Every time I travel to Brazil, my heart misses a warm beat and I experience a bit of heart aches a little. As part of my book tour to promote Substance use for Grown-Ups: Running after Liberty in the Land of Fear, I recently visited that region. The data that supported my claims was warmly received by sizable crowds in several cities. Even those who were hesitant to fully accept my suggestion that we regulate the sale and use of popular medicines in the same way that we process with alcohol and tobacco participated in a mature discussion. When discussing drug-related matters, it restored my faith in people’s capacity for logic and reason.
Robin, who’s my wife and I visited to Ipanema pharmacy on the night before our flight back to the US in order to get a COVID-19 test. To get around the language issue, we were joined by our white Brazilian buddy Julita. We received rapid assistance from a charming and knowledgeable young white pharmacist. She started filling out the necessary demographic papers right away, properly marking without being prompted Robin’s race as white. However, this confident professional suddenly halted like a coyote caught in a flashlight when the race question appeared on my form. She sheepishly turned to Julita and said in Portuguese, “What shall I write?” “You assume you have some people who don’t like to be labeled Black,” I preemptively said in response to Julita’s perplexed expression. To buy shrooms Canada, visit Canada Mushrooms.
Race is a complex and emotive topic with wide-ranging social implications in Brazil, as it is in many other locations. The distinctions between races appear hazy but firm, at least to an outsider. For instance, a sizable section of the populace is descended from indigenous peoples, Africans, and Europeans. As a result, it is challenging to divide people into neat racial categories. However, it is evident that Black Brazilians account for more than half of the population. However, it is obvious and clear that they are at the very bottom of the racial hierarchy of the nation. The white minority, in contrast, occupies a prominent place at the top.
The pharmacist’s query, in Julita’s opinion, was driven by twisted benevolence. She had noted that I was a tourist from the United States and possibly a “important” person. She reasoned that I wouldn’t want to be associated with one of the most demonized groups in the nation: Black people. She kindly provided me with the option to identify as anything besides Black. She believed she was helping me out. Without repercussions, I could stealthily retreat into the “racial closet.” It doesn’t matter that my racial heritage is clear-cut. I am definitely Black. Ultimately, I told her this, and that is exactly what I said.
However, this experience made me consider the similarities that underprivileged groups, such as drug users, share. It also forced me to consider why it’s critical for me to publicly support the oppressed. The narrative that are offered relating to these groups are frequently basic, insufficient, and outright false. The idea that young Black males in Brazil are ferocious and dangerous is a widely held stereotype. Many are also thought of as drug users and smugglers. What’s worse, these slanted depictions frequently contain cynical political rhetoric that is turned into oppressive laws and practices, which further dehumanizes people.
If I didn’t speak out for the underprivileged, what sort of man would I be? When I think about my personal experience being a black man living in the United States, which is similar to my Brazilian brethren’s predicament, this question becomes even more important. Authorities are skilled at leveraging drug-related concerns to disparage and oppress the underprivileged and Black people in both countries. I therefore cannot deny using some of these drugs any more than I can deny my race. Shying away from either is a betrayal of both my own and other people’s humanity. These are individuals that are merely attempting to lead worthwhile lives, just like me.
I can still picture the exact moment I made the decision to bring myself out of tye closet of the drug-user. It wasn’t an easy choice to make. I had just begun my second year as department head at the time, and the youngest of my children was just sixteen. I was aware that even being accused of doing drugs may have had a negative impact on my child and career. However, during July 2017, as part of the preparation for my colonoscopy, I was questioned routinely about my drug use. I had admitted to using marijuana and drink occasionally. Next, the nurse probed, “Do you use other drugs?”
Should I be truthful,” I questioned. More often than not, I considered myself to be a guy of integrity. However, being in charge of a department was proving to be a valuable lesson in the stark contrast between one’s sense of oneself and reality. I had to participate in the faculty recruitment game, for instance, as part of my job. I bargained with prospective new faculty members in an effort to recruit them to Columbia. Many of them had no decision of leaving their current roles, despite the fact that nearly all had sought for jobs with us and some had even received offers from us. Just a game, really. It was used to receive a job offer from Columbia that might be used to encourage their own institutions to provide them greater funding, lab space, or other benefits.
It was an unsettling game that was also dishonest. But despite my reluctance, I played along.
I was now asked to participate in the drug lying game, which was a new game. I was expected to exaggerate the extent of my drug use, particularly if it involved dangerous substances like methamphetamine or heroin. On the other hand, prior drug usage was acceptable and might be openly stated. It’s acceptable to admit, for instance, that you once used heroin as a “youthful indiscretion.” In some communities, it’s also acceptable—and even preferred—to have once struggled with something like a heroin addiction but to have overcome it.
We frequently have to accept unfounded beliefs about particular medicines because of the drug lying game. Due to its inherent risks, heroin is one substance that is allegedly prohibited in the United States. According to this reasoning, using heroin is inherently riskier than using a pistol or tobacco, which are both legal activities. Each year, there exists to be above 450,000 deaths in the United States alone that can be directly linked to cigarette use, and there are more than 40,000 deaths from gun violence. Just over 15,000 deaths involving heroin were at an all-time high in 2017. This figure is much lower than the fatality rates linked to tobacco use and firearms. Go over to Canada Mushrooms to buy shrooms Canada today.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to note that the term “heroin-related deaths” does not necessarily imply that heroin happened to be the reason behind their death. It simply indicates that it was discovered inside the deceased person’s body. The majority of the time, a variety of compounds are discovered in the deceased person’s body, and it is frequently impossible to identify their exact concentrations. To be clear, I do not support more restrictions on the concept tobacco or firearms. Instead, I’m trying to show that the claims we make about how using heroin is fundamentally riskier than using nicotine or a gun are unsupported by data.
The nurse in charge waited for my untruthful response as I returned to the colonoscopy examination room. The task was beyond my capabilities. I was worn out. I had had enough of lying. When drug users were portrayed in crude stories as reckless, damaged souls, virtually entirely, I was unable to remain silent any longer. I therefore disclosed all of my recent use of drug, which includes using cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine among other drugs. After the nurse had recovered from her first shock, my colonoscopy went over without a hitch.
I’m conscious that if I admit to doing narcotics publicly, some people might be offended. People who profit from the drug war might even try to ruin my reputation by making up accusations that I’m an addict merely because I made a disclosure about me using one or more drugs that are stigmatized. This is a desperate stab at it. I have not come in contact with the criteria for drug addiction, but that is irrelevant when determining the truth of the arguments presented. We wouldn’t label someone an alcoholic merely because they occasionally drink.
The message is that drug usage does not necessarily lead to addiction. The definition of addiction requires that a person be troubled by their drug use in order for it to be considered to meet this standard. Additionally, the person’s drug usage must interfere with crucial daily activities including parenting, employment, and close relationships. Head over to Canada Mushrooms to buy shrooms Canada.
The majority of drug users won’t develop an addiction, which is another crucial fact. That’s true, 70–90% of users of even the most despised narcotics, like heroin or crack cocaine, are not addicts. It would therefore be unreasonable to attribute addiction to a drug if the majority of users of that drug do not develop addiction. It would be similar to blaming food for eating disorders.
In the end, I am confident that choosing to leave the closet was the right decision. Yes, it’s dangerous and even scary. But battling to rectify society’s wrongs is never without cost. I feel sorry for anyone who hesitates to take action against injustice just because it can be risky, especially so-called “allies.” It is cowardly and dishonorable to maintain my substance use, for that matter—a secret. Such games are not my cup of tea. Too many people’s lives are at risk.
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