My aversion to illicit drugs goes back some 35 years. That was a time when I witnessed first hand what these substances do to people. Or to put it more accurately, it’s what people do to themselves when they shove this stuff down their gullets.
I was managing bands (the rock ‘n’ roll kind) and although none of my artists made it to the top of the pile I did have an opportunity to have a good look at the industry, the glitz, the glamour and the “beautiful people.”
Reality is, there is very little beauty about the industry. I would describe it as ugly actually. No uglier than most businesses to be sure, except that this one gets hold of young, naïve, fresh faced and talented young people, loads them up to the gills with all manner of pills, powders and booze, because that’s showbiz baby, then wrings the life and talent out of them and discards them like so much trash. Some don’t get to be discarded; they die in hovels they call home or in back alleys from overdoses and heartbreaks.
Of the small number that make it far too many end up the same way, eventually.
Yet there is never a shortage of willing young moths. They flock to the flame, to be used, abused, ripped off and destroyed.
What is bewildering is the way the law and the society at large not only tolerate but take as a given that drugs and alcohol induced deaths and destruction are part and parcel of this life. And the media— the media glamorises it.
When an average, struggle street, man or woman becomes addicted and drug addle-brained, they are a dumb scumbag. When a movie star, rock star, model or even some minor celebrity is likewise they are living the glamour lifestyle. It is expected. Rock on dude. Living life to the full. Rock ‘n’ Roll never dies, blah blah blah.
Rock ‘n’ Roll may never die but it’s sons and daughters drop over the cliff in lemming like numbers.
There is no shortage of hypocrisy and two-facedness in ego, that’s a fact.
The reason for such a blasé attitude is perhaps because what the public sees is heavily vetted and very carefully stage-managed. It’s all smiles, songs, colour and lights. Johnny is peeing his pants, drooling and rolling around the floor backstage. But when he hits the stage he’s super cool and sparkling.
When you have a peek into the reality of it the stomach churns.
Nor is it way cool and hip for families and friends of drug addicts. When ones son, daughter, spouse or friend is being destroyed from the inside out, replicating scenes out of The Exorcist, glamour and glitz it isn’t.
And there certainly is no singing, frolicking and firing off clever one-liners when you bury them.
It’s not only the illicit stuff that fries the brains and kills the body. Indeed the legalised junk causes excessively more damage.
The eternal question is however, how do you stop humans from self-destructing?
Equally eternal answer … you don’t. You can’t. They know what they are doing to themselves.
Guitarist, Robbin Crosby said, “What has drug addiction done for me? It’s cost me my career, my fortune and basically my sex life when I found out I was HIV positive…” He still kept at it and died from a heroin overdose a year or so later.
You can only control your own actions and behaviours and pass the word along to those you care for. What they do with the information is up to them. The worst ting a parent or friend can do is blame themselves.
At the end of the day people will do as people will do. Even the ones you love dearly. The big difference with these ones is they will break your heart, if you let them.