Letter: Remove drugs taboo

Sir: It is overly simplistic to describe all drugs as bad and endow the taking of drugs with immorality (letter, 19 August). The experience of abusing a drug will inevitably be described as a bad one. As a recovering heroin addict I speak from my own terrible experience.

Not all drugs are abused; they may be abused by some and used by others, and heroin could be in a class of its own in being inevitably abused. There is a world of difference between the uses of cannabis and heroin.

Drugs need to be demystified and removed from the moral badlands, as this can exude a glamorous aura of danger and anti-heroism to vulnerable youth. Whilst drugs remain a taboo, misinformation and half-truths will confuse and beguile.

Prohibition inevitably drives the use of drugs underground and it does not prevent use.

Government and society need to overcome their fear, accept that drugs are used and tackle the problems of abuse. There needs to be a comprehensive system of education, quality control and accompanying health advice. Only then can abuse and the reasons for abuse be fully addressed.