I was appalled to read the Daily Mail's lead story last weekend about Amazon selling legal highs, as I finished ordering a bout of birthday presents for my 6 year olds birthday on Amazon. Had I missed a trick in not buying him some Salvia or Meow Meow whilst there? Or maybe I'll just get some as party favours to thank the 13 year olds coming to help out on the day...I mean there's nothing wrong with it surely, its on Amazon?
But there is something wrong with it. Should you be able to buy 'legal highs' from the online equivalent of Tesco or MacDonalds? When drugs known to be poisons are not only available, but on a key retail website where tacitly they are promoted as NOT dangerous despite any warnings on the bottle simply by being there alongside underpants as and toys. Tell me, when did the inscription 'SMOKING KILLS' stop people from having a fag? .
Thankfully Amazon have been pressured into taking down said legal high products for sale. But this is a good example of exactly why I disagree with the decriminalisation of drugs proposals.
Yes I think we should divert those busted for minor drug crime into treatment, but I absolutely do not see the point if all we are doing is increasing the users at the other end of the line. We need to contain from both ends - and places like Amazon should be slapped on the wrist.
It's all good news for me of course, running a treatment centre I am well placed for the increase in business. But this is not why I do what I do. Treatment is about picking up the casualties, and is a worthy and vital part of society. But the real focus should be on intervention, not on those already using and intervening on their journey into the justice system. But intervening at school, in the home.
Addiction runs in families, it is fostered behind closed doors in ways that manifest later in drug and alcohol addiction and misuse. It is about unhappiness, lack of self-regulation, arrogance and entitlement and sorrowful low self-esteem. It's about how a person relates to the world and feels about himself. Chemical addiction is bred within families of existing chemical dependence or co-dependency.
I am so frustrated by the kind of message we are giving out which school children and their parents listen to - I know they do because its part of my job to speak with them. A role I am privileged to fulfil. I am often astonished at the nativity of this same middle class population of parents whose knowledge extends little beyond a good white wine while their uniformed counterparts are busy online...
Complain to Amazon if you agree. I have.