January 4, 2012

30 Day Challenge: My Views on Drugs and Alcohol

This is one of those complicated ones. Personally, I'm not a fan of either drugs or alcohol, but I'm not naive enough to think we'll ever be rid of them. Banning them does no good. You can't legislate morality, and to be honest, trying just causes more troubles and bloodshed.

Alcohol isn't forbidden in the Bible. We're actually encouraged to take a little for our stomach's sake. Drunkenness is condemned, and I'm fairly certain anything which "relieves" you of your judgement is measured the same by God.

Even if it weren't, I hate that feeling. My body doesn't react well to many medications, and it doesn't break them down as quickly as it should. It's one reason there are only two or three over-the-counter medications I will take, and it's only when everything else I can try fails I resort to them. It's also the reason I'm a t-totaler by necessity.

I've had a few prescriptions that affected my cognitive function from knocking me out cold, to increasing nerve sensitivity ten fold, to causing petite maul seizures.  None have been what I'd call pleasant. The medication I was given for migraines was one. The first day on the beta blockers, you would have sworn I was drunk. I still had my faculties, aside from being ten times as distractable than normal, but being completely pain free for the first time in a few years threw off my balance and had me feeling like my head was detached from my body. It wasn't until I was able to find my migraine triggers and get off the blockers that I realized they were behind a lot of the brain fog, increased issues with dyslexia/dysgraphia, and irritability plaguing me the year I was on them.

In short, I just don't understand the appeal. Even now, coming off a caffeine addiction this past month, I don't rightly understand why I wanted it so much beyond the desire to avoid the horrid withdrawal headaches. I think I mostly got started with it because I just loved the smell of brewing coffee, and it seemed like a grown up thing to do. Stupid, I know, but I was a preteen already caffeine addicted to a lesser extent thanks to sodas.

And doesn't that just add a whole other level? Our addictions, even ones seemingly as benign as caffeine and sugar can make a huge difference in our children's lives. Even when a child never smokes themselves, grows up around a parent who smokes heavily can experience negative effects on their health all their life. Sugar "highs" and hangovers are very real, especially for someone genetically predisposed to hypoglycemia, and it's so easy an addiction to transfer parent to child!

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