yet another hypothesis with zero empirical support

I’ve never consumed any illegal narcotic, which obviously makes me the coolest loser you know. I do have a theory about drug consumption, though, that is completely unsupported by any empirical data or scientific analysis whatsoever.

There’s probably a lot of reasons why I’ve never been interested in drugs, but when people ask about it, I have to say that I do think that I’ve never felt secure enough in my position in society to want to take those risks. I generally associate drugs with children of privilege or people of despair, and nobody in between.

It seems to be that consciously disregarding the (wholly fictitious) risks of drug use is easiest if you know that a mistake of this sort can’t really hurt you. One way to construct this security is purely socio-economic. If you have a status position that you never necessarily earned, but instead have enjoyed since birth, you may think that, regardless of what you do, your position won’t really change, for better or for worse. Thus, you’re freer to spit on certain social conventions, somewhat cognizant of the fact that your privilege allows you to fuck up without fucking over your life.

In a not-mutually-exclusive category, you  have people who have so little faith in their current social standing that they’re willing to take the status risks of drug use. Meaning, if you don’t particularly love the social situation in which you already exist, or if you do like it okay but think it’s tenuous, and you judge that drug use would benefit your tenuous situation, you may be more likely to use drugs, as well. Again, I’d like to emphasize that “privileged social status” and “little faith in social status” are a bajillion percent not mutually exclusive paradigms.

I’ve always been somewhere in the middle. Growing up poor-ish, weird, and quite popular, in a remarkably down-to-earth upper-/upper-middle-class San Francisco suburb, I both passed as a child of privilege and was aware that I was merely “passing,” and thus aware I did not necessarily have the demographic stability of most of my peers. Furthermore, because I was aware that I was passing, but also confident in my ability to continue to pass, and even keep climbing, I never had a desire to shit all over my good luck and potentially throw my future to the dogs (no matter how remote the chance of that ruined future really was/is).

Basically, I’m a risk-averse person. Thesis. Bam.


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