Point

Point/Counterpointchildrendrugselderly Mar 6, 2002

Youth Is Wasted On The Young

By Leonard Kloss

They say hindsight is 20/20 and, boy, are they right. Young people fritter away the gifts of youth, wasting their time on silly video games and whatnot. Don't they understand how important it is to make the most of your life while you're still young?

If I were in my 20s again, I'd appreciate the things young people routinely take for granted. Like skating on a frozen lake, and running through a beautiful meadow. Oh, what I wouldn't give to have my strength and vitality back! Back then, I thought it would last forever, but now I know better.

Speaking of knowing better, with what I know now, I could probably start my own business, become a major-league baseball coach, and clean up on the stock market—all at the same time. I made a lot of mistakes as a youngster, but with the benefit of experience, I'd make the most of every opportunity that came my way.

When I see some of these young punks wasting their best years, it just makes me so angry. They think they're going to live forever, but when they get to be my age, they'll wish they hadn't wasted so much time drinking and swearing and hanging out at the mall in their shiny pants.

Just look at my grandson, Daniel. All he does is drive around in circles with his friends and listen to his bleep-bleep music. Doesn't he realize that while he wastes his time talking on the phone or sitting in front of the TV, his salad days are quickly slipping away?

It's not like I haven't tried talking to Daniel. I keep telling him he should see Europe while he's still spry, and that if he saved a fraction of his paychecks, he'd be living on Easy Street by the time he hit 50. But does he listen to me? No, siree. He usually just mumbles something about how he's got to pour more money into "tricking out his ride." That's what he calls the hatchback he bought a year ago. I call it a money pit.

If I were his age, I wouldn't waste my time on stuff like that. I'd be laying down the groundwork for a good, solid career. I'd be taking care of my body so I wouldn't have to spend my retirement years laid up in bed. And I'd spend as much quality time as possible with family and friends.

Why is it that, by the time you get your head straight, you're too tired and out-of-shape to do anything about it? It's a crime, I tell you.

Ah, I'd better calm down, or I'm gonna have to get one of my pills.

Counterpoint

Medication Is Wasted On The Old

By Brandi Hopkins

How come, with so many awesome drugs out there, the only people who get to use them are the elderly? They have access to all this great shit, but they're too boring and feeble to get high off them. It's like my buddies and I always say: Medication is wasted on the old.

There are tons of pills and drugs out there. But are they going to the people who know how much fun snorting ephedrine is? Or how amazing codeine makes you feel? Nope. Instead, all the good drugs are going to a bunch of grandmas and grandpas who take them responsibly and safely.

It's not like drugs are gonna cure the old folks, anyway: Their main health problem is that they're old. So while all the good stuff is going toward lowering their blood pressure or reducing their Alzheimer's symptoms, my friends and I are stuck huffing paint thinner. I'll be the first to support a pill that cures old age, but until that day comes, let's put the drugs where they can be best utilized—with the young.

If I get caught with a bag of weed by an undercover cop, I'm going to be doing serious time. But if you're old and tell a doctor you have glaucoma, you get to live in a beautiful, government-sanctioned marijuana haze. Not that they even appreciate it. Shit, most of those ancient glaucoma sufferers have probably never watched The Wall straight, much less baked off their asses.

Just thinking about all the OxyContin that's wasted on old folks makes me weep. You think the elderly are crushing it up to get heroin-like highs the way me and my friends would? No way. They're taking it in pussy, doctor-recommended doses like the scared little babies they are.

If me and my friends could get half the stash that the old lady down the street with leukemia and diabetes gets every week, I'd be set. Aw, who am I kidding? We'd probably blow it all in a two-day, up-all-night binge. That's because, unlike some shriveled old widow who takes her pills with dinner and is in bed by 9, we know how to party.

You think these old people are heading out to raves? You think that old lady who sits all day in the lawn chair in front of her house is using her prescription amphetamines for a 72-hour road-trip binge with her friends? Of course not! She's old, and her fun days are long behind her.

Well, old people's lives may be almost over, but mine's just begun. But, for some reason, society deems creaky oldsters more deserving of the medication that would make my life a drug-soaked, hedonistic orgy. It's a damn shame.