Girl meets Boy. They fall in love. They get married.
All is hunky dory at the beginning.
Then Boy’s career nose dives
As Girl’s career soars
Girl is generous with her love and fame
Boy is generous with his smack and crack
She used to say ‘no’
But familiarity breeds temptation
And her demons – career, sexuality, media, marriage demanded a sacrifice
Begins to enjoy the false calm
One day she wakes up to realize she can’t live without it –
Hello Drug addiction.
Defined as, compulsive drug seeking and abuse despite the known harmful effects upon functioning in the context of family, health, school, work, and recreational activities.
I’d been meaning to write a post about addiction and there’s no better time than now as we mourn the loss of my all time favorite female singer Whitney Houston. I can just picture those lips quaver as they open wide to belt out a tune.
Michael and Whitney are the only singers I have even gone on my knees to pray for. They were the icons of my childhood. When I listen to X factor hopefuls that is the only criterion I judge them with…can I recognize that voice from a thousand others? Are you a Whitney/Mariah/Michael? Sigh.
I kept hoping she’d rise from the ashes of addiction. I kept waiting for that comeback hit. I truly believed she could do it.
My opinion resonates with many about the cause of death – A bad Brown decision made in 1997. But then there are those who insist that we should stop blaming Bobby. That she always had a choice, after all they’ve been divorced since 2007.
Well, they are equally right – I don’t blame Bobby Brown really. He is who he is. It was the choice she made to love him and loose herself that breaks my heart.
Doug Sellman of the National Addiction Center (US) says that the most important thing to know about addiction may be that addiction is "fundamentally about compulsive behavior". Secondly, such habits originate outside of consciousness. The compulsive sequence of behaviors are so practiced that they can be extremely difficult to avoid initiating, and even harder to interrupt.
I think that makes a lot of sense. It explains why relapses occur. You see, going cold-turkey might rid the body system of the drugs and eliminate physical dependence but the compulsive behavior, basic instincts are harder to kill.
We don’t really talk much about substance abuse in Nigeria yet it is so pervasive (as usual we pretend it doesn’t happen; just like we think 14yr olds are not sexually active). A public health issue that’s silently destroying youth and homes. Marijuana is the drug of choice and though it is illegal to possess it in Nigeria, I can wager that 60% of our law enforcement officers (police) ON DUTY will not pass a urine test ..just saying.
“Marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Research has shown that, in chronic users, marijuana's adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off.2 As a result, someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time.
Think of the irrational shootings carried out by police - Are those actions of a ‘normal’ functioning person?
Area boys? - most of the petty thieving and violence going on is just to fund their drug use.
The rich ones are not left out. Bright futures that have been buried in the ashes of Igbo/marijuana/dope. I know friends who are battling sibling-drug addiction in their families. A friend said jewelry and electronics are not safe in her house anymore..cause if her brother is broke and in need of a fix, better be sure he is going to steal and sell whatever he can lay his hands on.
Back in the , of Ibro, a friend at University who came from a wealthy home. He used to be this sharp dresser, fine dude. By his final year, he was a shadow of himself. Ibro walked around campus with uncombed hair, flip flops and wrinkled shirts. From this gentle smooth talker he became loud and confrontational. I don’t know what happened to him case our paths diverged at this point. He frightened me. I’m not sure he graduated.
Drug addiction also hits uncomfortably close to home. I have close kin battling with addiction. This made me a bit too familiar with marijuana. I could easily identify the sweet/sour smell of marijuana from a mix of smells by the time I was 14. It used to shock male friends, they prolly thought I was doping. Lol. Nah, I could never be tempted. I have seen firsthand the havoc it causes.
I remember finding out that an ex bf smoked cannabis. I came across a drawer filled with the dry leaves in his apartment!!! Not funny.
However, he argued that “he’s been smoking marijuana for relaxation since he was 14 and was not dependent on it. If it was that bad, he wouldn’t have graduated first class nor hold an executive position in a top notch firm’.
Me: Ha..and you have a drawer-full of leaves to ensure you don’t ever run out at midnight. Dependence pls!!
By the time we broke up I could even tell when he was under influence from the way he professed love to me. smh
He quit his job over 7 years ago and has been sorta-loafing about since then as self employed. I’m not knocking his independence I am just convinced that his ‘failure to launch’ is tied to drugs. Cos yeah, he smokes full time now.
Interestingly cannabis isn’t as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Only 9% of users become addicted but this number increases to 17% for those who start young and up to 50% among daily users.
Adverse effects: A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.
If you’ve ever seen drug abuse up close and personal, watched movies like Sugarhouse, Trainspotting, Blow, or celebrities – Elvis, Marilyn, Dorothy Dandridge, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan then you’d applaud countries like China, Singapore and Malaysia’s for their death penalty rule for drug traffickers.
The difference between the murderer with a gun and the one who lures the innocent into drug taking is aesthetics. A Gunshot is instant and leaves a bloody mess while Drugs have a long term collateral damage.
Addiction isn’t incurable, but the addict can’t do it by himself. God, unwavering family support, empathy but not tolerance, resilient good health, change of environment and the addict’s resolve are integral to the long long journey to recovery.
Adieu Whitney and thank you for the greatest love songs!
Do you think drug use can actually be managed like ?