Drugs and Alcohol



            Recreational drugs are one of the only methods of changing one’s mind without changing one’s attitudes or opinions.  Almost every culture and society that has ever existed has developed some method to be pleasantly intoxicated.  It has been suggested that there may even be a biological drive to alter consciousness.  One should abandon the idea that shortcuts to hedonic satisfaction are inherently evil or a sign of moral depravity.  The focus should be on risks, costs, control, and functional impact.

            Much of the cultural wisdom, folklore, and mythology concerning drugs has focused on the dangers of heroine, the amphetamines (including cocaine), barbiturates, PCP, and pain killers.  In fact, many do not appreciate that alcohol and cigarettes are by far the most dangerous drugs from a social cost point of view.  Indeed, most do not think of alcohol and cigarettes as drugs (which they clearly are) simply because the delivery system is not by pill or injection.  However, cloaking a chemical, a drug, in a liquid delivery system, or a smokable-stick, does not mitigate its dangerous properties one iota. 

            Booth said it well:

“Drink has drained more blood, Hung more crepe,

Sold more houses,

Plunged more people into bankruptcy,

Armed more villains,

Slain more children,

Snapped more wedding rings,

Defiled more innocence,

Clouded more eyes,

Twisted more limbs,

Dethroned more reason,

Wrecked more manhood,

Dishonored more womanhood,

Broken more hearts,

Blasted more lives,

Driven more to suicide, and Dug more graves than any other poison scourge that ever swept its death-dealing waves across the world.”

                        Evangeline Booth:  Good Housekeeping

            There is a master principle regarding the taking of recreational drugs.  With the exception of the verboten drugs (listed below), drugs should only be taken in small amounts, infrequently, and under circumstances where important work, love, child rearing, and safety functions are not compromised.  This is the rule of moderation.  The second master principle is even simpler.  If you can’t use in moderation, you must abstain absolutely and completely.

Advice on Drugs, Etc.

1.  The general key to the wise use of drugs (alcohol, coffee, marijuana, LSD, cocaine, etc.) is control and moderation.

2.  Although moderation is the general key to recreational drugs, you should never use heroin, never inject a drug, never use PCP, never use barbiturates (reds), and never, never take a drug when you are not certain about what you are taking (Note:  most cities have a free service where you can anonymously submit a drug and have its contents analyzed).

3.  Don’t take a drug prescribed by a physician until you have (a) memorized its name, (b) know what it’s a treatment for, and (c) know what its side effects and risks are.

4.  Never take recreational drugs when you feel sad, depressed, anxious and confused.

5.  Take recreational drugs when you feel happy and relatively trouble free.

6.  Take recreational drugs when you have finished your work for the day.

7.  Use recreational drugs:  (a) after 3 p.m., (b) before a vacation day (not before a work day), (c) with one or two good friends (not in a group with unknown people, and not alone), (d) indoors or in a backyard (but not in a public place), and (e) in a situation where you won’t have to drive while under the influence and where there are not environmental dangers (e.g. cliffs, pools, etc.).

8.  If you take recreational drugs according to the rules stated here, then don’t let anyone make you feel guilty or foolish about using drugs.  Enjoy the experience and teach yourself to enjoy low doses of drugs (be a gourmet).

9.  Do not ever take narcotic painkillers (Vicoden, Oxycotin, Percocet, Morphine, etc.) for any other reason than to treat an actual pain caused by a medical condition or injury.

10.  Avoid taking any recreational drugs before (one month) or during pregnancy.  This rule applies to coffee, alcohol, grass (cannabis), aspirin, over-the-counter pain and cold remedies, everything.  If you feel unable to do this, see a psychologist or a psychiatrist immediately.

11.  Except for caffeine, don’t use any drug (recreational) more than two days a week.

12.  Drink wine or beer and avoid hard alcohol (whiskey, etc.).

13.  Drink alcohol to get intoxicated, not to quench your thirst.  If you are thirsty, drink water or a soft drink before you drink alcohol.

14.  Drink alcohol before or during meals.  Drink slowly so as to maintain a steady, light intoxication.

15.  If you like both grass (marijuana) and alcohol, and you are not sure which to use, then smoke grass (unless the legal risks are too great).

16.  Don’t mix drugs.  Choose your pleasure for the evening and stick with it.  Especially don’t mix alcohol with other drugs.

17.  Don’t tell your children to “never use drugs.”  Teach the rule of moderation.  Don’t tell your children horror stories about drugs.

18.  If you take recreational drugs in pill form or powder form (e.g., Valium, cocaine, Dexedrine) then don’t take them in the presence of your children, and make sure your children can’t accidentally find and use them.  Don’t be intoxicated in the presence of your children unless you have excellent self-control.

19.  Don’t take one drug to undo the unpleasant effects of another drug (e.g., a Valium to calm you down after using cocaine).

20.  Use recreational drugs to enhance an experience (e.g., a meal, a movie, a talk, a game) rather than as a form of entertainment in itself (LSD is an exception to this rule).

21.  If you can’t follow these rules, then don’t use drugs.  If you can’t follow this rule, seek professional help.

22.  If a friend wants a drug, give it to him, or her, never sell drugs.  But don’t give drugs to friends who break the rules in this chapter.