If there are people around, then there are drug users around. It’s as simple as that, people have been using drugs to get high since prehistoric times, and they aren’t going to stop anytime soon. Chances are you might be addicted to a drug, like nicotine or caffeine. There are many different types of drugs, and people use them for all sorts of different reasons. Drugs are any sort of substance that a person can introduce to the body that changes the way that the body functions. Some drugs help us heal, some help us think more clearly, and some alter our perceptions of the world radically, shifting our brain chemistry. In medicine, drugs range from fairly mild drugs that can be purchased over the counter, to much more extreme drugs that require a prescription. There are many types of recreational drugs as well, and may be completely unregulated, regulated but legal, or entirely illegal.
Often when people ask why others do drugs, what they mean is why people do drugs that are illegal. For example in the United States marijuana has been illegal for many decades, yet remains a commonly used drug. People generally use marijuana for much the same reasons they use alcohol, to relax and experience a slightly altered state of consciousness. Although illegal, many people in the United States tend to treat marijuana much the same way they treated alcohol during Prohibition, as something to be hidden, but not avoided.
In many cases, people do drugs because they are trying to escape from the world in some way. Drugs like Heroin and Morphine can help dull pain and thought, releasing pleasurable chemicals in the body that make the user feel like their problems are drifting away. In other cases, people might do drugs like Speed or Cocaine to feel a rush of energy well in excess of that given by caffeine, and feeling of sharpness and togetherness that may be lacking in their everyday lives. These feelings can be very emotionally addictive, but may also build up a physical addiction that can be incredibly difficult to break. These lead users to feel actively bad when not taking the drugs, leading to a feedback loop that encourages yet more and more drug use.
In other situations, people do drugs not as a recreational vehicle, but a path to a different state of consciousness. People may choose to take hallucinogens like LSD or Mescaline, for example, not simply to have a good time, but to try to expand their understanding of the world and their own lives. Drugs like Peyote and Ayhuasca may be used in spiritual practices by established religions and spiritual traditions, as part of their experience of god or the divine.
The reasons why people do drugs can be put into some general categories.
- People do drugs to relax.
- People do drugs out of boredom.
- People do drugs to find escape – from guilt, or shame and oppression.
- People do drugs to relieve symptoms of pain.
- People do drugs to feel part of a group.
Why do people do drugs when life offers so many alternative and better solutions? People do drugs because they get instant gratification, the more compulsive our need to find resolution to a painful problem – the more attractive drug use is.
Drug use is magical thinking – creating the illusion of power and control. Drug use is about having feelings of mastery over situations that make us feel weak and powerless. People do drugs because they are not ready or prepared to look at the reasons why they choose drugs instead of other relationships. Very often people turn to drugs because in one way or another they feel that they have been betrayed, let down or hurt by other relationships – drug use provides insulation against suffering and pain.
Everyone knows after a while, drugs become less effective – no one ever seems to recapture that first glorious high that we get from a drug that meets our needs exactly. Everything about the drug culture fails eventually to live up to its early promise. People need to use more of the drug just to feel “normal”, money for drugs becomes a problem, and jobs can be lost because of drug use. Crime becomes the only option when people have a drug habit, and no other source of income.
Relationships can suffer, friendships can be lost, accommodation is usually downgraded and degraded as money for food and lodging’s is diverted to drug use. Dirt, infection, theft and violence all go with drug use. Once people start to discover the truth about drug use, you would think that they would stop. Why do people do drugs – when drugs are destroying their life.
Drugs are addictive and hard to withdraw from. Yet even withdrawal from heroin, with intensely painful symptoms, subsides within a few days, and can be overcome. Physical addiction to drugs is powerful but it is only part of the story. Psychoactive drugs block emotional pain and that is why people do drugs. They don’t have a disease, a genetic malfunction – drug use relieves emotional tension and takes away our pain.
Therefore if you want to help a drug addict, don’t think that anti-drug adverts and appeals to reason will help. You only make yourself part of the problem when you moralize and berate the addict with appeals to logic and reason. People do drugs as means to keep emotional pain away. Holistic methods to get off drugs provide drug free effective support for detox, but more importantly get your past detox into a new way of thinking. Although getting off drugs is painful at first, true holistic recovery from drug use eliminates cravings, and brings healing from your pain. Why do people do drugs when holistic addict help is available – choose holistic methods to strengthen and enable you to overcome pain and addiction, and start a happier life.