I think drugs get a bad rap. They get blamed for all kinds of stuff that isn’t their fault. So, because drugs and all of their associated issues smack me in the face pretty much every day, I feel compelled to share two (2) key points that I think people often overlook when confronted with drugs: 1) ALL drugs indicate sickness of some sort; and, 2) Sometimes the sickness is that the person using drugs is a jerk.
Look, there’s no such thing as a drug that isn’t used because of sickness. Think about it: People use drugs to either cure or treat a sickness. If someone is suffering with a sinus infection, he or she needs to take an antibiotic to kill the bacteria causing the infection. If someone is in pain, chances are that the person will take aspirin, acetaminophen, or some other pain reliever. In either case, the drug is used to cure or treat a sickness. Even alcohol is used to treat some form of pathology – how many times has a movie portrayed someone who’s had a bad time walk into a bar and say, “What a day, I need a drink”? The stress is alleviated through the use of alcohol and really, I don’t know any truly healthy people who use drugs of any kind. Therefore, I have no doubt that all drug use indicates sickness of varying degree.
Sometimes, people use drugs because they’re just jerks. Even if these people stopped using drugs, they’d still struggle with being functional and respectful people. I’ve known several people who have had successful recoveries who I just don’t like. Hell, I even know a few people who I liked better when they drank. The point is that even though a person uses drugs, it doesn’t mean that he or she will be more likeable, responsible, or respectful if he or she stopped using drugs. A lot of the time, people either self-medicate their anxiety or numb themselves as a way to either feel ok or avoid life’s complications. Most of the time, drug users never learned to trust themselves within the “real world.”
Really, some drugs indicate deeper sickness than others and nowadays it appears as though “recreational use” somehow eliminates the pathology that’s a natural part of drug use. But any drug use, even if recreational, indicates that there’s something unhealthy going on with the user. As I’ve said many times, drug use is usually symptomatic of something deeper. Instead of wishing dug away, I recommend working with someone to identity ways to leverage his or her strengths. In time, if health is built, the need to use will diminish if people builds their own sense of health with the support of people who love them.