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[ Opinion ] [ Personal Narratives ]

Becoming a Professional Druggie

By Thor Benson

I am now a professional druggie. That is not to say I am someone who is constantly, or even regularly, on drugs. But the fact I have chosen to experiment with a wide range of drugs semi-regularly seems to have helped me corner some kind of market in an industry driven by personal experience and primary sources.

To be clear, I am a professional journalist. I’ve written about everything from government surveillance to climate change to gay rights, but I am now (frequently) a professional druggie.

I still write about the aforementioned subjects, but I am not regularly sought after for such stories. I often present such stories and receive a statement of acceptance or a denial. Something that does regularly appear in my inbox is a hesitant request to access the archives of my past with mind-altering experiences. Sure, the guy or girl who graduated from a good college and does methodical, precise research could present the public with an acceptable drug narrative, but there is more appeal in contacting the person who has cut the parachute ropes and let themselves plummet into the void.

It is a comical process. The person who wants a good drug story cautiously presents it to me as if they are completely unaware of why they chose me to write this story. “Oh, you just seem to — uh — have a grasp on this subject,” they might say. What they’re really saying is: “I know you have done a lot of drugs, and I don’t want this intern trying to pretend they understand what it’s like to do drugs or what that culture is about.”

We have to be careful when we say “drugs,” too, don’t we? I’ve never done heroin or crystal meth, the undesirables of the drug world, but I have plenty of experience with things like LSD, MDMA and any other perception-bender you may or may not be familiar with. Along with marijuana, these drugs seem to be a point of curiosity for many in my generation (the millennials) who have or haven’t tried them. The mere mention of these substances tends to get clicks and instant debate.

Because of this, I’ve had the honor of interviewing and interacting with some of the most respected drug experts in the nation, which is quite a gift. For this reason, and some others, I am pretty content with being pigeonholed as a drug writer. If you have uncommon and eccentric skills, it is moronic to keep them locked away to preserve some kind of delicate uniformity.

I am not the expert of experts or the most experienced drug enthusiast in the world, but I am one of many who has decided to choose personal liberty over outward virtue and civility. I’ve chosen the path of experimentation and risk taking, and it is somehow working out for me — for now at least.

With all of that said, there must be a point. The point is, there must be a reason some take risks and make strange choices and are rewarded, while others follow the formula and meet expectations and receive no reward. Is it luck? Is it timing — or coincidence? I can’t say for sure. I think we should all just do whatever feels right at the moment it becomes possible. I feel like this has turned into some kind of degenerate self-help statement, but maybe the degenerates need a source of motivation too. I have no advice for you, but I hope you’re havin’ a weird time.