• Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    I was wondering about thoughts about mind altering drugs. Cannabis is now legal in my state, and there hasn't been a rise in crime or drug addiction. Actually, in most cases drug addiction among opiod users has reduced. Suicide rates have dropped as well, which is a curious phenomenon associated with marijuana.

    Apart from that, what's the lure of mind altering drugs to a person? Is the prejudiced belief that people are hedonists or want to 'escape' from reality for a brief while, actually the case?

    There seems to have or is occurring a pragmatic shift not as viewing non-addictive drugs as an issue anymore, and instead trying to find their utility, which I welcome.

    It's quite amazing that you can get prescribed methamphetamine in the US, under the brand name 'Desoxyn'; but, marijuana is still a Schedule I drug.

    Anyway, apart from the feel good message, I am interested in knowing what others think about psychotropic drugs. Is there some benefit or utility to be derived from them, and if so, what are they? I've seen and heard amazing stories about Ayahuasca and San Pedro. Psilocybin is quite an interesting drug too due to its potential utility for treating depression, OCD, and phobias. I have no idea what use LSD has, other than micro-dosing, which purportedly increases creativity and stamina, along with energy levels. MDMA is being investigated as a tool to help treat PTSD. And so on.
  • Bitter Crank
    5.8k
    I have far too little experience with marijuana, and none with the other popular mind-altering drugs to say anything about it. I can say this, however: people have used psychotropic drugs for a very long time. Much of that was use was in ritual settings, meaning people used the drugs as part of a search for meaning. (Granted, they might have enjoyed the drugs as well). The Eleusinian Mystery cult, which held its rituals at Eleusis. was connected with Demeter and Persephone, used hallucinogens as part of the effort to achieve visions of an afterlife.

    The principle risks these days are connected with a) impure drugs, b) reckless mixing of drugs and alcohol, and c) over use. If a little LSD is enlightening, acid trips every weekend are not necessarily going to be a good thing.

    I take Rx mind altering drugs -- have for years. My chief complaint about them is that even when they are highly effective, they tend not to be enlightening or amusing. I also drink caffeine, have inhaled nicotine, and drink alcohol -- all of which have mind altering properties. Life without coffee would not be worth living. Ditto for alcohol, and maybe ditto for cigarettes, even though I haven't smoked for 20+ years.
  • gurugeorge
    330
    Generally speaking, I think all the (relatively safe) psychoactive drugs can be valuable in giving insight and getting the ol' noggin' joggin', but they all have considerable downsides too - some have high tolerance, some have other adverse side-effects, etc. And often, at some point you notice that the insights get a bit samey after a while (at a meta level, the different drugs have their own "groove," induce particular types of thoughts).

    On the whole, I think it would be better if they were folded into society in a more ritualized context (as with ayahuasca, etc.), rather than "wild" usage, but I'm not sure that's feasible in the current social context.
  • Pattern-chaser
    66
    We use drugs for all kinds of reasons, some therapeutic, some merely for the pleasure of the experience. The main problem I see with drugs (albeit not the only problem) is the laws we have against them, and the enforcement of those laws. They seem to me to cause so much more harm than the drugs do, to the individual or to society.

    I have MS, and use cannabis to moderate the rather unpleasant experiences that MS can deliver. No other substance that I know of can offer the benefit I get from cannabis. And I like the feeling of being stoned; I find it enjoyable. And it helps with the pain. Win-win. :up:
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    Much of that was use was in ritual settings, meaning people used the drugs as part of a search for meaning.Bitter Crank

    It's interesting that one thinks that drugs will give them more meaning in life. It depends on the drug obviously, but I don't think this is a safe idea to profess or be lured into.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    We use drugs for all kinds of reasons, some therapeutic, some merely for the pleasure of the experience. The main problem I see with drugs (albeit not the only problem) is the laws we have against them, and the enforcement of those laws. They seem to me to cause so much more harm than the drugs do, to the individual or to society.Pattern-chaser

    Yeah, I guess then we ought to be more pragmatic about the issue then? Why haven't we already adopted this attitude?

    I have MS, and use cannabis to moderate the rather unpleasant experiences that MS can deliver. No other substance that I know of can offer the benefit I get from cannabis. And I like the feeling of being stoned; I find it enjoyable. And it helps with the pain. Win-win.Pattern-chaser

    Yeah, I used to use cannabis for treating my ADD. I can't really utilize it though due to its psychoactive effects. If you could remove the psycho-activity, then it would be the most promising ADD drug possible, due to not being able to develop tolerance to the positive effects. Other drugs like stimulants develop tolerance to some degree, or their effects are too rewarding in general.
  • Bitter Crank
    5.8k
    Where I mentioned drugs and meaning, I was speaking of drug use in a ritual context where there was more than mere drug-taking going on. The drugs were intended to enhance the ritual at a particular moment.

    Otherwise, I totally agree that drugs, alone, do not give meaning any more than Coca Cola gives meaning.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    Where I mentioned drugs and meaning, I was speaking of drug use in a ritual context where there was more than mere drug-taking going on. The drugs were intended to enhance the ritual at a particular moment.Bitter Crank

    So, the process of taking drugs themselves has a attained or undergone ritualization, which is a sort of unrealistic idealization of their use? Hence, the false lure that they have attained?

    Not, the same kind of morning ritual of making coffee, taking a shower, and pumping yourself up with positive feedback or thoughts?
  • Ying
    165
    So, the process of taking drugs themselves has a attained or undergone ritualization, which is a sort of unrealistic idealization of their use? Hence, the false lure that they have attained?Posty McPostface

    He's talking about the entheogenic use of mind altering substances.

    Not, the same kind of morning ritual of making coffee, taking a shower, and pumping yourself up with positive feedback or thoughts?

    Not unless you take a near lethal dose of coffee every morning. Most of those entheogenic uses come down to ordeal rituals (like sweat huts, dancing until exhaustion, fasting for extended periods etc).
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    He's talking about the entheogenic use of mind altering substances.Ying

    What's that, enlighten me(?)
  • Arne
    295
    I do not believe in drugs for non-recreational purposes.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k


    What do you mean by that?
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k

    Ah, a smiley face. Here's one too: =]
  • Wayfarer
    6k
    When I came of age in the sixties, cannabis was hugely fashionable, so too LSD. But my perspective on them was, it wasn’t simply about cheap thrills and the desire for a rush, but about heightened awareness. Listening to music became a much more intense experience because you would notice details that you otherwise had never heard and it would spark amazing internal vistas. Ideas, humour, and many other things, took on an intense kind of reality that you felt you had never noticed before. [Of course, wisdom says that much of this is imaginary. There’s the legendary story told by Betrand Russell about the man who managed to write down something whilst high from nitrous oxide, and when he looked at it later, it said ‘the smell of petrolieum prevails throughout’.]

    Of course there is also a hedonistic side to cannabis along with the fact that it’s too easy to become dependent on it; it’s true that cannabis dependency interferes with your ability to mature and get on with life. I’ve seen it happen to friends. But it’’s not only that. Recently, after many decades of abstinence, I encountered some ‘edibles’ - cookies. Again, there was a sense of a heightened appreciation of reality. It’s totally different from the effects of liquor.

    Cannabis use is being legalised in many countries now, and I can’t see too much wrong with that, with the caveat that it really ought not to become highly commercialised and certainly not advertised. But it’s a very benign drug compared to crystal meth or cocaine and even alcohol. I can’t imagine a group of twenty-somethings brawling in the streets after smoking pot. They’re more likely to be giggling.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k


    So, I'm going to point out the elephant in the room and ask to you or anyone else, why has these ethnogenic rituals been outlawed by so many governments and societies instead of others given how profound and important they are to some?
  • Ying
    165
    So, I'm going to point out the elephant in the room and ask to you or anyone else, why has these ethnogenic rituals been outlawed by so many governments and societies instead of others given how profound and important they are to some?Posty McPostface

    Wat.

    https://thethirdwave.co/legality-ayahuasca/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_psilocybin_mushrooms
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_Salvia_divinorum
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    Wat.Ying

    Yeah, why is cannabis illegal or other Schedule I drugs in that category or status, at least here in the US?
  • Ying
    165
    Even better, you can get some entheogenic substances straight from your local garden center. The number of those go up if you're in for particularly harrowing experiences too, since they sell the really hard shit; deliriants mostly. Why? Because they look nice (sold as ornamentals). Not particularly nice highs though, from what info I've gathered. Not something I would like to try anyway.
  • Posty McPostface
    3.5k
    I mean, highly addictive drugs like amphetamine, methylphenidate, and methamphetamine are available through prescription in the US; but, it's punishable by law to posses non-addictive (comparatively) Cannabis or MDMA or LSD. Why?
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