I was born in the 80s but can only really claim that I was a true 90s kid. Old enough to appreciate and love the hideous but equally fabulous fashion, and so street wise that I knew every Tuesday you would watch Grange Hill or Byker Grove, followed by Neighbours, followed by Home and Away, followed by The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and concluding with Heartbreak High! Bliss. Being born of that era I was also one of those teenagers who had to hear about the tragic Leah Betts story in our PSHE (Personal Social Health Education) lesson. The kind of lessons the TV trolley was wheeled into the classroom and you were made to watch educational cartoons about sex, periods and personal hygiene. Leah Betts was an 18 year old who took an ecstasy pill after celebrating her birthday, fell into a coma… and died. This story had huge media coverage as her parents released uncomfortable photos of Leah in hospital to show the result of taking MDMA. Leah’s death wasn’t a direct result of the pill as it was later founded that she drank 7 litres of water within 90 minutes, and it was water intoxication that caused the swelling of the brain. However, the pill hindered her ability to urinate and it’s been argued that if she never took the pill she would not have been so dehydrated to warrant the excessive water consumption.
I find that the music video for The Streets ” Blinded By The Lights” depicts the effects of recreational drugs in a very honest and realistic way. Although taking drugs at a wedding is not exactly a social norm!
Living in London and going to University exposed me to the exciting club culture there as well as the drug culture. I could see what was going on around me but at 18 and 19 I was still so naive. I remember asking a friend why she was chewing the inside of her mouth every other second, for her to turn around, laugh and say it was a 'special tablet'… and STILL I had no idea what she meant! People didn’t take it seriously and you would even mock the iconic anti-drug slogan “just say no” that was heavily prevalent in the 80s and 90s. Although in fairness, the song ‘Just Say No’ by the cast of Grange Hill is something I don’t think anyone can take seriously! Like we get drugs are bad… but this music video was unnecessary at best!
The fact I used to not bat an eyelid when friends would tell me how they took 10 pills in one night is insane to think of now. Taking an ecstasy pill or snorting a few lines of coke surely couldn’t be THAT bad if everyone was doing it… right?!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a born again morality guru trying to guide all you rebels without a clue to the light... as I sit upon the highest horse in the land... so don't get that twisted! What inspired this post was this...
Recently a friend of my best mate died after she collapsed in a pub when indulging in recreational drug use. It massively affected my buddy as she continues to mourn the loss of a mate as well as dealing with the anger she has at the stupidity and the waste of a life. Now all I can think of is how petrified I am of losing those close to me to something so fucked up and ridiculous.
I appreciate this sounds like a drawn out ramble of a public service announcement… and if you usually read my blog I’m pretty sure you may be thinking where’s the ‘mega LOLZ and bants’ and grotesque humour I often write about, but I guess there’s a time and place. Of course it’s your life so do as you please. I’m not gonna judge you because nobody is perfect and I guess that is what makes this world so damn interesting. All I’m saying is don’t be a complete dickhead and be careful. I’m just not prepared to go to a funeral of someone I love because they necked a dodgy pill or snorted lines of ketamine until their heart gave up... Because it’s all fun and games until you’re the new poster child for an anti-drug campaign.