
    Perhaps you were referring to cigarettes or such. I wouldn’t know.

    You go on to claim that “Some drugs, such as opiates, have no place outside of pain relief. They are simply too dangerous and addictive.”
    Well that’s complete rubbish because in case you didn’t know and you don’t, but there’s a whole bunch of many, many thousands of people who have been taking very controlled doses of Heroin for decades because the natural inherent property of H is that it extends the lifespan of human organs by 20%.
    Perhaps you were referring to that black tar cheap crap that street junkies inject which isn’t in fact Heroin. I wouldn’t know.

    Further comment was made with “Troops stormed the beaches on amphetamine which kept them full of energy and fearless.”
    Firstly one property of amphetamine is certainly not the suppression of fear, so goodness knows where you got that bogus information from. It’s noted that you failed to indicate what troops, what beaches and when? If you are attempting to indicate that this was UK troops during WW2, then you are entirely wrong as no such practice was conducted. Troops don’t spew their guts up, shit their pants and drop their guns in uncontrollable fear were they under the influence of suppressants. You’re talking complete nonsense.

    Lastly, quote, “Many societies or cults have used various psychotropic drugs for spiritual exploration. Drugs, such as mescaline, psilocybin, marijuana and magic mushrooms have a long history of use by shamen and holy men or in various spiritual ceremonies.”
    Mescaline? You might find that is actually the natural Peyote cactus that they use, specifically the chewing of cocoa leaves, which is a widespread practice in South America. They were not swallowing laboratory made Mescaline tabs, which is how we in the west know this substance from.
    It’s also worth a mention that psilocybin is the active ingredient of magic mushrooms, so perhaps there’s also some confusion about that as well.

    This whole piece has been written by someone with a lack of knowledge on the subject. Which is a pity because had it been written with knowledge it would have been useful reference.

  2. It’s not got anything to do with any hypocritical puritans pulling any strings. Although the Mary Whitehouse’s, Lord Longford’s and Malcolm Muggeridge’s of this world do still exist and all live within the constraint’s of that bloody Labour Party lot – they aren’t running anything. The only reason for legal bullying is because the profits are seen to be going into the wrong pockets. Simple as that and just like back in Prohibition. No government tolerates anybody making off anything that they aren’t.

    Why pick on just China for the alleged manufacture of “Illegal High” drugs when in fact you have little or no idea of from where they are made? For all you know they were knocked up in Liverpool and popped into cellophane wraps with bogus Chinese text like a fortune cookie.
    All of the UK deaths appertaining to MDA overdoses were from drugs manufactured in the UK.
    May I suggest you look a little closer to home and around the eastern sector of the EU for such good work as the very reason why such vast amounts of such drugs are getting into the UK in the first place is because of almost zero checking controls of parcel contents from the EU. Free trade and all that, remember?
    Whereas, anything coming in from the east Asia today is heavily scrutinised and if you’ve ever seen just a glimpse of the handling operations as worked today on TV, and broadcast for very obvious reasons, you’d realise just that.

    In many other parts of the world where authorities do not muck about, people trading drugs are imprisoned for life or executed. We are extremely tolerant. But now that guns have been brought into the distribution business particularly with Cocaine, it’s now on a whole other level. It’s no more got anything to do with kids rebellion – that little thought is long, long over. It’s now a very dangerous business and it isn’t the drugs themselves that pose the most danger any more – that’s long, long over with, too.
    How does any governing body control the use of Cocaine or Heroin? They can control it’s chemical content strength, but not its use or abuse. By permitting wide scale acquisition the abuse levels could get to astronomical out of control levels. Nobody can on any level safely play around with Class A drugs. Which is why they are classed as a separate entity in the first place.
    Marijuana Cannabis is currently and stupidly all classed together regardless of type as category Class B, although it used to be C and is one substance that the authorities have simply not got a clue or know what to do about. There’s a world of a difference between a piece of Afghani Gold Hashish (a solid form and a bit like an Oxo cube that is crumbled down) or Pakistani Black Hashish (that is very soft and sticky and simply pulled apart into tiny pieces) or the more modern strains of ‘Grass’ or ‘Weed’ that have been scientifically doctored to produce much stronger than natural strains. Although again there is a world of difference in strengths between Thai Stick grass and Indian Hemp to the rough and ready growth found by many a roadside in Mexico.
    There is simply not a jot of scientific approach employed from the authorities and by no means are any of these Magistrates handing out sentences got the slightest clue either. One minute some local worthy woman is working in a dress shop in the morning and by afternoon is on the bench as a local Magistrate and presiding over a Cannabis possession case. It’s bloody ludicrous. She wouldn’t know a Thai Stick from a sherbet dip lollipop.
    We do need to legalise Marijuana regardless of format. But I foresee the legalisation of Class A drugs would lead to a huge mistake for the simple reason that we don’t have particularly high levels of acute addiction. We shouldn’t be getting too upset about an annual death toll of only a few thousand people a year. Scotland had a record report for 2017 with it’s highest ever death toll of nearly one thousand drug related deaths but in the grand scale of things versus alcohol deaths, it’s just a spot in the ocean. Leave it be.

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