Recent events should make it fairly clear that the war on drugs is a dismal failure. Debate rages (as it should) about what might work and today it seems fitting to look at how creative people help in profound and very personal ways.
Now, you might assume that creative people tend to be more susceptible to addiction than the rest of us — think Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Philip Seymour Hoffman … the list goes on. But creative people may also offer the best solution to the problem by expressing their personal experiences through their art in a way that touches us deeply and gives those of us who might fall into addiction something to hold on to.
One of my favorite young artists, Tristen, who’s appearing at Brighton Music Hall tonight with Jeremy Messersmith, has a wonderful song with a catchy tune and simple, profound lyrics that express, through pop music bliss, her resolve not to feed her friend’s habit while continuing to love and care for him — Here’s the chorus.
I will never falter, I will never fear
For I’ve seen the demons love can conquer disappear
Watch her video
Closer to home, local rising star, Chelsea Berry’s song You Me and Mary shows us how drugs can ruin a relationship. Listen here:
Oliver Stone, in his cautionary movie The Doors, demonstrates how drugs and excess killed one of rock music’s most creative geniuses. This is the best anti-drug experience you could ever give your kids. Make them sit through the whole thing before they’re 12.
If recent events aren’t enough to convince you the war on drugs is folly, watch Steven Soderbergh’s brilliant film Traffic. As Roger Ebert says in his 4-star praise of this extraordinarily creative film, “This war is not winnable on the present terms, and takes a greater toll in human lives than the drugs themselves.” Watch this trailer: