This writing is about an actual experience of my classmate (we may call him Jerry) during our college days in a prestigious university way back in 1972-1976. Jerry’s family and close friends told of him as having been a good pleasant lowly boy during all of his primary and secondary school years. I met him when we entered college and we became very close or better still, best of friends. We had been getting quite well all along in our classes and sports activities. We did our homework and had lunch and snacks together everyday, shared money and so on . . . until one day during our sophomore year, Jerry decided to join the school drama club.
I was shy and not good in acting so I did not sign up. Jerry’s fellow club members all belonged to prominent and well-to-do families. Jerry’s family, on the other hand, was somehow poor and they just lived in a small cramped apartment in the city. But since the boy developed into a good stage performer, he became popular in the group and everyone liked him. Jerry was already enjoying very much the company of his fellow members. From then on I found it hard to have some of his time because he was always busy in his drama activities, which I fully understood.
A few months later, I began to suspect that the group also engaged in other fun activities besides stage practice and show performances – drinking, LSD, marijuana and cocaine. Jerry’s club associates became his new best friends and he silently went into frequent drug sessions with them. I finished school on time. Jerry did not graduate together with me. He had to stay on for one more year. This writing will help discuss issues related to the emotional, social and legal implications of drug abuse based on the real experience of someone this writer knows, like Jerry in this case.
A subject on how such an unfortunate situation may be helped in general will also be given. For purposes of this discussion, we will use the term “drug addict” for a person who is dependent or addicted to illegal drugs. Profile of a Drug Addict Drug addicts will go to great lengths to deny that their use of drugs is the reason for their deteriorating situation. They always tend to blame their problems on those around them, including friends, co-workers, and loved ones. Jerry, who was once a very pleasant and intelligent person, later became someone very different since he started smoking heavily and becoming addicted to drugs.
In more ways than one, Jerry (and his fellow club associates) showed the following conditions which were typical among drug users: • low interest in his studies (he got low or failing marks in most of his subjects) • had trouble concentrating in his studies and club activities (he and some members were dismissed from the club later after their junior year) • easily got worried over things and was often in a negative mode, unfriendly • preferred to hang out with fellow drug users in the club most of the time • became a somehow reserved and inhibited person and wanted to be left alone
• would hallucinate or feel “high” anytime (he was not allowed to drive anymore) • had problems sleeping well or remembering things • unable to dress up properly and keep himself tidy • would often hurt himself and others physically and emotionally (which often lead to some administrative or legal problems) • had reddish bulging eyes • gained weight and coughed a lot Impact of Drugs on One’s Emotional Condition As Jerry became so addicted to using drugs, there was not a day that his life would run so smoothly unlike before.
He became short tempered, arrogant and was quick to anger. He did not care enough anymore about other people, not even his family and his close friends. He no longer knew how to feel love for others and would not feel the love and concern of others towards him. He seemed to always find fault on what others did, as if he was the only person who was right all the time. He would suddenly laugh at nothing or feel sad about something funny. The emotional well being of Jerry, like every other drug addict, was unstable and unpredictable.
Why Illegal Drugs are Dangerous If one is sick, he/she has to take medicine in order to get well. Medicines are legal drugs, meaning doctors are allowed to prescribe them for patients, stores can sell them, and people can buy them. But it is not legal, or safe, for people to use these medicines in any way they want or to buy them from people who are selling them illegally. Illegal drugs are not good for anyone because they can damage the brain, heart, and other organs of the body. Cocaine, for instance, can cause heart attack even on children.
While using drugs improperly, a person is less able to do well in school, sports and other activities (just like Jerry) and he could hurt himself or other people in the long run. Why Does a Person Take Illegal Drugs A person would usually try drugs to fit in with a group of friends who are already users. They do it for fun and adventure. Or one might just be curious about the magical wonders of drugs particularly if drugs can help him/her escape from reality for awhile. If a person is sad or upset, a drug can, at least temporarily, make him/her feel better or forget about problems. But this escape would only last until the drug wears off.
In the case of Jerry, he got into drugs because he developed a desire to be able to fit in with a group of people who belonged to the upper class of society and dreamed of becoming popular someday among the many students of the school. His membership in the drama club fulfilled his dream. Drugs, however, do not solve problems. On the contrary, using drugs often causes more problems on top of the problems a person may already have in the first place. One who uses drugs can become dependent or addicted on them, which means that he/she becomes so accustomed to having these drugs that he/she cannot function well without them.
Once addicted, it is very hard to stop him/her from taking such drugs. Stopping may even cause withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting, sweating, or shaking. These sick feelings would continue until the person’s body gets adjusted to being drug free again. Legal Impact of Drug Abuse Illegal use of LSD, marijuana, cocaine, codeine, heroin, methamphetamines, and similar drugs including inhalants like glue and gasoline have, for decades now, been blamed for all sorts of small and big crimes. Hence, the strong campaign against both drug pushers/syndicates and users, with a heavier axe on the former.
Jerry, then a drug user, became involved in several petty quarrels with some classmates and teachers, had poor performance in his studies and school activities, got into a fighting incident, a house break in, robbery, drunken driving and frequent misunderstandings at home. In some Asian countries, for example, local authorities in their campaign against illegal drug dealers, who are primarily responsible for bringing the illegal drugs to the users, would post the names/profile of the drug pushers in public places and conduct raids and spray paint their homes with the words “This is a Home of a Drug Pusher”.
It is important though that the government should take care that it does not violate human rights in the process (since the suspects are being shamed before they are found guilty by the courts) and would result in the filing of charges, eventual arrest, and conviction of the criminals – and imposition of the appropriate penalty by imprisonment or death depending on the gravity of the offense. The United States and all other countries impose very stiff penalties to drug convicts in accordance with their laws.
Considering the global extent and the organized crime network nature of the drug business, the fight against illegal drugs remains to be a long battle, but with the unrelenting efforts of the authorities and the cooperation of the public, major successes in curbing the drug menace have been achieved and will continue to be achieved in the times ahead. Help for Drug Addicts Most addicts feel they do not need help, instead they tend to believe they have no problems, or that those outside their situation do not understand them.
In order for addicts to abandon their denial and want to renounce drugs, they must first reach a significant level of unhappiness such as failing health, divorce, arrest for drunken driving, or some extremely difficult situation. And when such an event happens, and the addict asks for help in getting straight, then it would be an opportunity to give that addict all the help and support he/she needs. It may be difficult to completely forgive and forget all the mistakes that person may have committed as a result of his/her addiction, but it must be considered that they were incapacitated by a very serious illness they themselves had no control.
Their previously irrational behavior was most likely irrelevant to their true personality. Drug users need to be rehabilitated. In order for rehabilitation to succeed, an addict must sincerely show willingness to be helped. Upon asking for help, an addict must learn to accept the knowledge that even if they give up drugs forever, they will still be somehow addicted to them forever. It becomes their goal then to live life by not doing any more drugs from day to day. Some addicts must totally modify their lifestyle to stay clean. According to L.
Ron Hubbard’s drug rehabilitation program, which has been employed in more than 70 nations around the world and have successfully freed more than 100,000 individuals from drug dependence, there is that possibility that even years after quitting drugs and repairing all immediate damages, the former drug user could continue to remain at a certain level of risk. There could still be tiny residues of previously ingested drugs lodged in the fatty tissues of the body which may become activated later and bring back the drug dependency of the person.
Utilizing an exact regimen of exercise, sauna and nutritional supplements under tight medical control can help bring about detoxification and actually remove drug residues from the fatty tissues. This issue must not be overlooked by both the drug patient and the one administering the rehabilitation program to ensure the avoidance of a possible return to the addiction problem. Conclusion From the standpoint of the above circumstances, it is worthy to note that the illegal use of drugs would not do any good to any one at all.
While the drug syndicates and dealers make all the money in the multi-billion dollar business, the poor users suffer behind the scenes and get all sorts of harm and pain in the process. There is, however, hope and treatment for the unfortunate drug dependents, they can still go back to their normal lives as long as they have the will to change. And there are very stiff penalties for the makers of crime on drugs. We can only hope and pray that their conscience run after them wherever they go.
A few days just before graduation from college, Jerry approached me and apologized for his past behaviors. He said he was staying in school for another year due to various failing marks and that he was prepared to give up drugs and straighten his life! I congratulated him for his wonderful decision regarding drugs and encouraged him to take immediate treatment. His family brought him to a rehab center and three months later he got out a reformed man.
As he tried to adjust to a normal life, it took him more than a year later after school to find a job as a car salesman. Today, Jerry is a vice president of a major bank and a happy family man with a loving wife and three teenage children. Bibliography L. Ron Hubbard. Drug Rehabilitation. http://www. lronhubbardprofile. org/drug2. htm Kids Health. http://kidshealth. org/kid/grow/drugs_alcohol/know_drugs. html Cris G. Sienes. Naming drug suspects is against the law. Thursday, July 17, 2003 “The Problem of Addiction” in Modern Drummer magazine, February 1991.