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(Salon)   A letter to my daughters about weed   (open.salon.com) divider line 544
    More: Interesting, hard drugs, peer pressure, anti-anxiety drugs, paranoid, PCP, small planes, single-parent, completely normal  
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37725 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Mar 2010 at 6:24 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-03-11 11:04:33 AM  
Regnad Kcin: reklamfox:
Show me a cancer patient who made the conscious choice to have cancer. Addiction is a terrible and scary thing, but I'm sorry it's simply not a disease. It's a choice. The addict made a choice to use drugs, and they make the choice to continue into addiction. Long term drug abuse may have similar physical consequences on the body as a disease, but it's a choice. No one makes them pick up the needle/pipe/pills but themselves.

/Talking to the kid of an alcoholic who watched a parent CHOOSE that life.

I tend to agree with you. However, there is medical evidence that the brain of an addict is different from the brain of a non-addict. I'm not saying it's 100% true, I'm just saying it's worth considering.

I did cocaine on several occasions years ago. My friends and I would splurge on a bag and party up.
When the cocaine wore off, I felt awful and I was out of money. I decided that the solution was to not do cocaine any more.
I had a few friends who, for whatever reason, decided that the solution was to get some more cocaine so they could feel good again.

(Note that I did this several times. It took me a while to finally figure it out. I'm pretty dumb.)

Anyway, my friends and I were in exactly the same physiological state--hung over from a coke binge--but we made different choices about the solution to our problem. Why? Was it luck? "Bad decision-making?" Or, did the cocaine have a different effect on their brains than it did on mine?


When you take a math test and you prepare and you do well on that test, do you believe it was luck, preparation or genetic predisposition that helped/allowed you to achieve the passing grade?

It was your choice to prepare, just as it was your choice to not buy more cocaine (eventually).

There is no medical evidence an "addict" has a different brain, or any other damn thing, when compared to a "non-addict" because "addiction" is a behavioral diagnosis.

It's psychological. I'm not saying it's psychosomatic -- clearly there's a phsyiological response to drugs (when you get them, when you don't get them and want them) -- but it's choice-driven behavior that starts the cycle wherein the "addict" forgets that, unlike my aunt who died from cancer regardless of the body parts they kept removing over the years, the "addiction" disease is CURED when the patient stops engaging in the behavior that is killing him.

So, yeah, STFU and DIAF, idiot.
 
2010-03-11 11:04:49 AM  
mofomisfit: Lets be realistic


There was a punchline in there. Trust me.
 
2010-03-11 11:05:43 AM  
Regnad Kcin: Shame Based Man:
What is he being held back from? Seriously? Why does he have to be the boss?
His house is paid for, he enjoys his work and he's happy. How is that in any way sad?

Get up, smoke pot. Go to work at the restaurant and smoke pot. Go home and smoke pot. Repeat.

Hey, if it gives you a satisfying life, go for it. I'm just saying, what happens if you remove "smoke pot" from that list?


Then you have get up, go to work, go home. Repeat. Now don't most of us do that every day anyways?
 
2010-03-11 11:05:49 AM  
reklamfox: addiction isn't a moral weakness. it's a valid, measurable biochemical condition. it's no different than any other disease, and just as treatable.

Show me a cancer patient who made the conscious choice to have cancer. Addiction is a terrible and scary thing, but I'm sorry it's simply not a disease. It's a choice. The addict made a choice to use drugs, and they make the choice to continue into addiction. Long term drug abuse may have similar physical consequences on the body as a disease, but it's a choice. No one makes them pick up the needle/pipe/pills but themselves.

/Talking to the kid of an alcoholic who watched a parent CHOOSE that life.


Well said.
 
2010-03-11 11:05:49 AM  
Blink

I don't smoke, I don't drink... I agree with the article. I think it's ridiculous how much pot is maligned while drinking alcohol is treated as some sort of vaunted state. From my observations, alcohol seems the far worse of the two.

But having said that, I really have no patience for people who paint pot-smoking as some sort of evolved virtue. Look, you smoke a foreign substance, it makes you feel good for accomplishing nothing. It's really nothing to be proud of. But as long as you don't hurt anyone with your vice, I'm cool with it.


I feel the same way about sports fans.
 
2010-03-11 11:08:44 AM  
thinks_on_feet: Regnad Kcin: reklamfox:
Show me a cancer patient who made the conscious choice to have cancer. Addiction is a terrible and scary thing, but I'm sorry it's simply not a disease. It's a choice. The addict made a choice to use drugs, and they make the choice to continue into addiction. Long term drug abuse may have similar physical consequences on the body as a disease, but it's a choice. No one makes them pick up the needle/pipe/pills but themselves.

/Talking to the kid of an alcoholic who watched a parent CHOOSE that life.

I tend to agree with you. However, there is medical evidence that the brain of an addict is different from the brain of a non-addict. I'm not saying it's 100% true, I'm just saying it's worth considering.

I did cocaine on several occasions years ago. My friends and I would splurge on a bag and party up.
When the cocaine wore off, I felt awful and I was out of money. I decided that the solution was to not do cocaine any more.
I had a few friends who, for whatever reason, decided that the solution was to get some more cocaine so they could feel good again.

(Note that I did this several times. It took me a while to finally figure it out. I'm pretty dumb.)

Anyway, my friends and I were in exactly the same physiological state--hung over from a coke binge--but we made different choices about the solution to our problem. Why? Was it luck? "Bad decision-making?" Or, did the cocaine have a different effect on their brains than it did on mine?

When you take a math test and you prepare and you do well on that test, do you believe it was luck, preparation or genetic predisposition that helped/allowed you to achieve the passing grade?

It was your choice to prepare, just as it was your choice to not buy more cocaine (eventually).

There is no medical evidence an "addict" has a different brain, or any other damn thing, when compared to a "non-addict" because "addiction" is a behavioral diagnosis.

It's psychological. I'm not saying it's psychosomatic -- clearly there's a phsyiological response to drugs (when you get them, when you don't get them and want them) -- but it's choice-driven behavior that starts the cycle wherein the "addict" forgets that, unlike my aunt who died from cancer regardless of the body parts they kept removing over the years, the "addiction" disease is CURED when the patient stops engaging in the behavior that is killing him.

So, yeah, STFU and DIAF, idiot.


Cocain blocks dopamine receptors. Deep into a cocain binge, *NOTHING* else feels good anymore. You don't take this into account. Your argument needs retooling; there IS medical evidence of a temporary shift in brain chemistry.
 
2010-03-11 11:09:41 AM  
Blink: I don't smoke, I don't drink... I agree with the article. I think it's ridiculous how much pot is maligned while drinking alcohol is treated as some sort of vaunted state. From my observations, alcohol seems the far worse of the two.

Your observations are about right. I both smoke and drink, and I can't tell you the amount of stupid shiat I've done when drunk. I never ended up seriously injured, but I have lost friends because of it. On the other hand, the worst thing I've done when I was high was misinterpret what somebody said and said something that didn't make any sense in response. After a few seconds of confusion, then a bit of laughter, it was all over.

Makes me wonder what our society would be like of the roles were reversed(pot was legal, alcohol illegal).
 
2010-03-11 11:10:28 AM  
Tyrone Slothrop: I feel the same way about sports fans.

*ZING!*
 
2010-03-11 11:10:49 AM  
mekkab: The Jerk: Slaves2Darkness: pdxbarista: Potheads are harmless when left alone, but when poked, may attack. Handle with care.

But it is a lot of fun to poke them. They get so indignant when you point out that they must be broken inferior humans who need a chemical crutch to get through life.

uh huh, and I'm sure you don't drink coffee to get going in the morning... same thing.

Totally right. Because of my love, nay, NEED for coffee I find myself frequenting coffee bars in the bad part of town, rubbing shoulders with wastes of human beings who are the very people I hate and despise, all so I can get my fix!


/rassafrassa friggin' Soccer Moms at Starbucks!@!


You don't NEED to do that because coffee is regularly available and legal. Caffeine is a drug, many people NEED it to function. Would they shrivel up and die without caffeine? No, but neither would pot heads if they didn't get their THC.

/farkin' hypocrites
 
2010-03-11 11:11:05 AM  
CheekyMunkey: From what I've seen - which is a lot - stoners love to think of themselves as enlightened counter-cultural rebels. They're not. They just like sucking on a flaming plant that makes them stupid.

Methinks your observations are not as wide-ranging as you think. I count among my pot-using friends doctors, lawyers, teachers, IT professionals, advertising executives, even a well-respected neurologist. None of them are "made stupid" by pot. I do know a couple of people who use to excess, and it affects them detrimentally, however, they are not the norm (at least in my anecdotal experience). But, then again, I'm not hanging out with people with a frat-boy mentality. Stupid people are stupid, with or without chemical enhancement.
 
2010-03-11 11:12:03 AM  
mekkab: mofomisfit: Lets be realistic


There was a punchline in there. Trust me.


Oh oh oh - I get it.
 
2010-03-11 11:12:56 AM  
EliminateNinniesAndTwits: Close2TheEdge: gadian: Shakespeare's Monkey: Generalizations are useless; yes there are wake and bakes that are reliable and run their own business. But, anyone can ruin their life by overindulging in an intoxicant and then making poor life decisions. I have a family member who is in his early 30s and smokes every day. He works as a clerk in a DvD store and has held that job for over ten years. Some will find this funny, cue the clerks references, but it hurts me to see him just float in the nothingness. I can't even tell his mom what the problem is, because I'll lose his trust. And so it goes, I love him though.

It sounds like you're the one who wants / needs him to do more. Sounds like your problem, not his. Let him have his life, such as it is. Steady employment in a seemingly menial position is not 'poor life choices' for many people.

It is a poor life choice if he was capable of much more. Yes, the world does need DVD store clerks, but it also needs scientists, teachers, and politicians who are actually smarter than rocks. When people don't reach their potential because of life circumstances, that's tragic. When they don't reach their potential because of smoking weed, that's just plain retarded.

Not only that, but he is not going to have a great retirement, and will always be on the verge of having to change jobs once some advance comes along and renders his job obsolete. And with very little motivation to improve his lot and a perpetual 'happy/easy-going/at-ease' outlook on life, somehow taxpayers are going to end up paying for his food or his kids or all his bills if the bottom every drops out.


Yeah, so much better to work for GM after 2 years at tech school, or getting a BA/BS and company closing and being in the SAME DAMN PLACE, lol.
 
2010-03-11 11:13:56 AM  
Scruffinator: Makes me wonder what our society would be like of the roles were reversed(pot was legal, alcohol illegal).

I think society, as a whole, would be very, very, very hungry.

/and thirsty
 
Ant
2010-03-11 11:14:28 AM  
studebaker hoch: Being a stoner is like being heavily in debt, only you don't have anything to show for it.

Being a ______ is like being heavily in debt, only you don't have anything to show for it.

Football fan
Avid concert goer
Movie watcher
...
 
2010-03-11 11:15:17 AM  
zoombie: I am 28 and a solid stoner. I don';t blame the weed, I have always kinda liked just getting by. Everyone else in my family are teachers or salesman, I like working retail and just getting by. It just seems easier.


Dude,,, been there... let me just say this:

Chicks don't go for guys who like 'just getting by'. Not long-term anyway.
 
2010-03-11 11:15:25 AM  
I'd be a "regular" if I could ever get hold of any, because I feel like crap most of the time when I'm straight.

and for no particular reason:

img134.imageshack.us
 
2010-03-11 11:15:33 AM  
mekkab:
Cocain blocks dopamine receptors. Deep into a cocain binge, *NOTHING* else feels good anymore. You don't take this into account. Your argument needs retooling; there IS medical evidence of a temporary shift in brain chemistry.


I said there was clearly a phsyiological response to drugs.

Temporary shifts are not cancer. Temporary shifts are not diabetes. Temporary shifts are not a stroke.

There are many physiological things that can happen to you that really suck a lot -- and then there's the petty shiat you can do to yourself by smoking and drinking and taking drugs.

The stuff you can't control -- the diseases and damaging injuries -- they don't go away when you stop doing a thing you were doing... other than, "living."

Addiction causes physiological changes -- IN EVERYONE WHO USES THEM -- not just in some special class called "addicts."

It's just that we "non-addicts" CHOOSE to not do the thing that could kill us beyond the dangerous point where we learn our life lesson -- some, smarter than others, learn it sooner -- some never learn it and die.

/This is no different from the force of nature that tells one guy to use a .22 bullet as a fuse in his truck on the drive home from the bar, and yet, tells another guy in a similar state, "nope... I will shoot my own nutsack if I do that; I'll drive home without headlights."
 
2010-03-11 11:15:47 AM  
thinks_on_feet: It's psychological.

Here you go. 23,100 scholarly articles on the link between genetics and additction. (new window) And when you're done disproving those, you should let the American Psychiatric Association know because they're under the impression that approximately 50% of the causes of addiction are genetic in nature. Happy reading!
 
2010-03-11 11:17:02 AM  
Cocain blocks dopamine receptors. Deep into a cocain binge, *NOTHING* else feels good anymore. You don't take this into account. Your argument needs retooling; there IS medical evidence of a temporary shift in brain chemistry.

While that is true, addiction takes time. You're not a coke head the first time you try the drug, it take continued use to become an addict. Thats where the choice part comes in. It takes YEARS to develop an alcohol addiction and become an alcoholic. At any point the person could make the choice to stop drinking, but they don't. Thats why it's not a disease. People with Alzheimer's don't get that choice. Once again, just because something has a visible affect on the brain and makes people suffer doesn't make it a disease.
 
2010-03-11 11:17:02 AM  
CheekyMonkey: CheekyMunkey:


I must be stoned...
 
2010-03-11 11:19:15 AM  
mekkab: thinks_on_feet: Regnad Kcin: reklamfox:
Show me a cancer patient who made the conscious choice to have cancer. Addiction is a terrible and scary thing, but I'm sorry it's simply not a disease. It's a choice. The addict made a choice to use drugs, and they make the choice to continue into addiction. Long term drug abuse may have similar physical consequences on the body as a disease, but it's a choice. No one makes them pick up the needle/pipe/pills but themselves.

/Talking to the kid of an alcoholic who watched a parent CHOOSE that life.

I tend to agree with you. However, there is medical evidence that the brain of an addict is different from the brain of a non-addict. I'm not saying it's 100% true, I'm just saying it's worth considering.

I did cocaine on several occasions years ago. My friends and I would splurge on a bag and party up.
When the cocaine wore off, I felt awful and I was out of money. I decided that the solution was to not do cocaine any more.
I had a few friends who, for whatever reason, decided that the solution was to get some more cocaine so they could feel good again.

(Note that I did this several times. It took me a while to finally figure it out. I'm pretty dumb.)

Anyway, my friends and I were in exactly the same physiological state--hung over from a coke binge--but we made different choices about the solution to our problem. Why? Was it luck? "Bad decision-making?" Or, did the cocaine have a different effect on their brains than it did on mine?

When you take a math test and you prepare and you do well on that test, do you believe it was luck, preparation or genetic predisposition that helped/allowed you to achieve the passing grade?

It was your choice to prepare, just as it was your choice to not buy more cocaine (eventually).

There is no medical evidence an "addict" has a different brain, or any other damn thing, when compared to a "non-addict" because "addiction" is a behavioral diagnosis.

It's psychological. I'm not saying it's psychosomatic -- clearly there's a phsyiological response to drugs (when you get them, when you don't get them and want them) -- but it's choice-driven behavior that starts the cycle wherein the "addict" forgets that, unlike my aunt who died from cancer regardless of the body parts they kept removing over the years, the "addiction" disease is CURED when the patient stops engaging in the behavior that is killing him.

So, yeah, STFU and DIAF, idiot.

Cocain blocks dopamine receptors. Deep into a cocain binge, *NOTHING* else feels good anymore. You don't take this into account. Your argument needs retooling; there IS medical evidence of a temporary shift in brain chemistry.


Of couse dependence on some things can be physically based. It's still up to the person to realize that it's a problem and then CHOOSE to stop the behavior.
 
2010-03-11 11:20:25 AM  
thinks_on_feet: Regnad Kcin: reklamfox:


There is no medical evidence an "addict" has a different brain, or any other damn thing, when compared to a "non-addict" because "addiction" is a behavioral diagnosis.

.


Citation needed.
 
2010-03-11 11:21:19 AM  
Another quality pile of shiat from salon.com.

Dear Kids,
do weed.

Love, Mom
 
2010-03-11 11:21:41 AM  
numb3r5ev3n: A older relative of mine wavered between type two and type three for years. She was like the female equivalent of The Dude.....
Basically, she told me that when she smoked out, she had no inhibitions and played instruments (guitar, whatever) like a demon...and nothing else. She had no other life goals or ambitions.....
People she runs into from her youth still remember her as the Dudette, and she's mortified whenever this happens.


I used to run into people (not anymore, since I moved to another town) who remembered me as a fall-down drunk during most of my 20's. I'd rather they remembered me as just about anything else.

But everyone is different, and if she feels like she wasted some years of her life, that is for her to decide. I know I wasted about 10 years of mine.
 
2010-03-11 11:25:29 AM  
reklamfox: Once again, just because something has a visible affect on the brain and makes people suffer doesn't make it a disease.


Chickenpox is a disease even though some people get it and some people don't, and it can be cured.

Alcoholism is classified as a disease for a reason. Mainly because the people who have studied it, treated it, and devoted a significant portion of their professional lives to understanding it know a little more about it than you do...
 
2010-03-11 11:26:06 AM  
I did much better in the two years of high school when I was a stoner. You know why? I learned to go ahead and do my homework and assignments before I smoked because after a few bowls I couldn't remember Spanish for shiat. And I really wanted to smoke so I did the assignments. However I did get an A on an essay or two I typed out higher than a kite, which makes sense because English lit. is half rambling and bullshiatting about what you read anyways. No one is better at rambling and bullshiatting in a "meaningful" way about stuff than a stoner.

I don't smoke now because I'm broke and lack connections. But I was happiest when I did smoke. Weed motivated me to get things done so I could smoke and relax.

/gained more weight off weed than on it
//oh god, the paranoia sometimes
 
2010-03-11 11:26:17 AM  
trancemission: Of couse dependence on some things can be physically based. It's still up to the person to realize that it's a problem and then CHOOSE to stop the behavior.

Why should people think for themselves when the US government, state governments and religious organizations clearly prefer to do that for them?

You need to stop your radical behavior and get with the program.
 
2010-03-11 11:28:41 AM  
Weed: A plant growing where you don't want it.
 
2010-03-11 11:30:07 AM  
thinks_on_feet: So, yeah, STFU and DIAF, idiot.

you sound like a real cool cat
 
Ant
2010-03-11 11:30:14 AM  
zepplinrules: Another quality pile of shiat from salon.com.

Dear Kids,
do weed.

Love, Mom


Yes, that is exactly what the article said..... if you're a moron who cannot read.
 
2010-03-11 11:30:15 AM  
pwhp_67: reklamfox: Once again, just because something has a visible affect on the brain and makes people suffer doesn't make it a disease.


Chickenpox is a disease even though some people get it and some people don't, and it can be cured.

Alcoholism is classified as a disease for a reason. Mainly because the people who have studied it, treated it, and devoted a significant portion of their professional lives to understanding it know a little more about it than you do...


But ask anyone in AA: no one can be "cured" of alcoholism without CHOOSING for themselves, every day, NOT to drink.
 
2010-03-11 11:31:42 AM  
Go Ask Alice:

i.imgur.com
 
2010-03-11 11:32:53 AM  
Shame Based Man: Citation needed.

Citation! (new window)

To begin a discussion of the contribution of genetics to the treatment of addictive disorders, one must first understand that the addictive disorders are complex genetic diseases in which genetic factors interact with environmental factors to affect risk. There are several independent lines of evidence for genetic contributions to vulnerability to alcoholism. These include studies of children adopted at early ages by nonrelatives, which show a stronger correlation of alcoholism in the adoptee with their biological parents than with their adoptive parents (Bohman et al., 1981 and Cloninger et al., 1981). An independent line of evidence comes from studies of twins. The monozygotic co-twin of an alcoholic individual, who is genetically identical to that individual, is more likely to be alcoholic than the dizygotic co-twin of an alcoholic, who shares only half of the genome with the proband. Twin studies generally estimate that 50-65% of the variation in risk is genetic (Pickens et al., 1991, Kendler et al., 1994 and Heath et al., 1997) and that there are both alcoholism-specific genetic factors and factors shared with vulnerability to dependence on other substances. It is important to note that not all monozygotic co-twins of alcoholics are themselves alcoholic, which reinforces the idea that although genetics plays an important role in determining vulnerability, genes are not destiny. A third line of evidence for genetic contributions to the vulnerability to alcoholism comes from animal models (McBride & Li, 1998 and Li, 2000). Several aspects of alcoholism, including consumption or preference for alcohol, intensity of withdrawal seizures, and sensitivity to the sedative or activating properties of alcohol, can be modeled in animals, which can be genetically selected for high or low values of these traits, demonstrating that they are under genetic influence (e.g., Waller et al., 1984 M.B. Waller, W.J. McBride, G.J. Gatto, L. Lumeng and T.K. Li, Intragastric self-infusion of ethanol by ethanol-preferring and -nonpreferring lines of rats, Science 225 (1984), pp. 78-80. View Record in Scopus | Cited By in Scopus (67)Waller et al., 1984, Buck et al., 1997, Markel et al., 1997, McBride & Li, 1998, Whatley et al., 1999 and Belknap & Atkins, 2001). A final line of evidence, and in many ways the most compelling, is from genetic studies in humans. We have known for decades that there are variations in the genes that metabolize alcohol (i.e., alcohol dehydrogenases [ADHs] and aldehyde dehydrogenases [ALDHs]), which can dramatically affect one's risk for alcoholism (reviewed in Hurley et al., 2002 and Li, 2000). More recent studies are identifying other specific genes, including those that influence neurotransmitter function, that affect the risk for alcoholism and related traits. It is clear from the convergence of these independent lines of evidence that genetic variation affects risk for alcoholism. Many of these variations affect other phenotypes as well, including depression and responses to other drugs.

Woops. Probably not the citation he was looking for.
 
2010-03-11 11:33:30 AM  
Chickenpox is a disease even though some people get it and some people don't, and it can be cured.

Alcoholism is classified as a disease for a reason. Mainly because the people who have studied it, treated it, and devoted a significant portion of their professional lives to understanding it know a little more about it than you do...


All I know is what I've seen growing up with an alcoholic for a parent. Over and over people have told me "Well you should pity him because he's sick from a disease". Why? What those people didn't see is the YEARS my father spent heavily drinking himself into a stupor every day. It took effort for him to become a homeless alcoholic bum. Thats why I say it's a choice. Call me ignorant all you wish, but I simply fail to see how drug addiction is classified as a disease. My father could have put the bottle down and gotten his life back at any point. The side affects of that "disease" were all 100% preventable. I know there are plenty of other farkers who agree with me.
 
2010-03-11 11:35:04 AM  
mofomisfit: You must now justify your life. What are you doing that's so much more awesome?

/this works either way for me, because if you really are doing something spectacular, good for you! I'd love to hear it.


Don't know what his answer is, but I can throw a story out there. I mentioned earlier in the thread that I've done my share of wasting time and being stupid in the past, and I don't do it much now because I have a lot to do and need to be sharp.

About five years ago, I figured out what I wanted to pursue as a career and at around the same time became a father. I subsequently went through some major lifestyle changes. I didn't cope with it well at first - at one point in the early going, I did about a year of treatment for major depression.

Since then it's been up and down for sure - holding a full-time job, having a son to worry about, and putting myself through a rather intensive program at school has been stressful, to say the least. There have also been a handful of ugly crises along the way, like my car being totaled twice. For a while I still drank occasionally, recognizing that it was a crutch but doing it anyway. Eventually I realized that a night of drinking didn't just waste that night, but also often gave me anxious/depressive symptoms for at least a full day afterward. As my workload has intensified, I simply can't afford that kind of time loss and emotional turmoil.

Today I'm in my final semester, which is high-pressure for everyone in my program. With everything else on top of it, I've been having some difficulty with anxiety lately, and I won't deny that it's not fun. I'm sure stoners would say they have a solution for this. But the task in front of me, in finishing this out and getting a career of the ground, among other things, simply requires so much time and effort and mental acuity that I can't waste any of those resources. There are other ways to cope with anxiety, all of which I'm doing to the best of my ability, and they help.

This isn't about a house in the Hamptons. This is only about having enough stability and options available to me to be a good father to my son. At the moment, I'm working too hard to be that. But I have faith that in the next few years, the work that I'm putting in now will result in a payoff of a solid career path and financial solvency, which will free up time and energy for me and my kid. Already I'm considered a standout student, with a strong portfolio and a lot of respect from faculty and students, which will help with networking. I'm not bragging, because I don't think I'm particularly talented - I've just been working my ass off.

Part of the motivation for that has come from knowing what I want, obviously, but part of it has also come from knowing what I don't want. I've been working jobs the last several years, of course. Not careers, just jobs, just something to pay the bills. At every one of those I've been surrounded by people who were not happy where they were in life. Not miserable, necessarily, but certainly unhappy enough that they spend a lot of time biatching about one thing or another, and often about their job.

Yet they weren't doing anything about looking for something better. Some couldn't be bothered, others knew that there was nothing better out there available to them - but even these folks weren't going back to school or anything. They just kept on living, one day at a time, unhappy but doing nothing to change it.

I also have been seeing, for many years, a very high correlation between level of dissatisfaction and frequency of substance use. The cause and effect relationship (if there is one) is up for debate, obviously, but the evidence that I've seen strongly suggests that it's a vicious circle. My personal experience with drinking, even falling far short of alcoholism, supports that idea.

So am I a stress puppy right now? Yes. It is hard? Absolutely - I'm working like a dog and not having much fun at all these days. I would never claim that right now, my life is satisfying and fulfilling and what I want it to be. But I'm also making a hell of a lot of progress toward something better (which is not a plasma TV), and I would take that any day over being resigned to god knows how many years of anesthetizing myself against boredom and misery.

Okay, so that was Tolstoy, but you asked. And I think it's worth answering.
 
2010-03-11 11:35:09 AM  
trancemission: pwhp_67: reklamfox: Once again, just because something has a visible affect on the brain and makes people suffer doesn't make it a disease.


Chickenpox is a disease even though some people get it and some people don't, and it can be cured.

Alcoholism is classified as a disease for a reason. Mainly because the people who have studied it, treated it, and devoted a significant portion of their professional lives to understanding it know a little more about it than you do...

But ask anyone in AA: no one can be "cured" of alcoholism without CHOOSING for themselves, every day, NOT to drink.


FTFY
 
2010-03-11 11:35:23 AM  
Agrees on total openness with your children
www.411mania.com
 
2010-03-11 11:37:49 AM  
dlewis6: I've never smoked pot, but I couldn't possibly be worse for my productivity than Fark.
Parents, talk with your kids about doing internet.


No shiat. those people who say "pot is an escape from reality!" and "stoners use it so they don't have to deal with the real world!"--people, just about everything we do is an attempt to escape from the real world. We'd all be nuts if we just lived in the real world constantly.
 
2010-03-11 11:38:41 AM  
mofomisfit:
You must now justify your life. What are you doing that's so much more awesome?

/this works either way for me, because if you really are doing something spectacular, good for you! I'd love to hear it.



Well, I'm Grand Dragon of my local chapter of...no, better not write that.

Seriously, I don't have to justify my life to anyone but myself, but I'll just tell you what's up and you decide.

I'm a recovering alcoholic who did two tours in rehab before I got the monkey off my back. I also smoked a lot of pot, but I didn't have a problem quitting that. Booze was my problem.

I spent many, many years not doing anything career-wise and I had a long list of excuses to explain why. Instead, I took jobs that were easy and simple and didn't conflict with my "lifestyle." I would tell people that I was happy. I had a "good job" with a "cool boss" and I could live my life any way that I chose.

The truth was that I was miserable. I felt like a failure because I wasn't really doing what I wanted to do and any attempts I made to break out of the cycle I was in never worked out, usually because I was in an altered state of mind most of the time and I was hardly in a position to give things my very best effort. I was also afraid to try.

Long story short: I'm lucky that booze is so hard on the human body. I had a hilarious vomiting-blood episode which led to a hospital visit, followed by a weekend in rehab, another year of drinking and drugging, and then my final rehab visit.

When I got out the (hopefully) last time. I finally realized that I had a choice to make. I could either 1) drink, or 2) do absolutely anything else in the world I felt like doing. I chose option 2.
That was years ago, but the results were almost immediate. As soon as I really found out what I wanted to do, and as soon as I really tried, opportunities just popped up on all sides. It was freaky.
So, now, I'm not rich, but I'm successful. I'm doing work that I love and I'm really good at it, and I'm getting paid for it. I'm not working some job just to support my "lifestyle," (which wasn't much of a life anyway) my work and my life are one and the same and I'm very happy.

The original post which started all this was about a guy who smoked pot all day while he worked in food service. If that's what truly makes you happy and gives you a sense of fulfillment, then I say go for it. I'm just saying if you took the pot out of the equation, would you still be happy? If not, then you need to take a good look at what you're spending your time on.
Myself, I don't need to add any chemicals to myself to make my day fun any more. My life now is my drug.
 
2010-03-11 11:38:45 AM  
reklamfox: Thats the difference, people with cancer or Alzheimer don't get that choice. Drug addiction is 100% preventable. Stopping the drug abuse cycle is very difficult but that alone shouldn't ensure it a "disease" label. You can halt the course of your addiction with very strong self control. It's a choice.

Your choice argument regarding the medical definition of a disease is deeply flawed. If an alcoholic gets cirrhosis (sp?) or a chain smoker gets lung cancer, are they not diseases due to the fact that they were caused by choices? If I avoid vitamin C like the plague and get scurvy, is it not a disease because I chose to avoid vitamin C? If I lie in the sun 60 hours a week as a pasty white guy and get melanoma, is it not a disease because I chose to put myself in a situation? I could come up with dozens more examples but I think my point is obvious... A hardcore alcohlic or a heroin addict will become extremely ill mentally and physically if their drug is taken away from them cold turkey. A non-addict will not have this reaction in the absence of the same substances. Addiction is a disease.
 
2010-03-11 11:38:50 AM  
helloooooooo fark

long time lurker, rare poster.. also a regular smoker here, so i feel i must contribute my two cents: i find that i can code far more effectively if i'm high. and nothing beats a fat bowl of tasty dank with a cup of fresh coffee out of the french press on a beautiful spring morning. _nothing_.

also, i just have to say how astonished i am that i'm agreeing with Phil_Herup. first time for everything, i suppose. well done sir!
 
2010-03-11 11:39:41 AM  
jessicat: Weed motivated me to get things done so I could smoke and relax.

Typical stoner rationalization. Imagine how much more productive you could have been, without the weed and the relaxing.

Seriously, though, I've found that weed can make me more productive at certain things. For instance, I don't like painting, and I don't do a good on the trim - my patience wanes, since I just want to get it over with. However, after a hit or two, I can paint trim for hours, if necessary, and the job will be done faster and better, as I'm not rushing to finish and having to redo sections.

I wouldn't toke up while writing code at work, cutting firewood with a chainsaw, or carving a wooden spoon, but for painting trim, it's the bomb.
 
2010-03-11 11:41:22 AM  
reklamfox: What those people didn't see is the YEARS my father spent heavily drinking himself into a stupor every day.

Uh... what? He drank himself stupid every day because he was an alcoholic for all those years. That's what alcoholism is.
 
2010-03-11 11:43:06 AM  
Dear Daughter,

Drugs are rarely dangerous until money or its equivilant are involved. If you only do drugs that are given to you freely by someone you are certain is not looking for something in return, your drug karma will be positive, your use extremely infrequent, and you will have very little to worry about.

Also, don't smoke crack and never trust a tweaker.

Dad
 
2010-03-11 11:43:08 AM  
Weaver95: y'know what our problem is? with the war on drugs I mean. Our problem is that we don't treat addiction as an illness. For some reason, our society ignores addiction. Our society assumes that if someone is addicted, then they're weak. And we despise weakness, so we punish them when we find out about it. we create the cycle of shame, drug abuse, prison and more drug abuse and then we blame the addict for the whole thing.

addiction isn't a moral weakness. it's a valid, measurable biochemical condition. it's no different than any other disease, and just as treatable. I'm not excusing crimes committed under the influence of drugs mind you...but what I am saying is that we need to treat addicts for their addiction. locking up addicts only means that when they come out of prison...they're still addicts. you don't lock up a cancer patient and expect them to not have cancer when they get out of jail.

*sigh*

sorry. it's late and the whole 'war on drugs' thing just pisses me off. especially our hypocrisy when it comes to drugs.


Find me one single person "addicted" to weed.
 
2010-03-11 11:43:09 AM  
Slaves2Darkness: pdxbarista: Potheads are harmless when left alone, but when poked, may attack. Handle with care.

But it is a lot of fun to poke them. They get so indignant when you point out that they must be broken inferior humans who need a chemical crutch to get through life.


I am, and I do. So farking what? Would you rather I go on a shooting spree?
 
2010-03-11 11:44:42 AM  
reklamfox: Chickenpox is a disease even though some people get it and some people don't, and it can be cured.

Alcoholism is classified as a disease for a reason. Mainly because the people who have studied it, treated it, and devoted a significant portion of their professional lives to understanding it know a little more about it than you do...

All I know is what I've seen growing up with an alcoholic for a parent. Over and over people have told me "Well you should pity him because he's sick from a disease". Why? What those people didn't see is the YEARS my father spent heavily drinking himself into a stupor every day. It took effort for him to become a homeless alcoholic bum. Thats why I say it's a choice. Call me ignorant all you wish, but I simply fail to see how drug addiction is classified as a disease. My father could have put the bottle down and gotten his life back at any point. The side affects of that "disease" were all 100% preventable. I know there are plenty of other farkers who agree with me.



O.K., You're ignorant. I was raised with an alcoholic mother, and I am an alcoholic as well. Saying that your father could have put the bottle down on his own is proof of your ignorance of alcoholism. I lost every thing I had, and still was not willing to let go of the bottle. Luckily, my one and only remaining friend got a member of A.A. involved, and I learned about why I drank. An alcoholic's mind tells him or her that it is O.K. to take just one little drink. They can handle it this time. However, our physical makeup is different from those who do not have the disorder. Something clicks when we take alcohol into our system, and we lose the ability to stop or moderate. Period. I, by the way have been sober since June 2,2001. I am one of the lucky ones. My mom? No longer with us.
 
2010-03-11 11:44:47 AM  
CheekyMunky: mofomisfit: You must now justify your life. What are you doing that's so much more awesome?

/this works either way for me, because if you really are doing something spectacular, good for you! I'd love to hear it.

Don't know what his answer is, but I can throw a story out there. I mentioned earlier in the thread that I've done my share of wasting time and being stupid in the past, and I don't do it much now because I have a lot to do and need to be sharp.

[snip]


Well I'm glad you're feeling fulfilled. I don't see anything in your post that says to me that there's anything...more special? more inherently valuable? about your life than a stoners, but I truly am glad you feel like your life is going in a positive direction.
 
2010-03-11 11:45:12 AM  
CheekyMunky: Slaves2Darkness: They get so indignant when you point out that they must be broken inferior humans who need a chemical crutch to get through life.

How do you view alcoholics?


They should diaf. Yes even my mother, farking biatch. Yeah I'm a little bitter about my childhood surrounded by drug addicts, alcoholics, sex abusers, rapists, murders, arsonists, and thieves. I called them family.
 
2010-03-11 11:46:36 AM  
CheekyMonkey: jessicat: Weed motivated me to get things done so I could smoke and relax.

Typical stoner rationalization. Imagine how much more productive you could have been, without the weed and the relaxing.


Jesus man, you keep almost getting me. :D
 
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