Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Politician admits to using drugs: lots and lots and lots of them

Dave Rowntree - who, apparently, is training to become a barrister, has contributed a think-piece to The Guardian on how we get people off drugs:

So what I'm hoping for in 2008 is a strategy based on research, education and harm reduction. Some evidence suggests that the proportion of people who may be at serious risk of becoming dependant could be as high as one in six. If so, taking drugs is really like playing Russian roulette. Most people will get away with it, but for some it will mean their death. And just like Russian roulette, you won't know which group you're in until it's too late.


However, there's a sneaking suspicion that the real point of the article is this piece:
The problem of dependent users seems equally baffling. Why do they continue using after losing their home, family, job, and even their limbs? Happily I can tell you, because I've been there. Many addicts think mood-altering chemicals affect them in a different way to normal people. Certainly when I first discovered alcohol, and later cocaine, the effect was almost religious in its intensity, and all my problems seemed to melt away. I didn't start using regularly until the 90s, but as my tolerance increased, I used more.

[...]

I managed to get help before they destroyed my life, and these days I'm active in the recovery community. The key point is that all the way along, I thought my behaviour was normal and it was the rest of the world that had gone mad. I had no idea my experience was different to anyone else's because I had nothing to measure it against.

Rowntree - apparently it's David these days, by the way - has been reported to be considering seeking adoption as a Labour candidate for the next election. Could this article be less about floating the idea (that, erm, drugs are bad, mkay) and more about being able to create a clear and honest way to say "Of course Mr. Rowntree has had drug issues in the past, but he has spoken about these and they were a matter of public record before he sought the nomination..."

[Thanks to James McCabe for the link]


5 comments:

James said...

Dave/David Rowntree took drugs? I'm quite surprised by that. Sure, the rest of the band look like the sort of proper popstars who you'd expect to partake, but... DAVE ROWNTREE? As in the sensible drumming pilotting ginger-Steve-Lamacq-a-like Dave Rowntree? Crikey.

hendrik said...

It's always the quiet ones.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what that nice Alex James is up to these days? Haven't heard much from him lately.

I bet it's something exciting.

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