We have all heard the tired and feeble argument against cannabis which claims it is a gateway to other more harmful substances. In formal logic this kind of claim is called the Slippery Slope Fallacy:
The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question. In most cases, there are a series of steps or gradations between one event and the one in question and no reason is given as to why the intervening steps or gradations will simply be bypassed. This “argument” has the following form:
A) Event X has occurred (or will or might occur).
B)Therefore event Y will inevitably happen.
This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious because there is no reason to believe that one event must inevitably follow from another without an argument for such a claim. This is especially clear in cases in which there is a significant number of steps or gradations between one event and another.
And while statistical models based on correlation may appear to back up the gateway drug claim, no causal mechanism has been found to give the idea any scientific validity. This is why most intelligent people are wary of statistics, and why predatory people use them as propaganda.
“There are lies, damned lies and statistics.” -Mark Twain
For the sake of argument, however, let us assume that gateway drugs actually exist, and explore how we may be pretty much doomed to avoid them from the very beginning of our lives. Everything that we consume or experience changes our chemistry and consciousness, starting from the day we are born until the day we die. In light of that, these common substances must contribute to the escalation into hard drugs later in life, according to the logic of those making gateway claims.
What could be more wholesome than the life giving sustenance produced naturally by a mother for her infant child? Well, what if I told you that mom’s DIY dairy is loaded with opiates?
Breast milk contains a protein called casein, which then breaks down during digestion into opiates called casomorphins. Casomorphins are about 1/10th as powerful as morphine, which is still pretty hardcore, especially for infants. These opiates help to calm the baby which reduces stress and induces sleep to aid in the healthy development of the child. They also act as analgesics to reduce pains from growth, teething and the bumps and bruises acquired while learning how to human. Further, they are quite addictive, which facilitates dependency and bonding between mother and child.
Yeah, that is right, breast milk is like the free fix a dealer gives you to get you addicted so you eventually depend on them – except that dealer is your mom.
So unless you were born lactose intolerant, or your mother was a frigid prude too repressed to bare chest to even her own child, chances are you were exposed to opiates right from the beginning when you were most susceptible to the imprint conditioning that will determine much of who you become later in life. Natures solution to feeding newborn mammals is to straight up pump them full of gateway drugs from the very moment they are born. Well played.
Opiates are not the only party favor hiding out in mom’s melon punch. A cup of breast milk also contains about 17 grams of sugar, while the same amount of Coca Cola has about 26 grams of the sweet stuff. A baby will drink an average of 25-30 ounces of breast milk a day, which is the equivalent of a can and a half a day cola habit. Yet this is nothing compared to the amount of sugar the average child in the developed world will eat on a daily basis and throughout the rest of their lives.
Not only does sugar incite neuro-chemical processes almost identical to those of opiates and other drugs, it can be every bit as addictive. Brain scans have confirmed that sugar consumption creates brain activity almost identical to the use of narcotics. Studies also confirm that those who binge on sugar are more likely to develop mental and physical dependency no different than that experienced by an alcoholic or junkie.
Yet unlike harder drugs, sugar is so commonplace that even the common five year old user is resourceful enough to find a fix without any assistance from an
dealer adult. A variety of potentially habit forming sugars are naturally present in many foods. And not everything sugary is sweet, as the substance is added to many kinds of food for a variety of reasons. So avoiding sugar is not really an option, unless you are raising children with the aim of instilling a wide range of neuroses for obsessive compulsive dietary intolerance .
And like its powdered friends crack and meth, sugar will turn you into a hyperactive freak while rotting your teeth out. You ever been to a playground? You ever been to a playground on birthday cake?
Most people do not realize just how profound the effects of caffeine can be on their body and mind, let alone how identical those effects can be to those of narcotic stimulants. Yet having once been kidnapped by a pair of dangerous Russian spies masquerading as strippers who forced me to do lines of cocaine with them on the tank of a dive bar toilet, I can vouch for the similarities.
Caffeine is about the only addiction that we joke about having to appease before beginning any other daily tasks, without intending any irony. And besides being highly addictive, it can cause a great number number of health problems and lower the basic quality of life.
Caffeine can cause high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attacks, insomnia, incontinence and even death, just to name a few issues. That is if you were even lucky enough to be born because your would-be mother put her fertility, pregnancy or your life at risk by using it heavily. But if suffering from hypercardia while sleep deprived and urinating uncontrollably until you die prematurely aren’t things you are particularly concerned about, maybe the source of that life-giving caffeine in your pep punch won’t bother you much either.
The factories in which most of the worlds caffeine is synthesized mostly reside in developing countries where standards tend to be pretty chill. An author who was researching a novel on caffeine visited the world’s largest caffeine producing plant in China and was able to sum up what he saw in one word – “sketchy”.
So until some high school chemistry teacher gets terminal cancer and decides to start cooking and selling the highest quality caffeine available in order to set his family up after he is gone, those cans of energy drinks we love will remain the beverage equivalent of trailer park meth. Sure, it’ll give you wings, but it will probably someday also pull them off mid flight.
A few years after having escaped the Russian spy strippers, I had an unfortunate run in with some other strippers who just so happened to be Armenian terrorists doing recognizance while keeping their cover by working at a place called Barney’s Bounce House where I went a few times a week – but only because they have the best wings. These ladies slipped some meth in my Manhattan while I wasn’t paying close attention and within just a few sips I was back in fourth grade during that two weeks that my parents tried Ritalin because the school said I had a problem concentrating on boring books by long dead authors and showing interest for calculating train meetings. Turns out meth and ADHD drugs are pretty much the same thing.
Since then I have become far more conscious of the dangers of topless dancing and the international espionage it is secretly teeming with.
Many studies claim that drugs like Adderall and Ritalin do not increase the risk of addiction later in life for the children that they are prescribed to. At the same time it is noted that children diagnosed with ADHD or related ‘diseases’, the things which prescription stimulants are often prescribed to children for the treatment of, are more likely to grapple with addiction as adolescents and adults.
The tricky thing about these claims is that hyperactivity disorders do not really fit the model of a physical disease, and many reliable experts claim that there is not even any such thing as ADHD or its family of childhood ailments. So if a biological cause has not been unquestioningly verified for the ‘symptoms’ of a disease that may not actually be a disease, it seems far more likely that it is probably the prescription drugs causing substance abuse later down the road.
While I may not have the scientific credentials required by big pharma and the government agencies it has in its pocket, I am fairly adept at seeing through agendas and using logic to view beyond statistical smokescreens, which I have proven in the past by twice uncovering international plots involving foreign aggressors, nipple tassels and surprisingly genius choreography to Incubus songs.
Even if you formula feed, excise sugar and caffeine from their diets and ignore the school counselors (who graduated in the top half of his correspondence class) recommendation for Adderall, your kids are almost guaranteed to experiment with the biggest gateway drug of all – fun.
I could easily make the argument that fun causes a spike in pleasurable brain chemicals like adrenaline and dopamine, which is really no different than what drugs do, but that seems a bit too obvious this far along in our exploration. So rather than focusing on the objective pitfalls of fun addiction, let’s take a look at the subjective properties of having a good time, and how it can lead you from the merry-go-round to the methadone clinic.
We can all remember times as children that we were flying high on the fun plane when some dreaded adult figure snatched us from our joyous reveries mid flight. There is no crash like it. Likewise, you can probably remember trying to repeat any joyful activities you ever experienced on as many later occasions as possible, even when the edge had long worn down. Fun is addictive, and one hardly needs to conduct a scientific study to get to that simple truth.
The thing about drugs is that they are usually pretty fun to do. Sure, sometimes addiction takes drug use over the edge into a sad, pathetic dependency devoid of any joy, but for the most part ingesting psychotropic chemicals is a blast. Or at least it seems that way while you are on them. Heck, some drugs can even make you feel like you invented good times.
So if you had a childhood that was full of fun and then are one day thrust into the total bummer of adulthood, drugs might start to seem like a pretty good idea for getting a fun fix in your ever-narrowing windows of free time. The only way to avoid an addiction to super happy times is to avoid them in childhood. Of course then you will likely grow up with any number of crippling mental illnesses that you will probably self-medicate for using whatever you can get your hands on.
There is just no way around it, life is trying to turn you into a junkie through a lifelong series of gateways that nobody could hope to avoid.
Since there are many people who have cleared the ever-present obstacle course of gateway drugs that is childhood, and lived their entire adult life without any addictions to government scheduled narcotics, it seems unlikely that the scare tactic of labeling marijuana a gateway drug has any considerable merit whatsoever.
“Marijuana is not a drug. I used to suck tits of women thirty five years my senior for breast milk. Now that’s an addiction, man. You ever suck some old ladies titties for marijuana? I didn’t think so.”
Not trying to raise an addict? Then spread the word: Dare to keep kids off breast milk, sugar, caffeine, prescription drugs and fun.