Truthiness Day 20: Drugs and Booze

Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.

I’m completely torn on this subject….

On one hand, I’ve seen drugs wreak havoc on the lives of many, including my father.  From his hospital bed my dad told me to never do drugs and I listened – I never tried a single illegal substance for the first 28 years of my life.  That includes weed, people!  (When I finally did try weed, I didn’t like it anyway, only partly due to my asthma issues.)

On the other hand, I’ve known those who have dabbled in various drugs and never developed an addiction.  I’m not sure what the difference is between these people and others, although I know in my dad’s case there was a severe depression underlying his drug use.

Intellectually I think people should be able to use recreational drugs as they would like – if they are okay with the risks to their health and well being, then what do I care?  Their judgment may be impaired, though, and if it happens that they do something that endangers others or is illegal, appropriate punishment is understandable.

BUT…drugs can have such a damaging impact on a person’s ability to interact with others, hold down a job, parent, etc.  The parenting part really gets me, naturally.  Being under the influence can have a negative impact on parent-child attachment, which can also affect child development.  Most people on drugs ARE affecting others even if they aren’t trying to; I expect that is at least a part of why drugs are outlawed.

I also have personal trauma associated with drugs so…I recognize that I am highly biased.  I have trouble being around anyone who is on drugs because it triggers me like nobody’s business.  I generally try to keep that to myself because my PTSD isn’t THEIR problem.  Even if I intellectually I am fine with someone making that decision for themselves, emotionally I can’t handle it so…yeah, I don’t like drugs.

Alcohol I can handle.  Somehow that is different.  Maybe because a person can have like half a glass of wine and be okay?  There is some sort of distinction there for me that I can’t fully explain.  I still don’t think it’s a responsible thing to do to get drunk while caring for a child.  I think there should always be an adult around who can make sound decisions when a child is involved.  Doing shots while your kid is upstairs sleeping doesn’t seem right to me – it seems beyond risky.  I’m no expert, though.

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