Graduation

Updated: May 13

I was smoking heroin at my high school graduation. I don't reflect on that casually. That's just how casual drugs were at my suburban high school in Sandy, Utah. Everything about Utah had the perfect ingredients for a drug disaster.

Best Friends in High School

A Conservative, religious, "hush hush" "we don't talk about sin" culture.

Strict alcohol laws and little - no nightlife.

People avoiding real issues.

Disposable income

Rebellious Kids

The 1-15


Opioid addiction was and still is a real problem (that's only come to light 10-20 years after the damage is done). Back when "scripts" aka prescription drugs were distributed like WIC checks, a notable number of people had a script to Oxycontin. And pupils the size of pin needles. I knew football players, cheerleaders, Mormons, and punks who all had scripts and addictions to opioids.


The main reason I tried opioids is because the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency - USA) places heroin and marijuana in the same Schedule 1 Controlled Substance category. I honestly believed that because marijuana was relaxing and positive, it'd be the same for heroin. Heroin was relaxing all right, but positive it was not. Oxycontin is a Schedule II Controlled Substance so certainly, it must be less harmful than marijuana.


Excerpt from the DEA's Website:


"Drugs are classified into five (5) distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential. The abuse rate is a determinate factor in the scheduling of the drug; for example, Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence. As the drug schedule changes-- Schedule II, Schedule III, etc., so does the abuse potential-- Schedule V drugs represents the least potential for abuse."


--


Long story short:


It's wrong and misleading to place marijuana and heroin in the same category.

I understand the schedules outline "high potential for abuse", but marijuana abuse looks a lot different than heroin or meth abuse. Marijuana may make you hungry, tired, and want to do more... Heroin will kill you, or amputate a limb. The mis-categorization of marijuana causes more drug problems than the actual drug.


I wish I was given this message as a child. Instead, I was told, "Don't do drugs." Just like I was told, "Don't have sex." Yes, IDEALLY, don't. For the millions that do, there needs to an important lesson that doesn't damage all opportunities at life. What kind of message are we sending children? Why are we throwing non-violent drug users in prison?

Drug use is not a crime. It's a mental health condition. If we really want to get a hold of the real problems associated with drug use, we have to treat our drug users with rehab instead of jail. Rehabilitation is cheaper and more effective.


As a child,

I feel deeply wronged by the way the United States of America is handling drugs. How dare you ban a plant created by God, and mention God in your speeches. In as much as they do to "stop" it, they create even more problems. Why is it such a big "problem" when drug abuse. D.A.R.E., The D.E.A. and the United States of America is handling our drug problem.


In D.A.R.E. I told myself I'd never do drugs. Seven years later in high school (when a drug education would have been appropriate), I was introduced to drugs by a friend, and not a shady dude behind the dumpster like D.A.R.E. insinuated. When I tried marijuana and realized it was nice, and actually enlightening, D.A.R.E. lost all credibility.


It's obvious certain lawmakers and individuals opposed to drugs have simply never tried them. Their message like "Green Eggs and Ham". Stubborn, off, and completely out of line. They always highlight the worse case scenario and that "this" particular individual will be the superhero tough on crime. It is HORRIBLE to make drug laws for the majority of the people when >5% have real addiction problems. If you've never tried drugs, stop pushing your half understood agenda.


The easy agenda is to be a "tough on crime" anti-drug wannabe hero. The real heroic thing to do would be to stop criminalizing people and help the mental problems of drug use.


Is it just to treat drug use like a crime? Is it justice to Drug use is not a crime.

You eating Twinkies is not a crime. Why should what I put into my body be a crime?! If I'm in my bedroom, minding my own business, tripping on mushrooms, it is a violation of my constitutional rights as an American for you to imprison me for what I choose to put into my body absent the harm of others.

What crime is being committed?

The ban of something clearly most of those people have never tried?


How dare you ban a plant or fungus that was created by God.

Call it temptation. Call it what you want, but scripture does not deny the fact that God created all herbs, trees, and fruit.


I may be smoking heroin on my high school graduation, but I'm graduating. I have developed an education from drugs and my experiences on drugs that no school could teach. I caution drug use. I am lucky it hasn't swept me under. I only tell this story to reflect on our current drug laws and change what we can to heal the aspects of community that need to be healed.


--


Little did I know, my older brother was addicted.

He saw me nodding on heroin and snitched to my parents.

It caused a family meltdown the summer of my high school graduation.


I wrote about in a script called "Graduation"

©Val Douroux 2022