Blaming men and our patriarchal society for the rise in drug use among young women makes a lot of sense. I agree with much of what you say in this post. However your entire argument rests on the assumption that drug use is fundamentally a bad thing. Something that should be avoided at all costs. There is nothing positive or empowering about young women who choose to get high. In fact they only resort to this toxic lifestyle choice because society, male dominated society, has caused them to feel awful about themselves. Thus they get high as an escape.

I cannot argue that for many women and indeed many men drug use is a crutch, a way to escape the everyday pain they experience. However there exists a population of drug users who use not as an escape from the awfulness of their current situation but simply because they find it fun. They enjoy it for what it is. They like the feeling of being high. Yes it is an escape from reality but so what. Reality is ok most of the time but getting high is empowering. I can’t pretend to speak for women, yet alone for young women, but for myself getting high was the one opportunity I had to feel totally in control. The only way I knew how to do something for no other reason than pure self interest. I never got high because somebody else told me too or expected me to, I got high because I wanted to.

The examples you discuss in your post might very well be as you describe. Young women in pain looking for a way to escape that pain for a moment at least. They use as a mechanism to facilitate that escape. However at least consider the possibility that they choose to get high because they simply enjoy it. They find it fun. They enjoy being high for its own sake. They find it empowering. Of course it is likely that both reasons drove their ultimate decision. No matter the mix of justifications, to condemn young women or any persons for their decision to use drugs is fraught with complications. The default position that all drug use is wrong and deserving of condemnation cannot be justified.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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