Psychedelic Drugs. Essay

2353 words - 9 pages

Why do people use drugs? Virtually everyone in every society participates in the drug culture. There is a universal human need to alter ones' consciousness, thus resulting in an overwhelming amount of drug use cross-culturally. The relationship between humans and psychoactive substances is an ongoing one, and dates back to the origination of human life. A drug can be defined as any and all substances that alter the normal human state. These are nonfood substances with some sort of pharmacological effect. The uses of these drugs are numerous, but stem from one of three main purposes: health seeking, spiritual, or recreational uses. Human participation in drug use creates individualized societies, and customs unique to those societies.As humans, we are apt to share our healing powers. In doing so, healing practices have incorporated the use of drugs in all cultures. In the United States, almost everyone seeks health from practitioners who prescribe pharmaceuticals to the patient. Physicians prescribe these substances to eradicate illness and disease within the patient. In a sense, Americans have become accustomed to the availability drugs, legal and illegal, controlled and uncontrolled. Most Americans have developed a faith in their doctors, putting trust in them high above everyone else in their lives. Pharmaceutical use has led to dependencies resulting in what could be a lifelong battle. In such capitalistic societies, such as America, distribution of pharmaceuticals is more of a money making scheme than a healing method. Not only are pharmaceuticals prescribed to alleviate symptoms of illness and disease, but are also prescribed to enhance the width of their pocketbooks. In many cases, physicians take advantage of the confused and desperate patient to prescribe pharmaceuticals when unnecessary.Psychoactive substances have been in use by humans from the beginning of existence. Nutmeg achieved an important status is early European medicine during the Middle Ages. Nutmeg has been a popular spice among many societies for many centuries. Most consumption of the spice has no effect on the user, however, large doses of nutmeg can affect the central nervous system, to produce hallucinogenic effects in humans. Nutmeg has held the reputation of having "wondrous healing properties, for a great variety of ailments, from kidney disease to chronic irritability to impotence" (1). The spice has been introduced to Europeans and other western societies for such medicinal purposes. By looking at the historical uses of psychoactive substances, we get a deeper understanding of the modern relationship between humans and the medicinal uses of these substances.Across the world, in the Far East, Chinese cultures practice many other healing techniques, incorporating many other uses of drugs. For the Chinese, the human body is based on energy: when these energies are in balance, one is healthy, and when they are out of balance, one is unhealthy. The Chinese believe that...

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