You can also watch our episode on the topic on Digicosm TV: FiST Chat 49: Recreational Drugs.
No, I am not a user! Therefore, unlike the title of this blog post would suggest, this will not be a breakdown of my experiences using recreational drugs. However, the hows and whys of people taking drugs to improve their moods and abilities, or just to chill out, has been quite fascinating to me, and I can think of one particular example that covers this quite well.
Several years ago, I caught up with a friend one night at a pub for a drink in Melbourne. My friend had arrived before I did and unbeknownst to me, he had somehow been invited to join a group of people he didn’t know at another table. No, they were not the drug couriers! They seemed like an interesting bunch of people and it appeared it would turn in to a fun evening, if somewhat unexpected in its detail.
At one point, I was locked in a friendly conversation with one of the guys there, and the topic drifted towards drugs, although I can’t remember how we got on to this topic. I think he was trying to figure out what my vices were. Firing off his questions one by one, he asked, “what drugs do you take?” I replied, “None.” He then asked, “no really, what do you take?” And I replied again, “I don’t take any drugs.” And he asked, “Why not?”, to which I replied, “Never been interested.” And then his next question really stood out for me as something hard to forget, “How can you get through the day without taking something?” I remember mumbling something about getting through the day just fine, but the question caught me off guard in that I had never met someone, at least up until that point, that found life so tough that they needed to take some form of illicit substance in order to get through it on a day to day basis. I found it somewhat baffling in that I’ve never had this view point, nor had it even entered my mind, before or since. Our differing view points made for an interesting conversation; for my part I saw another side of life I had never seen, and for his part, he saw that it was possible to be positive and not rely on addictive habits. I do believe however that he lapsed back to his favourite vices once the evening was over and my friend and I had left!
Steve and I recorded a vodcast earlier in the year on the effects of caffeine where we discussed how it actually gives you a false sense of energy. Caffeine forces your body to draw on its reserves and bring that energy forward in a burst. The unfortunate problem is that once this effect wears off, the resulting crash is significant. Illicit drugs in many ways have the same effect, but in some cases are much worse because their effect on the brain and body is more significant, and can cause permanent damage. Unlike caffeine, the addictive properties of illicit drugs are more extreme, as are the psychological and physical effects on the brain (hence the reason they tend to be illegal). The highs may be great, but like any addictive substances, the more you take them, the less effect you will get from it, until one day your body becomes totally dependent on a drug just to attain even a normal level of psychological existence (if not worse). It is a vicious cycle and there are too many people who become victims of it.
The only thing I can suggest is to learn to generate your energy and well being yourself. Don’t rely on substances to do it for you!
Watch the episode FiST Chat 49: Recreational Drugs on Digicosm TV.
For more on the FiST Chat series, visit www.fistchat.com