When you ask people in the streets whether they agree with the prohibition of narcotics, many of them will say they do. However, the question is if a ‘drug-free world’- as the United Nations propagate – would be a realistic aim.
Animals use substances too
Let’s start with the fact that human beings aren’t the only ones who wish to alter their state of consciousness from time to time. A couple of weeks ago we already published an article in which eleven animals were listed that like to get high. Apparently use of psychoactive substances isn’t just a human affair.
Even kids like to change their minds
When we look at children, we observe that they as well have a tendency to investigate how to alter their state of mind. Don’t you remember yourself as a kid, spinning around and around to get a head rush? Didn’t you marvel at the effects?
The use of substances was quite ordinary in many ancient cultures
Next to children and animals a lot of ancient cultures embraced the use of substances. In ancient China for example, coca was cultivated. Once a year the ancient Greeks held a gathering at which a psychoactive brew was consumed. The drink was made from ergot, a fungal parasite of the barley or rye grain that contains LSA. Up to the present day, the indigenous people from the Amazon use a wide variety of psychoactive plants.
In the Netherlands a Germanic shamanistic culture existed around the start of the millennium. Here psychoactive plants were used as well. In their turn the Celts were using opium. Many of those traditions were abolished with the rise of Christianity. Christians believed there’s only one way to God: through prayer. Therefore psychoactive substances were prohibited.
Only ten percent of users have a problem with their substance
The use of drugs is a natural need. According to the American professor Siegel it is, next to food, drink and sex, the fourth drive of human being. He claims every human being has an innate need to investigate altered states of consciousness.
Just because of recurrent propaganda we came to believe that all drugs use are bad. You wouldn’t believe the source, but a study of the United Nations Office on Drug Control, the largest organisation behind the War on Drugs, says only ten percent of drug users experiences problems. The other ninety percent thus uses substances without harming anyone, not even themselves. Obviously it’s still interesting to question why those ten percent do have problems. Maybe we can find the answer in the animal world as well...
How drug problems come into being
As described earlier, the mongoose only became interested in eating morning glory when he was sad: he wanted to escape his feelings. Therefore we can say the use of substances has two different reasons: curiosity or escaping reality.
It may be clear that drug problems mainly exist in the group of users that has the tendency to escape. If those people can’t stand ordinary life, this tendency won’t cease to exist. Do we want to solve problems with drugs, then we have to take into account the underlying causes and ask ourselves why it is that someone doesn’t know how to limit himself.
To prohibit substances altogether wouldn’t work. It’s actually ridiculous, as it’s a natural need (as is shown by professor Siegel’s investigations). A large group of people therefore will keep searching for alternatives and even break the law for it. Indeed, you cannot stop eating and drinking either.
-Why animals eat psychoactive plants - Boingboing.net.
Written by: Sofie