Concept of the Month -- July 2004

What the Drug-Using Criminal Really Means by a "High"

Ask a drug user what he means when he talks about getting high. He'll likely look at you as though you are ignorant. He may respond vaguely as though he is referring to an emotional euphoric condition. The "high" is best captured by the drug user who said, "On drugs, I feel 10 feet tall. On drugs, I can do anything." It is the expanded sense of power and control that is integral to this state of mind. It is necessary to probe beyond the elusive responses the drug-using criminal gives to those who hold him accountable.

Stanton E. Samenow

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