The Ever Changing Face Of Drug Abuse – End Of An Era

November 14, 2012 Alistair McHarg

Those of us who labor in the heavily intoxicated vineyards of mental illness, mental health, and recovery – those of us who gaze in wonder at the never-ending inventiveness demonstrated by tormented souls scouring the landscape for new mechanisms of self-injury – those of us who chase the lighthouse beacon of serenity as we pitch and toss on a cultural sea of hazards, pitfalls, and demons – those of us who marvel at a world gone mad, a world intent on sabotaging health, moderation, and self-care at every step – those of us who, wracked by ADHD and overburdened by flashy, empty distractions – are united by one profound bit of good news – this sentence is about to come to an end.

Those who followed the recent election probably noticed that pot – also known as grass, weed, reefer, marijuana, and wacky tabacky – is, like the camel that sneaks into a tent one inch at a time – making an impressive play for respectability. Legalization on a state-by-state basis will lead, inevitably, to a national referendum and, with wet finger waving in the wind, one takes the national temperature and concludes that soon Uncle Sam will be dealing dope, elbowing Mexican drug lords off American playgrounds. Thus, an era will end and I, as one who has explored the narrow alleyways of drug abuse in search of happiness, or at least relief, will miss it.

When I was a lad there was really only one way to tell which side of the barricades you were on; did you get high? Pot was our secret handshake, it was more than a mechanism for pretending Grateful Dead music wasn’t appalling, one’s determination to become THC-stupid demonstrated a commitment to outsider status, we showed our determination to undermine the system by rendering ourselves unconscious – it was a sophisticated strategy to say the least. The illegality gave it the whiff of subversion, defiance – we were fearless rebels in the recreation rooms of suburban homes sporting shag carpeting of unimaginable vulgarity.

Ultimately the government always finds a way to ruin fun and such is the case here. Truth be told, pot is really not that interesting, it makes passive, withdrawn people even more passive and withdrawn. Removing the illegality strips it of its most exciting quality. Once it actually becomes legal only the most hopelessly un-cool people will consume it. Can you imagine how dreadfully dull, ordinary and square it would be to line up at the government pot stand so you could get your weed, buy stamps, and renew your passport?

Today’s society is so homogenized that I can only feel sadness for kids who want to be cool because, since their phones do everything for them, the closest they will ever get is by having a cool phone. But there is hope. While pot is doomed to become the exclusive province of the hopelessly uninteresting; you can turn to another weed for the danger and excitement pot once offered. Tobacco.

When I was a kid, if you didn’t smoke cigarettes there was a zero percent chance of you being cool. But the PC police have scared this unattractive habit back to the hinterlands – it now has about as much glamor as leprosy.

Those who crave a taboo drug that says – society, I hold you in contempt – should look no further than the nearest pack of cigarettes, assuming they can find one.

APA Reference
McHarg, A. (2012, November 14). The Ever Changing Face Of Drug Abuse – End Of An Era, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 21 from

Author: Alistair McHarg

November, 15 2012 at 5:20 am

very funny. we live in conservative VA where i'm sure the illegal pot trade will have a chance to hang on till the bitter end. i don't know, should i be happy or disappointed that pot will still be cool in the eyes of my teens? i personally don't want them smoking anything, but as you say, that's precisely why they'll want to.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alistair McHarg
November, 15 2012 at 9:05 am

Thanks for reading, and writing. Virginia, as you know, is the home of premier tobacco. You may witness the migration back to cigarettes up close. Good luck!

November, 14 2012 at 8:10 am

Hi Alistair! I never did fall into the cool crowd and was never interested in drugs. I did have a short affair with alcohol though, and thankfully it was short. My dad was an alcoholic,who knows what could have happened if I'd have continued down that road. My self-medicating came from food, the more the merrier. It's amazing how much of that action was reduced once I was diagnosed bipolar and got on a med cocktail that worked. I'm still working on the weight thing, but I am finding that little steps are bringing me success. Have a great week!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alistair McHarg
November, 14 2012 at 8:57 am

As a friend of mine likes to say - Baby steps for little feet. That's the best way for lasting change - although it is in direct opposition to the bipolar mentality. All the best!

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