Thursday 3 November 2016

Why I'm FOR "drug consumption rooms"

I was just reading an article about drug consumption rooms, and thought I'd write a little post about my own feelings on the matter - and I think, personally, they're a jolly good idea. I'm not saying I agree with heroin use and I'm not saying let's all go out and take drugs just because it might be a bit safer to do so, but the safety of those who have fallen into the trap of drug addiction is just as important as the safety of everyone else.

Around 5-10% of people who use drugs go on to become dependent - so really, it's not that many. Out of every 100 students who try drugs, for example, only 5 or 10 of them will become dependent. Put like that it might sound a lot but there's still 90-odd people who tried drugs and didn't wind up addicted. What I'm trying to say is that drug addicts aren't this illusive set of people from bad upbringings (okay, some undoubtedly are) but they're just the ones who got unlucky. You probably know so many people who've tried and taken drugs, who haven't turned into addicts - but they've still done it. Are they somehow better than the 5-10% just because they didn't get addicted? Not really, no.

So we ought to protect that small percentage in any way that we can; some of the most talented people in the world are and have been addicted to drugs. Pete Doherty, Amy Winehouse, Ozzy Osbourne, Kurt Cobain - all drug-dependent, all incredible talented and popular and successful. The only thing separating them and the stereotypical idea of a "drug addict" (homeless, messy, dirty) is their success, their talent, their luck and their fortune and their fame. I personally am a HUGE Pete Doherty fan, and though he is (I think) clean right now, I'd hope that if he wasn't, there would be a safe place for him to go.

Drug addiction is scary for everybody involved, and I think it must be only scarier when you're doing it on the streets or in poorly-lit dens, with needles that might be used or dirty or broken, with risk of infection and overdose and a feeling of helplessness. Drug consumption rooms mean cleanliness, safe equipment, good lighting; they mean professionals being on hand if something goes wrong; they mean advice and respect.

Let's just do our best to keep everyone safe, yeah?

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