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.