According to this, 17.4% of American males have reported illicit drug use within the past year. I am not one of those men.
I can’t stand having drugs in my body, and I’m not just talking about the hard stuff. I will suffer through a headache if it means avoiding even a baby aspirin. I will face my allergies clear of Claritin (not the other way around). And as for a nice cup of coffee to get moving in the morning? I’ll pass on the caffeine, thanks.
It’s not that I’m entirely anti-drug. Modern medicine is a beautiful thing. I’ve taken vaccinations, and I’ve completed antibiotics when necessary and prescribed. I have family members who were saved by chemotherapy.
Call me a purist, but I just hate the idea of becoming dependent on any medication. Whenever I take ill, I want to rely on my body’s ability to fight back, only resorting to medicine when I’ve failed to succeed on my own.
More than believing in the merits of my immune system, I simply don’t enjoy the change drugs, recreational and otherwise, create in me. Side effects are a pain. They can make you lethargic, numb-skulled, clumsy, and, in some cases, dry-mouthed and diarrheal. I like being quick to the punch and having clarity of mind. I enjoy having energy that isn’t based on the borrowed time of taurine. I’m glad I can have fun without the aid of a mind-altering substance: alcohol and weed included.
I had my run with weed. I did it near ten times in college. Since I’m against smoking, all of my experiences involved either brownies or a vaporizer. The trouble I found with marijuana was how it made me too different from the person I enjoy being.
I’m generally social, outgoing and motivated. After marijuana, I found myself withdrawn, unable to contribute to conversation and feeling lethargic even the day after getting high. I’m not saying that getting high wasn’t fun, but that fun just wasn’t worth the trade off.
Lately I’ve found myself feeling the same way about alcohol. I used to drink a lot in college. I worked hard and played hard, as many do. And while that lifestyle never negatively affected my grades, I still found myself struggling with a sort of mental fog. My memory wasn’t as keen as it was in high school. I found that I wasn’t as quick on the uptake. More than this, some hangovers would ruin my ability to enjoy an entire day following a night of debauchery.
I still drink today, but way less than I used to. I don’t mind having one or two social drinks, but I’ll stop there. It saves me from hangovers and it also saves me money for things I care about way more than getting drunk—like eating great food, or traveling. Of course, I also believe in the concept of everything in moderation, including moderation. I’ll still drink the way I used to at a particular event here or there. (Hello, New Year’s and birthday.)
I’ve made these choices the same way anyone else from my generation would: based on the desired result. Desires are a funny thing, because they vary from person to person. What I desire may be completely different from what someone else desires, and that’s okay.
If you think getting high is worth it, get high. If you enjoy spending your money on booze more than traveling, drink yourself silly. I have plenty of friends who do, and I have no reason to judge them for it. My generation is one that follows our passions based on what feels right to us. Well, not taking drugs is what feels right to me.
Photo by Shunpikie