Monday, September 26, 2005


Here’s one of those shock horror stories that’s supposed to make us sit up and take notice for all of 5 seconds, apparently there’s a problem of drug abuse in the elderly. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), federal officials say the "number of seniors with alcohol and other drug problems is expected to leap 150% by 2020 to 4.4 million. Most, two-thirds, of substance abuse in these older adults – in their 50s and 60s – is long-standing, rather than late-onset.”

I say let them go for it, if granny wants a spliff, let her have it it’s hardly going to ruin her lungs any more than her 50 year 30-Chesterfields a day habit. If grandpa wants to try a toot of coke, cut it for him, and if they both want to get roaring drunk at the pub on weekends, what are we going to tell them? It’ll shorten your life?

Our grandparents and parents grew up in the heavy prescription era, they’ve taken legal drugs for decades, in the 40’s opiates, in the 50’s it was trendy to treat wives who wouldn’t knuckle under to domesticity with anti-psychotics, then came the sixties and seventies and a pharmacopoeia of pharmaceuticals both legal and illegal spread over the land. Then came Prozac and all the other mood enhancers, and it’s pretty much accepted now that taking a pill for a problem of moods and emotions is the norm.

Since drugs are mood enhancers, it’s no surprise to find that grandma’s chocolate brownies are full of fibre.

I’m not proposing anyone becoming a crack whore at 87, but there are only two good reasons not to take drugs, to keep your body healthy and your mind clear. If neither of those two things matter to you in your doddering pre-senility, why shouldn’t you take drugs, except it’s a bit hard to roll joints when your hands are gnarled with arthritis.

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