Friday, October 09, 2009

It's not easy stopping P

There is little that need be said about the crackdown on P purchasers and suppliers that hasn’t been said before. Many users of P may be nihilistic and destroying themselves, and causing heartache for those who love them or depend on them, but criminalising them and the suppliers of what they seek will not change that.

Legalising P is the long term answer, but in advance of that much else needs to be done, in order that people become responsible for their own actions, and suppliers having to consider product liability. However, as there are already links on this I’d like to suggest something else that is more important, and nothing directly to do with politics.

Culture.

Most people take illicit drugs because they make them feel better, feel good. It is for pleasure. That, in itself, is not necessarily bad. However, it is clear that excessive use is about something else, escaping reality.

Whilst escaping reality is seen as a legitimate way to cope with overwhelming emotions, it is hardly a solution. Regular use of P helps people escape reality, with the logical consequences of abandoning reason – self destruction.

The decline through the 1950s to 1970s of the Christian-oriented basis for how many people saw life and existence saw holes filled with a range of philosophies. One of those was a nihilistic approach to life “there is no point”, “nothing means anything” etc. A destructive attitude that sees the only point to life the immediate satisfaction of pleasure, with the inevitable need for more of the same, greater, faster, longer, bigger, until ultimately you wake up from it all needing to eat, wash and find money so you have somewhere to live and pay for all of it. Whereas people once found solace in religion to cope with grief, relationship stresses, anxieties and the trials of life, some found solace in escaping it all.

None of this is new of course. Alcohol has a long history of supplying such escapism, but P has a completely different level of intensity. The problems attributed to both have the same source – philosophy.

The answer is to have a personal philosophy of embracing life, applying reason and enjoying existence for what it is. Enjoying your potential in whatever fields you get passionate for, whether business, the arts, sport, science, travel, social activities or anything else. For reality can be a pleasure of the senses, and a reason to live. The point to your life being to live it, enjoy it and share it if you wish with whoever shares your vision and values. The only limits being reality and respecting the same rights in others.

If the dominant cultural meme was like this, the prevalence of escaping reality would reduce, and then people would focus on assisting loved ones or others who needed help through difficult times. Criminalising those seeking to escape reality is likely to increase their willingness to escape reality. Making people responsible for their actions, through the health care system, welfare reform, criminal justice system and reform of ACC/tort law would be a step along the way to addressing it. These are all ways drug users escape the reality of any consequences of their actions (and indeed everyone else).

It is clear the status quo has both failed and is immoral. National is perpetuating it in the vain hope it will make a substantive difference, when the main effect will be to inconvenience people with cold and flu symptoms, and to harass tourists bringing in now restricted medications.

Meanwhile, guess how many pharmacies will have such medications in short supply by the end of the week?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just considering the reality of evolution and the horror of nature and how mankind has elevated itself over the last few centuries should cheer anyone up.
It was a great struggle with evil bastards blocking every step and they have not gone away.
You are right and there is not any more helpful philosophy than that which you have outlined here.
To try anything else in the face of the facts of what we actually are seems to me to be a move in the wrong direction.