Research: Attitude towards drugs?

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Lishy
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Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#1 Post by Lishy » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:38 pm

Hey guys. I'm doing research for my visual novel. If we can get some debates and discussion started, I would appreciate it!!!

What do you think society's attitude towards drugs is? What is YOUR attitude towards drugs? What about people who USE drugs? Should all drugs be legal or not? Why? And why are drugs only legal when a man in the white coat prescribes it to you? What about all the wonderful health benefits and medicinal effects of Marijuana? What about how it's being denied? Why do you think the government makes drugs illegal? Why are drugs bad/good?

Simply discuss any issues related to drugs! (Though preferably, I'd like your opinions about PEOPLE who use drugs.)

This is for purpose of research so I may better write my visual novel. Although those were issues I brought up, I just want general purpose discussion on the subject matter of drugs.

Thanks!
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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#2 Post by papillon » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:55 pm

What do you mean by 'society'? No country has a single monolithic culture. Unless you mean the legal position? In a small country that'll probably be fairly consistent, but if you look at the US the medical marijuana issue is all over the place from state to state AFAIK.

Views tend to vary a lot by age and social grouping. Being raised in a rather posh religious all-girls school where no one would ever DREAM of doing something so scandalous as be involved with drugs, it was a massive culture shock to teenage me when I first started hanging out with a group of much older people on the internet who had far more relaxed attitudes. I'd come up through hardcore Just Say No, Drugs will ruin your life, even taking caffeine pills will destroy your future (thank you Saved By The Bell), if you try a hard drug once you'll probably die in a ditch somewhere... and here I was talking to people who'd tried a few things, generally gotten over them but indulged on rare occasions, and were obviously still alive. Mind = Blown. (You can see some of this experience in Date Warp, with Janet's reaction to other people's world views.)

And of course teenage me was a lot of years ago by now, goodness only knows what Young People Nowadays think. :)

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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#3 Post by Tetiel » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:55 am

Lishy wrote: What do you think society's attitude towards drugs is?

This is a difficult question to answer. There are so many different societies within a country as papillon said! There are certainly very many pro-drug people. I knew quite a few in high school so it's not just an internet thing. At the same time, there are many who are so anti-drug that they appear ignorant. Honestly, you could go anywhere with your story because there are extremes of all types. I think you're better off looking at libertarian vs authoritarian arguments as that's what it really boils down to.
What is YOUR attitude towards drugs?
I personally would never take them on a recreational basis. I hardly even drink. It's not some straight edge thing, it's just not part of my interests. I'm perfectly happy sitting at home and reading or doodling. Don't really needs drugs to do that. Well, I had a friend who claimed he did better art while on drugs, but I think that's something on a strictly individual level ;)
What about people who USE drugs?
I genuinely feel sorry for them. I realize that seems very patronizing, and I'm probably going to get a lot of heat for that, but I do. After a surgery I became partially addicted to hydromorphone, a very strong opiate. I have a taste of what it feels like to be dependent on something to stop being miserable. I wasn't even taking them that long. It was just two weeks! After I had to be forced into cold turkey, I felt tingling all through my legs and I couldn't keep them still. I wanted to scratch my skin off and I couldn't sleep for close to 48 hours and that was a mild case. I can't even begin to imagine what it would feel like to come off of a stronger opiate. I know a lot of people who say that they can stop taking whatever they're taking at any time, and maybe they're right, but I think it's a rare case that you don't have physical and mental repercussions for doing so, especially if the drugs were taken on a regular basis. I can't judge against them. I don't know their past and I don't know their reasons for getting into it. I just hope they don't kill themselves.
Should all drugs be legal or not? Why? And why are drugs only legal when a man in the white coat prescribes it to you? What about all the wonderful health benefits and medicinal effects of Marijuana? What about how it's being denied? Why do you think the government makes drugs illegal? Why are drugs bad/good?
I'm going to lump this all into one question since it's all related.

No, they should not be legal. I don't think that most human beings are capable of proper restraint with them. Sadly, I've seen much more proof of that than disproof. Why are drugs legal when a doctor prescribes it to you? Because the benefits to the drug outweigh the bad side effects. It is worth the risk of addiction, for example. They prescribe pain medication because without it, patients will be too miserable to properly function. It's also possible that without it, their heart rate will rise into dangerous levels causing further complications. They prescribe drugs like amphetamines to those diagnosed with ADD/ADHD because it actually helps them calm down and concentrate due to a chemical imbalance. The argument for/against Marijuana also applies. Do the good effects of the drug outweigh the bad? That is an issue that I believe only someone actually trained in the medical profession can tell you. Everything you read online is a load of propaganda one way or the other.

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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#4 Post by Lishy » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:11 am

Tetiel wrote:Honestly, you could go anywhere with your story because there are extremes of all types. I think you're better off looking at libertarian vs authoritarian arguments as that's what it really boils down to.
Libertarian vs authoritarian IS one of the present conflicts already! Though, my VN's theme is really about judgment vs forgiveness! :D

I am seeking inspiration for how I write my characters in regards to the topic of drugs and interpret the conflict. Hence, the creation of this thread. In this thread, I just want people to say whatever they want related to drugs, and argue if they must! (As long as it doesn't turn into a flame war of course.)

It's important how I can see first hand how others perceive things rather than just myself.

Me? I have my own opinions about drugs. But I want my story to be three-dimensional, so my opinion doesn't quite matter. I must approach the conflict from all angles, so I welcome anything anyone has to say about drugs! Go crazy!
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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#5 Post by papillon » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:54 am

I've been given to understand that many of the illegal drugs are less harmful and less addictive than certain drugs which are legal but have very powerful lobbying organisations behind them. The dangers, of course, vary wildly by drug, and MANY substances can be dangerous if abused.

Some drugs do ruin people's lives. OTOH, some studies have shown that often they do this because those people's lives were bad to begin with... they weren't looking for a bit of fun, they were looking for escape, and they run far and hard and have little incentive to drag themselves back. They need help more than they need jail. I prefer the treatment model to the punishment model.

Personally I stick with caffeine. I almost never drink and I've never done anything more than that. I am well aware that I'm addicted to caffeine and will suffer mild withdrawal symptoms if I stop, but at the same time it clearly isn't ruining my life, you know?

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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#6 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:20 pm

I'm rather biased, because I had relatives that sold and did drugs when I was young, and I often got dragged around to crack houses or to trailers where everyone just sat around and smoked weed. It was miserable for a kid, and I noticed similarities between all the drug-users. Namely that even though they were "functioning" (i.e. not homeless, had some form of income) they often lived in squalid conditions and nearly everything they did revolved around the drugs. Using the drugs, finding the drugs, paying for the drugs, avoiding getting caught with the drugs, etc.

Seeing other kids (my age at the time) sleeping on dirty mattresses on the floor, left to fend in the kitchens themselves for scraps while their parents sat stoned in the living room, etc. made me lose all respect for drug-users. Often the adults would think it was funny to try and get the kids high, or get annoyed with us staring at them miserably and suggest we go somewhere else and screw around. A few detestable times a drug-user even offered their daughter to have sex with me in order to try and get a discount from my drug-dealing relative. ("It's cool. They're both kids! They'll love it!") In response I'd always storm outside and sit on the curb.

I'm libertarian though - I don't believe in restricting people's rights to do whatever they want in privacy of their own home as long as it doesn't affect someone else. Which is why I'm fine if some moron wants to sit in his living room and smoke himself into a stupor everyday, or if a couple wants to. Where I draw the line is when kids are involved. You can't be a drug-using parent and it not affect your child. And the poor child has no say in the matter, no escape, and is made to pay for the neglect or inattention of the parent. Even if a parent is a great parent most of the time, it is incredibly traumatizing for a child to have to watch their parent zone out and act like a different person, even if it just occurs once a week.

I also can't stand the way some marijuana users feel the need to brag or advertise their habit. I find it stupid and offensive to openly advertise illegal hobbies, then get angry when people treat them with disdain. And as an artist, it pisses me off to no end the people that claim they can't create art without using drugs. That's a load of BS, and a crutch. If people truly believe it is the drugs that create the art and not them, they are more of a tool than their art supplies.

So to summarize, I have no real problem with drug-users existing - adults will always find a way to do what adults want, regardless of the law - but I can't have any respect for them. Trust me, the best anti-drug message is delivered to children forced to spend time with drug-using adults. You see plainly where the drug road leads and it isn't pretty, cool, or glamorous, but disgusting and terrifying.

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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#7 Post by papillon » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:03 pm

Where I draw the line is when kids are involved. You can't be a drug-using parent and it not affect your child.
Well, you can if you're very lucky - some parents use alcohol in moderation without anything horrible happening and without their children even noticing to worry about it. But many people do not have that control.

But yes, I definitely agree that endangering others is a bad thing, and that altering your senses for 'fun' is absolutely inappropriate when you're supposed to be taking care of a child.

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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#8 Post by Reikun » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:57 pm

I grew up around smokers and there I can totally agree with LateWhiteRabbit when he said "the best anti-drug message is delivered to children forced to spend time with drug-using adults." I know a lot of people I went to high school with who smoke now (cigarettes, weed, etc.) and most of their exposure to drugs came from movies and the media. I guess my general attitude towards illicit drugs, and even prescribed, "legal" drugs, is just don't use them, though in the case of prescription medications, I try to avoid them as much as possible if they aren't absolutely needed for living. (Just my opinion, but I also come from a family where home remedies are the go-to thing instead of modern medicine...)

For people using illicit drugs, my general reaction would be to avoid them. I don't really care why someone uses drugs, because if they can't cope with stress/life without drugs then that gives me a certain kind of message about that person's character. I guess it can sound really harsh and judgmental because people get into the drug scene for different reasons, but IMO there is something wrong if you turn to drugs for ANY reason, whether it's recreational or stress or whatever.

That said, I don't really care if people use drugs as long as they do it somewhere where it doesn't affect other people. This applies to my views on medical marijuana. If they can use it all alone without bothering anyone (including not bothering anyone while obtaining the drug, unless by bothering people they are earning legit cash like people who make annoying ads), by all means they can use it as much as they want and reap whatever benefit they get out of it.
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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#9 Post by Llair » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:29 pm

I'm not sure if the OP had euthanasia in mind, but what about when drugs are used to give an animal or human a humane death that's pain free as possible? There are quite a few misconceptions involving euthanasia, and things are a little different in the southern part US unfortunately, but I personally am pro-euthanasia. (Partly because I am studying to become a vet tech, but that's not the main reason.)

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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#10 Post by Kylock » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:13 pm

papillon wrote:I've been given to understand that many of the illegal drugs are less harmful and less addictive than certain drugs which are legal but have very powerful lobbying organisations behind them. The dangers, of course, vary wildly by drug, and MANY substances can be dangerous if abused.
It's funny you say that, because a big chunk of legislation and views on drugs really are affected by the lobbying and marketing surrounding them. Sure, things like Meth and Heroin very deservedly have horrible reputations, but ecstasy doesn't really have that bad of a reputation but is one of those ones that can kill you your first time. (Using a "standard" dosage.)

And then when you realize that three of the most commonly used and, arguably, deadly drugs are perfectly legal things just get all sorts of wacky. Alcohol, tobacco, and to a much lesser but still significant degree, caffeine.

Personal preferences? Do what you want, but as soon as your choices overlap and affect others then you should be stopped. Your right to ruin your life should not interfere with my right to not be hit by a drunk driver. (To choose a personally relevant example.)

People are always going to find ways to chemically alter their moods, so it's really more a matter of making the incentives for doing so less appealing.

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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#11 Post by Lishy » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:03 pm

Interesting discussions so far. Looking forward to more! :)

Suggestion topic:
What do you think about the stereotype that people only use drugs as an "escape", and that people who do use drugs are "low class", or "obnoxious" "criminals"?
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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#12 Post by Sapphi » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:11 pm

Lishy wrote: What do you think about the stereotype that people only use drugs as an "escape", and that people who do use drugs are "low class", or "obnoxious" "criminals"?
Not sure what else you could call them other than "escape" besides "entertainment", unless in special cases they are being used medically. :P

And drug use pervades all classes, it's just that the "high class" people can pay their way out of jail and evade the law easily while the "low class" people don't have that power of persuasion and are more easily targeted for busts...
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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#13 Post by Lishy » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:54 pm

Additionally, describe people who use drugs.
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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#14 Post by papillon » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:18 pm

There aren't enough people commenting on this topic to get anything near a statistically significant result, and many of the people posting come from completely different backgrounds and viewpoints. I'm really not sure what you're trying to accomplish here.

'Describe people who wear skirts' - Well, they wear skirts. We don't know anything else about them, other than what you just said. LOTS of different people wear skirts for a wide variety of reasons. And what KIND of skirts are we even talking about?

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Re: Research: Attitude towards drugs?

#15 Post by Lishy » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:32 am

papillon wrote:There aren't enough people commenting on this topic to get anything near a statistically significant result, and many of the people posting come from completely different backgrounds and viewpoints. I'm really not sure what you're trying to accomplish here.
I want to learn how people view other people who use drugs, and the stereotypes or myths which often accompany them, as well as I want to know people's perspective why they believe it right or wrong.

In my visual novel, there involves great amounts of drug use, yet none of it are condemned by the main characters. In fact, none of them are condemned in the story's message either (I'll admit I'll be taking a PRO-drug approach to my characters' habits...)

However, I want to better develop the environment around them. To do so, I must understand how they are seen in society. Thus, I wish more people in this thread wold simply argue randomly, on any subject, about drugs.
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