OFF THE AVENUE … I was living in a high rise in London once and I used to look out the window and watch people going to work and think they were stupid being part of the rat race. I used to think to myself don’t they know, don’t they realize what they are missing, they could get stoned like me, just take drugs and space out. How pathetic I was. But then again there are very valid reasons why people take drugs. There is apparently now an epidemic in the States of people being dependent on prescription opiate painkillers. Due to the cost of these many people are turning to street heroin instead because it is actually cheaper now due to the influx of cheap supplies from Afghanistan etc. People use heroin because it works. It is the most effective painkiller, both for emotional and physical pain. These days I take psychiatric medication. Anti psychotics, mood stablilisers and anti depressants mostly have side effects, some of which are frankly unbearable. Many people put on ridiculous amounts of weight on these drugs and get illnesses such as diabetes. Opiates cause no such problems and people often self medicate with them as I have done in the past. The trouble with them is that they are highly physically addictive. I believe in the legalisation of street drugs because illegality causes far more problems and does not stop people taking drugs. I would rather take a prescription of diamorphine than the medications I am on and I think it would be extremely effective, though I don’t think it would prevent depression, since personally I have never found any drug which actually effectively cured depression. People are always going to take drugs. They have been taking them since time immemorial. Rather than policing the situation, we need to look at how to improve mental wellbeing so that people will not be so inclined to look for chemicals to make themselves feel better.