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Hopped up horrors in the headlines: Drugs (by Angel Perkins)

November 9, 2012

Part of my job description includes reading and typing up/editing police reports and releases and submissions. My facts come from the authorities not from the neighbors and everyone is published that is in my jurisdiction, regardless of whether I know them, or if they want me to let the world know of their indiscretions.
I have had to include unsavory information about people I have worked with, people that are friends, or friends of friends. There is no distinction. And, I would have to include something my children, husband, family or friends did to be arrested, like it or not, even though it may not be something I actually typed up myself (because I was in jail too for choking that person for being stupid), but it would — regardless — run.
Of the police reports and releases sent my way — many include information — photos and details of incidents that are not in my area so it isn’t used. But seeing it all, like the poor officers and medics have to, is a real eye-opener and heart-breaker. What you see on paper isn’t half as bad as the photos we haven’t printed or the things we know about that we can’t or don’t share.
One thing that still shocks me — beyond the senseless deaths of young people — is the rampant use of methamphetamines. Granted, if I’m seeing it that means the people doing it have been put in jail, hopefully for long enough to get it out of their system.
Before I moved to Marshall County I had never even heard of the drug. There was pot/dope/weed/marijuana; there was cocaine and, as always, abuse of a wide array of pills (some of which are now, to my surprise, perfectly legal), but that was pretty much it for St. Joseph County. There were a few old heroin abusers or acid freaks here and there from the ‘60s and ‘70s that couldn’t quite quit the habit, and most were getting their poison from the big cities.
When I was young we had comedians Cheech and Chong acting like (and often not actually acting) drugs were all kinds of fun (but I always took it as a public message: “see, you don’t wanna be like these morons” — which made me pretty sure that the Three Stooges were on all kinds of something because they were downright ridiculous).
But you also had Reefer Madness making people WANT to try it for themselves because it was so hard to believe that people would really act like that. Those that did try and realized that it DIDN’T make you want to jump off a bridge or run around screaming and ripping your hair out, then refused to believe that ANY of the warnings were true, which was the real reason that got them into trying the heavier and actually addictive stuff — not because marijuana was a “gateway,” but because they learned not to trust the warnings.
Nowadays you still have the modern-day Cheech and Chong-types in films depicting how funny it is to get “high” or “messed up.” And it is wrong, but then explain to me why is it ok that we have beer, liquor and other commercials enticing everyone to “get their drink on” or put “a little captain” in them, or get more energy, even though we know it could potentially kill us or be detrimental to our health? Alcohol is scientifically proven to negatively affect a person’s body; it is addictive, and dangerous, with all kinds of horrid side affects — more than “weed” or many prescription medications. Every type of commercial, TV show, and movie, has someone drinking a glass of wine or champagne and if you don’t burst open a beer during a football game then you’re considered Just Plain Weird.
No, I’m far from being considered a teetotaler. But as a former bartender, and a family member of a former alcoholic, I have seen the horrors of alcohol in after and behind the scenes.
With meth, there are no actors glamorizing it. No advertising pushing it on you, no parties or businesses that are pushing it on anyone. I searched online once about five years ago with my former managing editor to see how easy it is for people to find out how to make the junk, and found that while it was incredibly easy to find the recipe (and even videos to show you step-by-step!) you would have to be nearly a rocket scientist to make the stuff without blowing something up or setting yourself on fire.
When you consider all the disgusting ingredients that are put together to make it (including types of household cleaners) and then, that it is consumed by human beings, on purpose, of their own accord, it’s really mind-boggling. They are going to all this risk and effort because they are addicted to something that makes feel-good chemicals in their brains work harder? I’m not pushing alcohol — but it would be better/cheaper/legal to be addicted to.

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