Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self esteem, Kurt Cobain.
Wine is a mockery, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise, Proverbs 20:1.
“Are you still doing that crap?" I ask. “Wow! Practicing how to poison yourself and make your breath reek like the fart of a seagull!” Eileen cries, Randa Abdel-Fattah.
Alcohol is a social drug that affects people in different ways. Let me list some of the consequences of its overconsumption.
You are more likely to become a perpetrator of violence (active violence) as alcohol consumption reduces self-control, causes loss of inhibitions, provides us with a dangerously false sense of security, as well as increases excitability and irritability. You are also more likely to become a victim of physical and sexual abuse by reducing your ability to detect and escape dangerous situations.
Alcohol severely damages your health. “Drinking alcohol raises the risk of some cancers. Drinking any kind of alcohol can contribute to cancers of the mouth and throat, larynx, esophagus, colon and rectum, liver, and breast,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alcohol is a poison that damages the liver.
People are more prone to engage in risk-taking behaviors, such as violence, driving at an unsafe speed, not wearing seat belts, not having a valid license, or having unprotected sex (people under the influence of alcohol exhibit disinhibition which in many cases leads to unwanted pregnancy and AIDS).
What can we do to prevent drug use?
Read our free e-book Drugs! for a brief introduction to this topic.
It is essential to have a good self-esteem. Parents must support their kids in acquiring the necessary competence for a successful learning during their school life, and help them develop the emotional intelligence and social skills necessary to solve problems, tolerate frustration, and establish significant relationships.
We need unconditional love. “Psychological health is not possible unless the person’s essential core is fundamentally accepted, loved, and respected by others and by her or himself,” A. Maslow. It is a love without conditions, it does not ask anything in return, it accepts who you are but expects and encourages positive change, to rise to the challenge, to become the best that we can be.
Talk about it with your parents or a trusted adult. True dialogue is a two-way street and includes listening as well as talking. It requires empathy and understanding in order to reach a common ground where kids’ opinions are taken into account while maintaining parental authority.
Learn how to cope with peer pressure. Empathy or friendship should not be confused with giving in to the pressures and demands of others, sometimes they will even resort to emotional blackmail.
Just answer: “No thanks,” “I’m not interested,” “I don’t want to.” Perhaps, you will need to be more assertive : “No way,” “No, let’s do something else,” “That’s not cool,” “I am not into that.”
Other times, if they don’t take a no for an answer and insist stubbornly on it, the only solution is to leave (“Goodbye,” “Bye,” “See you tomorrow”), engage in activities that are drug-free, such as cultural, religious or recreational activities, sports, music shows, etc. There are times when there is no other option that to change your circle of friends.
If you have a problem with drugs and suspect you might be addicted, ask your family, friends, classmates, etc., for advise and support and, above all, go to the right professionals to seek appropriate help. It may be a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts or an NGO for Drug Addict rehabilitation.
We should demand, as responsible citizens, the control of advertising campaigns related to tobacco and alcoholic beverages. Besides, governments and law enforcement officials all around the globe should not turn a blind eye to the use of recreational drugs in pubs, nightclubs, and discos or alcohol consumption by minors.
Fight against existential nihilism, moral relativism, and hedonism. Existential nihilism is the notion that life has no meaning, purpose or intrinsic value. It is often associated with moral relativism which states that there is no truth (only interpretations of it) valid for all cultures and peoples. We’re beyond good and evil, morality depends on culture, time, and place, it depends on circumstances, traditions, and beliefs. It is summarised in the sentence: “Nothing is true, false, good, or moral, everything is permitted, everything depends on the eye of the beholder.”
They misunderstand tolerance as acceptance or even submission. They argue saying: “That’s true for you, but not for me", “If they’re happy doing whatever they’re doing, then why not let them keep doing it?” All values and principles share the same value, legitimacy, and relevance.
The terrible consequence is that without an ethical framework, people tend to behave according to their selfish interests, basic instincts, and passions. It should not come as any surprise that this argument inevitably leads to the need of law enforcement to keep citizens “in line” or “safe” - pick your favorite one! Remember that tolerance is respect for people as human beings. It is respect for the views, beliefs, and practices of others that differ from your own. We should be able to accept and value our differences since they enrich us. Empathy, respect, and tolerance are very important in this multicultural, multi-faith, diverse, and global world we live in.
But I should also point out that we can respect others while defending what is right and wrong. For example, discrimination should never be tolerated in any way, shape, or form.
Hedonists seek pleasure as the goal of life and avoid pain at all costs. The Hedonist International/Manifesto states: “(the Hedonist International) wants joy, pleasure, happiness, […] anarchy, epicurean ideas, multifaceted joy, sensuality, diversion, friendship, justice, tolerance, freedom, sexual freedom…” The pleasure of the senses as the highest good leads to excessive sexual activity, drug and alcohol abuse, and selfishness amongst others.
Existential nihilism, moral relativism, and hedonism together make a strong cocktail, they boast a culture of chaos where “anything and everything goes.” It is all about “Me, myself, and I, because I am so worth it,” and “All that matters is having fun here and now, as if there were no tomorrow because there might not be, and then it’ll be too late.” They lack responsibility, generosity, and solidarity (“every man for himself”). It is pure and simple selfishness (“Out of money, out of friends”). It leads to unsafe sex, health problems, unsatisfactory relations, and the consumption and abuse of alcohol and drugs.
I want to be clear and plain, this is not the road to happiness. On the contrary, true happiness comes with commitment, constant effort, and hard work. It implies the renunciation of immediate gratification, it is about growing, fulfilling our dreams, and unleashing our real potential. It is the quality of our relationships, it is about giving a real meaning and purpose to our lives in the struggle for justice and the common good.