A drug is a substance that has an effect on the body’s metabolism. We all take them everyday even if we don’t know it.
We use drugs for many reasons:
For Pain Relief
There’s a lot of this ranging from aspirin, ibuprofen, and paracetamol to opiates.
Opiates are highly addictive and dangerous but they have a use. Nobody need die in agony anymore.
For treating illness and disease
We have statins to reduce our cholesterol, blood pressure drugs and drugs to cure cancer. They have helped us live longer and healthier. They have cured us of many killer diseases.
For mental health
We have a range of drugs to reduce stress, anxiety and treat severe mental disorders.
For performance enhancement
Whether it be steroids to build up muscles, metabolic enhancers to provide more energy or brain enhancers to enable the brain to work better, there are a range of substances used and abused.
This produces all manner of controversy. Some people are so keen to win a race or pass an exam that they would go to any lengths. Do we want clean athletes competing against those using enhancers? Or do we want people gaining advantage over others by boosting their brain power for an examination? How do we ensure a level playing field?
For pleasure, leisure and social
There is no human society that has ever lived on this planet that has not used drugs for pleasure, leisure or as an aid to social situations. Different cultures use different drugs. Whether that be inviting one in for a cup of tea, sharing a pint, a spliff or a peace-pipe.
The drugs presently sanctioned by our western culture include sugar, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. These are not really viewed as drugs at all. All have substantial health implications, are extremely addictive and are prone to abuse from excessive use. Indeed sugar, nicotine and alcohol are probably among the most dangerous drugs. They are responsible for cancers, obesity, strokes and heart disease. But hey – they are legal.
Other drugs from other cultures – such as cocaine, mescaline, psilocybin and marijuana are considered harmful and banned.
A whole range of other laboratory produced substances – such as ecstasy, LSD, Crystal Meth are also banned.
Many societies or cults have used various psychotropic drugs for spiritual exploration. Drugs, such as mescaline, psilocybin, marijuana and magic mushrooms have a long history of use by shamen and holy men or in various spiritual ceremonies. They play with brain chemistry and alter perceptions. They are considered mind expanding and put us in connection with other dimensions or states of mind in which it is thought greater understanding can be ascertained.
All drugs have a risk. No drug is completely safe. People die from normal doses of aspirin.
Addiction is a terrible thing. It destroys lives.
All drugs can easily be overused and this becomes an abuse. Repeatedly using a drug to excess is dangerous, detrimental to health and socially corrosive.
Using a drug responsibly can be both pleasant, social and healthy – a social drink or spliff. They can relieve tension, cause pleasure and make for a healthy social life.
Using psychotropic drugs to explore one’s consciousness in a spiritual sense is a valid experience.
Some drugs, such as opiates, have no place outside of pain relief. They are simply too dangerous and addictive.
Banning drugs has merely placed them in the hands of unprincipled criminals who do not care about the purity of their product or the consequences. There are huge profits which have fuelled gangs and other criminal activity.
People using illegal drugs have no certainty about strength or purity and sometimes suffer severe health problems or even death because of impurities or variations in strength.
It is human nature to experiment.
Many illegal drugs have uses. Long-distance bomber crews used amphetamines in the war in order to stay awake and alert through the night. Troops stormed the beaches on amphetamine which kept them full of energy and fearless.
Banning drugs has made them more alluring to kids. They are attracted by the fact that the act of taking them is a form of rebellion. Whole drug cultures have grown up around drugs.
Kids no longer believe anything said to them about drugs because they consider it all lies and propaganda – and a lot of it has been.
The war on drugs has exacerbated the drug situation.
I believe all drugs should be legalised and their use treated as a health situation.
Instead of imprisoning users we should provide care to help them.
If drugs were available their quality and strength could be controlled.
It would take the profits out of the hands of criminals.
It would reduce the gang problem.
Over time I think the drug culture would reduce and the social damage lessen. It would lose its allure.
I think it is a human right to investigate their own consciousness and spirituality.
I think the banning of drugs, while allowing dangerous drugs such as alcohol and nicotine, is hypocritical.
I think that dealing with the education and health support would cost a fraction of criminalising and would not ostracise and criminalise a segment of young people.
Presently there is a whole industry of legal highs with untested drugs being churned out from dubious laboratories in China. This needs addressing.
I think legalisation would make our kids safer.
There are so many new advances in the production of drugs law enforcement can’t keep up.
I think it is time to legalise and think through the whole use of drugs. Criminalisation has not and will not work. The whole issue of drugs has become a political football and hypocritical puritans have been pulling the strings.
We need a thorough debate!! What do you think on the points I have raised??