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Insouciance is My Anti-Drug

I'm not what you would call a big drug-user. I don't even like to take aspirin, because I think it's important prove how tough I am. I don't treat the pain--I just deal with it. Sure, I complain constantly, but that's just my way.

        I have never had any interest in indulging in harder drugs simply because it doesn't seem like any fun. It's not so much the legal issue, because I don't even plan to drink alcohol after I am of age. It just doesn't seem like a pleasant way to pass the time. I am fond of my inhibitions; I think they serve a useful function in getting me not to act like a jackass; and so I want to keep them firmly in place.

        But apparently there is some kind of draw, or else so many people wouldn't get so worked up trying to convince kids not to become involved with drugs and alcohol. From commercials on TV, to no-nonsense lectures from stern police officers, to the little pamphlets with pictures of vaguely-featured line drawings performing risk-benefit analysis on the consumption of crack cocaine, a lot of money is being sunk into the cause of Keeping Our Kids Off Drugs.

        I have had to sit through many anti-drug assemblies in my time, although I have ignored them to full extent of my capability, since I have about as much interest in the classifications and properties of the various marketable narcotics as I have in different kinds of gravel. (You'll notice that I use the word "drugs" often as a blanket term, because I don't want to reveal my ignorance about what the kids are [insert appropriate verb]ing these days.) However, it is impossible not to absorb some of the information. I understand there are risks involved in slipping into the wild, wild world of illicit hallucinogens. Nonetheless, many youths are apparently interested in making said hallucinogens part of their lives. Taking for granted these truths, I still don't see why there's any reason that I should have to be lectured at.

        Even if I were one of those shifty kids who forgoes the pleasures of writing rants about anti-drug campaigns in favor of selling smashed up codeine pills from Canada, I sincerely doubt that the efforts of the well-meaning adults would put a damper on my fun. Of course, the problem with preventative measures is that you never know for sure what it whether it was they that successfully prevented you, but I think I can safely say that in my case the lectures have had no effect. For one thing, I don't even know where to get drugs if I wanted them, and if for some reason I had to acquire some barbituates--say for a scavenger hunt--I'm sure I would bungle it somehow. If anything's preventing me from doing drugs (besides extreme disinterest, of course) it's my own incompetence.

        Most anti-drug campaigners don't trust acquisitional nincompoopitude as a preventative, though, possibly because teenagers at large are very together and confident. Also, because if you ask the campaigners, drugs are constantly being passed out like candy, and there's this thing called peer pressure, where your friends not only highly recommend drug usership, but they press free samples on you. Considering the cost, I think that's fairly unlikely. I can't give someone a Tic-Tac without actively fighting the urge to ask them to chip in; I can only imagine if Tic-Tacs cost hundreds of dollars a box. Being a prude is at least affordable.

        Maybe I'm just oblivious, but I don't believe I have ever been pressured by my peers. (I've never even heard the phrase "Come on, everyone's doing it" except sarcastically.) I'm inclined to take my peers' opinions with a grain of salt on any subject, so I guess that helps. Actually, my peers themselves never gave me any reason to believe that recreational drug use was so widespread a pasttime or that I should even consider being involved in such an activity. Somehow, though, the anti-drug campaigners took it as a given that All Kids Now or Will Soon Do Drugs (Unless We Stop Them!) So adament were they that this was the case that, in my more neurotic moments, I wondered if I really should be doing drugs, because they seemed so sure that everyone else was, and I didn't even know it! I mean, nobody even peer pressured me or anything. Didn't they like me?

        Eventually, though, I just decided that the campaigners were deluded, and I went back to my Pokémon cards as happy as a Shellder. But I can see how some kids might be swayed in the undesired direction by the anti-drug advertisement, out of nervousness, spite, or just because they'd never thought about it but Hey! Now that they mention it seems like a really good idea.

        I'm at college now, where those who care can readily discover sources of drugs and alcohol, and those who don't can live more or less in peace, except for rolling the occasional stoner out of the doorway. So while this doesn't directly affect me anymore, I'm thinking of the future generations of whiners who are occasionally distracted from the academic vigor of study hall by fruitless anti-drug advertising. So please, anti-drug campaigners, save your money. The kids you want are in the bathroom smoking crack, not sitting quietly in the auditorium while you pass out free Stay Smart About Drugs! booklets.


- Laura