My (non-existent) relationship with drugs (By Yana)

I’ve never done any drugs. Ever.

That’s because when I was growing up in Russia, drugs were not at all common and usually people who did them were hard-core criminals and ex-cons (as in killers,robbers,rapists-seriously bad people,outcasts of the society).

Doing drugs was not considered “hip” or “cool”. On the contrary, it would make one extremely undesirable acquaintance due to the reason above.
Drugs (of any kind) were not easy to get, either. One would have to deal with those criminal types in order to obtain them and most people just didn’t have associations like that and wouldn’t know how to go about getting introduced to one.

Drugs and their use carried a stigma-a very bad one. I remember when I was at the Uni rumours started about one of the girls: people were saying she might be using drugs. I honestly don’t know whether she did or didn’t, but she rapidly became very UN-popular, as no one wanted to be associated with her.

People stopped inviting her to their parties and didn’t want to go over her house,either.
Drug use,possession and distribution was a very serious offense with grave consequences. There was no leniency for those caught.
Consider this as a comparison: being caught in a sexual act with the same-sex person was a felony offense punishable by jail term in Russia back then, so you can only imagine how drug use/possession was viewed.

There was no leniency for those prosecuted and, as Russia didn’t have the jury system back then (the case was heard by the Court Judge and he/she was the only person to weight the evidence, determine whether or not the person was guilty AND decide on the appropriate punishment/length of sentencing), Judges dispensed lengthy sentencing periods in the hardest of jails.

Hell, back then smoking (regular cigarettes) was a big deal for a woman, especially a young woman. I never had any desire to start smoking, but I remember standing guard at the door of one of the empty lecture halls at the Uni while a group of my girlfriends smoked inside by the open window…LOL..

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