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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

We have met the enemy and he is us

Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2012, at 2:21 PM

The war on drugs will never be won. There is evidence a-plenty to support that premise. No war or battle can be won when your soldiers refuse to fight or rebel and devise devious plans to act like they are fighting when in reality they are hoping and assuring that you fail.

A significantly large percentage of the American population does not want the war or drugs to succeed. There are too many people making too much money to end it -- much like college sports and the NCAA. The government has spent billions of dollars in other countries to interrupt the drug trade. It has spent billions more in America within the law enforcement community chasing, arresting, housing and dealing with the results of the drug traffic.

The truth is Americans are paying the money through taxes to end the war but many, many Americans don't want it to end. Much like public education: Many people pay for it through taxes but they don't care if they get it or not. These are the only two instances where this philosophy is acceptable.

There is an axiom that says "When the going gets tough the tough get going." Not anymore. Too many Americans have a new motto: "When the going gets tough they smoke it, snort it, inhale it, inject it, drink it." In so doing they escape reality and responsibility because it feels better than getting tough and it is easier.

They are physically and mentally soft, weak, lacking resolve and grit to face life as it presents itself. They retreat to the swamp of drug life and pretend that normal life does not exist.

Remember prohibition? Americans gathered an army and fought against it. They wanted to continue the practice of imbibing in alcohol to feel good. They had forgotten what normal felt like and they demanded that they have the liquid elixir that at least momentarily erased all cares and worries as drinkers slipped off to the misty land of denial the land of the self-medicate]d.

The drug culture of today has also forgotten what normal feels like. They cannot exist in normality. They must have foreign substances in their bodies to make it through the day. I don't understand why. I have never understood why.

I used to read the comic strip Pogo in the daily paper. The comic drawn by Walt Kelly ended in 1975. Pogo was an opossum who lived in the Okefenokee Swamp with his friends Albert the alligator, Porky Pine, Tamannany Tiger and a plethora of others too numerous to mention. The characters made pithy observations of certitude about people in general, politicians, government, the economy, the rich and famous and what was going on in the country. One powerful strip years ago has Pogo standing at the edge of his swamp home that is befouled with litter and trash and he opines, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

In the war on drugs we have met the enemy and he is us.

Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State University. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656. He has published six books.


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"The drug culture of today has also forgotten what normal feels like. They cannot exist in normality. They must have foreign substances in their bodies to make it through the day. I don't understand why. I have never understood why."

Actually, most drug users - and remember that most people are drug users, whether their drug of choice be alcohol, caffeine, cannabis, peyote, tobacco etc - know exactly what normal feels like. It's what they experience when they wake up in the morning (assuming they aren't hung over or otherwise under the influence). They do, in fact, exist in normality - they work normal jobs, have normal social lives, enjoy normal sports, music, and other recreational activities. It's not that they _must_ have foreign substances in their body, it's just that they _enjoy_ the effects of those substances from time to time. Just like people who enjoy chocolate are not, for the most part, devoting their entire lives to the acquisition and consumption of chocolate, or most people who enjoy playing football do not devote their entire lives to playing football to the exclusion of all other activities, so most drug users simply integrate their drug use into their normal lives.

Your claim to not 'understand why' rests upon the mistaken assumption that drug users have nothing else going on in their lives. Once you realise that they generally enjoy using drugs in exactly the same sense that people enjoy doing anything else that they enjoy, the mystery evaporates.

Of course _a_minority_ of drug users do get into real trouble, do let it take over their lives, and really can benefit from interventions to help them take control (with the caveat the 'arresting and imprisoning them' is an intervention which is very unlikely to help with the underlying problem) but you should not pretend that they are typical.

Most people who use drugs, including alcohol of course, do not do so to escape reality; they do so to enhance their enjoyment of reality, on a temporary basis, in a way which the particular drug used is generally conducive to.

If doing things you enjoy in your free time is a sign of being "physically and mentally soft, weak, lacking resolve and grit to face life" then I contend that you are holding the human species to a standard of austere hyper-asceticism which would make life much less worth living.

[By the way, I tried to put some words in italics, and they didn't show up in the preview - I've underscored them instead, but I'd be grateful of some info on how to get italics on this site]

-- Posted by DavidMHart on Wed, Jun 13, 2012, at 3:13 PM

The most abused drugs are alcohol and prescription drugs.The number 2 cause of death in America is pharmaceuticals. It kills 300% more people than illegal drugs. I think we all are familiar with the alcohol factor in everyday life here also. So, the accepted is also the downfall of us all.

-- Posted by minerette on Fri, Jun 15, 2012, at 6:15 PM


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