(Tell me again, why are we doing this?)
"I'm no wheelbarrow!" You know, everyone says that and the louder they shout the more predictable they become and eventually the easier they are to 'set up'! You see, wheelbarrows are powerless and empty objects that are filled with 'whatever' and go wherever the 'pusher' wants it to go!
Our first world market driven, consumer culture sets us up with three primary values. These suck us into a place where we believe the following values are so important. Now we may not write them down and rehearse them, but they are powerfully reinforced in culture and if left unchecked, they end up 'bumping' other values aside, values like courage, honesty, compassion and service.
These new 'values' are...a) Is it fun? b) Is it comfortable? c) Will it make "ME"'happy'?
If a couple of these three 'biggies' aren't on the table, or at least looked at, then we tend to walk away! But what are we walking away from? And ultimately where are we gunna end up? "Who cares" may be the 'try hard' reply... well, YOU DO! Unless you're so dysfunctional and messed up of course!
ICE wasn’t Andy’s first drug – no that was alcohol. He started bingeing at only 14. After using cannabis and some heroin, and then stopping for a season, Andy commenced ICE use after the death of his mother – it motivated him to get out of bed…but sadly much more than that followed.
Andy candidly, but unemotionally shares his concerns about the poor use of drug policy and the utter madness of ‘ICE Smoking Rooms’. Check out the full interview here…
These are the facts — if you’re getting high by yourself (or hell, with a group of friends), you’re not getting high safely.
The only true way to get high safely is under the care of a nurse or a doctor.
Is that possible? Rarely.
There are places in some cities that have needle exchange services where you can essentially shoot up under the supervision of a nurse (maybe a doctor, I don’t know, I’ve never been to one).
(‘Harm Reduction’ Methods – helping people get ‘High – more saferer’? Hmmm?)
These places do their best to help you get high safely.
For example, they give you sterile needles, they give you supplies to clean yourself before and after you shoot up, and they stand by with naloxone (for heroin addicts) in case you fall out (overdose).
But this is just for people who are getting high by shooting up.
What about everyone else? I rarely shot up, and when I did, I was super careful, but being careful does NOT equal being safe.
There’s No Such Thing as a Truly Safe Way to Get High
I’m going to assume if you’re reading this that you’re an adult and can make your own decisions about using drugs.
And I’m going to say this again — getting high isn’t safe, period.
There are so, so, many ways it can go wrong, and each drug has different ways that it can go wrong.
ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) refers to traumatic incidents in childhood. They were identified in the epidemiological CDC-Kaiser ACE Study that surveyed 17,000 participants. The Study looked at how 10 types of childhood trauma (ACEs) affected a person’s long-term health. They included:
Secondhand drinking refers to the negative impacts a person’s drinking behaviors [or other drug use behaviours] has on others.
Drinking behaviors are typically unintentional (unless they are the behaviors a person exhibits when not drinking). They are the result of the ethyl alcohol chemicals in alcoholic beverages interrupting the brain’s normal cell-to-cell communication system while “waiting” to be metabolized by enzymes in the liver. This occurs at an average rate of 1 hour for each “standard drink,” which is defined as 5 ounces of table wine or 12 ounces of regular beer or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor. Drinking patterns that cause drinking behaviors include binge drinking, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism.
Common drinking behaviors include: verbal, physical, emotional abuse; neglect; blackouts; sexual assault; breaking promises to stop or cut down; shaming, blaming, denying; domestic violence; unpredictable behaviors; alcohol-induced crime; and driving while impaired, to name a few.
Coping with these drinking behaviors causes serious physical and emotional and quality of life impacts – especially for the family and within that, especially for the children. These impacts are the consequence of toxic stress. Toxic stress changes brain and body health and function, which can cause a person to experience migraines, anxiety, depression, stomach ailments, sleep disorders, autoimmune disorders, changes in eating habits, and so much more. Toxic stress also causes a person to adopt unhealthy, toxic stress-related, reactionary coping skills (explosive anger, physically lashing out, shutting down emotionally, as examples).
Click here for more on the Harms of Second-hand Drinking
Abusing drugs at early ages makes a rocky period of development even rockier. Behavioral changes stemming from drug use is common among young people who use substances. Some drug users in the 18-25 age range may show, a result of their drug use, that:
Drug addiction on the developing brain also affects other neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which is responsible for stabilizing moods and regulating emotions; gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that regulates the stress response and lowers anxiety naturally; and norepinephrine, which is known as the stress hormone and speeds up the body’s “fight or flight” response.
“Believe it or not, teens still listen to their parents. In fact, kids usually listen to their parents more than anybody else, including their friends. In a recent survey on underage drinking, teens reported that parental disapproval is the number one reason they choose not to drink.
Around puberty, most children naturally begin to push away from their parents. It is a normal part of development. However, as a result, many parents feel they’ve suddenly lost the ability to influence their teenagers. Well, great news: That is not true. While parents may feel their teens are tuning them out and are no longer listening to their advice, their teenage children are reporting just the opposite. So, as a parent, keep talking; keep trying. You do make a difference!”
(USA, December 2020)
(So why not a QUIT Cannabis Campaign too? Hmmm, the cognitive dissonance continues)
WHO today launches a year-long global campaign for World No Tobacco Day 2021 - “Commit to Quit." The new WHO Quit Challenge on WhatsApp and publication “More than 100 reasons to quit tobacco" are being released today to mark the start of the campaign.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of tobacco users saying they want to quit. The campaign will support at least 100 million people as they try to give up tobacco through communities of quitters.
“Commit to Quit” will help create healthier environments that are conducive to quitting tobacco by advocating for strong tobacco cessation policies; increasing access to cessation services; raising awareness of tobacco industry tactics, and empowering tobacco users to make successful quit attempts through “quit & win” initiatives.