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From the medicinal marijuana debate to the increased use of methamphetamine, recreational drugs are at the forefront of New Zealand media. Often these stories are presented to us in a sensationalist manner, with complex issues of addiction reduced to purely law and order. The discussion about drugs from people around us can also be extreme:
Your dad: “If you smell marijuana, you’ll end up addicted and in prison and what will I tell your mother then??”
Gross guy at a house party: “Actually, LSD unlocked a new part of my mind. A lot of people don’t know that. I do my best drawings on acid…”
We know these people are not quite correct. Yet there are so many myths wrapped around drugs that it’s often difficult to find out the facts.
Say Why To Drugs is an informative podcast hosted by psychologist Dr Suzi Gage and rapper Scroobius Pip. It takes a neutral stance on recreational drugs, attempting to seek out facts alone. Each episode is around half an hour long and covers a different drug, outlining its origins as well as the harms and benefits of use. The show also has a section dedicated to examining the accuracy of myths surrounding drugs. Gage and Pip are English, and accordingly discuss drugs that are especially prolific in the UK. However, this show easily translates to a New Zealand audience as domestic issues of law enforcement and legality are not debated.
The presenters have a great dynamic, making the information accessible. Gage discusses the effects of recreational drugs on the human body and summarises the most recent research in a way that is simple and easy to understand. Pip is her enthusiastic pupil, asking questions and speaking honestly about his past experiences taking recreational drugs.
The scariest theme that persists throughout the podcast is how little is known about many recreational drugs due to difficulties in researching them. In order to discuss any social issue effectively, we need to be adequately informed. Start by informing yourself, and give Say Why To Drugs a listen.
Episode to start with: MDMA