Friday, 19 February 2010

Special K and Miow Mix

I have never been a fan of the stupid names people have for recreational drugs. I have always believed it makes a person sound like a child at school trying to buy cigarettes and calling them "cancer sticks" because they heard their big brother call it that. Basically, it makes people sound noobish. There's a new drug on the block now, however, (if you believe everything you read - it's actually been around on a grand scale for over a year now) and in order to inform adults and parents about this new danger to society, publications have been listing the names by which people call it.

Miow miow, Bubble, Miow Mix, Drone and Meph. Apparently this is what people are calling MMCAT, the legal drug that everybody's talking about. Again, supposedly. I'm not going to lie, it's been a long time since I went to a party where I wasn't surrounded by people chewing their arrogant little faces off and passing around DVD cases laden with talcum powder (come on, do these idiots think you're really going to get actual Coke in Leeds?) but that isn't my friend's fault. It's a sad fact of life that if you get a soundsystem and good DJs to play at your bi-monthly house party, eventually haircut-laden first years with saucer eyes and stupid trainers are going to turn up and take loads of drugs in your front room. Fucking laaaame. One dared gurn their way over to me and say the immortal words "I haven't seen you around, are you in first year?". The reply was less than civil. After all, I'd been knocking back £3 white wine all night. Do people expect me to be polite after this much antifreeze?

The thing about 4-methylmethcathinone is that it isn't illegal, so it's cheap, and people think they can take loads and loads of it because of this. People are idiots. I have heard of people take 2 grams a night and wonder why they feel like they're going to die. People who take drugs in this quantity are obviously not grown up enough to do anything with any degree of self-moderation. They aren't going to think to themselves "hang on a minute, maybe I should calm down a minute and have a drink of water". They just think "that was great! More more more!" like a baby who just discovered it can get into the biscuit tin. Or a teenager that just discovered the wonders of Southern Comfort. There are plenty of campaign groups calling for Mephedrone to be banned, simply because of a singular case of some 14 year old taking a cocktail of MMCAT and Ketamine. Casualties from the drug have only been sustained if the victim has taken it alongside other substances. And if a person is willing to mix substances in such a reckless and frankly idiotic way, then who's to say they were taking any kind of 'recommended dose'? It's hard to believe that a person who mixes their drinks with shots and downed pints is taking any precautions to watch the amount of alcohol units they are taking into their body. Many people have died from alcohol overdoses. Does that mean we have to make it illegal now?

The most infuriating thing about the coverage of MMCAT is just how under-informed the press at large are about these kinds of drugs. As a total nerd when it comes to alternative-culture, I am deeply interested in the changing face of drug culture too, from the Valium-addled housewives of the 50s to the pilled-up ravers of the 90s. Reading an article in say, the Daily Mail, where mephedrone is billed as a "dangerous new designer drug" it's hard to see the coverage as anything but willful fearmongering. They need to ask themselves - since when has any decision or opinion been made rationally when there has been a strong element of fear involved? It seems to me that the lack of information is there simply to encourage a fear of the unknown, that somehow this secret terror is sweeping through the night towards our poor defenceless children, and the only thing we can do to stop it is press our complaint buzzers and hope it goes away if we harrumph enough about it. How do we stop people from drinking too much? We educate them. How do we get people to stop smoking? We educate them. How do we get people to look at drugs in a more responsible way? We tell them that they will die. Something doesn't add up here.

Until people are able to access unbiased information about substances such as mephedrone in the news, there is going to be a culture of fear surrounding it. There are still parents out there who thing that a "drug" is a singular bad thing, that can be dropped into a drink and can kill their baby instantly. there needs to be more widespread education. There needs to be less handwringing, and certainly, there needs to be a lot les recrimination and retribution for trying to do the right thing regarding them. David Nutt was fired for saying these exact same things. He was essentially told to jog on by the government because he had a skeleton riddled with common sense. The way drugs are handled in this country is with a culture of fear; people are taught to be frightened of the drugs that threaten society, and if they aren't, then there is no helping them. This isn't right, and it isn't fair. It leaves the curious feeling guilty, addicts feeling helpless and ashamed, and the uninformed scared and indignant. For such an important issue, we really are doing a great job at sweeping it under the carpet again and again. Just re class everything to Class A. That'll show everybody that we mean business. Jesus Wept.

12 comments:

Becca said...

Oh god, it's like you've written this about my housemates - does my effing nut in & basically sucks the fun out of every house party I've been to recently. I really enjoyed reading this Katie, your posts are so well written, keep the good work up hun! xxx

Katie said...

Thanks a lot! :)

It does suck the fun out of house parties, I mean, I really honestly 100% could not give a shit about what people are putting in their bodies, but can they PLEAAAASE stop talking loudly about it as if we all care?! haha

Mcgingerbiscuit said...

maaaaate...ive just has 15 pounds of bubble maaaate,totally fucking well jackson.

Katie said...

I'm fuckin Springsteened of my ja wobble, y aknow what a meeeeaaann....

Johno said...

My bro writes for Leeds Uni paper and pretty much said the same thing. Right on.

Katie said...

I promise I didn't copy lol. We don't even have a uni paper up in the "Island" (I go to TASC...I rest my case. I'm surprised I know what a newspaper is.)

Jamrock said...

BRILIANT. That is all.

Katie said...

Aw, thanks! :D
What did you like especially?

Mike said...

I agree with other comments, this is exceptionally well written, well informed and witty! The anecdotal intro is a definite winner, and the rest kept me till the end, and i usually have a very short attention span when reading blocks of text on a screen. I think you summed it up perfectly with, "They need to ask themselves - since when has any decision or opinion been made rationally when there has been a strong element of fear involved?".
A lot of my friends use recreational drugs fairly regularly, i learnt everything i know about the characteristics, effects, price, etc of drugs from them. Thankfully they're fairly responsible (most of the time) so i've been well informed, and never really done anything too stupid myself, but i'm aware that obviously not everyone would have such a rational peer group.
The in-vogue legal drug of choice in Dublin for the past several months has been those fabulous 'bath salts' that not only get you fucked up but also help remove limescale after your bath-of-shame the following day. I think they cointain the same stuff as you mentioned. I'd imagine everyone would agree that it's less than enchanting being talked at by an over-enthusiastic drugged-up noob, though i think that it acts as quite a good deterrent! Maybe the government should consider that...

Ha, ironic that i said i didn't like reading blocks of text on a computer..! This comment is far too long, I apologise to anyone still reading

Katie said...

Thanks a lot, i'm glad you liked it!

Tell me more about this "bath salt" craze, I think I might do a whole series of articles/lectures on casual drug taking. It seems everyone likes hearing about it, and everyone's too scared to ask questions in case they look stupid and noobish.

I'm not scared! I will ask the questions! I will trawl erowid til I find my answers! haha

Mike said...

I think they're essentially the same kind of stuff as you were talking about in your article, legal, you can get them in head shops and they're labelled as bath salts, i think they even have instructions on the back for how to use them in your bath..! As far as i know they come in two flavours, coke and MDMA, looks the same and it's around 40euro a gram i think. I'm pretty sure you have them in the UK too. It's like you were talking about, ironically a friend of mine told me yesterday that he did the whole "uhhh i was pissed and didn't know when to stop and took a shitload" spiel last weekend, he was saying his heart was pounding so hard that night he couldn't feel the pauses between beats, and had trouble catching his breath..
I haven't actually taken any myself, i'm always paranoid about the indefinite hangover and i always have deadlines so i don't need a shaky drawing hand..! I've heard mixed reports about the aftermath, from it being grand, to sleeping for days and smelly brown urine afterwards, so i don't know what to believe... Like a lot of this stuff, the actual ingredients seem to be a bit of a secret, so...
Yeah i think a series on drugs would be great!

Katie said...

Ace, well, I'm glad you're enjoying it, I'll get working on my drug series hehe

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