Why Do We Use Drugs (Or How Are Zombies Made)

Real Relationship Advice

Have you ever wondered why someone starts doing drugs? We know they are bad. We know that you lose focus, drive and you can forget about being goal driven if you are high. We know that you do really stupid things when you are high. We now know that you could end up feasting on cheek bones and using your bowels in an attempt to get-away from the authority (which, in case you are taking notes, is all bad). So why do drugs?  Why get high? Why risk the arrest, heart attack, psychosis or just weight gain from munchies?

Simply put, we do drugs to avoid reality. Drug addicts will tell you that the addiction process began like this:

1. I wanted to ‘check out’ of reality.

2. I heard that such and such drug gave you a great high.

3. I was curious.

4. I tried it (got high).

5. I did it again because that first high was so good.

6. I continue to do it to get that first high feeling which seems to continually elude me.

Of course the addicts can only explain this when clean and sober for a long time.

We are socialized that feelings are bad and that they should be avoided or suppressed at all times. We are reared in homes where Dad/Mom has a drink at the end of the day to relax or we watch TV/movies where the characters are so humorous when over-indulging. Who can forget Lucy’s VitaVeetaVegiman routine where she must repeatedly drink an energy drink until she is smashed? Classic TV with a very strong message.

Now, before you get your pitchforks, we are not advocating teetotaling or removing all substance use from the media. We are simply pointing out that certain images create a normal way of being in society. Showing kids partying in high school while the parents are away is like the backdrop to every teenage movie. Binge drinking and using illegal drugs of one kind or another is also seen as ‘normal’. If we showed kids shooting up or losing all inhibitions and engaging in indiscriminate sex with multiple partners we would all cry “foul”!  Everything else is considered normal.

Checking out is socially acceptable. Vegging out in front of the TV, happy hour at the end of a hard week and that bucket of wine or cocktail before dinner is as common as a cold. We do this so that we can disconnect. We do this so that we can separate ourselves from stress. So, is it so hard to understand why someone would try a substance that may cause aberrant behavior? Is it so hard to comprehend that there are people out there that buckle under the smallest stressors and search out a sure fire way of checking out that may put their lives at risk? No, it isn’t.

The zombie apocalypse is not at hand. Put away your shotgun and aluminum bats. What we have is a society that won’t deal with their feelings and the only socially acceptable methods require opening us up to the risk of addiction. Sure, most of us can have a drink and be fine. Sure, most of us have tried pot and lived to tell the tale. Sure, some of us tried cocaine and escaped psychosis or a heart attack.  There are people who have tried heroin and crack one time and never went back! Addiction is a crap shoot. Next time you want to check out and want to try the ‘new high’ you need to ask yourself, ‘do you feel lucky, punk?’

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