Humans self-administer drugs of great diversity and in massive quantities.
Other animals dose themselves too, albeit less extravagantly.
Man-made psychoactive substances are currently dwarfed in number by those found in nature, indeed the drugs of choice for most people are from plants.
Each leaf of a potent herb is like a synthetic chemistry lab, and they have been producing cocktails of chemicals long before the shiny glass reaction vessels of human chemists.
Currently our best attempts to making an elixir vitae are by imitating what nature has explored years before the drug discovery labs of today.
Some examples of plants that have changed mankind's inner world:
|What all these substances have in common is their ability to affect the mind in a desirable way.|
By eating, drinking, smoking, chewing, injecting, or snorting these substances a person can take control of their mental state,
Taking the reins of an otherwise wild and untamed beast.
It is this power to manipulate what is inside us predictably and precisely that is so alluring about psychoactives
When a person feels without control or power in their life the use of powerful substances can give back what they sorely desire.
However despite the effectiveness of boosting one's mood with a cup of coffee or a shot of morphine, the effects do not last any longer than the drug stays in your bloodstream. Once the blissful elixir has departed, you will feel no better than before, indeed perhaps worse due to the adaptive processes that occur within the body.
Regretfully those who desperately look for salvation in psychoactives often find themselves on a downward spiral, becoming ever more dependent on self-administered satisfaction. In many societies users are persecuted by their society, complicating their lives furthur.
The roles of drugs within a culture can be facilitating, as well as devastating. Consider caffeine's ability to improve work output in laborers, and then consider crack cocaine's ability to permanently alter an individuals' basic motivations, affecting how they operate, and their self identity.
Psychoactives are merely tools of the mind... yet the potential of such tools is immense.
The ability to change ones mind through administration of physical substances messes with many established beliefs to the effect that body and mind are separate identities. If the mind is immortal and will transcend the body as it perishes, then why can one change the mind via the flesh, and vi ca versa?
There is in fact no duality of mind and matter, only a convenient distinction: what was obvious since the first use of opium poppies, is now irrefutable with the current understanding of the brain.
Now what to do?
|Get something for that grating cough|
|Feed your pet psychostimulants|