Young, Wild, and Free: How Drug Use Makes You Anything But
"So what we get drunk, so what we smoke weed, we're just having fun, we don't care who sees, so what we go out, that's how it's supposed to be, living young and wild and free," sings Bruno Mars on Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa's hit single. As expected with almost any RnB/hip-hop song, it invaded the airspace for quite some time. It also became the anthem for those who, well, like getting high. Bob Marley would've been the better, classier option for so many reasons, but that's a discussion for another day.
Sure, the song presents itself as the perfect embodiment of YOLO - your happiness (is it even happiness?) above all, to hell with everything else. But it also doesn't try to hide its stance towards the use of illegal drugs. While adults in their right minds don't need any warnings for that, the case is not quite the same for the younger generation. Who knows, the song could have been the trigger for someone to start using drugs. That someone could be someone you care deeply about.
The Country's Bane
Moreover, for a country like the Philippines - where poverty is rampant and the politics is worse than a teleserye - the last thing we need is a song that further promotes drug use.
In 2012, the United Nations listed the country as having the highest rate of methamphetamine use (in other words, shabu) in East Asia. That same year, the Dangerous Drugs Board said the number of Filipinos hooked on illegal drugs is at 1.7 million - a number that the authorities doubted for being "low." You'll probably agree that 1.7 million is indeed a small figure, compared to what we hear about in the news. Up until now, the fight against illegal drugs continues, and it'll take a while to purge this one for good.
Drug users have their own reason(s) for what they do. For some youngsters, they view drugs as a way to rebel, experiment, and fit in, while some see it as a way to deal with boredom or a form of escape from life's morale-crushing circumstances. Whatever the reasons or motives behind the act, drug use only leads to one thing: a more chaotic life.
"But it feels so good," reasons the addict. The next thing you know, you're knee-deep in debt and more wrecked than ever. Drugs present a unique form of ecstasy, albeit an illusory one. The sensations may be heavenly or beyond imagination, but it does nothing good for you - no matter how cliche or preachy that sounds.
For one, it doesn't make you in any way younger. If anything, it brings you closer to death every second. Each puff, snort, or injection leads to more unnatural chemicals in your body, which has of course its impact on your health. And that's just the biological side of it, how much more on the psychological and social departments?
Sure, the sensation of being high may bring out your wild side. Be it in bed or elsewhere, it can deliver that extra dose of adrenaline. But at what cost? You might end up getting someone pregnant or injuring yourself in a senseless and barbaric brawl. It's downright stupid.
Lastly, you might think the vice sets you free, but does it? With the temporary ecstasy it presents, you entrap yourself in an endless cycle of dependence. The next thing you know, you have come to need the drug. Although you might think it provides you some liberty, it actually fences you inside a smaller cage. Plus, things could actually be a little more literal - you won't be free once the authorities get a hold of you. Remember: violation of the country's anti-drug laws may merit life imprisonment.
By now, saying drugs do you more harm than good is moot; that's just way too obvious. Rather than drag yourself down into a spiral of despair, dependence, and damn-my-own-life mindset, take the logical route and have fun through different means.
You can still be young, wild, and free sans the trouble brought about by drug use. And really, that path is much better.