I am currently ‘disgusted from Tonbridge Wells’, yesterday I discovered that the UK government are running an antidrug campaign featuring the “crazy chemist”. (http://www.aldp.ie/uploads/File/The%20Crazy%20Chemist.pdf)
I am a chemist, it has been my job to make molecules for a living. As a result I know something about drugs of abuse, the more I know about ‘drugs of abuse’ the more opposed I have become to recreational use of drugs.
The majority of chemists I know are opposed to the production and use of recreational drugs. I am not able to name any person that I know who has a chemistry degree who is ‘pro drugs’.
All professions have their bad apples, but very few chemists turn out to be seriously morally bad ones. If the home office want to educate people about the perils of designer drugs then I would suggest that they consider the following case and scrap the ‘crazy chemist’.
There was a US college chemistry student who was a grade A1 bad boy chemist. His story is one which is also educational, he figured out a way to get very high on home-made super version of pethidine. He then made an error while cooking a batch and then gave himself Parkinson’s disease in his twenties with his home made brew! He then got treated for this condition and then went and promptly took a cocaine overdose and died. What a horrible waste of a life !
(http://www.scq.ubc.ca/the-shaking-palsy-a-review-of-parkinsons-disease/) (Also see DAVIS GC, WILLIAMS AC, MARKEY SP, EBERT MH, CAINE ED, REICHERT CM, and KOPIN IJ, “Chronic Parkinsonism Secondary to Intravenous-Injection of Meperidine Analogs”, Psychiatry Research, 1979, volume 1, pages 249-254)
To be frank with you the idea of being stuck (fully awake) in the psychiatric ward unable to move with the mis diagnosis of catatonic schizophrenia which does not respond to any form of treatment is perfectly horrible. I think it is far worse than most of the horror tales which are used in antidrug lessons for children ! I might one day tell you about MPTP but not today, back to the matter at hand !
I feel that this ‘crazy chemist’ is a slur on my profession, rather than calling for an instant ban on the ‘crazy chemist’ I would like to suggest that the home office should first consider adding some new characters to their public education campaigns.
1. The naughty milkman who adds water to the milk to make extra money
Down at the dairy watch him add 10% water to the milk.
See how he fails to wash his hands after taking a trip to the loo.
See his friend who cooks up toxic baby milk
Watch him supply milk to the wake for the baby who died of toxic baby milk
2. The crocked policeman.
Watch him make up evidence to harm the innocent.
Look at him tampering with evidence.
Hear him telling lies in court.
Look at him beating some poor passer by
3. The naughty motor mercanic
Hear him lieing to the car owner
Watch him issue a MOT certificate for a car which he knows is unsafe
and worst of all….. wait for it….
here it comes…
4. The waste of space, greedy, lazy, corrupt and stupid politician.
Watch him make sound bite statements about subjects he knows nothing about just so he can make himself look good in the media.
Hear him lie to the public and the house of commons.
Pay attention to him voting for unjust laws.
See how he claims for silly expenses like champagne for filling his bathtub.
See how he wastes time being lazy.
See him take bribes and see how he drags other people’s good names into the mud !
Also the term crazy is wrong, there are people out there (chemists included) who suffer from mental handicaps and mental illness. The term crazy can be offensive to these people, I feel that it is deeply wrong to mock a person because of their illness or to use a medical term as an insult for a person.
Always bear in mind what the bible says on this matter (Leviticus 19:14 King James Version)
“Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind”
Or in modern english
“I am the LORD your God, and I command you not to make fun of the deaf or to cause a blind person to stumble.”
My understanding of this that it is a command for us not to mock a person because of a medical condition which they had no control over. The blind normally do not have any choice regarding their vision, and many “crazy” people never had a choice of “do you want to get a sickness of the mind”. While parts of the UK government are trying to do the noble work integrate people with mental health problems into the community, another part is using stereotypes of an evil mad scientist. I think that it is another reason to retire the “crazy chemist”.
PS. Most of the time when chemists get involved in drug abuse it is helping society deal with the problem of drug abuse. Chemists create and operate many of the tools which help keep drugs off the streets. Such as the field test for cocaine. You will all have seen the liquid go blue in the films, this is an example of chemistry in action (This test is based on the coordination chemistry of cobalt(II)).