Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Demon in a bottle

Pretty much constant pain has given me a lot of time to think about drugs. In part, how I am not taking any for the pain, and how much I wish I could. There are several reasons for this. One is that since we don't have access to a lot of the diagnostic tools we once took for granted, we have no idea how much damage has been done, and what effect pain medicine would have on me. Another is that I am already very distracted by the agony in my back, and I don't want to be stoned on top of that when a wave of zombies breaks through the barriers and walks the streets of the compound. 

This particular thought has been ricocheting around my skull for most of a day. When I agreed to be "leader", I think most of us had in mind nothing more than a moderator for debate, and a judge to settle arguments. I made it a point that I wanted to be able to set rules, and knowing that I would have to set reasonable ones, common sense ones, or be voted out made it clear, to me at least, that I wouldn't be able to abuse my power any longer than it would take to cast a vote. After much thought, I have come to the conclusion that we have to talk about drugs. 

You see, it's all about perspective. Before the collapse, I was either way on drugs. I didn't take them (unless prescribed, of course), but neither was I necessarily against people using them for recreation. I mean softer things, like smoking pot, not hard drugs that ruined lives like Meth, heroin, of cocaine. I guess add alcohol to recreational drugs, even though it was legal, because it screws up your brain just as much.

Now, though, I think the committee and I should talk about this. I know a few people around here have been getting drunk now and again when not on duty. While this appears harmless and so far has been, what happens if this spreads and many more do so? When folks drink on duty? Do we get mauled in our sleep or shot in our backs if zombies or marauders (thanks for that word, Treesong) attack us and our sentries are wasted? I know that most of you will say that people will express self control, will not risk so much for so little, and to that I have two responses. The first is snarky:

Yeah, people are well known for self control. 

The second is that addiction is self-inflating, causing the addict to get more and more out of their head. I know a few of the women from the hotel have been swigging whiskey quite a bit...and can I blame them for wanting to dull the edge of those memories? Not really. But it does worry me. I used to enjoy having a good night of binge drinking now and again, but now the idea that I would be at anything but my sharpest at all times makes my skin crawl. 

Not to say that prohibition is the only option. That's why we have to talk about this, so that reasonable use does not become a major issue. I admit that I am betting on the intelligence and creativity of my fellows to find a solution. Any thoughts? 

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