The Big Debate II

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Drugs. Alcohol. Cigarettes. I don’t understand why people enjoy torturing their bodies so much. Ok, to be fair, alcohol is fine, in reasonable quantities. But when consumed to the point where you can’t remember what you did last night, where you’re hugging the toilet the next morning and unable to move away from it, and when you start doing things that you’ll definitely regret…I realise this is controversial but I believe that that’s just silly, and unnecessarily self-deprecating.

What I am completely and utterly against, is the consumption of drugs and cigarettes. Why? Because, out of the three that I mentioned in the beginning, they’re the most harmful. And they’re not just harmful to the consumer’s body, but selfishly harmful – and even fatal to others too.

The Office for National Statistics states that in 2008 (the latest available year for drug statistics), 1,738 people died due to drugs. Although a brazen drug-abuser could argue that “that is nothing” when considering the actual UK population, it is still a lot of people. Think about the effect this would have on the deceased’s family and friends.

Going back to the selfish aspect of drugs and cigarettes, did you know that the side-stream of smoke that is emitted from a burning cigarette, spliff, joint – whatever you want to call it – actually carries a higher risk than directly inhaled smoke? So whilst those who enjoy slowly killing themselves are in the process of doing so, they’re actually doing a faster job at shortening the lives of those around them.

I know that not all drugs are consumed through smoking. And so it’s easy to say – aren’t those drugs ok, then, if they’re not killing others? Well, you may not be killing others if you’re swallowing, snorting or injecting the drugs into your system, but your resulting behaviour can still be extremely aggrieving to others, so no, it’s not ok.

But let’s re-focus back on the actual drug-consumers. What are the cons of taking drugs yourself? Well, drugs can lead to depression, suicide, serious health issues and, of course, death. It can also lead to physical, emotional and mental disabilities.

And, let’s be honest – when you’re high or drunk, you really don’t look your best. Can you really say you’d let your friends tag you in that picture of you lying on the bathroom floor, or in the one where you’re all red-eyed with your face up in the camera lens?

Let’s look at Amy Winehouse. She actually died because she TRIED to give up – but the fact of the matter is, she began trying too late. Don’t get me wrong, I have much respect for Amy’s attempts to abstain from alcohol, and I mean no disrespect to her family, friends and fans. She was a woman with such great musical talent, but she died too young.

Yes, you can say, “it’s never too late”. But in some cases, and with certain things, it can be. So I really hope that people will try to give up excessive drinking, smoking and drug-taking before they walk past the turning point. Yes, Amy died of alcohol abstinence. But in the end, aren’t alcohol and cigarettes drugs too?

You can lead such a better life if you don’t take drugs, smoke, or drink excessively. You can have fun when you’re not high or off your head, and you can do so much more! I don’t take drugs or smoke, or drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol…yet I’m perfectly happy.

If you can’t find anything fun to do when you’re sober, then you’re just not trying hard enough. If it’s an exciting life you want, why not go bungee jumping, cliff-diving – or if it’s a bit of pain you’re after, paintballing! And before someone argues that those activities are too expensive, don’t think a lifetime of drugs, cigarettes or alcohol is particularly cheap, is it?

The best thing of all about a clean life is that you get to live longer, and let others live longer too. So say no to drugs, and yes to life.

You can read Tim Moss' contrasting opinion on this topic here.

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