It’s good to see David Cameron getting involved in the debate over the trade of pesticides being sold as slimming aids over the Internet. The Prime Minister’s attention has been grabbed after the recent death of Sarah Houston, a 23-year old sufferer of anorexia, and bulimia, who was found dead in her bedroom after taking Dinitrophenol (DNP).
DNP was once used as a slimming aid, but fell out of favour after it was considered ‘too toxic’ for use as a dieting supplement. That was back in 1938, but the recent explosion in glossy magazine covers showing bodybuilders and airbrushed beauty queens has seen DNP being bought over the Internet to once again aid in slimming.
Caroline Noakes, the MP for Romsey and Southampton, has urged David Cameron to stop the sale of DNP after she said it has been responsible for 62 deaths from people hoping to lose weight. But DNP is allowed to be sold as a herbicide and it’s not the seller’s fault if the consumer decides to ingest it, hence the reason the Prime Minister will find it difficult to ban it.
If we want to live in a liberal society, where free will takes precedent, then we need to take responsibility for our own actions. There is always going to be people trying to sell us things that are harmful to our bodies, and so we need to make better choices. But some people need more help than others, such as the tragic case of Sarah Houston, and this is where the government, schooling system and parents need to provide as much awareness of these dangers as possible. In short, we need to lead by example and to show the children of the future that there is a better way. For this to happen quicker, we need the top to be better educated and willing to act. People looking towards the government are going to be very disappointed.
In the mid 1990s I was into the rave scene. Everyone was taking drugs and I succumbed for a number of reasons. I was a bugger for peer pressure when I was younger. I always had to prove to the world that I was tough and so this is one of the reasons I took drugs. The next, and more obvious reason was the high. I was never educated on the benefits or drawbacks of taking drugs, either in school or by my parents. I learned by experience and when I was high it was great and the comedown was a million times better than any hangover I had ever experienced. The damage that the drugs were doing to me on the inside was irrelevant as the instant gratification was far more overwhelming; and with a lack of direction and mentoring I didn’t care.
But the biggest problem with my level of drug taking was the interaction I had with my parents. I have always been open and honest with my parents and have spoken to them about everything that goes on in my head from sex, to drinking, to smoking and to drugs. They knew I was taking recreational drugs and they recommended that I should stop. I even remember my father calling me an idiot as I was coming down after a night where I had taken a gram of amphetamines. He was drunk and was falling from side to side as he delivered his volley. I had been drinking nothing but water all night and was completely lucid and aware of my surroundings despite coming down from the drug. His hypocrisy made me angry and defiant. How could this man tell me to stop taking drugs when he was high on one of the most destructive drugs on the planet?
In my mind, it was better the devil you know. I had to take some form of drug in order to enjoy myself, because that’s what everyone did. So I chose acid, amphetamines and amyl nitrate as my highs preferring them to the loss of control and the terrible hangovers that alcohol served. You have to have good role models in your life. People who lead by example and this is why I strive to make so many changes in my life. It’s all about those that I love and care about and in particular my son. I want to live as long as possible so I can see him grow and mature. I want to see his children and to teach him how to be a great role model for them. I also want him to do a Dr Spock and live long and prosper and so his health is paramount to me. I don’t want him to ever become ill and to fall into harm. So I choose not to drink, smoke, take drugs and eat the shit that the world tries to force down my throat. Will it be enough to prevent my son from taking DNP? I don’t know, but at least I will know that I have tried my very best.
There was one drug that I never took despite being very close to taking it, and that was ecstasy. People were telling me that is was the greatest high ever. That it increased the buzz whilst having sex and made everyone feel so happy and in love. Then I saw Leah Betts on her deathbed as her parents allowed the images to be shown on television screens all over Great Britain. That didn’t look like love to me. That didn’t look like a great high, and it was a comedown that Betts would never wake up from. There was no way on earth I was going to take ecstasy because I could see with my very own eyes that it kills.
Now we know that this doesn’t work for everyone. The images on packets of cigarettes are disgusting and yet people still look at them whilst lighting up and slowly killing themselves. But it worked for me. Maybe their needs to be something as radical as that needed to deal with DNP before it falls out of control?
My last word is on the intervention of the Prime Minister. People hate double standards. People love uniformity. So how can the PM ban substances like DNP after it kills 65 people and yet continue to glorify and take taxation from alcohol and cigarettes, which kills millions worldwide? What’s the difference? Do you know the harsh reality of that question? For every single excuse that drinkers and smokers will give for their reasoning behind poisoning themselves, the currently deceased Sarah Houston will have just as many.
Until people start thinking more consciously about why they do the things they do, think about root cause and think more long term gain than instant gratification high, people are going to die each and every day; desperate for the aid of a society that can’t even see what the hell is going on.
Have you ever had an experience with DNP? Please share it with Needy Helper.