Throughout human history, people have pursued new ways to alter their mental, emotional, and physical states. From fermented grapes and spiritual mushrooms to powdered alcohol and pharmaceutical concoctions, substances have always had a place in society, and the variety just keeps growing. But if the effects are so appealing and the choices are so numerous, why don't more people decide to use drugs now?
In an effort to put your own substance use or sobriety in perspective, we've explored some of the most common and compelling reasons that people stay drug-free.
It's true that drugs are more abundant, accessible, and potent than ever before. However, we also have better mobile technology, easier ways to socialize, and more variety in our TV, movie, music, food, and book choices. With so many other hobbies and habits to choose from, it's little wonder that people keep saying no to drugs. They simply prefer other forms of entertainment and recreation.
In fact, choice is the first and biggest difference between drug use and sobriety. Every time you use drugs, you make a conscious choice to rule out your other options. Sobriety is simply the result of choosing one of those other options instead. In order to stay substance-free on a long-term basis, people must understand why they made that choice, and then pursue the alternatives they've been ignoring.
Today, marijuana is gaining rapid legal ground as a medicinal and recreational drug, and new prescription pills are patented every year. Modern regulations mean these legal substances must meet strict safety criteria, and media advancements give the average person unprecedented access to information about the effects of legal and illegal drugs. All in all, drug use is safer than ever before, and the effects are more specific and powerful too. However, even if using a drug won't lead to addiction, overdose, or arrest, that doesn't necessarily make it an appealing choice.
It all depends on your personal priorities. If you want to lose weight, you eat in moderation. If you want to have a productive weekend, you watch TV in moderation. The same thing happens with drug use, though many choose to abstain completely, many people decide it's more important to be personally responsible and fulfill their goals. That also means they need to maintain control over what they do and say, so they don't use drugs that might impair their ability to maintain that control.
As people age and their priorities change, the physical side effects of drugs can get harsher and less convenient. Even if they enjoy the immediate effects of smoking or swallowing their substances of choice, they may not want to endure the sore throat, memory lapses, headache, or other physical side effects that take over when it wears off.
Our organs also become less resilient as we get older, so it's harder to "bounce back" from benders. That's why college students and young professionals are associated with binge drinking, but social rituals eventually evolve into wine tastings and cocktail parties as we enter adulthood.
Frequent and heavy drug use often ends as a result of growing up and aging out of the behavior all on its own but some people have more difficulty knowing when to stop. If you or a loved one are having substance use issues and want to learn more, call today and speak with one of our Guest Service Consultants.