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June 25, 2007

Posted by K in contemporary.

Yesterday’s We The People discussed drugs and India’s inability to say ‘no’. It was an interesting show as usual, although I feel myself getting anxious for the ‘normal’ audience as they speak, as I keep waiting for Barkha Dutt to snatch the microphone from them and complete their sentences.

Ujjwal Mishra had interesting things to say. Prahlad Kakkar, ofcourse, was entertaining as usual(hint: I don’t much like the guy 😀 ) He thought everybody should try drugs under supervision. Okay, I’ll be charitable to him…he probably let that slip in the heat of the moment and didn’t really mean it. But he did say that he would have a ‘dialogue’ with his son and tell him that if he had a ‘kira’ in his head, he must try the drug in front of papa.

The audience erupted after that, naturally. Pertinent question: what if the son said ‘papa, guess what! I like this stuff!’ Where would the modern parent go from there? ‘Dialogue’ him into not becoming an addict?

I am not anti-dialogue. Quite the opposite in fact. Bullying would never have worked with me 🙂 and I appreciate the attempts of my parents to reason out things with me. However, I have also never had the kind of peer group that throws parents into the nail-chewing mode. Had I been a part of such a group, would dialogue of any sort have worked with me? Especially if I was hell bent on rolling a joint and smoking up?

As a child I could not understand the concept of anything that could get you addicted for life. Even as a teeny tot I have been obsessive about the whole ‘being in control’ thing. So I couldn’t imagine a substance that would not leave me alone, would make me run to it ever so often. I couldn’t imagine what it was about it that would cause me to ingest(I did not know the concept of injecting at that time, hehe) it again and again. I was too young for biology and neuroscience(but obviously 🙂 ) and I imagined it as individual components of taste and smell, neither of which had the power to entrap me.

Thus I would declare to my parents that I didn’t really ‘get’ the drug thing and would try it atleast once in my life. It was more of a rebellious try-and-hook-me-if-you can (to the drugs ) than I’m-curious-so-I -must-try.

My parents being my parents(and hence knowing me 🙂 ) would react mildly. They would tell me that I didn’t understand how they worked and the power they had to hook a person, and it would be left at that.

By the time I did understand biology and the power of addiction(books; books helped me understand the concept of addiction. I was even worried for a while. Without a daily ‘fix’ of a few hours even during important exams, I was unable to get down to studying.) I knew there was no way I was interested in confronting drugs. I figured that people get into them to get high and ‘fit in’. I didn’t need any chemical to get high and I have never had time for the concept of ‘fitting in’.

But, this isn’t about me. This is about We The People and the question of how ‘modern’ parents deal with the issue of drugs. Do they say go ahead and try it, but let me be there, or do they say a NO! in which case they would risk being called dictatorial and old-fashioned?



1. anonymouse - June 25, 2007

What sort of drugs are we speaking about here? Alcohol? Caffeine? Oxygen? Marijuana? Opium? Heroin? Cocaine? Meth? …

I am all for introducing kids to certain forms of drugs under adult supervision. Alcohol, for example. Teach them to drink responsibly, or not at all. Teach the kids about which drugs do what. Don’t try to frighten them, but explain. Kids are intelligent, and if you teach them to make their own value judgements will do fine.

For some things, you just require them to wait until they are old enough. ‘Not now’. For others, you say ‘No’.

If you were to roll a joint and smoke up, I suspect your parents would want to know about it. Think of them as being designated drivers at the party of your life.

2. pr3rna - June 25, 2007

Alcohol, I would not put under drugs but I have heard that a few drugs are addictive after the first use. I would not like to risk drug addiction because somebody wanted to try it just once. Dialogue is important, you can’t force somebody not to do it. I am not sure if Prahalad Kakkar would like to give drugs to his own children.

3. anonymouse - June 25, 2007

pr3rna, alcohol, caffeine, dihydrogen monoxide … All are addictive.

4. sporadicblogger - June 26, 2007

Actually that was one of the questions raised by a panelist…how do you define drugs? Kids these days get high on cough syrup and erasex…
But I personally would club alcohol separately…no specific reason…maybe its just conditioning : )

As a parent I would most definitely explain drugs to my offsprings…but I would say don’t do it. I wouldn’t let them think that it’s okay for them to try it. Like a recovered addict said, nobody starts out wanting to become an addict. You never notice when you cross the line.

All the former addicts were very clear on how they would never ask anybody to try it, parents or no parents.

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