This post was inspired by a good friend of mine, who requested that I write a post and clarify why people feel the need to take drugs. I’ve been hesitating a bit, because this is such a sensitive topic, but the subject won’t leave me alone (some posts just want to be written). So, I’d like to offer this disclaimer before I start: What I’m offering here is the point of view that I most resonate with. You do not have to agree with me. If you have made your decision about how you feel about drugs and all things related, and you’re happy with your point of view, that’s great. But for those who still struggle to find a better feeling thought on this volatile subject, perhaps this perspective can offer some relief (or help to clarify your own perspective a little more…) There, I’ve disclaimered you. So, you know, keep the hate mail to a minimum. 😉
Why people take drugs
Everything we humans do, we do in the pursuit of feeling better. Some of us drink alcohol, some of us medicate with food, some swallow prescription pills, some light up a cigarette, and some shoot heroin. These are all behaviors aimed at achieving the same result: relief from discomfort or pain. Because here’s the dirty little secret: Taking drugs feels good. There, I got that out of the way right from the top. Queue the outrage. People don’t get drunk because they love the taste. They do it because it feels good to escape from everyday life. Harder drugs have the same effect, only to a much greater extent.
As I pointed out in my last post, Why We Fall For Weight Loss Scams, when we’re running away from pain, from thoughts about ourselves that feel awful, we’ll do completely irrational things in order to escape it, including buying miracle pills and useless exercise equipment. This same principle leads people to all kinds of destructive behavior.
When we’re in pain, when our daily lives are filled with thoughts that cause us to suffer, we’ll do just about anything to escape that. And drugs (as well as alcohol, pills, cigarettes, food, etc.) are quite effective in that department. Being drunk or high does lower your resistance – it clears the mind and temporarily loosens the grip of all the stuff we’re holding on to, all the ugly beliefs that weigh us down, and allows us to feel a higher vibration. And that feels good. This is what people are after when they take any kind of substance that chemically alters their state: relief from the thoughts that are causing them pain. This is the real “high” that people are chasing.
What’s really happening
When we take drugs (I’m just going to use drugs as a collective term for all kinds of addictions), the resistance we hold on to falls away. Our vibration is allowed to rise and we feel better. So, what’s the problem? Isn’t that the goal? Isn’t this very site filled with techniques and encouragement to always find a better feeling place? It is, but the difference is that when you deliberately raise your vibration, you permanently change its level. When you meditate, for example, you release resistance, raise your vibration and feel better. Every time you meditate, you raise your vibration a little more and over time, even if you think bad feeling thoughts again, you will never go quite as low as you were before you started with meditation. You’d have to make a deliberate attempt to feel bad.
When you artificially release resistance with drugs or alcohol, the resistance is released and your vibration is raised temporarily. After the high wears off, you come crashing down to your old vibration. Only, now that you’ve tasted a higher frequency, which feels so much better, the place you started feels even worse in comparison. And then, when you begin to focus on how badly you feel, and add guilt and shame about taking the drugs to the mix, you actually drive your vibration into an even lower place. This, of course, causes you to chase that better feeling with even more desperation, and thus, the addictive cycle begins.
Why the Drug War doesn’t work
I personally think the drug war and its approach is an utter failure and should be abandoned. I don’t voice that stance very often, because it causes a lot of people to automatically assume that I therefore support packing heroin into lunch boxes and handing them out at preschools, as if those were the only two viable options. “You’re either against drugs or you’re for them.” I’m sorry to disappoint, but I have a different view. I’m not against drugs. From my point of view, anyone who’s ever gotten drunk, medicated their kids or swallows handfuls of prescription drugs, can’t take a black and white view against drugs without being a huge hypocrite. I’m not saying that we should flood the streets with cocaine (and just for the record, I’m totally against the whole heroin in lunch boxes thing), but I truly don’t think that drugs are the problem – they are a symptom.
The drug war is based on the premise that if we just push hard enough against something, it will eventually go away. But once we understand how the law of attraction works – whatever we focus on positively or negatively, increases, we can see why this approach has only made the problem worse in so many ways. More and more people are addicted to harder and harder drugs, more crime has been committed and created, more prisons have had to be built, more, more, more of everything we don’t want. Isn’t it time to maybe change our approach?
But what about the children?
Whenever anyone offers any kind of criticism about the drug war, the first argument that’s thrown at them is that if we don’t keep fighting, all of our children will end up dying of overdoses. As if the only thing that’s keeping our kids off drugs is the fact that drugs are illegal. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but here it is: if your kids want drugs, they can get them. Anytime, anywhere, small town, big city, right now, today. If your kids aren’t taking drugs, it’s not because they’re afraid of the law, or of losing their teeth or of ending up as prostitutes. They’ve seen the posters and heard the warnings, but when you’re desperate, you don’t care about the consequences and anyone who’s ever stood in front of the refrigerator at three in the morning, scarfing chocolate cake and hating themselves for it can attest to that. If your kids aren’t taking drugs, it’s because they’ve learned different coping mechanisms that allow them to feel good. Peer pressure only works if they’re already susceptible. If they’re not taking drugs, it’s because they don’t need them, period.
Don’t demonize the symptom
I don’t judge people who take drugs. People who take drugs, especially hard drugs, but also pharmaceuticals and alcohol to excess, etc., are always in a lot of pain. You don’t self-medicate to that extent if you love your life. You have no need to. There has to be a sense of desperation there, even if the individual isn’t consciously aware of what exactly is causing their pain.
No one chooses to be addicted to drugs.
People choose to avoid pain and to run away from discomfort. They choose to feel better. The addiction and all the damage that goes along with it is an unfortunate consequence, the price of admission if you will, but it’s never the goal. And everything, EVERYTHING, the addict does in pursuit of that next hit – that next bit of relief, is only done out of a desperate need to feel better.
The only reason that people choose to take drugs and accept the consequences that come with them (or any addictive behavior) is because they don’t see any alternative. When people understand how to achieve the same result and even better, without destroying themselves, without the crash, they gladly choose it.
So, what’s the solution? There are several energetically aligned things we could do to achieve our actual goal – to reduce drug (and other) addictions and all their consequences, and allow people to heal.
Stop Pushing Against Drugs And Begin Focusing On What We Really Want
Again, since we know that what we push against increases, it makes no sense to continue to demonize drugs. Anti-drug messages such as “Just Say No” and “Drugs Are Evil,” do nothing to actually decrease the issue. In fact, they may well give teenagers something more to rebel against.
What is it that we really want? We want to feel safe. We want people to be rational (dealing with drug crazed criminals is much scarier than dealing with someone who’s motivation we can relate to). We want our kids to grow up in a world where the biggest mistake they can make is to ditch school to go to the movies. We want our world to be a peaceful place.
This same principle applies if you’re for the legalization of drugs, by the way. Pushing against the government and the drug war isn’t going to achieve that goal, either. And what I feel is so interesting is that the goals I just mentioned apply to both sides of the fence. We all just want to make our world a safer, more peaceful place to live. When you dig down deep enough into people’s true motivations, you often find that both sides actually want the exact same thing.
So, first, we should figure out what we truly want, how we truly want to feel, and then take all action from that point of view. You’ll act very differently if you’re thinking “I want to be safe” instead of “I don’t want to be in danger.”
Education, but very differently
A lot of the current drug prevention approach is based on education, which is great. But any half-way open minded person who’s ever sat through a high school anti-drug presentation will tell you that it’s not hitting its mark. Teenagers and kids are not idiots. And thanks to the internet, they’ll catch you in a lie faster than you can speak it. And all it takes is one uncovered falsehood to negate everything that was said. So, building an education campaign around fear and false facts is never going to work (and it isn’t, is it?) So, why not tell the truth?
What we’re currently teaching:
Drugs are evil, period. They have no redeeming value. Don’t take them.
This goes out the window:
- The first time a teenager gets drunk and loves it.
- When you see Daddy drink a six pack while watching a game.
- If your medicine cabinet contains more than aspirin.
- If anyone in your family was a hippie or anything other than a nun. Actually, even then.
Let’s tell the truth:
Drugs feel good. Yes, I know it’s scary to admit that, because we think that kids will hear that and run right out to shoot up. But guess what? Any kid over 14 (or is it earlier now?) already knows that. By admitting it, we build credibility. Besides, I’m not done yet.
So yeah, drugs feel good. But it’s an artificial way of feeling good and the result is that after they wear off, you feel worse and worse every time. Drugs are one way to achieve the goal of feeling better, but they come with a pretty high price of admission (cue images of rotten teeth and prostitution. These can be a consequence, after all.) Even if it doesn’t come to those extremes, the good feeling never lasts and it isn’t real. This is where we can tell them about our personal experiences, which the “drugs are bad and I never inhaled” approach doesn’t allow for. If you’re being authentic, your kids, or whoever you’re talking to, will know it.
We can teach children what drugs really are – if they see a druggy, we can explain to them that this is a person in a great deal of pain, who doesn’t know how to feel better. We can then explain to them that they have the power to choose how they feel. This drug addict doesn’t know that. It’s a much more honest and open dialogue than simply stating “drugs are bad”.
We can choose to feel better in each moment, no matter how horrible the pain might seem. And if we do it deliberately, the change will last.
Vibrationally Aligned Drug Rehab:
I’d love to see rehab centers adopt a policy of explaining to addicts how their addiction came about. I don’t mean in terms of chemical dependency and genetic predisposition, but in terms of emotions and the drive that caused their addictive behavior (basically the first part of this article). Some rehab clinics are already beginning to adopt a part of this philosophy with great success. They speak in terms of psychology instead of vibration, but it’s the same message. Unfortunately, it’s not that many yet, and it certainly hasn’t spread to the penal system. Taking someone who’s in a great deal of pain and undoubtedly feeling powerless and locking them away, will do nothing but make them feel even more powerless and cause them to be in even greater pain. There is almost no way that these individuals won’t relapse immediately upon release. They don’t see any other choice.
No, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t restrain people who’ve committed violent drug related crimes. Our society isn’t nearly ready for that (once it is, there won’t be any more drug related crime). But I do think that adding a large portion of vibrationally aligned education and rehab to the mix would go a long way toward decreasing the recidivism rates. Because it isn’t the physical addiction that causes people to keep coming back to the monkey, it the emotional one.
Giving them an understanding of what the drugs did for them (raised their vibration), and how they can achieve the same goals without the incredibly high cost of admission, sends the message that they were truly doing the best they could, given what they knew (instead of that they’re broken, which only adds to the pain, making the problem worse). And once they know better, they can do better, and be more successful at achieving their goals.
Again, no one chooses to be a drug addict. The answer lies in presenting people with choices that they didn’t know existed and proving to them that these other options are viable. Simply telling people to stay off drugs because they’re bad isn’t going to work. It doesn’t solve the problem and it just adds to their guilt and self-hatred. Solve the problem, show people how to release their pain, help them to raise their vibration and to feel better, and they’ll have no reason take drugs.
You can be addicted to anything
We all have coping mechanisms. You can be addicted to food, to exercise, to marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, self-cutting, the list goes on and on. Depending on where you’re at, your coping mechanisms may carry a small or a higher price, but there’s always a cost. I’ve personally been addicted to food, exercise and smoking in my life. All three were destructive in their own way, yes even the exercise. Anything that becomes an obsession and begins to take over your life will cost you.
I can personally attest that simply taking away that coping mechanism (quitting smoking, going on a diet, quitting cold-turkey) does nothing to solve the actual problem – whatever it was we were looking for relief from. We’re still in pain, and without the coping mechanism, it builds and builds until finally we explode and fall off the wagon.
Addiction and destructive behavior are never the goal – they’re a byproduct. No one chooses to be addicted to a substance or anything else. What we actually become addicted to is the relief from the pain. At best, it’s a distraction, at worst, we achieve a chemically altered state where our problems cease to exist for a while. In neither case is the problem actually solved. But once we understand how to release the pain, and that we can do it without a price of admission, permanently and much more effectively than any drug every could, the desire for the coping mechanism, whatever it was, disappears.
I understand that this is a very sensitive subject, and as I stated from the get go, you can disagree with me. I have no problem with that, and I actually encourage you to share your views in the comments. Truly hateful or inflammatory statements, however, will be sent to Spam purgatory. It’s my intention to keep this a loving and non-judgmental space, and well, my house, my rules. 🙂