Why Do People Do Drugs?

Marijuana is often used to provide relaxation and an altered mood.
Coffee is the most common psychotropic in the world.
Drugs such as heroin can dull pain.
Nicotine in cigarettes is a commonly used stimulant.
Some drugs require a prescription.
Someone might do cocaine for the feeling of sharpness and rush it can provide.
Article Details
  • Written By: Brendan McGuigan
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 14 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are many different types of drugs, and people use them for all sorts of different reasons. Drugs are any sort of substance a person can introduce to the body that changes the way the body functions. Some drugs help us heal, some help us think more clearly, and some alter our perceptions of the world radically, shifting our brain chemistry. In medicine, drugs range from fairly mild drugs that can be purchased over the counter, to much more extreme drugs that require a prescription. There are many different types of recreational drugs as well, and may be completely unregulated, regulated but legal, or entirely illegal.

Many people do drugs on a daily basis, but since they are legal and pervasive, they don’t think of it that way. Caffeine, for example, is a fairly potent psychotropic drug and stimulant, and many people ingest it daily. Coffee is the most used psychotropic in the world, with an average consumption in the United States of more than three cups each day. Alcohol is another commonly used drug, and although it is regulated in many countries, it is widely used. The nicotine found in cigarettes is yet another example of commonly used legal drugs, although it is also often regulated in many developed nations.

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Often when people ask why others do drugs, what they mean is why people do drugs that are illegal. For example, in the United States marijuana has been illegal for many decades, yet remains a commonly used drug. People generally use marijuana for much the same reasons they use alcohol, to relax and experience a slightly altered state of consciousness. Although illegal, many people in the United States tend to treat marijuana much the same way they treated alcohol during Prohibition, as something to be hidden, but not avoided.

In many cases, people do drugs because they are trying to escape from the world in some way. Drugs like heroin or morphine can help dull pain and thought, releasing pleasurable chemicals in the body that make the user feel like their problems are drifting away. In other cases, people might do drugs like speed or cocaine to feel a rush of energy well in excess of that given by caffeine, and a feeling of sharpness and togetherness that may be lacking in their daily lives. These feelings can be very emotionally addictive, but may also build up a physical addiction that can be incredibly difficult to break. This leads users to feel actively bad when not taking the drugs, leading to a feedback loop that encourages yet more and more drug use.

In other situations, people do drugs not as a recreational vehicle, but as a path to a different state of consciousness. People may choose to take hallucinogens like LSD or mescaline, for example, not simply to have a good time, but to try to expand their understanding of the world and their own lives. Drugs like peyote or ayhuasca may be used in spiritual practices by established religions or spiritual traditions, as part of their experience of god or the divine.

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Discuss this Article

anon283248
Post 13

People do drugs because the drugs bring fun and happiness. It's only the dumb people who make a dirty spectacle of themselves. Substance use is a fine way to spend an afternoon. If one is wise, he can enjoy many substances with no ill affects.

Dumb people, on the other hand, behave stupidly and cause all the trouble for those of us who are wise enough to live in peace and good order. Those of us who are wise should have the freedom to enjoy life without oppression.

anon145906
Post 9

I was married to a man I adored and so did our children. I found out at 44 years old he had been taking drugs. We had a business, beautiful home nice cars, the lot, and lost it all. He still denies being a user. he hasn't owned it. We lost everything.

How do you help someone who does not acknowledge he has a problem? The relationship is over, but he still has children who love him and want their old dad back.

The addiction or as he calls it "bad decisions" affects the whole family.

anon144329
Post 8

marijuana should be legalized. All drugs should be definitely legalized. it would stop the hustling and violence will decrease. so teach your offspring about the subject and don't lie to them. tell them the sole truth.

AZgirl32
Post 5

BabyBoomer67- Thank you for the kind advice. My husband is his best friend and yes, we have thought about contacting that network about him. I’m not sure if he would be willing to be on that show; he may be a drug addict, but he has a lot of pride and wouldn’t want anyone to know how he spends his days.

I did contact a talk show host, who is very interested in getting him on the show, but we need the help of his family and they contribute to his problem by supplying money and free housing. He has a 10 year old son who thinks the world of him and maybe they can use that angle to help him.

BabyBoomer67
Post 4

AZgirl32- I am sorry to hear about your friend. I watch that show on T.V. that follows the addicted person around and interviews them to find out why they are on drugs. Then they have a surprise intervention with their family and friends and offer them help. If they accept it, they leave immediately to the treatment center and it’s supposed to be free. Have you thought about holding an intervention? If I really cared about someone and wanted good, free help I would probably try it. Good luck.

AZgirl32
Post 3

My long time friend has started using Methamphetamines and I am so afraid to lose him. He cannot afford to pay any bills, child support or even buy groceries. It hurts to see him slowly killing himself and there isn’t a dang thing I can do about it. I have called rehabilitation centers in Arizona and they all say he has to willingly check himself in and can leave at any time.

How can I get him to understand how much he means to me and get him the help he deserves? Is there any legal way to get him checked into a facility if his life is in danger?

anon84125
Post 2

i think looking at the reasons people don't do drugs would help to understand better why others do. we all seek out highs in our own way. who's to say going down a waterfall in a barrel drug-free is safer then popping a pill?

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