The Presence of Drug Culture

The Realms Between Alcohol Acceptance and Drug Banishment

While most modern-day parents seem more than happy for their children to go out on an alcohol-infused bender every weekend, they are less pleased by the thought that their child might be out there high as a kite on some class A party drug, and fair enough. If this is the case though, why are drug and rave cultures still such a mass part of modern society and more so, why are they brushed under the carpet and hidden from society as though the person taking the drug is a sin in themselves?

Like all controversial topics, the best thing to do to bring some clarity into the air is talk about the damn thing. Big surprise, guys — drug culture exists. Hidden in the underbelly of every night club's Sambuca stained floors, I guarantee there will be some guy (or girl) in the background happily chewing their face away and seeing colours the sober mind has never seen before.

We can argue what’s right and what’s wrong but essentially what’s the point? People are going to try it anyway so why not let them and talk to them so they can openly share experiences without feeling penalized. That way, everybody learns a little something about everyone else and guess what… it becomes a damn lot safer!

Over the past four years, I have met my fair share of actively open drug takers and for starters (unlike popular belief) not one of them is a bad person. In fact, for the most part I would say their outlook on life is a hell of a lot more positive than the 21-year-old 9-5 worker who hasn’t been awake at midnight since his (or her) 18th birthday. Young people are going to take drugs. It has always been the case and it sure as hell ain’t stopping anytime soon. I mean look around you. Look who is in charge of some of the biggest decisions on the planet. Can you really blame them for wanting some escape from the world we live in?

Trying to uncover the reasons why people consume chemicals as a way of enjoyment would require some serious masters qualification in modern psychology which, sadly, I don’t have the expertise to offer you but what I can say is that the work of Sarah Thornton and her thesis on Club Culture allowed attending clubs to come forth and create its own youth-infused subculture. In writing the book, she even takes drugs herself to gain a first-hand experience at what a clubber subculture is. Drug culture doesn’t have such a status, nor does it seem that it will ever be allowed to but why not? Surely, it would be safer for everyone involved in the whole thing if drugs could be tested safely and used in the same way.

Sure, we can argue that the young want to escape responsibilities, and that a release from the real world is a bit cowardly or selfish but once again, news flash — it happens. Youth has immense power within it and people are taking advantage in any way they can.

In 2016, nightclubs in Preston (UK) offered free drug testing to people who wanted to know if their class A’s were pure and safe to take. There was no need for names and nobody got prosecuted for handling the drug — basically people didn’t die because they knew they were safe on the drug they were going to take that night. Yes, we can raise the point that if they didn’t take the drug they would be alive anyway, but alcohol is a drug too and everyone seems to conveniently forget that somewhere down the road of shame and blame. (Of course, running this kind of service would cost money and saving lives of young party-goers sadly isn't on the top of everyone's to-do list.) 

The global war on drugs has more or less always been in shambles. In 2001, Portugal decriminalized all drugs after the country suffered from a dire heroin epidemic where 1 percent of its population were addicted to the class-A opiate. Would you believe it, ever since, fewer people have died due to drugs! You can’t just keep banning something, labeling it, and hoping that it hides in the shadows. It does, by the way. Hiding somewhere not far from you right now an illegal rave will be going on and young people will be having the time of their life and somewhere else someone will be dying because they haven’t taken a drug safely.

It’s 2017, people. We can talk about more or less anything under the sun with intelligence and dignity. It’s time we started talking about drugs. 

Leah Jade Wimpenny
Leah Jade Wimpenny

I'm a full-time student from Yorkshire studying Film, Cultural Theory & English Lit, working at the local pub and freelance writing. Can always be found hoping for brighter things and drinking tea :) 

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The Presence of Drug Culture