I’m sure a lot of you are interjecting one of the following right now:
- Drugs are bad!
- I don’t do drugs!
- How can you write about such a topic and expect to get away with it?
- Think of the children!
A few counterpoints here.
- Drugs are great. You’re acting like a narc; and nobody likes a narc.
- There’s a good chance you’ve got a prescription in you or some beer or wine in your pantry at home, so consider the old glass house adage before you keep pressing.
- It’s a metaphor, so chill out and let it land.
- Kids do way more drugs than you’d imagine, and blindly telling them that they’re bad without a frank discussion of their usage is going to do more harm than good. Again, chill.
Alright, now that we’ve straightened that out, there’s one important aspect of doing drugs that I want to focus on right now. And no, it’s not how fun they are (but that is important). It’s the cost. Drugs are expensive. Whether they exist in a legal market or a black one, there are always additional costs associated with purchasing them. If you want to buy some beer, you’re paying the alcohol tax. If you want to buy some cocaine, you have to pay the cost of whatever the person who has it wants to charge. You also have to worry about buying fake drugs (that might kill you), or getting too few drugs, or interacting with someone who is totally comfortable operating outside of the law, and therefore, the constructs of society.
But the biggest reason drugs are so expensive is because of the simplest axiom of a free market: supply and demand. Because they’re illegal, the supply of drugs is typically low. You can’t just walk into your neighborhood Walgreens and grab an eight ball of cocaine. You can’t ask your neighbor for some of their oxy or ask your neighbor if you can borrow some heroine to shoot up. The supply is typically NEVER going to meet demand, which means that the price will remain artificially high.
By the way, the amount of money here isn’t trivial either. Drug trafficking crimes come with serious penalties. There need to be restrictions, severe ones, to determine who operates in this industry and who doesn’t. It’s the opposite of a free market. Why do these penalties need to be so severe?
Because, plain and simple, drugs are great (I told you we’d circle back around to that key point). And, again, before you get your underwear in a knot, I didn’t specify illegal drugs. So put down your cup of government approved drugs from Starbucks before you start archiving this article so that you can destroy my career or reputation later. Nearly everyone in the country is on drugs. The more controlled (read: illegal) a drug is, we can usually expect a pretty strong correlation with its potency. Unless of course we’re talking about prescription painkillers, but, that’s an entirely different conversation.
What isn’t a different conversation though, is how badly some people want to feel the effects of these awesome drugs. Prescription painkillers, more specifically the people that abuse them, are the bane of many medical professiomals. The next time you’re in an emergency department, ask them if you can have some oxycodone and see what happens. Spoiler: you’re going to get a lot of questions. Bob Saget, in his iconic role in the movie Half Baked isn’t shy to tell us that he “I used to suck dick for coke”. Any television show or movie that includes drug usage will typically show the extreme lengths users will go through to get their hands on it. Take the award winning HBO show Succession, for example: one of the key characters, despite being a literal billionaire, is willing to drive across the countryside in a beat up car with a stranger simply to get his drug of choice. And, as well know, tropes are tropes for a reason: they’re typically very true. In short, people will do a lot of things to get their hands on drugs. The more extreme the personality type, the more extreme the actions. The specific medical title for the most extreme type of person, I believe, is a fiend.
A fiend has no ability to plan into the future. A fiend isn’t going to leave drugs for the rest of the week, or tomorrow, or even the rest of the night. Certainly not for you, if it’s between you and them getting it. A fiend is going to dump out the bag of cocaine, at any time of day and in virtually any location and go to work. A fiend buys a handle of vodka every day, even though, based on their habits, going wholesale is probably a better idea. There’s one goal: as much as possible all the time. As soon as the drugs are gone, the fiend sets his sights for more. Whatever the cost. Even if that means sucking a dick or two.
By the way, this last part is most definitely not a metaphor. If you’re one of the people that wasn’t admonishing me at the start of this article, chances are you’re having a very vivid memory of someone exhibiting some of these exact actions. Hell, even if you’re a law abiding square, you can probably picture the time one of your friends ate all of the pizza without thinking of you or the time your buddy drank all of the liquor without invitation. The fiend is real, and if you give the fiend the drugs, you aren’t going to have drugs anymore and there’s a good chance you’re going to get roped into helping find more. It’s like if you give a mouse a cookie, I suppose, only in this example the stakes are much higher and there is a lot less forced fellatio.
The metaphor really lands when you start to inset other things that aren’t necessarily drugs in their place and see the results. The mouse in the popular children’s story above is a cookie fiend, and giving him one inevitably leads you in an infuriating circle that ends with an eternal dispatching of cookies to an ungrateful rodent. I could’ve called this piece, don’t give the mouse a cookie, and it would’ve worked just fine. But that’s way too straightforward, someone else already used it, and, let’s face it, drugs are sexier. But a cookie and drugs, that’s also a little too straight forward in terms of comparisons. Let’s substitute something a little less tangible and see how that works. Let’s try it with the least tangible, yet most valuable thing of all, time.
There are, most assuredly, time fiends out there. They usually come in the form of your boss or place of employment. They might not care about getting high, but they do care about productivity and results. Its your time, and not drugs, that’s going to get them feeling good.
Well, for a little bit at least. Until the next deadline comes. Or the next project is dropped on their lap and they need you to help finish it. Or the next quarter starts and the chase for impressive numbers is back on. Then the fiend is going to be hungry for another high. They’re going to demand more of whatever is going to get them there, and unfortunately that’s your time. And energy. Really just your general well-being. They’re going to dump out all of those bags, snort them up, and start looking for more. In this scenario, bad news: you’re the bag, and you’re empty.
Don’t give your drugs to the fiend. Don’t give your time to the people that don’t respect it. Don’t give your drugs to the fiend. Don’t give your attention to people that only want to feed their own vanity. Don’t give your drugs to the fiend. Don’t respect someone who doesn’t do the same for you. Say it with me one last time: DON’T. GIVE. YOUR. DRUGS. TO. THE. FIEND.
Presumably, you bought those drugs for a reason, and that wasn’t so someone else could do all of them with no thought of you. If you do, you’ll regret it. You’ll be mad, they’ll be high, but you will have one thing in common: neither of you will have any respect for you. Don’t give the mouse a cookie. Don’t give your drugs, whatever they might, be to the fiend.