7 - About Drugs
This discussion deals with the use of drugs taken for purposes other than medical.
Not interested in reading this? Then be very certain you know...
Now that we have your attention:
Today, you are bombarded by messages from the radio and television telling you to "just say no", or that your brain on drugs is like an egg frying in a pan.
These messages are created by people who assume that the audience they are talking to is stupid. You're probably smart enough to sense that these messages are incomplete and in many cases, such as the "frying egg" commercial, worse. They contain overstatement, misdirection and even outright lies.
The physical and mental effects of drug use, like jumping off of things, have many levels. Jumping off of a diving board into a filled pool is usually safe, fun, and healthy. Jumping off of a high cliff into a rocky valley is generally a bad idea. This range of safety is also true of drug use.
People use drugs all the time. Caffeine is a good example - in coffee. Caffeine is an addictive stimulant, an "upper", just like amphetamines. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying through their teeth. Similarly, Nicotine, found in cigarettes, is a drug — addictive, certainly, but also proven beyond any doubt whatsoever to be extremely dangerous to the user's health. Alchohol is another common drug in the dangerous, addictive class. These are all legal drugs at this time.
So, yes — when people sit around wearing "red ribbons" drinking coffee, alcholic drinks and/or smoking, they're being 100% hypocritical. They risk the destruction of the message they want you to believe by their actions. They are weak and not very serious about the message they put forth. They're not very clever. Perhaps they are simply, in fact, stupid. Or perhaps they've made a conscious decision to accept some drugs and not others — if you want to know which, enquire; don't assume.
We wish to tell you that despite the fact that these people may be acting like idiots, the message itself is a good one to pay attention to. Even if an idiot told you not to shoot yourself, you'd accept that as good advice, wouldn't you? Even if they were in the process of shooting themselves? We certainly hope you would.
Legal or illegal, drugs are drugs. The difference that the law and many people draw is only that — legal or not. Within the context of the school and training we make no distinction whatsoever, because it is not our responsibility to enforce the law.
However — if your drug-related behaviour is such that you cause problems in public (that means in the school, or out of it) of any kind, you're gone. If you keep your behaviour completely to yourself and manage your affairs in private, we won't consider it any of the school's business.
Still, assuming you manage your behaviour so that you remain a healthy and mentally effective individual, drug use can have other extremely serious consequences, both legal and personal. You chould be certain that you understand what those are before you decide that drug use is "okay."
Legally, your life can be completely destroyed by the government. They can do this easily and they will do it to you — don't for a second think that they will not. There are many thousands of people rotting in jails around the country because they were caught using or handling drugs in an illegal manner.
On a personal level, if you become known as a drug user, you will find that some relationships you may value will change or be destroyed. This may be very difficult to deal with.
If any student wishes to discuss drug use — or stopping — with sabumnim, he is always available. He will hold all such discussions in confidence. If you are a user, he will try to help you if you are willing to help yourself.