The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Mayor’s drug past blows up argument on addiction

3 min read
Canada made news headlines this week when Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted to using crack cocaine, but he did not step down from his current position and maintained every intention of reelection.

crackcocaineBy KATIE REDMILES

Canada made news headlines this week when Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted to using crack cocaine, but he did not step down from his current position and maintained every intention of reelection.

His justification for the alleged rumors was that he smoked crack cocaine once, a year ago and was most likely in a “drunken stupor,” as reported by Paula Newton and James Hanna of CNN.

“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But…do I? Am I an addict? No,” Ford said when questioned on the matter.

After further investigation, police found a video of the mayor smoking what looked like a crack pipe.

The video took place last winter, not matching up with the mayor’s chronology of his usage. They also discovered a photo of what appeared to be the mayor in front of a “chop house,” where crack is produced.

The mayor’s sentiments about his own substance abuse is one shared by far too many people today, being that one can “try” highly addictive substances once and not become addicted.

He also proves that when someone who is caught with such substances, what they say about their past with it should be taken with a grain of salt, or rather a gram.

Drugs, especially highly addictive breeds, such as crack, heroine and meth, are chemically designed to hook a person immediately.

Crack itself works by entering the blood stream rapidly and then giving the user a sense of euphoria for a short period of time, making the come down experience depressing and anxiety ridden.

“Crack cocaine is one of the most powerful illegal drugs when it comes to producing psychological dependence. It stimulates key pleasure centers within the brain and causes extremely heightened euphoria…a tolerance develops quickly—the addict soon fails to achieve the same high experienced earlier from the same amount of crack cocaine,” is the description cited on the Foundation for a Drug Free World website.

It is true that the effects of crack cocaine are known to be exaggerated due to racial prejudices in the areas it is most prevalent, but this does not take away from the fact that cocaine, whether it be in powder or rock form, is addicting and chemically imbalances someone’s brain.

There is no such thing as a “recreational crack user” or any other heavy drug like methamphetamine or heroin.

The body will change to the drug, and, furthermore, it is not possible for someone to control their addiction by means of their own brain power.

Rehabilitation and help from a professional are the only safe ways to digress from unhealthy habits of substance abuse.

In fact, alcohol addiction withdrawal can be fatal to a person, thus it must be done with medical advice and supervision.

The mayor’s story and continuing revelations reiterates the important fact people need to understand: once an addict, always an addict.

The tragic death of actor Corey Monteith this summer further proves the dangers of believing that addiction is something someone can handle on their own.

He did go to rehab and went through the process of getting clean, but only after many years of ignoring the issue.

Then in the limelight, he did not let anyone else know of his struggles.

Yet, everyone around him was ready to believe he was clean.

Addicts will lie, they will find a way to get the drug and no amount of love and happiness given by the people around them will change that fact.

Mayor Ford can tell the public that he only abused crack cocaine once, and he may or may not have been in a “drunken stupor,” but, ultimately, it will be revealed that this was not a onetime incident.

He can apologize a thousand times over, but that is an emotional response to a chemical reaction in the body that cannot be controlled emotionally.

The apology will not suffice for the high his body will crave.

The mayor should step down and be an example to other struggling substance abusers, by seeking the assistance needed to balance their life in a healthy way.