The Drugs Don’t Work by The Verve was extremely popular on the airways when I was studying in Australia, but I never thought so much about the lyrics even though I’d sung along to it on the radio while driving.
Recently, my friend Fiona explained the significance of this song in relation to how my efforts to help a friend might be getting in the way of his self development, and now it holds extra meaning to me. She was in a pub in London years ago and one of the bandmates explained it to her. I Wiki-ed it and they didn’t have the answer. So you heard it here first, sorta.
Fiona said that the song was written by the singer about his wife/lover, and he knew that at the end of a drug-fuelled night, he could always go back to her to take care of him. This went on for around 10 years, and out of love, she made the painful decision to leave him and be uncontactable so that he’d clean his act up for good. And it worked.
So the lesson here is that being the comforting friend of someone who is confused and drinking himself to despair is sometimes the wrong decision, and is instead an obstacle to this person facing his demons and finding himself. It’s best in these circumstances to walk away, and be a true friend in this respect.
This one’s for you, Tobacco Head xx