Sunday, June 21, 2015

Changing Times

When I landed at Gatwick last week and collected the hire car to drive to Canterbury where our trip really started, I believed that drunk driving was prevalent but had been stomped on harshly by police worldwide, certainly in England.  It's not a subject at the forefront of my mind but what kicked it all off was seeing the first road sign on the M20 saying "Drug Driving Can Kill".  I chuckled inwardly in a rather superior fashion as I thought it was a spelling mistake and mentioned this to Indy who was with me.

Boy, did I get an education.

I thought that it was the large numbers of trucks with eastern European and beyond number plates on them whose drivers took benzedrine or the equivalent to help them stay awake and able to drive for hours at a stretch.  Not so, for if you google "drug driving", you will find that in Australia it is more prevalent than drunk driving and that earlier in 2015 in the UK new laws had been put in place enabling police to stop cars and not necessarily breathalyse the driver, but do roadside tests for a whole list of banned substances like cocaine and cannabis.

But it was what Indy said that pulled back my ears.

He said that the UK is now the drug capital of Europe so he wasn't surprised at the roadsign then went on to say that here the drugs of choice were less smokable but more chemical than in the US, which is the other way around apparently.  Also many of the chemicals of choice are 'legal highs' which are even more dangerous as they are constructs by ex-students looking to pay off their student loans in a more profitable way than flipping hamburgers as jobs for new graduates are so few and far between.

These legal highs are basically chemicals and compounds that are freely available that with a little chemistry can synthesize other drugs such as ecstasy.  The authorities are banning them as fast as they can but these chemist-entrepreneurs are staying one step ahead by adding a new compound to the mix each time.

Trouble is these new synthetics have side effects that nobody has been able to gauge which is contributing to the higher incidence of mental disorders such as schizophrenia ...

Bloody hell!

So if student loans are waived, will all this stop?

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