Psychedelic Drugs.

Essay by UNTcheaterUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2003

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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...