Opinion

Intelligent people making stupid decisions

The Question of Common Sense.

When I first came to UM, I hard a hard time getting adjusted to the life and ways of the United States. Life here is extremely different from that of the island on which I grew up; I had a serious case of culture shock, and there are some things that I was rather rudely introduced to and that I refuse to ever get used to. Drugs are one of them.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not naive. I know drugs exist. My family has dealt intimately with substance abuse. I know that it is very difficult to control drug use. Barbados is a big center for smuggling. Too small to grow anything on, it’s used as a transfer point between Trinidad and Jamaica. People have tried some pretty interesting methods for smuggling drugs, mainly marijuana and cocaine, into and out of the country.

Drugs are all over on campus. I personally know many people here who smoke marijuana on a regular, if not daily, basis. It is a fact that there are dealers on campus who sell weed. I know of one who sells ecstasy. There are hideaways on campus where kids go to smoke. Many of them leave campus and go to friends’ apartments to smoke. I have witnessed someone roll a blunt. Not wanting to get involved in a fight with that person, I left the room. I know people who keep a little stash in their rooms. These people, after a night of poisoning their own bodies, boast about how high they were and they report proudly what idiots they made of themselves because they were so wasted. Of course, they just call it “having a good time”.

I knew that I would be confronted with drugs. The way that I was raised was to say “no thank you” and continue about my business. I was taught from a young age how dangerous drugs are to one’s health. We all know this. Not only are they dangerous, they are illegal.

So I do not understand how people whom I know are intelligent can brag about how hammered they got drinking and smoking weed. These people whom I know are intelligent throw it all away by making incredibly stupid decisions.

Some happily excuse themselves saying tobacco is worse for you than weed. Let’s weigh the facts. The nicotine in cigarettes makes blood platelets sticky, increasing the risk of blood clots. Tar collects in the lungs, creating extra mucus and reducing the tissue’s elasticity. Carbon monoxide reduces blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Smoking marijuana also has devastating effects on the body: It affects nerve cells in the brain, interfering with feeling and perception. These nerve cells are eventually destroyed, permanently altering the brain’s learning and memory functions. And scientists have found smoking marijuana also puts users at risk of developing lung cancer. The study findings refute the argument that marijuana is safer than tobacco.

Cocaine is just as dangerous. It causes heart attacks, seizures, strokes, and respiratory failure. Mixing drugs and alcohol is even more dangerous. It speeds up both the highs and the side effects. Reality bites, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, most users have the attitude that “it can’t happen to me.” I cannot respect anyone who does drugs and boasts about it.

How can anyone be proud of the fact that they are abusing their bodies and their minds? What is the point of smoking oneself into oblivion?

It’s the same with alcohol. Where is the fun in getting so drunk that you are violently sick for 24 hours afterward?

Anyone can have fun without alcohol and certainly without drugs.

Amanda Hoyos is a freshman majoring in marine science.

November 30, 2001

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.