Pubdate: Thu, 22 Jul 2010
Source: Reno News & Review (NV)
Copyright: 2010 Ben Chavez
Author: Ben Chavez


Re "Drug tests" (Feature story, July 8):

Well done, sir! I think it's high time that we start engaging our
community and society as a whole in conversations like the one you
started. While the ultimate backlash for this type of article will
likely be ignorance, disgust and disdain for you even writing it, I
must make a couple key points beyond the obvious compliments.

First of all, this kind of level-headed, rational, anecdotal evidence
is exactly what we need to be doing to dispel the "just say no"
rhetoric that all drugs are bad. That level of thinking is nonsense
and fails to educate our children, but rather scares them into
ascribing to ideals that are solely culturally and financially
motivated. Your article did an excellent job at attempting to educate
as opposed to vilify, and I think only through this kind of education
will we gain the kind of understanding necessary to manageably
integrate psychoactive drugs and their use into our lives, homes, and
communities. This removes the "forbidden fruit" aspects that shroud
drugs in general, and if educated, as opposed to challenged, I think a
lot fewer of our youth would turn to habit-forming compounds like
Oxycodone, Xanax, ecstasy and methamphetamine.

Pharmaceutical companies--each competing for your billions--want their
users to be no more "educated" than your average Goldfinch. Simply ask
your doctor, and he'll give you something that will cause your anus to
leak and your stomach to bleed, but by gosh, your muscles and joints
will feel like a million bucks.

This level of
exposure promotes sheer ignorance as to what compounds we are
consuming, and the belief that simply because someone with some
capital letters after his name said so, "it must be good for me."
Newsflash: That doctor or nurse practitioner gets money from the drug
company every time he or she prescribes you the latest and greatest
SSRI or ulcer pill. Plant compounds cannot be patented, and as such,
you won't likely hear your doctor advocating anything natural to you,
because there's simply no money in it for him or the drug companies
he represents. There's a reason they call it "practicing" medicine.

That said, if we could all simply be open and honest with our children
and educate them much the same way Dr. David Presti at the University
of California, Berkley, does his students, we'd likely have an entire
generation with the tools and knowledge to make informed decisions for
themselves. It should be up to each and every one of us as parents to
truly educate our children on the drawbacks as well as the benefits of
undergoing relationships with culturally-deemed-illicit compounds.

Your child should know just as much about the changes his body will
undergo, if he begins a relationship with something as powerful as
heroin, as much as he should understand the physiology of what is
happening in his body when he consumes a caffeinated beverage.

Instead, we allow a financially driven and politically motivated set
of agendas and ideals to dictate how our children learn about
relationships with drugs. Ultimately, the rising methamphetamine
addiction, heroine overdoses, and pharmaceutical drug addiction in
Washoe County are the result of handling it in this fashion.

Our children want us to be honest with them, and this beating around
the bush about how drugs are bad is doing them their greatest disservice.

In a world where all recreation compounds were showcased, discussed
and thoroughly educated on like this article represented, I think we'd
see a lot fewer Youtube videos of dipshit teens playing around with
their buddies, a bong, and a bowl (which is effectively 30-40 times
more potent than the effective 1 mg. Salvinorum A dose) simply for
shits and giggles.

By educating our children, society and friends on effective doses,
LD/50 doses, and the benefits alongside the dangers, we can only
create a culture that has respect for these things, and doesn't need
to pack 'em, jam 'em, slam 'em and smoke 'em like it's the last night
of Burning Man. There truly is a benefit of an educated populous, and
it starts with you talking to your children and creating the open
dialogue that will allow for both of you to grow and learn together.

Many thanks for a very insightful and well thought out

Ben Chavez

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