Maybe from reading Michael Pollan’s recent book, How to Change Your Mind,
or the nationwide spread of repealing the prohibition on cannabis,
or the increasing research finding therapeutic effects of illegal drugs claimed to have no value,
or people talking about doing illegal drugs on in the media with no consequence,
or overhearing middle-aged women talk about enjoying Percocet left over after the pain it was prescribed for passed,
or seeing the similarities in business models of sellers of illegal drugs and many legal drugs,
or for any number of reasons, I’ve started noticing the prevalence of drugs, illegal and legal. I’m not even counting ones with modest effects, like aspirin or cough syrup.
Until recently, I thought of drugs as existing on the fringes of society. I thought of most of life, society, and culture as unrelated and unconnected to drugs. Sure, lots of cultures used them and no one can get them to go away, wars were fought over them and with them, and so on, but they seemed marginal.
Drugs are in every part of society.
Lately I’ve realized drugs are everywhere. I know everyone knows they’re everywhere. I mean more than how most people conceive of them being everywhere.
Great life truths
I also know that one of the signs of great life truths is that when you say them, they sounds silly and obvious to everyone, even to people who haven’t grasped their depth. One that got me for a long time was, “Business is about people.” I always heard it and didn’t disagree with it, but not until working for years did I realize the statement meant far more than I grasped at first.
This topic is like that.
Pick any part of society in any way—geography, social class, gender, occupation, age, etc.
Drugs are there.
Pick an occupation. Drugs are there. The only difference is which ones. I’ll name some professional fields. Try to deny that drugs permeate that field:
- Truck driving
Did you have trouble associating drugs with any of these fields? Or any other?
Look up any of them and you’ll find drugs common.
Same with geographical regions:
- New England
- The midwest
- The middle east
- Central America
- The Amazon
Did you have trouble associating drugs with any of these places? Or any other?
Same with any other division: men, women, students, professors, doctors, lawyers, pastors, etc.
Not just a little. They permeate every part of culture.
What’s an honorable, venerable institution? Harvard? Stanford? The White House? Churches? Synagogues? The military? Search on any of them and you’ll find them connected to drugs.
Once you get the mindset, it’s almost laughable how the most superficially venerable places are most filled with drugs. Harvard has a deep history with psychedelics and is filled with students on amphetamines. Underage drinking is almost too small to consider.
The Olympics and all big sporting events are so fueled by drugs that they probably sustain the greatest arms race in hiding and detecting them.
Hollywood. The homeless. Prisons are supposed to be locked down and secure. Instead, they’re filled with drugs, meaning the police are in on them.
Overcoming hesitating to risk undermining my point, I searched “Amish drugs.” Among the top responses:
- Drug Epidemics Tearing Through the Amish Countryside
- Heroin use growing problem among Indiana’s Amish
- Amish Are Facing Modern Vice in a Drug Case
- Methamphetamine seeps into idyllic Amish counties in Ohio
My point. . .
I’m not sure my point. It’s just surprising to see their prevalence. However prevalent you imagine them, they are more so.
They aren’t something legislation or law enforcement can stop. I don’t think they can even decrease them. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re increasing them.
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