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So you want to use drugs?
By Catlin Rettke


October 16, 2006

There are a few things you should really consider before ever touching any mind altering chemical. Here is a list of questions and answers about drugs.

Drugs are fun right?

Yes and no. For some people drugs can be enjoyable, but for others it can be terrifying. Even marijuana is known to cause panic attacks. Any drug that can be fun can be equally as terrifying.

Drugs will make me seem cool though.

For most people no. Is it cool to stink, vomit and not be able to communicate with people? Some drugs can give you a bad boy persona, but more often than not they make you seem more like a loser than anything else.
If you use drugs, it is best to not force that on anyone else, and talk about it in appropriate situations.

Ok, but drugs will help me "Open up my mind!"

This is true. But notice the word help. Drugs cannot open your mind for you, and LSD is by no means a substitute for meditation or prayer. Timothy leary said it best. 2% of LSD users will have life changing experiences. Roughly half of those people will find peace and happiness and a new, positive out look on life. The other half will have a terrifying experience, leaving them as but a shell of their former self. The other 98% just have varying degrees of an LSD high.

I'm depressed, drugs help me cope with my problems.

Using drugs to cure depression is a lot like cautarizing a wound. It may stop the bleeding, but if you keep burning yourself, your gonna have bigger problems than a little cut. In general, when using drugs (Legal-medical drugs) to fight depression, they do not use the drug only when they become depressed, They have to keep on taking it depressed or not. It is used to get them out of the cycle of depression. Then they can ween themselves off the drug and hopefully be done with Depression. Most people are not doctors, and most illegal drugs do not effect depression in a predictable way. So, if your depressed, go speak with a doctor.

Pot and mushrooms are natural!

This is true. So is cyanide. Natural does not mean safe. Jimson weed has already caused it's fair share of injuries and deaths. Herbal XTC has also been involved in several deaths. Marijauna has risks associated with it, as well as mushrooms.

I want to fit in, my friends smoke pot and I don't want to be left out.

In most cases your friends don't care if you smoke or not. They may make jokes and try really hard to get you to smoke it, but they probably don't mean anything by it. If your only reason for using a drug is because your friends do, you need to consider your own individuality. Remember the risks.

What are the risks of using drugs anyway?

I'm glad you asked, Any drug you smoke has the automatic added effect of being hard on your lungs. Yes, even marijuana is hard on your lungs. Marijuana has a specific psychosis attached to it as well. It is not an extreme problem, but there is some theory abound that speculate this specific psychosis is what causes "Amotivational syndrome."

Cocaine, methamphetamine, and stimulants in general carry the highest risks. Heart attack, stroke, paranoia, irritable moods, sometimes explosive rage. The most common problem with stimulants is a strong desire to repeat use. They also cause damage to your veins and arteries.

Heroin, morphine and opiates have their risks to. While not as dangerous immediately to your body, they do carry the risk of an overdose, and if you inject, STD's, Blood infections, Gangrene and collapsed veins. Heroin users often don't eat enough and suffer from malnutrition. Which in turn can cause many problems, including hepatitius (Inflammation of the liver.). They also have the most notorious addiction potential.

LSD, magic mushrooms and exstacy have their unique dangers. Any one of these can render an experience that stays with you for ever. Possibly in the form of "flash backs". The debate on flash backs is still raging on. Some people think the drugs mess your brain up. The others think it's not the drug, but the experience. A kind of "shell shock". When soldiers return from war, they some times suffer flash backs of the war.

Magic mushrooms can easily be confused for other, and poisoness mushrooms. Death from these cousins of Magic mushrooms is slow and painfull, often taking two weeks before your liver finally shuts down. They also include the risk of flash backs, though it less common than with LSD.

Exstacy floods your brain with all the serotonin it has. This in turn has been linked to depressive episodes, sleeping disorders, and the X "Burn out". Where X ceases to work any more. Exstacy can also cause overheating, and dehydration, both of which can cause dangerous kidney problems, upto and including failure.

Why would anyone use drugs if there are all these dangers with them?

These risks are very real. If you use a drug you may suffer none, some or all of the above risks up to and including death. But for the most part, these drugs do not kill people. The chances of any drug on it's own killing your are pretty slim. However, if you have a heart problem (Diagnosed or otherwise), a mental problem (Bi-polar disorder, Diagnosed or otherwise), or even a liver problem, you could very well end up being the one in 250,000 that dies.

People use drugs becase

A: They want to.

B: they don't believe they will die.

There are as many reasons to want to use drugs as there are drug users. So it depends on the person.

I am perfectly healthy, and I'm willing to the take the risk. Why shouldn't I use drugs?

Drugs can cause problems beyond your body. Particularly with your family. Drugs cause stress, and so does prison. Drugs cost money, tickets cost money, lawyers cost money and parents usually want to think their kids are angels. If your not 18, you should not use any drugs that aren't given to you by a doctor, It's not fair to your family.

Also, you also can never be sure which one of your friends will talk to someone when they think you have a problem. Is using drugs worth hurting your relationships with friends and family?

I am 18.

Oh. Well that's good. Well, if your sure you want to use drugs, and you don't mind the difficulties of being a user and getting a job, or you already have that taken care of. The risks don't phase you, and the curiosity is killing you, by all means feel free to use a drug of your choice. But remember to know your source, know your body and never take unnessacary risks. You are already taking a fairly large risk anyhow. What I mean is, if your climbing a mountain, don't tie a hand behind your back just to show off.

I hope this has deterred anyone thinking about using drugs, and made any current users question their current course of action.

Catlin Rettke
Ketchikan, AK

Received October 14, 2006 - Published October 16, 2006

About: "19 year old male resident of Ketchikan."


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