The Truth About Drugs Issue 1
"My drug experience had a positive ending." by John Duff
Life started out peacefully enough. I was born and raised on our family farm, complete with cows, chickens, a good family and friendly small-town surroundings. What more could anyone ask?
Then, seemingly overnight, I turned into one of our typical 1960's drugged-out teenagers. By the time I was 14 years old, drugs were a staple in my life. Barely a day passed that didn't see me on either marijuana, pills, LSD, heroin and even cough syrup when nothing else was available.
I bought, sold and practically lived for drugs. My whole existence revolved around the "drug culture" and everything it stood for.
Being part of this movement came at a price, though. The 7 stormy years I spent on drugs included 7 arrests, a dishonorable discharge from the Marines, virtual destruction of my body and a near breakdown of what was once a very close family.
Millions of people worldwide wrestle with similar situations every day. Though the circumstances may differ, the problem in each case is the same. Drugs and their effects are generally misunderstood and, as a consequence, they cause the individual harm.
I suffered through the misunderstanding and all the despair it caused, but fortunately, my drug experience had a positive ending. It inspired me to look for answers.
I had learned of the "high" drugs brought. I was an expert on how and where to buy them. But as the years went by I had questions. What did drugs really do to you? Your mind? Your body? These became new points of interest. My concern, at first, was how to get off the hard drugs, and learning something of why they're bad. But, as facts emerged, I discovered some very important things. Some of what I found out was quite revealing and at times startling. The truth about drugs is fascinating, and little known.
I decided that it is important for everyone to learn the truth about drugs. "Drugs" no longer referred just to the heroin and LSD that I used so regularly. I found that under the heading of "drugs" was included obvious things like pot (marihuana or marijuana), pain killers, tranquilizers, tobacco, booze, unpredictable drugs like PCP, and surprising things like chemicals in our foods and even one of the spices in my kitchen. And more. So, if you have ever consumed any drug, or if you are anyone now living on planet earth, read on.
WHAT IS A DRUG?
"Sounds like an easy question, right? Think again. Believe it or not, this simple and most basic point of our subject is a source of great confusion. There is no broad agreement on exactly what a drug is. Books on drugs don't agree. Many have widely differing definitions for a drug, mostly depending on what specific substance the book is focusing on. Most of them however just ignore the matter of defining a drug altogether.
There are two main classes of drugs; the recreationals and the medicinals. Recreationals are drugs used to get high, or for some sort of fun. Medicinals are the drugs used in medicines or for some medical purpose. The truth is, almost all drugs can be used as either. Nearly any drug released as a medicine can be taken in a form that will provide a "buzz" in the head. For each of the recreationals, even the most potent, there is someone claiming it has a medical use. So these categories are really a statement of the intent of the drug user. The terms have application, but we are still without a definition of a drug....
THE NEW DEFINITION OF A DRUG
From now on, for our purposes, the definition of a drug is: "A substance that is taken internally, is used to remove one from an unwanted condition, and is upsetting to the body's natural chemistry."
Pain killers are taken to remove one from pain. Tranquilizers are used to remove one from anxiety or restlessness. Boredom or social inhibitions can be removed with marijuana. One is taken from tension and stress to a state of relaxation with the help of alcohol. Pesticides are drugs. They remove one from having to have bugs on one's vegetables. Additionally these get taken internally and are poisons. The definition even applies to heroin, the user being removed from feeling much of anything. Think of any drug you know of and this definition should apply. Some might ask if the definition includes vitamins. As a matter of fact, it does include some.
Many of the vitamins you buy are synthetic; that is, they are chemically manufactured. The vitamins that are commercially injected into breads and cereals are of this type. So are the majority of the mass-produced nationally advertised brands. Though they may have some value, they do cause the body upset because of their chemical structure. They also fit the other two parts of the definition so they qualify as drugs.
There are other vitamins, however, that do not. These are the ones that are natural. They are made from natural sources in the balance that the body needs. Rather than causing upset, they provide needed nutrition to run more efficiently. So these are not classified as drugs.
The new definition eliminates foods, unless they have chemicals in them. Very few natural foods will cause the body an upset if taken in reasonable quantities and combinations. Someone may be able to improve on this new definition but no better one currently exists. The important thing is that this one works. Since it is brand new and very different, it may take a little imagination, but it will begin to fit. So now we know the definition of the word, DRUG: a substance that is taken internally, is used to remove one from an unwanted condition, and is upsetting to the body's natural chemistry.
THE THREE MOST COMMON DRUGS
CAFFEINE: You may not have even thought of caffeine as a drug. But it most certainly is one. Caffeine is a crystalline alkaloid. What this means is, it is an organic compound that contains nitrogen. More relevant is that it is a stimulant of the central nervous system. Quite simply, this means it speeds up the body.
TOBACCO: Few can claim ignorance on the subject of tobacco and the damage it does to health. With the start of the 1980s there are even more reports, more evidence and more warnings on tobacco's damaging effects on the body. Still, tobacco is one of our most widely used drugs.
ALCOHOL: The first alcoholic beverage was sampled many years before Christ. References to alcohol in India dating back to two thousand years B.C. seem to verify this. This primitive substance has evolved into, along with caffeine and tobacco, one of the most widely used drugs today.