So the other day, my friend and I were discussing the footy players who took "sleeping tablets" and got into trouble for it. Then we started chatting about the stupid stuff we did with drugs. When we started drinking. Whether we smoked. And whether and/or when our own children would start.
For me, I had my first alcohol experience at 5. Now wait, don’t call DOCS because it’s too late. That window of opportunity closed around 1981 and I’m pretty sure if the authorities didn’t care that I was driving around unsecured in the back of an EJ driven by my pissed father, they probably wouldn’t have had him arrested for feeding me beer in a medicine glass. Though in hindsight, perhaps they should have.
I am not even kidding when I tell you that he would get himself a beer, apparently I would request some and with Mum giving her blessing, would pour me about 20mls and off I would pop to wander the neighbourhood and talk to the birds in the trees. Parenting at its finest.
But my first non supervised, covert alcohol experience? I was 14. I was staying at my (still) best friend’s house and her parents were going out for the night. Green Light. We found a bottle of BOLS gin in their study, hooked in and promptly fell over the Webber bbq out the back. After picking up the black charcoal and fixing up the BBQ, Bobby Brown demanded we dance to My Prerogative up and down the hallway. That could have been when we ran our charcoaled hands up and down the walls. Maybe.
Bonnie’s parents, thankfully, were oblivious to the fact that we filled the Gin bottle up with water and we blamed the dog for the rest. Unscathed.
My first other drug? Marijuana. At about 15 I suppose. Like most kids, I had a go, but because I’d never smoked cigarettes, was a bit clueless about inhaling and exhaling, hence my lungs did not thank me. Nor did my Epoxy fringe that accidently caught fire when my friend was trying to light the bong in the 7/11 car park. Needless to say, getting stoned and I never really took off.
The most stupid experience with drugs? I was in grade 10. Probably 16 I guess. It was our big school Sydney/Canberra Trip. Trip by name, trip by nature. See, I get motion sickness and as this was all to be conducted on a bus; I took travel sickness tablets with me. Around about half way through this, somewhere in the Bonny Hills area, the boys cottoned on to the fact that say, taking 6 or 7 of these tablets, was akin to taking copious amounts of acid.
Now, up until this point, I was a total straight one eighty. At school. At home. At my part time job. I got good marks, didn’t shag boys, and didn’t talk back. So it was of course unexpected that I, along with my about 10 other girls, would also take the tablets and get faceless. But take them I did and running through the bush in my Pj’s at -2 degrees kind of gave the game away. That and one of the boys slept in his undies under the bus because he believed it was trying to leave without him.
I was the only girl to get caught, along with 3 other guys. We were VERY lucky not to be expelled. We were suspended for a week but the reputation lasted much longer. The worst of it was that I let my Mum go and defend me to the Principal. See, I told her I had taken a Panadol and coke, and wigged out. That old chestnut. I am so ashamed I let my Mum go into that office and defend her child who didn’t deserve her protection.
I don’t regret the above though you know? It scared the living shit out of me. I’ve never touched anything harder. Ecstasy, GHB etc etc. It’s around, it always was around, but man, one bad move and that’s your mind – gone. And I’m kind of fond of my mind.
I have a brother in law who has basically lost his life and massive potential from years of pot smoking. An incredible artist who now, on a good day, can work up the energy to drive to his mothers house. We’ve all got stories about how alcohol has broken down families. Good families, ones that without the addiction to the drink, would be very much an entity today. If you have never been touched by drug addiction, you are incredibly lucky.
And now, I have three children who are yet to experiment with drugs, but hope I’m a little bit more savvy than my mother was. Best keep a close eye on the Gin and the medicine glasses though.