Volume 96, Issue 71
Wednesday, February 5, 2003

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Riding "White Lady" a downhill ride

Re: "The world of illicit drugs," Jan. 16

To the Editor:


My letter is to The Gazette, who, it seems, upon seeing a few grams of cocaine at a party, think themselves experts on "blow." I ask you this: have you ever once experienced the effects of the powder?

Ever seen someone's life ripped away by the hand of the White Lady, as many have come to know it? Memories can be obliterated and central nervous systems overloaded all in one line of cocaine. Never mind the prospect of addiction and death. A "thin line," as you so expertly put it, for beginners, could be what kills a seasoned veteran.

The warning that cocaine has "the potential to do harm" is so severely understated, it becomes a joke. Placing a warning in the centre of an article outlining the [effects of] doing coke turns it into a dismissive farce. Purity, free-basing, and lacing – these are all aspects of coke you don't think about when you want to party. And you made that OK. You made it safer by making it commonplace enough to discuss in a student newspaper.

I have seen what happens when feeling "normal" means a white residue under your nostrils, numb gums and a need to match the euphoria you felt when you first inhaled the intoxicating powder.

Being glib about a drug epidemic that is attacking with such a vengeance is not only turning your back on it, but fuelling the fire that is a drug problem.

Drugs are a culture. I had hoped, though, that in my efforts to escape that culture, I would not have to look it square in the face when I turned the pages of the newspaper at the university that promoted higher learning, a sense of self and independent thought.

Alexis Bergamo
Biology III

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2002 THE GAZETTE