No one ever asks me why I don’t shoot heroin.

…yet everybody asks me why I don’t drink alcohol!

In my social circle, it’s a general opinion that heroin is extremely destructive – only junkies do heroin, those ugly homeless people with bad skin, prostitutes and low-life men. The cliche of a heroin addict.

Socially, the question of using heroin, well …it never comes up!

Because I’ve quit heroin, and because I’m an addict, Recovery from shooting heroin addiction drugs and alcohol at houghton House means I’ve had to quit ALL mind and mood-altering substances. So I don’t – well, can’t drink socially – or anywhere else! I’ve had to explain this decision that I cannot have a drink more times than I can count. The funny thing about this is that alcohol is arguably more harmful than many illegal drugs, heroin included. Alcohol is one of the most addictive drugs ever discovered. It’s so addictive that heavy drinkers are at risk of death when they quit cold turkey. Something that is not true for the majority of other drugs.

Alcohol use is treated so differently from illegal drug use precisely because it is so normalised in society thanks to its status as a legal intoxicant.
When you don’t drink, you start to notice how much of problem alcohol is for so many people. After spending numerous social events sober, and observing, you start asking yourself, why anyone would want to do this to themselves? Acting stupid, looking stupider and losing your dignity at the bottom of a shot glass.

Unfortunately somehow, when you’re sober, people insist on hanging all over you, telling you their deepest darkest secrets. Most people actually don’t understand what I mean when I say “I don’t drink.” I’ve heard everything from “Come-on champagne isn’t really alcohol, right?” to “Yeah, I know you don’t drink, but here just have one!” For not taking part in this social activity I’m automatically branded as abnormal unless I can give a satisfactory explanation for declining to drink alcohol.

There are times when I will put Appeltiser into a champagne glass, as it looks just like champagne to alleviate the question “Why aren’t you drinking? Are you ok? You’ll spoil the party if you stay sober!” Other times when I’ll say “I’m allergic to alcohol, as it gives me terrible asthma” – I get “Oh dear, you poor darling that must be terrible that you can’t drink…” as a response.

If I replied “I can’t drink, because if I drink, I’ll trash the place! I’ll steal your boyfriend – and your car – and I’ll start taking heroin in large quantities!”
I would be stared at in horror, open-mouthed, ostracised, given the cold shoulder and be asked to leave immediately.

Why is it acceptable to drink alcohol but not to take heroin?
Simply because one is legal and the other is not?
Yet they are both as deadly!

Ok… it’s not as simple as that …but then again – it is as simple as that…

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