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"Between quotation marks"

by Ernesto Morales


From the most remote time that is known, drugs have wreaked significant havoc on the population of different countries for different reasons and causes. And although adolescents and young people are the most affected due to their inexperience, older adults and even the elderly are not excluded from the statistics. Whether it is to get rid of fear, to instill courage in certain circumstances, to inject encouragement in the face of depression, to neutralize emotional stress or to increase the body's energy to face future physical or mental exhaustion, drugs have been the perfect resource. to achieve it, according to those hooked on substances.
It is a real shame that it is our most precious treasures: children and grandchildren, who suffer the most from addictions. Either by pretending to have a personality they think they lack, by feeling a little more courageous than usual in their daily lives, to try to impress a potential partner or to try to belong to a leadership group -both at school and in the neighborhood where they live, and from which they have been excluded without explanations-, resort to narcotics without contemplation and without listening to the voice of the elders of the family who alert them to the possible short and long-term effects of that whip of contemporary society._cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_
And it is not that in the 21st century we have discovered the use of amphetamines, drugs that
They cause acceleration between the brain and the body and make their users feel more mentally alert and physically active. They use it both when studying for exams or other challenges, and to stay more alert at work. Quite a challenge where young people -mostly immature- dare to venture. 
History has abundant examples of its consumption that have permeated massive stages without modesty. The Greek warriors of the time of the empire, for example, arrived drunk to the battles against the Romans - who had done the same - thanks to the high consumption of opium and wine. Meanwhile, the gladiators went out into the ring with their atrophied minds to face all kinds of beasts, driven by various stimulant drugs, but convinced that it was the best way to win or die, according to Homer's Iliad, where he recounts that the Hellenes smoked copious amounts of opium, mostly as an analgesic to endure the pain of wounds.
The Vikings for their part preferred hallucinogenic mushrooms and, centuries later, the Japanese kamikazes opted for methamphetamines. And it is that many soldiers immersed in bloody conflicts or about to be involved in them, have almost always resorted to some psychoactive substance to, in some way, reinforce their courage, improve their efficiency and leave fear behind.  
The use of alcohol before being measured on the ground with all kinds of weapons is the most popular element among civilizations, except Islam, whose traditions and many other evasions of reality, in accordance with their traditional aberrations, prefer abstention. However, in order not to be left behind and perhaps to feel more courageous and in tune with their opponents of the moment, they resort to other more dangerous psychedelic drugs with the purpose of emboldening themselves.
A classic example turned into a rumor with overtones of total truth is that of bullfighters from various countries who, before going out into the ring -where a 500-kilogram mass, all muscle and meat, raging piafa-, stimulate themselves with their narcotics. favorites: hashish, cocaine, amphetamines, etc., to face him armed only with a sword and a cloak. Another similar case is that of poachers of alligators, crocodiles and other wild beasts before entering the bush or the rivers of the jungle. Who or what prevents them from escaping from the reality they have to face? Only a strong drug does it. 
And it is that, somehow, all the civilizations that populate the planet at some point in their respective trajectories, have cast an eye on the prohibited drugs with the quiet intention of abstracting themselves from the fear that surviving at all costs in conflicts represents. . Reports have even been written that, although they would be an exception, some members of the combat forces of the United States during World War II and in Vietnam -in the latter they consumed the prohibited LSD, marijuana, ephedrine, heroin , opium, sedatives or hallucinogens- all with the aim of mitigating fear, as well as stimulating oneself at the prospect of fighting, winning or dying. 
A short time later, during the so-called Cold War, it was said in certain circles that the United States flirted with the idea of using drugs as a weapon of war by throwing LSD at Soviet troops to psychologically destabilize them. They also thought about bombarding them with pheromones, with the intention of making the soldiers sexually uncontrolled.
In cases of tribal conflict, according to some historians, the Aztecs and the Incas drank "pulque" or "aguamiel", a fermented drink that gave them courage and kept them in the fight. A classic example of the effects of drugs is the one that refers to how, during the Napoleonic wars at the beginning of the 19th century, infantry divisions received a triple ration of brandy to incite the soldiers to combat.
Another alarming figure is the one that tells that, at the end of the 19th century, more than 30,000 British soldiers consumed 2 million liters of rum a year. Those in the American colonies in the 18th century consumed more than 70 liters of rum per year per soldier. And, on this journey down the drug trail, I will not leave out morphine, which, during the American Civil War, was distributed in huge quantities as a pain reliever, leading to what was called "a massive epidemic of morphine addiction. And I will not omit the well-known detail that the army and the Russian population prefer to escape from the reality that they have had to live based on colossal ingestions of vodka. 
The 20th century was a turning point in the massive use of drugs in warfare. Both the Axis and Allied armies promoted the use of amphetamine and methamphetamine to combat their soldiers' sleepiness, boost their courage, and bolster their physical stamina.
And in this incursion through the history and use of addictions, the pioneers in the use of amphetamines for military purposes could not be missing. The Germans, for example, by creating their own drug known as "pervitin" which increases alertness, eliminates sleep and decreases fear. According to some prestigious historians, even Adolf Hitler himself became addicted to drugs, accepting the injections that his personal doctor inoculated him with opiates and other substances; in addition to the occasional chronicler who points out that the Führer was an uncontrollable addict of marijuana. 
Before concluding I want to add a reflection for those current addicts: There is not a single historical, scientific or contemporary evidence that indicates that drug use solves the problems that incline them to continue using it. Whatever you call it, from opium to fentanyl, disassociating yourself from reality, escaping from the moment in which you live, will under no circumstances be able to escape from it. The drug "kills". Set it aside. If you can't by yourself, seek help. 
And for those of you who have quivered on your legs at the prospect of "trying it": Be careful! A single slip in the wrong direction would lead them to vice, destruction and death. 
Dear readers, I hope these tips will help you in some way. successes!


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