I had my first contact with drugs when I was in high school.
All the ‘cool kids’ were smoking pot, and having nights out as a group, and I wanted to be a part of it. I was a lonely teenager, I wanted to be included, and imitate them to feel socially accepted.
And it worked. So I kept going on, I started buying and then selling, and I felt I was a part of something, and I had ‘friends’.
But then I went to university, and I tried meeting new people the same way, but it was a whole different situation.
People there were very serious about their studies, they weren’t up to party and get high every day and night… And me, well I was quite addicted already, I was not motivated by anything else than finding money to buy something to smoke.
After a month I didn’t go to class anymore, I was at home all day, stoned, and out all night with some dealers or homeless people, high and drunk.
I of course had money problems with everyone, and I got into fights a few times. I never heard from my high school ‘friends’ again.
So, this way of making friends, this social purpose, eventually isolated me more than ever. It’s a vicious circle. I also started having issues with police and justice, and my family didn’t accept that, and at some point they stopped helping me, and giving me money because I was smoking it all…
In France, the law against drugs is very strict, one could go in prison for using, but it doesn’t prevent youngsters from trying and using regularly.
I think that legalising like in the Netherlands or Denmark, would be a way of fighting the problems caused with the money given to dealers in the streets.
Maybe we should focus on prevention first before allowing those to feel ashamed in secrecy once they realise they’re addicted and need help.
To reduce the feeling of isolation, I like the idea of supervised drug consumption rooms. It’s more for injections but the main goal is to stay safe, to keep contact with other people and to receive information and help without judgement.
It’s a way for society in its entirety to maintain the link with addicted people, to not ‘lose’ them.
I think it’s a good start, and I’m sure we can find hundreds of other good ideas to fight addiction, and maybe to keep drug use for specific social times, like recreational purpose.
It’s the way I would rather be smoking, and not this addictive and destructive way.