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Drugs and Alcohol: Turning into the crackhead

Today I wanted to talk about something that may reside with many of you; some of you may say 'what is she talking about?' and some of you may half-heartedly nod and get on with whatever it was you're doing. The idea came after reading a set of statistics that reveal the assaults (verbal but mainly physical) carried out on rough sleepers whilst they were under the influence of substances, due to their vulnerability.

You'll be out and occasionally and its not that uncommon to see a usually dishevelled-looking character squandering about the streets, maybe a bit of singing going on or raucous shouting, and in the UK as we so prominently do, we would be quick to label this person as a crackhead.

We see them everywhere globally, but how many times have you been the crackhead?

Moretime you'll be walking down the street with a mate, and when you do see a crackhead nine times out of ten someone will make a remark, someone will snigger. I guess its somewhat amusing, but don't forget that was probably you from the get-go of Friday evening.

I mean, can we really be critical of stereotypical crackheads when we have an event called 'the sesh' dedicated to this shit? No, the answer is no. We say crackhead and we have the immediate image of a somewhat crazed human being, eyes gone, having just done a line of something or other or smoked whatever they could get their hands on, maybe yours has a can of something too. However, the way they act, completely unnaturally and in an animalistic way, out of place to other human beings, is what I wanted to focus on.

Drugs and Alcohol can turn you into a wildly different human being, make you do completely different and out-of-character things, and when in your system control you. Regardless of what you think you're doing for yourself by maybe limiting your intake, or not doing it on a certain night, don't think about the impact it's going to have on your body physically, think about the impact it will have on your head.

Some drugs have the ability to make you completely vulnerable, emotionally speaking, and often cause the recital of well-protected secrets to someone you wouldn't even consider yourself close with. Shocking for you when you come to realise it when you're sober, and for them on the receiving end. If it weren't for what you took would you even be talking to them at all? High chance that you wouldn't be. Then comes the uncomfortable feeling of regret, and the knowledge of 'That person knows about me'. It almost feels like a violation, except you, or crackhead you, put it on yourself. So you walk away, maybe apologise, feeling foolish, and just have to accept it and move on.

However, I'm not here to be the person moaning and groaning about the possible consequences of substance abuse. I just feel as if there is a side that is never really considered or spoken about. We always consider the physical risks (passing out, having to get your stomach pumped, so on) and are lectured to about that, but never really the emotional risks during the time. It has always interested me how people change in terms of willingness to talk and share things when under the influence; obviously there is the characteristic that when drunk at times people can tend to become overly affectionate (I'll rant to my friends about how incredible they are for example), but there is also a huge amount of compressed emotions that tend to spiral. It's much more easy to be open while under the influence due to a lack of paranoia or unsettlement regarding other people knowing certain things.

Is it a bad thing? Everyone feels slightly idiotic when they look back on the events, so maybe in that respect yes; and in addition, you can feel exposed and almost overly apologetic towards whoever you hurled your words at, so yes. However, it's a sign that you just aren't being open with yourself and other people enough. By being under the influence you've lost the usual paranoia over opening up, and actually relieved yourself of a lot of trouble and difficulty, admitting that you need support. It makes total sense, but its not how you want others to see you.

Its part of this closed-minded culture that we are part of day to day; if we do open up to someone we wouldn't usually have even spoken to, we're always quick to dismiss it and act like it never happened (probably apologise with a casual message and do your best to have them view it as something to brush off their shoulder). I think it is time for that aftermath action to stop; confront whatever is going on and do your best to have a think about everything. Clearly if you haven't been able to have a good time due to being ambushed by any difficulties occurring in your life, then they are important enough to open up to someone about and be frank.

If you're refraining from speaking up because you don't want your friends or family to know then just know that you don't have to tell them. There are other places you can go, this one I know is random but it is genuinely useful:

No names, faces, ages, anything. You could be someone completely different. Your privacy isn't breached and you can share what you want to share. There isn't any residing pressure in the future to continue talking about what you're struggling with, and it does feel good to get circling worries out of your head. Many of you may think if I just sit on these chat rooms all day and no, no I do not, but I can vouch for the fact that if you're a private person who tells themselves that they don't need to talk: a) you definitely need to talk and b) this is the place for you.

I hope this article made some sense, it was lighter than what I usually pollute your feeds with. I'm working on a podcast series in which I'll be solo for the first few episodes and then once we get out of this lockdown process I planning on having guests on. I'm going to be looking at a lot of societal but also political topics, if anyone has any contributions then just DM me! I’ve also now got an official website handle bmt, never been more productive in my life; all because of coronavirus.

Anyway, have a good couple of days,

I have nothing else to do so I'll publish another article soon,

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