I woke up this morning, before the wind started howling but while Cameron was busy trying not to lose all his key Southern voters to flood waters to two stories on the BBC with the ever-reliably dull Bill Turnbull and everyone’s favourite bit of sofa fluff (though not mine) Susanna Reid.
These slightly more palatable versions of Sky’s Charlotte and that fat reactionary turd Eamonn Holmes firstly solemnly bringing us the ‘tragic’ ‘news’ about the Rise in deaths from ‘legal highs’ in the UK
This was then quickly followed up by other ‘news’ that there should be Guidelines call for more people to be put on statins
In fact as I type this I’m just reading about how Ketamine is to become Class B drug
I am no ‘expert’ on drugs and their use, I’m not going to put up some confession about what I have and haven’t taken in my years on this planet.
But this blog is about beer (mainly) and when I think of beer and of drugs I always think of Bill Hicks…
If you hadn’t also gleamed from my rants, I’m very much a person for personal freedoms (and mistakes) and less state intrusion into our private lives (in the various forms it takes).
It should be a simple thing if you are a state that really wants to make your nation healthy and that is…
BAN ANYTHING THAT IS UNHEALTY
Problem is, it isn’t what is healthy and what is unhealthy.
It seems to be what groups out there have a vested interest in what is and isn’t ban-able to increase their own market share.
I don’t smoke.
I’ve never smoked as a habit.
I don’t like the smell, or the taste, or the effect it had on my lungs and my clothes – but I was and still am against the smoking ban in pubs (and now in cars “with children” and probably soon to be anywhere…cue Denis Leary)
I don’t like how some people (that is the minority) of folks behave when drunk – but we have laws to deal with their behaviour, we don’t need additional nanny and nudge theory acts to try to deter us from making these choices.
But alcohol and tobacco are still legal, even if they are subject to ever increasingly nonsensical control measures.
Instead the global war is on drugs deemed worse than the ones that have all ready have established multi-national empires.
Of course there are cartels and drugs networks all over the globe to fill the supply and demand that you have with any legal product – the ‘illegal drug’ trade is capitalism and globalisation is its purist form.
But to get back on track, I’m willing to bet a modest sum of money that in the UK, with this apparent rise in ‘legal high’ deaths over the past 10 years that the corpses in the morgue didn’t just have a ‘legal high’ in their system.
I’m reminded constantly about Leah Betts in these instances. A girl, father a police man, step-mother a nurse, who misunderstood the physical effects of Ecstasy (or MDMA as it is now).
In the short time leading up to her death many people (young obviously) had been taken to hospital because of ‘the effects of Ecstasy’.
What had happened was this drug, called a dance drug, had made people dance and move so much that the silly beggars had forgotten to drink and become totally dehydrated and collapsed.
Miss Betts, in her family home had taken a pill and then promptly necked 7 litres of water (12 fucking pints), without dancing.
The image of her in her water-induced coma was circulated widely as the ever-present old/young generational battle about drugs went into typical hysterical tabloid overload and moral hang wringing.
Betts inevitably died.
No water was banned during this period.
But what is now obvious is like any ‘legal’ trade, in order to maximise profits the drugs on the 21st century have become tainted, less pure than they were when it was just pot in the 60’s, speed and cocaine in the 70’s, heroin and more cocaine in the 80’s and pills galore in the 90’s.
That is of course the problem with unlicensed medicines, you don’t know what is in them, you don’t know how you’ll react.
Billions are spent in the legal pharmaceutical world to prevent (as much as can be) any deaths occurring from prescription drugs.
But to be told that MORE people should be put on these drugs is a smack of hypocrisy.
Kids with the countless newly diagnosed disorders they can ‘suffer’ from these days, like bollocks ADHD for example, are merely drugged up to the eyeballs.
But these are legal, these are OK.
But a common factor I feel between deaths from ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ drugs illegal drugs is the prevalence of alcohol taken with these drugs.
When you start a course of antibiotics you are told to avoid alcohol (biological pathways and all that). Same with paracetamol and over the counter pain killers.
Same, by association, should be the case with anything that isn’t liked by governments and Big Pharma…
But people take these other drugs when they are having fun and even in these situations us Brits love a drink…
Mixing different drugs with booze has different effects, prolonging or heightening the usual psychoactive or physiological actions of these drugs.
But as I said above, people should be free to make their own choices and then have to deal with consequences.
We all need better information, but we shouldn’t expect it to be taught to us, we have to do the leg work ourselves, not blindly go into something and consequences be damned…
Forewarned is forearmed…
Most of us evolve our drinking habits over time and alcohol is the most ingrained, wide-spread and most readily available drug there is in the UK…
But then again…