Friday, 19 March 2010

What good did drugs ever do anybody?

(Conversation heard in pub - two guys discussing the dangers of "mephedrone".)

Dave: I don't understand why these young people need drugs, Paul. What do they get out of them?

Paul: (Raising glass) Well, this beer is a drug, isn't it Dave? You take it for granted because you grew up with it. You like it because it gives you a glow and makes you more sociable. But drunk in excess its as harmful as any other drug. That doesn't stop you having a pint or five at the end of the day now does it?

Dave: Okay, I grant you that. Wine, beer, you can call them drugs. But they're also part of a meaningful culinary experience, Paul.

Paul: Yes they are Dave. But you like getting pissed at least once a week. And that's when it becomes a drug, I'd say.

Dave: OK, Paul. Say I accept the point you're making. Alcohol's a drug. But why can't people stick with alcohol then? What more do they need?

Paul: Well, Dave. You also like to pop out for the odd fag now and then, don't you? That's a drug as well. You don't smoke for any other reason. And smoking kills tens of thousands of people each year.

Dave: But it was okay to smoke when we were growing up, wasn't it? We didn't know it was bad back then.

Paul: But we do now. And anyway, we always knew smoking was addictive and made us smell horrible.

Dave: Okay, okay, Paul. Cigarettes are also drugs. But apart from those two, what more do people need. Can't young people be happy on those?

Paul: Happy? Good question. Those pills your daughter Deidre's taking, they're basically happy pills, aren't they? She needs those drugs, as do millions of other people.

Dave: But the doctor gave them to her. She doesn't get high on them.

Paul: Wouldn't be happy without them, would she?

Dave: They're therapeutic, Paul. She got depressed with her last job and what with all the stresses of becoming a mum and all that.

Paul: So anti-depressants are ok if a doctor gives them to you, but not if you just want to get happy yourself, that's really what you're saying, Dave.

Dave: I suppose...

Paul: But even then you've got to admit, mate, that's still a reason why people take drugs.

Dave: Well, I'm not sure I'd agree with that - but even say I do - then apart from alcohol, cigarettes and antidepressants, what do people get out of drugs? What more do they need?

Paul: What about the tranquillizers my doctor prescribed for insomnia? Valium. Couldn't live without them, Dave. And very, very tranquillizing they are too.

Dave: Yeah, but that's another one people've been taking for years. I accept its a drug...

Paul: A mind-altering drug in fact.

Dave: Okay, a mind-altering and also a necessary one. But even if I concede that people get something out of those drugs, then apart from alcohol, cigarettes, antidepressants and tranquillizers, what other reasons can you possibly have for taking drugs?

Paul: What about those pain-killers you said Marge's sister takes all the time? They've got all that codeine in them. That's a very addictive drug.

Dave: They were for her headaches, Paul.

Paul: But then she started taking them all the time. She started abusing them, didn't she?

Dave: Alright mate, I catch your drift. The thing is though... what I was really thinking about all along was street drugs.

Paul: Street drugs? That mephedrone was bought on the Internet; its not a street drug. You said: why do people need drugs? Not why do people need street drugs? And anyway, drugs are drugs, when you're asking what people get out of them.

Dave: Okay. Fair enough. All those things you mentioned are drugs and people need them. But just let me finish where I was going to...

Paul: Where were you going to?

Dave: I was going to say... that apart from alcohol, cigarettes, antidepressants, tranquillizers and pain killers...

Paul: (Quickly breaks in) ... And weight loss drugs, beta-blockers, statins, steroids, triptans - to name a few others that aren't exactly without their consequences.

Dave: Struth... Okay Paul, so apart from things like alcohol, cigarettes, antidepressants, tranquillizers, pain killers, weight loss drugs, beta-blockers, statins, steroids and triptans, what do people actually get out of drugs? Why do they need them? That's basically what I'm asking.

Paul: (Puts glass down) Dunno, Dave. You'll have to ask your doctor that sort of question.


  1. Giving it Class D status seems like a sensible idea. But whatever the Government decides to do it will be the wrong thing as it is for spin reasons only.

  2. These drugs being made-up in laboratories or head-shops are hitting only the people who can afford them and can get treatment. The people who can't afford these legal clean, made-up drugs are stuck with the illegal variety.

  3. Wrong time in the political cycle to expect politicians with voters to think about to get involved with drug issues - unless it involves their personal commitment to stopping this sort of thing.

  4. Drugs are bad, mmkay.'

  5. Plant food. That's what it is. I wonder who discovered it was good for other things

  6. Let me through. I am a doctor. Aren't I allowed to say anything?
    Actually, no comment. Ask the pharmaceutical companies for their opinion instead

  7. If they ban mephedrone there are about five others with similar effects that people will turn to.

  8. They should find who the chemists are.