to be a little shocked at the laissez faire attitude to drugs on here?

(597 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:13:50

at risk of sounding like your mum and pulling a cats bum face grin

im a bit shocked. Ive seen reference to drugs and recreational drug use on here before, and while i love the diversity of mn, im always quite shocked at what seems to be a majority? view that recreational drugs are just part of life, that its ok because 'professionals' do it too, that its not the same to be seen to use cocaine at the weekend as it is to be a shoplifter or prostitute with an addiction to herioin....

is it just that no one sees the murkier side of drug use?

i suppose i see the darker side because of what i do for a living, but even before that, i would never have been tempted to try. There are the wider issues with production, trafficking, crime, gangs, and the environmental issues in production
just one such story here

my brother was a heroin addict, and i lost my sister to drugs, one way or another, i believe drug use contributed to her death. Seriously, most the crime i deal with is in some way drug related. Two weeks ago i was involved in an attempted murder over cocaine and cannabis supply.

i am not some rabid campaigner, but this is mumsnet - are most of us parents? i find it odd that people can froth about the small stuff, that people get pilloried for some really bizarre stuff on here while threads about drug use get a fairly "meh" response. (yes its a thread inspired by the coke using teachers assistant....)

why is that? genuinely interested to explore why coke use is seen as ok, and wonder what is not ok?

if its ok for the TA to use coke at the weekend, is it ok for them to smoke crack? or use heroin? doctors were mentioned on the last thread....would you undergo an operation knowing your doctor or surgeon had used coke? or smoked cannabis?

if its just part of life, where would you draw the line?
do people not realise what it takes to get that gram of coke at the pub at the weekend?

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:34:00

legal or not i would not want my kids involved in any drugs scene. i suppose from the point of view of my job i would like to see if it made a difference, certainly there would need to be some sort of regulation.

i would worry about the health effects.

and of course, if they were legal, there would be no barrier to trying them. that would bother me personally....

maybe rather than decriminalise all drugs, we should licence and regulate but take the criminal element out of it?

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 14:35:13

Noddy, if you work around those people then you will think of it as rife. But many posters are making comments about nearly everyone under 50 trying it and half the population have taken drugs etc. I doubt that.

Do you not remember the time when every man and his dog apparently had Irish ancestry? That was just a passing phase but it goes to show that people will make stuff up if it makes them seem more interesting.

The truth is that most people have never been offered, wouldn't know where to go and haven't tried anything stronger than a cigarette. The rest is just make believe - or is it a drugs haze? wink

Aboutlastnight Wed 03-Oct-12 14:35:37

The thing about decriminalisation is that it would need huge investment the health service and social services to ensure people could access services then they needed them.

There's a moral objection, I suppose, in that the state becomes 'drug dealer' - but then looking at the vast amount of legal prescribed drugs people are on, you wonder if there is much difference.

Also the Scottish government is going down the route of restricting access to alcohol by raising its price and restricting hours of sale to try to get the population to drink less - you wonder if more people would take drugs if decriminalised and the government would then have to return to prohibition.

<rubs head>

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 14:36:44

I don't work around them now. Most of my friends are very respectable home bodies now but they have nearly all done drugs in the past!

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 14:37:34

Looking around I would say half is conservative unfortunately.

MarysBeard Wed 03-Oct-12 14:38:33

It would be hypocritical of me not to be liberal about drugs, being as I've dabbled in several illegal ones in the past.

MamaMary Wed 03-Oct-12 14:39:33

Vicar I agree with you - it is very surprising that people can have a laisse-faire attitude to drugs considering the damage they inflict on thousands of lives. And the many testimonies and continuing research showing that even 'milder' or less addictive drugs such as cannibis and cocaine can cause long-term mental health problems.

As you say, so much judgement over things like 5 year old kids wearing pyjamas of an evening in Tescos, yet no problems with drug-taking teaching staff!

Drugs are not glamorous. They are sordid and seedy. I've never tried drugs and I certainly don't think people who enjoy 'recreational drugs' are cool. confused

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:39:48

i think, for me, i would not want to take them, try them, use them, or have any of my family do the same, legal or not.

the majority of my job is dealing with drug based criminality, so there may be an argument somewhere for decriminalising them.....but at what cost?

i know my son, who was always anti smoking, when given access to cigarettes at uni, started smoking.

would that be the same with drugs if they were legal?

MarysBeard Wed 03-Oct-12 14:41:28

It's not just about whether something is illegal or isn't for me, the first question is "Is the law a load of bollocks?" The law on drugs and drugs policy is. Don't blindly obey. Think.

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 14:41:41

But that's your social circle Noddy. As I said earlier, what about someone whose social circle have never dabbled with drugs? Would they be equally entitled to say that based on their experience, half of the population have never tried drugs?

The stats are unreliable but according to the BBC they were 10% of the UK population back in 2008 and numbers have been dropping since. Those are active users. There are no reliable figures for those who have tried drugs.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 14:42:05

I know my son and his mates have had the odd spliff and i have spoken to them all about it as my brother was such a mess. Ds would never take pills or chemicals and knows that a puff on a joint at a festival is his limit. Interestingly the girls are terrible and much more into drugs and the boy whose mum shouted the loudest about drugs etc when they were younger sells it and she still has no idea.

Chandon Wed 03-Oct-12 14:42:42

Yes Vicar, hello by the way, I think it is to do with the culture of being "cool" and a "rebel"

stay away from fruit shoots though, as apparently they are poison.

TittyWhistles Wed 03-Oct-12 14:42:44

I'd rather hear measured responses from people who have had experience of taking drugs than the second hand views of the professionally outraged.

It's a good thing to get the drugs issue out in the open instead of being frightened by it and for people to be honest, Mumsnet is a broad community and that's what makes it such an addictive interesting place.

honeytea Wed 03-Oct-12 14:43:37

I was told as a teenager that I could try any drug so long as it wasn't heroin, magic mushrooms, LSD or cigarettes. My mother was very liberal, I'm not sure I will be that brave with my own kids.

I do think it worked for me, I only ever smoked a little bit of weed as a teenager, I never bought it. I didn't have the inclination to try most drugs even though I work in an industry where sharing your coke is like buying someone a pint after work. I never thought drugs were cool, but then I never thought smoking was cool, I just was myself and made my own choices. As I said before I have seen the darker side of drugs and maybe if you are going to be so liberal you need to expose your kids to the reality of drug abuse.

I think the don't do drugs attitude is damaging to young people, drugs are not all the same and once young people get to a certain age they will most probably come into contact with drug use in some way or another. If they have just been told constantly drugs are bad and they see people they respect enjoying drugs and having no negative effects why would they trust their parents opinion? I hope I can educate my children about the dangers so that they make their own choices.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:44:59

exactly chandon!!

thats the disparity i was talking about.....

coke = fine
fruit shoots = the devils own juice

greggs sausage roll anyone?

Nancy66 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:46:47

Vicar, presumably you also see the devastation caused by alcohol abuse?

Do you also not drink, not want your children and family to ever drink?

YANBU, I think it is just because they don't realise. I have known two people die of a heroin OD one who was only just 18 sad, I have had a friend who had a miscarriage (unplanned teen pg) due to her coke addiction. One friend was admitted to hospital in a month long amphetamine induced psychotic episode and another caused irreparable lung and kidney damage with ketamine. My stepfather died due to sclerosis of the liver. As a result I take a dim view of both chemical drugs AND alcohol. That said, I will on occasion smoke weak, organic cannabis. I don't agree with it being altered to make it stronger and wouldn't smoke anything of that kind (or with tobacco), won't drink to the point of being drunk, and would not take chemical drugs. Sadly this is something I have lost many friends over as quite simply I grew up and could not support their behaviour or bear to have DS in an environment like that. My issue with drugs is not their legality, though I can appreciate others stance on this, but the effect I have witnessed on others; without seeing this, if - like me - you have no moral issue with legality then I can see why you would perceive no issue at all.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 14:47:26

BigStickBIWI Wed 03-Oct-12 13:32:56
I wonder how many of these MNetters will still be so laissez faire about drugs when their own children start experimenting?

Raises hand...
I'm fairly open about the fact I used to smoke dope into my 30s occasionally.
This was pre-skunk days and it was a nice high, and certainly cheaper than alcohol.

DC have tried this - or at least one of them has.

I'm rather more worried about the cigarettes and alcohol, tbh. [I'd add my kids are adults]

I'd prefer all drugs to be legal and societally discouraged, rather than have some legal drugs that fill our hospitals anyway, and some prohibited which just shovel money into organized crime - (viz. Volstead Act)

StrangeGlue Wed 03-Oct-12 14:47:45

I agree. A while back there was a thread where a poster mentioned they might get a baby-sitter so they could take some acid. That is so bizarre to me but when someone was agast they were basically told that there's nothing wrong with it as long as someone's looking after your kids for you. WTF??

And when also gets me is the way someone will bang on about only buying organic fair trade food and then take coke which: a) has a huge human cost, cocaine production has savaged Columbia economically, politically and in huge human rights abuses and so many people lose their lives so some UK person can snort a bit on a Friday night; and b) why bother with the fancy fruit and veg if you're gonna take coke which does all manner of shit to your body and most importantly your brain.

I've seen more people messed up with alcohol addictions than drug addictions. Both are dreadful and soul destroying. Addiction is the issue, not what drug causes it. If I had to choose between DD having an addiction to alcohol and a recreational drug use issue I would choose the former.

I agree that criminality is an issue but one that could be solved by decriminalising and taxing the shit out of drugs, just like alcohol. If you don't acknowledge the 'good' things about drugs then young people won't think you know what you are talking about.

kdiddy Wed 03-Oct-12 14:50:10

I think it's misleading in these sorts of discussion to generalise, particularly when it comes to the addictive nature of various drugs, as well as personal and social harm. Drugs are not all the same - some are much more damaging than others to the individual, as well as their families and wider society. Illegality doesn't always have much correlation with this.

There was a very interesting BBC Horizon programme on a while back where a group of scientists took the 20 of the most common drugs (including tobacco and alcohol) and assessed them, before ranking them according to how addictive they were, how much they harmed the individual, and what harm they caused in society as a whole. The results bear very little resemblance to the current classification system - alcohol, for example, would be a class A drug according to our current laws. Heroin and cocaine were the top 2, alcohol was 5th and tobacco was 9th. Cannabis was 11th, LSD was 14th and ecstasy was 18th. Surely something is completely skewed in our current way of thinking.

Personally I am hugely in favour of a sensible national debate on this topic, because the science just doesn't support our current approach. Unfortunately too much focus is placed on the illegality, and not enough on the actual harm caused. Reclassification / decriminalisation of some drugs may be the right way to go, but unfortunately it seems to be such a political hot potato that nobody will go near it.

Latter, obviously!

nemno Wed 03-Oct-12 14:50:44

I am with you Vicar, am astounded by what is and isn't judged on MN. Drugs are vile.

noddyholder Wed 03-Oct-12 14:51:00

MrsT that is so true.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:55:30

nancy - 2 weeks ago i went to a shooting, a horrific horrific shooting.

i have never yet, in my service, gone to an alcohol related shooting. or an alcohol related stabbing.

i find much less devastation in alcohol tbh. most times, if i go to an incident where someone is drunk, there is often an element of drug use involved too. often pissed up and off their tits on MCAT at the same time.

or suicidal/self harming as they are coming off cannabis.

alcohol is probably a problem sometimes - but in isolation it doesnt cause the same criminality issues as drugs.

i do public order on frid/sat night often - yes you get the odd idiot, you give them a direction to leave notice and they go home.

the shoplifters are all doing it to feed habits. drug habits.
the prostitues are doing it to feed habits.
those that cause criminal damage are often off their faces on something....often drink and drugs
i truly think most of my work day to day is more drug related than drink related.

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