Why Do People Use Drugs

Green marijuana buds in clear plastic bag

Everything High

Because it helps them to escape reality. It turns your world into a 3D-enhanced virtual reality room, allowing you to play with the controls as you wish, regardless of the consequences. Users lose interest in normality and forget that they also have responsibilities that cannot be sacrificed for pleasure, especially responsibilities to themselves and others around them. Drugs swallow some up like a black hole, while others can swiftly swim in the nearby space, without any problems returning back to reality and to their responsibilities.

What is your take on drug use and is society headed towards full-blown legalization of all drugs in 50+ years?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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Why Do People Use Drugs?

Green marijuana buds in clear plastic bag

Drug Use

Why do people use drugs? Because it turns their world into a 3D-enhanced virtual reality setting. This allows them to play with the controls as they wish, regardless of the consequences. Users lose interest in normality and may forget that they have responsibilities that cannot always be sacrificed for pleasure. Drugs swallow up some people like a black hole, while others casually float about in the surrounding space, without any problems returning back to reality.

No one intends on getting addicted to a substance. Some people start experimenting due to peer pressure, wanting to fit in, trauma or simple curiosity. We are not here to judge why someone experiments with a drug. Everyone comes from a different background and walk of life and had their specific reason for trying drugs. As mental health professionals, we can analyze with the patient why they started using them, but we’re not in the business of judging them. What’s the point of judgment? It’s not going to help them in the present moment.

Why do people use drugs - Papaver Somniferum orange flowers

So Why Do People Use Drugs? I Still Don’t Get It

Because they want to have fun! Regardless of why they started using drugs, it ultimately comes down to altering their perception of reality. When one alters their perception, they gain newfound knowledge or experiences that are euphoric, enticing and entertaining. Even if it’s for a few hours, it sometimes feels like eternity due to the slowing down of time. When in that euphoric spot, the world is perfect and no one can mess with it; they become one with their mind and surroundings. Music is enhanced, Netflix shows are more entertaining, and empathy for others increases with certain drugs such as MDMA and alcohol. This is why people use drugs.

But why do some people get addicted and others don’t? Because everyone’s brain chemistry and personality are different. Some people have better judgment, more motivation or more realistic expectations; this allows them to completely stop or take breaks that prevents an addiction from manifesting. Other people are not as good at holding themselves back from drug use. For these people, drugs overtake their life while attempting to remain functional. The problem is that drugs and functionality are not a good mix; imagine drinking alcohol and water at the same time. You’re either going to give up the booze or the water. The same goes with people who are prone to becoming addicted to drugs. They end up slowly sacrificing their functionality for more drug use, due to tolerance, dependence and withdrawal.

What is your take on drug use and is society headed towards full-blown legalization of all drugs within the next 25 years?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

America’s Playground: Hooked On Drugs

Drug addict holding cash and cigarette in hand

Welcome To The Candy Shop

Many chronic mentally ill patients who have been discharged from the hospital continue to abuse synthetic marijuana, known as K2 or Spice. It is readily available at bodegas, online or through the hands of drug dealers. There is no apparent good reason given by psychiatric patients for their usage of K2, besides its cheap price tag.

But countless times, whether sunny or rainy out, you can witness the flashing siren lights of a speeding ambulance rushing towards the hospital. You know right away: another K2 medical emergency. Many of these patients admit that they are addicted to the substance.

K2 is just synthetic marijuana: THC synthesized in the laboratory and mixed with other chemical compounds. Its users don’t care what chemicals make up K2; as long as it gets them high and gets them high quick! Many of these users will sit outside all day and just pass K2 joints in circles.

It’s a tragedy to see poor people waste their brain cells on this synthetic drug. Many even end up in the ICU on a ventilator and come out to light up again a week later. With vaping, K2, bath salts, “smart drugs” and other synthetic but legal drugs flooding the market, there is no knowing where this drug culture will take us next.

The two main drug epidemics engulfing the United States are heroin and methamphetamine: heroin on the east coast and meth on the west coast. East of the Mississippi, white powder heroin is more prevalent; west of the Mississippi, black tar heroin is more prevalent.

The meth capital of the United States is Fresno, California, with the addiction expanding eastward. But in-between, we have all these minor epidemics which include vaping, K2, alcohol, tobacco and stimulants. Stimulants are definitely on the rise! And yes, alcohol and tobacco are epidemics!

What we have here is America’s playground:

  • Legal deadly killers: alcohol and tobacco
  • Illegal deadly killers: heroin and methamphetamine
  • Legal stingers: K2, vaping and bath salts
  • Illegal stingers: cocaine and other stimulants

Marijuana is not mentioned in the list above because it’s not really a killer. But psychologically, the potential for addiction is great and is still considered a gateway drug by many. And no concrete evidence exists to demonstrate that opioid usage has gone down in states that have legalized marijuana.

This is America’s playground. It’s better to sit this one out, would you agree?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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