Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Ahhhh, Public Service Announcements. AKA PSAs. they are put there by the government and advocacy groups to "inform" you of dangers or threats you need to be aware. Sometimes they go over the top and other times their message gets lost in the wind.

My current favorite is a radio PSA about Hepatitis B. The scenario goes like this:

"Did you hear about Becky? She's got Hepatitis B"

"How did she get it?"

"From that one time she took drugs in college"

"But that was 20 years ago, And she only did drugs that ONE time!"

"Yes, But symptoms can take years before showing up..."

Okay stop right there, Let's assume that Becky didn't lie and only did illegal drugs that ONE time. It seems outlandishly absurd that the one time she took drugs it was through a needle, Most likely heroin. I mean, you're a good kid avoided drugs in high school. Then you go to college. You're away from home for the first time in your life. You are now in charge in making your own decisions.

And yes, We will make some foolish decisions. We'll date the wrong person, dress in stupid clothes, Listen to tacky music, think Ayn Rand is brilliant, and try some illegal drugs.

Most people who do will try pot, cocaine or maybe some thing a little stronger like LSD or mushrooms for one or two times and not do it again. Others become regular users of pot or cocaine and others will dive into harder drugs and become junkies. It usually gets to this point before anyone thinks of doing anything like heroin or other intravenous drugs. You have to let yourself go and not be squeamish about putting needles in your body min order to try something like heroin and beyond reason to share a needle.

So the idea that the one time you do drugs by using a shared needle is false to me. I can't see any scenario where that happens. If you somehow get to college without ever doing drugs, Peer pressure is unlikely to overwhelm one's nervousness of needles itself. The commitment to inject yourself is far greater than putting a smoking object in your mouth after seeing others do it or sniffing something up your nose. It takes skill to poke yourself in the right vein and huge amount of trust to have someone else do it to you outside of a medical environment.

Now let's say Becky isused to injecting herself because she's diabetic, The likelihood that she would be so willing to SHARE a needle is even more absurd. At the very least she would have a supply of her own needles on hand and wouldn't be so cheap to share a needle after being used by someone else.

So sorry PSA, It just rings false. At the very least I expect Becky's friends to be too naive to believe Becky's likely story.

No comments: