I came very late to drug addiction: in my teens and twenties I was too innocent to notice what was going on. Once at a party a girl passed me a lighted cigarette, which I obligingly stubbed out for her; she told me irritably that it was her last joint and I felt an awful fool.
Later, when travelling overseas, I found out what kif, ganja, blow, toot, christina, dagga, Miss Emma and all the rest were, by being offered them or by being told about them by knowing friends, or learning that the rather pleasant smell I had noticed was caused by the airheads puffing away around us.
But in the last few years, and particularly in the last few months, I have become a major player on the drugs scene, not as a burnout or a paper boy or a pusher, but certainly as a user. When people notice my erratic behaviour and ask me what I'm on I usually reply "Oh, just a bit of pot at weekends", because to give the whole list would take too long. Here it is:
Swallowed daily: Metformin, Ibuprofen, Simvastatin, Ramipril, Finasteride, Lansoprazole (Omeprazole), Tamsulosin (Stronazon), Nembeterin (Cholisterin)
Swallowed three days in every fortnight: Odansetron, Dexamethason
Swallowed when required: Metoclopamide, Loperamide
Dripped in for two hours once a fortnight: Oxaliplatin and calcium folinate (folinic acid)
Pumped in for two days in every fortnight: Fluorourcil
(Curiously, there is very little main-lining involved and no sniffing up the nose, so I suppose I'm not considered a serious user.)
I shall be finished with some of these substances in August (I dread the cold turkey), but the rest I must continue with until I go to that great pharmacy in the sky. The cost of all this to the NHS must be enormous, perhaps equivalent to the maintenance of a medium-sized primary school or a battalion of the Coldstream Guards. But still, if I had become addicted to, say, crack cocaine, I might have taken up mugging or burglary which would have cost the taxpayer much more in the long run, so I don't feel too bad about it.
(I do not want OMF to lose its hard-won reputation for frivolous and trivial writing; it s widely respected as The Blog That Cannot be Trusted. The above list is perfectly accurate except for one drug I have included which does not yet exist. It will be used for the treatment of obstreosis of the ductal tract (tertiary), if someone invents it.)