I don’t take drugs, but that doesn’t mean I’m boring
No mate, I don’t have any gum
For many people, adulthood provides a chance to try new things and live by your own rules. What better way to test these new boundaries and take part in minor social rebellion than by experimenting with drugs?
Drugs are everywhere – a Tab survey earlier this year revealed that a whopping 79 per cent of respondents have taken them in some form at some point during their lives.
This goes some way to explaining people’s surprise when I tell them that the strongest drug I’ve taken is ibuprofen.
In many cases, this surprise quickly turns into wariness or judgment. There’s a stigma surrounding people like myself, namely that anti-drugs types are all uptight and hate fun. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
My reasoning behind avoiding drugs is pretty simple: I have an addictive personality, with my inability to put down a bag of Doritos not boding well for any stronger stuff.
I have very little money, meaning that I would struggle to fund any kind of sustained substance habit. I also have a classic middle-class suburban person’s respect for the law, and had a sheltered enough childhood to not know where to start when it comes to drugs.
These factors mean that taking drugs has just never seemed appealing to me – it’s nothing personal.
To many people, going on a night out without drugs is now unconceivable. I’ll admit that I struggle to understand the appeal of deep house, whereas people who are pinging seem to love it. Other than that, what do drugs offer that alcohol doesn’t?
Drugs are a way to lose your inhibitions, but so is alcohol. A night out on alcohol slightly increases the odds of you throwing up in the corner of the smokers’ area, while a night out on drugs means you risk a dodgy pill. Alcohol gives you a hangover, drugs give you comedowns. The two are two sides of the same coin.
Not all people who avoid drugs want to lecture you about the dangers of pills and powders. It’s possible for us to have our own preferences while passing no judgment on yours. The same principles apply to drugs in that everyone should know their own limits.
I’m acutely aware that I don’t have any kind of moral high ground compared to people take drugs. I do just as much, if not more damage to my body when I drink, or when I eat my second Domino’s in a week (who has time to cook, honestly).
I break the law just as much when I stream the latest episodes of Game of Thrones (which, for legal purposes, I definitely don’t do).
There are people out there who will turn their noses up at the mere mention of drugs. Not only is this a morally unjustifiable stance, but it fails to recognise the potential benefits that drugs can have.
Countless scientific studies have shown the medical capabilities of marijuana, and recently scientists have even used ketamine to treat depression. An open mind is best in all areas of life, and drugs are no exception.
That said, it’s our choice if we want to avoid drugs, whatever our reasons may be. In the same way that we respect your right to take them, you have to respect our right to avoid them.
Above all, not taking drugs doesn’t make someone boring. My love of Scrabble is totally unrelated, I promise.