Drugs and Artists

I know it's easy to sit back and point a finger at someone who's in the media spotlight and being a "bad person", but someone has to do it. Since I originally wrote this article, we have lost many, great, talented individuals to drug abuse. I know that they absolutely were aware of the dangers involved with recreational drug use and probably did not have the mental fortitude to care about this issue near the end of their lives. If you are an individual who has issues with addiction, then it may be an hourly experience of managing your life and actions. Additionally, I hope any person who is struggling with some type of unhealthy addiction is getting profesional help. That shouldn't be considered an option, but rather a part of your daily life. I'm not going to point a finger at anyone specific on that side. Instead, I'm going to express my opinion on how drugs affect Humans personally and socially from my point of view.

Alcohol - How many times has TMZ caught a famous person falling out of a Hollywood night club onto the sidewalk or street. Look, drinking is legal, but not required. Some people have a problem with self control. Once they reach a plateau of fame, they feel that it's time to party. Nothing wrong with that as long as you can remain in reasonable control of yourself. Successful actors are usually making enough money to hire a limo (or, at least a cab) that can drive them to and from the party site. But, instead, they insist on driving while they're so drunk that they can't see straight and they end up crashing their car. Then they hire a public relations person to lie about it for them. Noble? No brains.

Marijuana - Hmmm. I used to smoke many years ago and some of my friends still smoke, but I'm not on the fence about this issue. Please let me preface by saying that it absolutely has some positive qualities to it. People who are fighting cancer do benefit from the pain killing and appetite inducing qualities that marijuana has. I can take your mind off of tough issues for a while. And I still don't believe that it has any ill effects when taken recreationally in moderation. I repeat... in moderation. But, I don't think smoking pot has any true artistically creative benefits to it. As a matter of fact, I believe that it's a deficit to your psyche. The least creative period in my lifetime was when I was smoking pot. Talk about a substance that can inhibit you from doing anything... anything at all... except watching TV and eating. Oh I used to come up with amazing thoughts when I was stoned, but I never got off my ass to do anything about them. So, in essence, the marijuana was stifling my creativity by keeping me from being productive in my art. Two months after I stopped smoking, I had a creative explosion where many of my pastel paintings came from.

Yet, some people swear that pot makes them far more creative and brilliant. The point, here, is about brain usage. I'm about to impart to you some simple logic, so stay with me here... When you stop a portion of your brain from functioning, you are, in fact, using less of your brain. Therefore, when you are using less of your brain, you are more stupid at that point. How does that amount to brilliance? The logic for using pot as an intellect enhancement tool must be far beyond my intellectual prowess. If you don't believe that marijuana actually inhibits brain function then look it up in a search engine... If you can remember to do that.

Cocaine - Wow, talk about a bad one. I've never met a person on cocaine who didn't seem completely cut-off from the world around them. Oh, they seem to be talking a lot, but they seem to have immense trouble with listening. They appear to only hear their inner monologue and no outside stimuli seem to make it past their senses. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with anyone on coke? You may as well be talking to a television. Oh, people are supposed to be brilliant and fun when their snorting. But how fun is a person who doesn't recognize anyone but themselves? How brilliant is a person for doing this? Not very bright... particularly when they're on the flip side and coming down from the experience. Then they seem downright stupid and are definitely no fun to be with. Maybe they just need some more coke... Kidding.

Heroin - Some of our greatest musicians have been heroin addicts and many of them died from it. How glamorous! If you're doing heroin, you've got bigger problems than I can deal with here. GET... HELP... NOW!!!

Prescription Pain Meds - I've known people addicted to these substances. People who are very near and dear to my heart were completely hooked on these drugs. Vicodin, Hydrocodone (just to name two) are literally destroying peoples lives. Doctors who may have the best of intentions to help their patients through painful periods in their lives now become drug dealers for the giant pharmaceutical companies that are the producers of these powerful and highly addictive narcotics.

The only advice I could offer in the case of prescription pain meds is one of logic... One year, I had an operation where they hollowed out the head of my femur. In the 24 hours after the operation, I did not take any pain killers. The site of the surgery was still in shock and the nerves had not completely fired back up yet, so there wasn't much pain. The nurses would come in and say these exact words, "Mr. Cohen, if you don't manage your pain with the medication it may be difficult to control your pain after that". I did not believe those words. Not for one minute.

Instead, I waited for the pain to increase to the point where I actually needed the pain killer. When the pain got bad, I took the drug. Within 15 minutes, the pain went away. It took another 15 hours for the pain to come back to that level. When the pain got bad, I took the drug, the pain went away... After that it never returned to those levels. So, I never took another pain pill. My doctor was astounded to discover that I had healed far ahead of schedule. That was because I properly managed the pain... and my body. I wasn't simply beating the pain properly... I was healing the injury properly. I will explain that scenario in greater detail in a future blog on that very subject.

So I could go on and on about drug after glorious drug, but I'll take this a slightly different direction...

When was the last time you felt normal? You remember... That old friend you were hanging out with when everything felt right. The only substances in your body were proper food, water, and air...And you just felt good. That's "normal". That kind of makes "normal" feel like a good thing. Doesn't it? It's true. Feeling normal is supposed to be the good feeling. It's the way you were born. It's the way your body was designed. Give it a try. After a few doses of "Normal", I think you'll be hooked!