"Recreation" as a Negative - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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"Recreation" as a Negative


drugs are usually only "approved" when taken for medicinal purposes - purely recreational uses are most often looked down upon, unless the drug is legalised for recreational use (which most aren't).

but what is "recreational drug use" - really?

in my mind, there isn't really any difference. many antidepressant and anxiolytic medications are comparable to legal things such as:

- alcohol (ethanol) = relaxes mind and body, improves mood
- nicotine+tobacco = relaxes and improves mood
- food = taste sensations improve mood
- fun activity = all fun activities improve mood and relieve boredom, including backgammon, video games, horse betting, BDSM, stamp collections.

as you might guess my point is that everything that is recreational is inherently done for the purposes of improving mood. humans do not engage in activities that make them feel worse, unless they are engaging in intentional or unintentional self-harm (which isn't "normal" for humans).


why is there such stigma attached to recreational use? is it the "shortcut" aspect of it? Humans don't actually deserve to feel good just by ingesting a substance? We have to go thru pain and terror in order to deserve happiness, and then only by engaging in tedious or arduous activities that promote happiness in the longterm?


i think this could be some sort of cover-up tho. there is a theory that drugs (entheogens really) are kept illegal because the insights one receives from these substances are dangerous for the powers that be. i think people are too self-centered and dumb to engage in global conspiracies, but i don't believe we can fully discard this theory, because yeah the ruling class is terrible in many ways.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 03:49 AM
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Very interesting question, will mull it over .

I immediately though that yes, it's the shortcut aspect of it. Potentially lots more, but that is the most interesting (maybe aside from social identity, outgroups, and denigrating addicts combined with the weird "all drugs are meth / heroin" thing people do lol).

I likely won't have the answer though as I don't see recreational substances in a particularly negative way. What we need is someone who does, but is also able to critically evaluate their own perspective.

Whatever, I think that harm will be used by those to mask whatever the real reasons are.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 03:53 AM
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I wonder if there is some early very influential research that is the cause? For example, the bs that is common about riots and crowd behaviour and "the mad mob" is due to Lebon, an early classical psychologist (writing an essay on this). There might be something similar re drug use that got lodged into societys unconsious.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 06:47 AM
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 06:58 AM
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All comes down to work. Only the drugs that severely limit productivity are made illegal. Whereas drugs that improve productivity (caffeine) are freely available to all.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 07:11 AM
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I'm having trouble understanding your post, I may be being thick, I don't know.

Are you saying ALL should be either made legal or banned??? Sorry to ask such a basic question but I am really not sure what your point is here.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
i think this could be some sort of cover-up tho. there is a theory that drugs (entheogens really) are kept illegal because the insights one receives from these substances are dangerous for the powers that be. i think people are too self-centered and dumb to engage in global conspiracies, but i don't believe we can fully discard this theory, because yeah the ruling class is terrible in many ways.
Isn't there also a conspiracy that leaders are trying to get everyone on entheogens to manipulate them? Lol and then Alex Jones's thing (I honestly don't get it, it's like he's trying to sell it to people while pretending to warn against it):


I mean they were doing experiments in the past with LSD as part of MKUltra:

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Once Project MKUltra got underway in April 1953, experiments included administering LSD to mental patients, prisoners, drug addicts, and sex workers—"people who could not fight back," as one agency officer put it.[43] In one case, they administered LSD to a mental patient in Kentucky for 174 days.[43] They also administered LSD to CIA employees, military personnel, doctors, other government agents, and members of the general public to study their reactions. LSD and other drugs were often administered without the subject's knowledge or informed consent, a violation of the Nuremberg Code the U.S. had agreed to follow after World War II. The aim of this was to find drugs which would bring out deep confessions or wipe a subject's mind clean and program him or her as "a robot agent."[44]
Quote:
They exported experiments to Canada when the CIA recruited British psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron, creator of the "psychic driving" concept, which the CIA found interesting. Cameron had been hoping to correct schizophrenia by erasing existing memories and reprogramming the psyche. He commuted from Albany, New York, to Montreal every week to work at the Allan Memorial Institute of McGill University and was paid $69,000 from 1957 to 1964 (which would be US$558,915 in 2018, adjusting for inflation) to carry MKUltra experiments there, the Montreal experiments. These research funds were sent to Dr. Cameron by a CIA front organization, the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, and as shown in internal CIA documents, Cameron did not know the money came from the CIA.[57] In addition to LSD, Cameron also experimented with various paralytic drugs as well as electroconvulsive therapy at thirty to forty times the normal power. His "driving" experiments consisted of putting subjects into drug-induced comas for weeks at a time (up to three months in one case) while playing tape loops of noise or simple repetitive statements. His experiments were often carried on patients who entered the institute for minor problems such as anxiety disorders and postpartum depression, many of whom suffered permanent effects from his actions.[58] His treatments resulted in victims' incontinence, amnesia, forgetting how to talk, forgetting their parents, and thinking their interrogators were their parents.

Anyway, I think there's a lot of fear about what people are capable of, or society ceasing to function which often restricts access to drugs. This is mostly the case in the UK where even in terms of prescribed stuff it's hard to get hold of various drugs. This is more about social control.

Another thing is capitalism. Psychedelic drugs are not very addictive, and under current medical practise/culture it would be difficult to encourage their use (it is happening gradually though.) People prefer to prescribe opiates in the US (supposedly 80% of the world's opiate use is in the US,) which are often used problematically, so they can keep leaching money from people by selling people medication to treat addiction. Drug companies basically want you to become addicted to pain killers.

Their usage is being encouraged in other countries now too, so this will probably spread. I know someone who was recently prescribed benzos in Canada, without asking, and inspite of having a problem with opiates (which they also told the doctor about,) they OD'd on them. Of course.

Have to love psychopaths.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 04:26 PM
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I suppose it's the intentions behind the use?

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 04:42 PM
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If drugs were harmless magic mood lifters (or even semi-harmless like sugar), there would be no controversy. What people disapprove of is risking your health unnecessarily. If you're suicidal, well you've got nothing to lose so you may as well try drugs and doctors will prescribe them -- but if you're doing fine, you have a lot to lose.

A more interesting comparison would be recreational drugs vs. dangerous sports, like free solo mountain climbing. They're both stupid ways to potentially injure or kill yourself for a high, yet the latter is glorified. I suppose it's because we admire people who put in work to attempt extremely difficult tasks, even when it's stupid. There's no difficulty in recreational drugs to make it admirable. (Well actually there is a lot of difficulty in being say a heroin junky, but we don't admire it when the difficulty comes later and wasn't chosen intentionally.)

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 04:47 PM
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There is a lot of "my body is a temple" sort of thinking. Or control freaks who want to be 100% in control all the time. So if you choose to get drunk or high you are sullying your pure body and interfering with the great machine that it is. You will lose control and hurt yourself or others.

They also don't like how alcohol and drugs are often associated with crime and promiscuity.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 05:15 PM
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 05:27 PM
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pharmaceutical companies are evil enough as it is.

and yeah harm. harm harm harm. harm. so much harm.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 10:53 PM
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Recreational drug use is using drugs in an effort to try and recreate the state of mind that you were in at whatever point in your life that you weren't miserable. Most people are way more miserable than they'll admit and so this explains the popularity of anything that alters your mind and gives you even the slightest sense of a pleasant feeling. Like you know something is ****ed up when people are guzzling cough syrup to escape reality for even a little while (despite the fact that you gotta know this is not going to do good things to your overall health).

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 11:39 PM
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Mostly religion, I think. "Your body is a temple", like @komorikun said, plus the "Protestant ethic" of hard work.

Remember that many religious communities have attempted (or successfully) banned alcohol, and, to a lesser extent, tobacco. Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, so eating for pleasure is definitely considered wrong by some people. So is sleeping for pleasure (sloth). Many religious communities have tried to ban (or have banned) dancing, music, various kinds of art and let's not forget sex. Most religions are pretty anti-sex for anything other than procreation. I'm sure many of those people would also consider many other types of non-drug recreation sinful. My friend growing up wasn't allowed to listen to rock 'n' roll, read comic books, or play role-playing games (there's a mind-altering substance if ever there was one); his parents were devout Christians.

There are various reasons for the prohibitions, but I think a lot of it boils down to the hardships that earlier (agricultural) civilizations faced. It was hard work to grow enough food for everyone to eat, and to defend the food from people who wanted to take it from them. (Homophobia is probably, imo, tied to the fear that same-sex loving people would fail in their duty to supply the community with their 'fair share' of workers and soldiers.) The more time you spend unproductively, and the less coherent you are, the more you endanger the survival of the community (and your family in particular; "think of the children"). So being sober and working hard are enshrined as high-priority ideals. And anything that entices people to the contrary (like "lascivious" art and "lurid" literature and guys like Elvis who suggestively move their hips) are seen as gateways to all the other sins. When mind-altering substances are prescribed by doctors, they're prescribed precisely because they lead to greater productivity -- the opposite of recreation.

This feeling, though weaker than it used to be in our culture, is still fairly prevalent (and quite strong in others). You can't do your homework if you're drunk or stoned all the time, which means you won't get good grades, which means you won't get a good job, which means you won't build a solid financial future for your family. So recreation is frowned on. There is some fear in the religious community of "heresy" as well, which is what any "insight" a person has on drugs would be called. That's to protect the orthodox dogma described above.

If you look at hunter-gatherer cultures you'll see a very different picture. They don't tend to be anti-recreation because they don't have to do nearly as much work to meet their food requirements. They don't store food, so there are no food stores to protect, and there is no need to build permanent settlements (there's basically no property at all) so there isn't as strong a need to focus on population growth (producers/protectors). Large families are actually a hindrance to hunter-gatherers because they don't store food and have to keep their own population in line with the available food supply. Those kinds of cultures tend to be big on things like song, dance, and recreational drug use. (Though, ofc, they have their own taboos.) If you look at what Europeans wrote about indigenous cultures while they were busy subjugating and slaughtering them, you'll see again and again that they're described as being lazy (ie. fond of recreation).

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 12:33 PM
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by versikk View Post
drugs are usually only "approved" when taken for medicinal purposes - purely recreational uses are most often looked down upon, unless the drug is legalised for recreational use (which most aren't).

but what is "recreational drug use" - really?

in my mind, there isn't really any difference. many antidepressant and anxiolytic medications are comparable to legal things such as:

- alcohol (ethanol) = relaxes mind and body, improves mood
- nicotine+tobacco = relaxes and improves mood
- food = taste sensations improve mood
- fun activity = all fun activities improve mood and relieve boredom, including backgammon, video games, horse betting, BDSM, stamp collections.

as you might guess my point is that everything that is recreational is inherently done for the purposes of improving mood. humans do not engage in activities that make them feel worse, unless they are engaging in intentional or unintentional self-harm (which isn't "normal" for humans).


why is there such stigma attached to recreational use? Is it the "shortcut" aspect of it? Humans don't actually deserve to feel good just by ingesting a substance? We have to go thru pain and terror in order to deserve happiness, and then only by engaging in tedious or arduous activities that promote happiness in the longterm?


i think this could be some sort of cover-up tho. there is a theory that drugs (entheogens really) are kept illegal because the insights one receives from these substances are dangerous for the powers that be. i think people are too self-centered and dumb to engage in global conspiracies, but i don't believe we can fully discard this theory, because yeah the ruling class is terrible in many ways.
The bolded parts surprised me because I've had the exact same intuition as of late. Honestly I read it and was like, did you read my mind or something >_>

I think it's convenient to use drug addiction and all the dysfunction that comes with it (many high-profile celebrity examples) as a blanket excuse to push the 'drugs are bad' narrative. But alcohol is probably just as bad (just that we're not very cognizant of the fact). And ofc who can forget the tobacco industry and their very successful lobbying to push their carcinogenic products on the public for decades with no warning labels. Those things aren't illegal but marijuana is. In fact Some people think it has medicinal properties that industry doesn't want to look into because it's not profitable for them.

Another intuition/tentative hypothesis of mine goes even further than the 'drugs make us feel good' aspect. I suspect that drugs are a 'shortcut to God' (or more precisely, a way to gain insight of a 'spiritual' nature that people who practise religion/spirituality of various forms are aiming for). That's probably very controversial and all, but I do feel like there's a unified 'state' that people ultimately strive for with these kinds of pursuits. Like the climax/sexual orgasm equivalent of emotional states/states of being.

With individuals who have reached the pinnacle of religious practice, there's a common motif of 'ecstasy'/'spiritual nirvana'. I think that's what drugs give you, without having to put in all the work (and paying your dues to the dominant forces of the establishment) to get there.

There's something to be said about the neurochemical side of things ofc - withdrawal and tolerance buildup and all that. But I mean there are no systematic protocols on how to use properly. Everyone gets it illegally and experiments and learns through trial and error, so the dangers of drug use may be at least partially an artefact of this lack of controlled settings.

The 'powers that be' (really just big conglomerates. in a capitalist society you don't even need evil powers hatching sinister conspiracies; whoever gets all your money eventually just get big enough that they'll have more control over the way things work than they should have) are feeding us a lot of things on a lower, sub-clinical level (that is to say, not enough to make us 'sick' but enough to keep us dependent on them) - sugar is a big one I think. Lots of research coming to light these days about how it's basically nutritionally bankrupt and messes with your metabolic functions, but Big Food is scrambling to keep that info from you ofc. (Although governments are starting, slowly and reluctantly and cautiously, to take heed because of obesity and diabetes on the rise, etc.) Social media and the way it's designed to keep you hooked (every 'like' you get is a dopamine hit; you get the idea).

The commodification of 'lifestyle' and inherently social endeavours like art & entertainment. You don't 'consume' movies and games and music - they are not consumables because they can be reused over and over without being 'used up'. They were originally - and still are - a social event between the artist/performer and the viewer. But contemporary society has framed it in the terms of market economics and convinced you that that is what you are when you engage in these activities: a consumer. Idk how you feel about that but it makes me feel very passive and not in control. And ofc their solution to that is for you to buy more of their 'goods'.

Anyway. I've gotten way off-topic and I don't even remember what my original point was. Oh yeah. The Insidious cycle of micro-dependencies. Or the cycle of insidious dependencies. Either way, I think overall we have been led very far astray in our beliefs about what we need to live a good life and how to be happy.
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