General Question

animalover's avatar

Why do people do drugs?

Asked by animalover (31points) December 19th, 2009

Why do people do drugs? It just fucks up their life, and them self They’re so stubborn about it. What’s the point of getting high and then hurting their self for the immediate pleasure? That’s just fucking stupid, in my opinion.

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63 Answers

willbrawn's avatar

Bad parenting.

These kids aren’t taught correct principles. They want acceptance, friends, and someone to talk too. And they find that with whatever crowd they can.

chelseababyy's avatar

- Because they want to.
– Because they can.
– Because it’s an “escape”.
– Because they get pressured into it.
– Because their life is already a mess that they don’t think it matters.

There are tons of reasons why people do drugs. These are just a few.

rangerr's avatar

It’s not always bad parenting.

Pretty much what Chelsea said.
It’s a good stress reliever/escape.

Berserker's avatar

Once someone gets into drugs for whatever reason, it usually gets a lot more complicated than stated by those who don’t even know what weed smells like.

Peer pressure, an alternative to emotional pain, there are plenty of reasons. If you have no reason to want to try any out, you should just be thankful.

druebeall's avatar

Well “for fun” is totally out of the question. I think that it is a way to try and not feel or think about something that is very unpleasant.

Vunessuh's avatar

Hanging out with the wrong crowd.
Bad parenting.
Wanting to feel something different than the current emotions they are feeling.
Because they think it’s hip.
Among other things..

For the record, not every person has fucked up their life by doing drugs.
Trust me. I turned out okay.

wildpotato's avatar

To open the doors of perception. To experience everything life has to offer. For pure pleasure. Because of the addicting properties of feeling pleasure. To be with your friends. To calm physical, mental, and emotional pain, and of course the effects of other drugs. As William S. Burroughs would say, to live.

Doing drugs is not, for many, a way to ignore your life, or to drop out of it. It’s simply a way to experience some parts of your life in an altered state of mind and body.

Buttonstc's avatar

There must be a distinction made between doing drugs and being addicted to drugs.

It’s the being addicted part which screws up someone’s life.

People become addicted because they can’t deal with reality unaided. They didn’t develop coping skills and turned to drugs/booze as a crutch because they liked the euphoric feelings.

Another factor for some but not all is having a genetic pre-disposition. That doesn’t mean that anyone is doomed by genetics. Obviously poor choices contribute significantly.

It’s a complex issue, but at the bottom of it is the inability to deal with the reality of life without resorting to escape.

wildpotato's avatar

@Buttonstc You liken liking euphoric feelings altogether to having a crutch? But what about sex, and skydiving, and gaming, and skiing? Obviously one can get addicted to those things too, but just because someone likes inducing euphoric feelings doesn’t entail that they cannot deal with reality unaided. It’s when one pursues euphoric feelings to the exclusion of other priorities that we may call a it crutch, no?

cold_cut's avatar

well..i cant really say what got on to me when i started the whole drugs journey. I have awesome parents and life couldn’t give me more. I’d hate to blame it the the company i had then but as soon as i got out of that circle, i realized that it wasn’t for me..took me 4yrs and my x who was also into it. He still is and I’ve been clean for over 3yrs now. It made everything so much fun at the beginning and then later it was just, anywhere we go just get in a room and then do some lines. My parents couldn’t believe it when i told the then i needed to go to a rehab and i don’t understand it either. M a good girl, brought up with good values and good schooling, the works!! Some of us go through a phase and we cant understand either. I feel so guilty now that i let my parents down the most and they still love me unconditionally. The best part is m over and done with that now, i know it, they know it. :)

Buttonstc's avatar


Yes, you just expressed it better than I. I was trying to keep it simple, but my attempt was a bit too simplistic.

pouncey's avatar

Because they can.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Pain loneliness boredom anxiety anger depression insomnia… take your pick. And that’s just the list for what one person feels by him / her self.

Peer pressure bullying advertising escape feelings of unworthiness… those are a few that I came up with off the top of my head regarding people in groups and social situations.

Some people, believe it or not, try things just to see what the experience is like, in the same way that people explore caves in the ground, dive on shipwrecks and jump out of airplanes or off cliffs. Not everyone who “does drugs” is a hopeless addict or acting on a death wish, after all.

I still don’t recommend it. I don’t recommend those other things, either, just so we’re clear.

Buttonstc's avatar

@cold cut

I’m glad for you that you got help and stuck it out.

For what it’s worth, I would be inclined to think that a predisposition to addiction was likely a strong factor. If nothing else, the whole blooming of the drug scene in the sixties really illustrates the point that there are many many people who can dabble in drugs and it never takes over their lives. They were able to leave the heavy drugging behind and just get on with the rest of their lives and responsibilities.

Unfortunately there were others unable to do that and the pull of the drugs was more than they could handle. These were the ones who became addicts, many like Hendrix and others died early. Others had their lives and relationships ruined.

What made the difference between the two?

The fact that there isn’t a clear cut answer is why everyone tells kids to stay away from drugs. It’s like playing Russian
Roulette. Why take the chance.

DominicX's avatar

Not everyone who does drugs (marijuana and alcohol are drugs too) “fuck up” their lives. Some people can do them in moderation and live a perfectly normally life while doing them.

joeysefika's avatar

What the hell is wrong with drugs, I’m sure that the majority of people on this site have gotten drunk at some point or another, congrats you’re a drug user. Just because alcohol is legal doesn’t mean its good for you. Why to people drink, mainly to feel good, be relaxed and to be social…. Why do people smoke weed, because it’s awesome, it’s fun, relaxes you and makes kids TV shows a whole lot funnier.
Drug bashing is ridiculous, if you don’t like it, fine, don’t do it, but I don’t see a reason to insult people who do drink or smoke weed, it’s like insulting someone for eating fatty food… probably more damaging than weed.

::edit:: I’m talking about Weed and alcohol, it may sound hypocritical but i wouldn’t touch Meth and Cocaine and other Class A drugs

Tink's avatar

Some of us were already fucked up even before the drugs.

Freedom_Issues's avatar

Pressure at first, then it feels good, then they become addicted.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Hello, my name is Cyanotic, and I’m a recovering marijuana user. Been smoke-free for thirty-five years, I think (I forget).

Got any potato chips?

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Why not? Why does it upset you so much? You don’t like drugs? Then don’t do drugs. Simple. But don’t judge others and jump to conclusions.

Roby's avatar

I have lived my entire life drug free, and believe me folks I have had plenty of trauma in my life. I have never resorted to drug use for a crutch, nor have I searched for religious intervention. I just dealt with it and metaphorical speaking….I servived many a stormy nights. I am still drug free.

Jeruba's avatar

When it comes to addiction, if you’re speaking of addiction, there’s one kind of answer here. And there’s another here.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

In my own case, to induce sleep and control the symptoms of depression and PTSD. My major disorder, Aspergers Syndrome, is incurable. Alcohol takes the edge off the social anxiety and gives me the (false) impression that I can socialize with others. In reality, it just makes me a drunken misfit instead of a sober one.

Xann009's avatar

I can see it from your perspective but I don’t quite agree. I know quite a few people who smoke marijuana (in moderation) and are completely functional, good people in society that live happy, full lives.

All generalizations are wrong, including this one.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Roby, let’s drink to that! Bottoms up!

daemonelson's avatar

You’re doing drugs right now. Seriously, your brain is filled with chemicals which produce pretty much the exact same effect as a lot of drugs.

Also, same reason people have sex. It’s AWESOME.

Sebulba's avatar

When you say drugs what drugs do you mean exactly? Cause people who use marijuana do it for different reason than the people that use cocaine and different reasons are for the people that use heroin. Now what drug user do you want to know about?

ubersiren's avatar

Many people probably try drugs the first time out of curiosity or pressure from friends or hanging out with bad influences. People keep taking those drugs when they become addicted, have crossed a line too far to go back to their normal lives, or don’t think the drug-free life feels as good as the high life.

I’ve experimented here and there, and I guess I’m just lucky to have had good parenting and good friends to turn back to after my experimentation to ground me. Also, I’m lucky that nothing I tried is physically or quickly addictive, so I was able to move on with no problems.

I think it’s normal to want an escape as a teen or young adult. I think it’s normal to be curious and test the waters with caution.

john65pennington's avatar

Most drug addicts are victims of OCD. obsessive, compulsive disorder. i believe some addicts have a gene for drugs, just like an alcoholic person has a gene for alcohol. drugs have two meanings for people. the psychological and the physical effect. some people think they need their drugs to survive. some people physically do need their drugs to survive. no matter the reasoning, an addiction is an addiction. never given cash to an addicted person.

Shegrin's avatar

To escape. To self-medicate. To kill the pain. Whatever is in that little pill or joint is a whole lot better than their reality. That’s why.

Anon_Jihad's avatar

I never took drugs to escape, in fact when I’m feeling down or shitty I avoid substances altogether, even alcohol or they’ll only amplify my bad mood.

I smoke weed not because I need to escape, or because I don’t think I can live without it, I smoke because it’s a good time. I don’t spend all day trying to get high, or feeding my junkie urges. I just occasionally buy a sack and blaze. Instead of sitting around for an evening and watching movies and spending time on Fluther, I just do that high. I’m not in anyway wasting time, as I’m having a good evening or afternoon that would normally be boring as dull nails.

Mushrooms and LSD are a bit of a different story and let’s say it’s my equivalent to someone else going to Six Flags for a day. I don’t fit my schedule around my drug use, I fit my occasional adventuring around my life.

Ria777's avatar

drugs could mean lots of things. I have done some drugs and would never do others. I don’t see why anybody would take an excess of alcohol which makes you confused, overemotional and uncoordinated (I deal with that quite enough already) or cigarettes, which… well, don’t even get me started on cigarettes. (I do drink every once in a while though I can’t stand the taste of beer and for a couple of days I even have smoked cigarettes to try out their effects.)

big big difference between, say, psychedelics and narcotics or stimulants.

summary, you might as well make a blanket condemnation of art, which ranges from politically propaganda which has literally inspired murders to lifechanging greatness.

Ria777's avatar

@Anon_Jihad: Mushrooms and LSD are a bit of a different story and let’s say it’s my equivalent to someone else going to Six Flags for a day.

in all honesty, I find that an almost tragic statement. though I don’t adhere to conventional religion, I have a certain amount of reverence for those substances like a religious person would for their gods.

Anon_Jihad's avatar

@Ria777 Ahh and I do as well, but saying stating that I use them to work out life issues can easily be misconstrued as me saying that I need them to function. But in a way it is the same, people will go the rollercoasters for some thrills to shake off the work week, the home problems etc, and find some peace from their normal chaos, by partaking in voluntary controlled chaos.

Bugabear's avatar

Why do people smoke and drink? Because it makes them feel good. Drugs make you feel good. Even though they know it screw them up later. Why would somebody drink a lot even though they know they’re going to get a hangover in the morning.

Anon_Jihad's avatar

@Bugabear Not all substances come with a price later. This is a myth. Some obviously do, but some actually come with out a pricetag beyond their monetary cost.

ubersiren's avatar

Smoking pot ≠ “doing drugs”

sunshinedust's avatar

… escape, avoid responsibility or tasks, get back at someone else.

I’ve been to all the treatment centers and talked to drug counselors and done clean time and dug down and talk about all my shit & problems, and when I popped out I realized I had in fact learned a lot about how to be sober and happy. But I keep doing it because I like the excitement. Like they said in Party Monster “i’m not addicted to drugs, i’m addicted to glamour…”

I didn’t have a terrible childhood or rough circumstances. I get high cause i’m bored with reality, simple as that. I’m not running from anything, I am aware that drugs create problems. lots of problems….. financial, health, addiction.

I know I’d be better off without them, but it’s just feels too damn good not to experience.

I’m young. I don’t have kids. I want to experience everything there is to experience. Ya know, push my body to it’s limits physically, mentally both with and without drugs. let’s see what this body can really do…

Ria777's avatar

@Anon_Jihad: But in a way it is the same, people will go the rollercoasters for some thrills to shake off the work week, the home problems etc, and find some peace from their normal chaos, by partaking in voluntary controlled chaos.

sure. it wouldn’t bother me to see the power of psychedelics trivialized if the media did not do it almost all the time, versus just some of the time.

Ria777's avatar

@Bugabear: Why would somebody drink a lot even though they know they’re going to get a hangover in the morning.

I personally don’t know why they do. just me, though.

Ivan's avatar


::thumbs down::

Ivan's avatar

It’s one thing to suspend your own logical thought in order engage in an activity that is seen by society or a section of society as acceptable or “normal,” it’s another to arbitrarily label that activity in such a way to convince yourself and others that it was OK all along.

Anon_Jihad's avatar

@Ivan Weed is not a drug. It’s a plant. Aspirin is a drug, cocaine is a drug, LSD is a drug. Weed is a plant, it’s been here long before us.

Vunessuh's avatar

@Anon_Jihad I think you misunderstood.
Reread his comment. It basically means that smoking pot DOES NOT equal doing drugs.
There is a slash through the equal sign. Silly milly.

Ivan's avatar


Plants can’t be drugs? I think this goes back to that “arbitrary label” thing.

ubersiren's avatar

I’m not trying to convince myself or anyone else. I don’t smoke pot, but I don’t consider it a drug any more than I consider beer a drug. Considerably less so, actually. I know in D.A.R.E they teach us that alcohol, nicotine, and even marijuana are “drugs,” but for the purpose of this thread, I do not consider smoking pot a drug. If I’m in my house having a few shots of tequila, nobody would say, “Oh, she’s in there doing drugs!” And I feel that it’s only the social stigma that makes pot the exception here. It shares far fewer qualities with coke or LSD, and far more with a natural endorphin release of eating a good meal or having a great orgasm.

Ivan's avatar

I think this is what you’re saying; let me know if I’m wrong.

Marijuana isn’t a drug because…
a) alcohol isn’t considered a drug, and
b) it isn’t as bad as drugs such as cocaine, LSD, etc.

a) Alcohol is a drug. Just because it happens to be a widely used and accepted one, that doesn’t make it any less of a drug. The same can be said for marijuana.

b) Marijuana might not be as potent as other drugs, but again, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a drug. A drug is simply something that alters the normal behavior/function of the body. Marijuana obviously does this. Any time you purposefully consume something that alters your body for recreational purposes, be it marijuana or whatever, that’s “doing drugs”.

ubersiren's avatar

“for the purpose of this thread, I do not consider smoking pot a drug.”

In the sense that the asker is referring to, I put pot on the same level as beer. That’s all. I realize that thc is a drug. My original remark was that smoking pot did not equal doing drugs. I did not say that pot contained no drug. I simply would never call a pothead a “druggie” like I would someone with a real addiction. To quote Bob Saget in Half Baked “Have you ever sucked dick for marijuana?”

I agree with you on most points here, just to be clear. I know that alcohol is a drug, and actually said this.

wildpotato's avatar

@Ivan, @ubersiren Very interesting debate you guys got going here. I don’t have anything to add, I just want to commend you both on your efforts to flesh out the confusing issue of whether weed falls into the drug category. On the one hand, it is a mind- and body-altering substance, but on the other, the word “drug” carries a stigma, and most people do not associate that stigma with weed or potheads. I guess it’s just one of those things that partakes of two conceptual categories (in this case, drug and non-drug), and falls into one or the other depending on the perception of the conceiver. GAs all around!

Anon_Jihad's avatar

@ubersiren Of course alcohol is a drug, and I’m not saying weed falls out from that category for not being as harmful, I’m saying it doesn’t really fit any definition of drugs, as there are multiple and no overall defining definition.

Fernspider's avatar

Doctors prescribe drugs… why do you do those? @animalover

Ria777's avatar

@Anon_Jihad: with “multiple and no overall defining definition[s]” than it surely does fit some definitions. in common parlance, drug can mean an artificial substance designed to do… etc. (I don’t want to try to come up with a waterproof Webster’s definition). it does fall into definition 3 here:

on Fluther I have pointed out before the confusion that arises when you mix up two semantically different (though usually similar) uses of the same word.

@Rachienz, you mixed up different definitions too. (intentionally though, I guess.)

Fernspider's avatar

@Ria777 – yeah, I felt the question wasn’t specific enough. The asker simply asks why people do drugs and goes on to say he/she feels it fucks up peoples lives. I doubt prescribed thrush medication or eye drops “fuck up lives”. So I felt I needed to point out that the drugs have not been distinguished and this is leading to biased responses.

I get the impression the asker is referring to class A drugs to which some individuals become “junkies”... that and people that abuse household medications.

I would have asked the question more along the lines of “Why do people take drugs when it obviously has a detrimental affect on their lives?”

Wine in the evenings with dinner, the occasional joint with friends when watching dvds on a Saturday night and panadol when I have a headache does not “fuck up” my life.

Ivan's avatar

Defensive jelly is defensive

Anon_Jihad's avatar

@Ria777 No it does not fall under definition three there. It is not a habit forming substance.

Ria777's avatar

@Anon_Jihad: scroll down a bit and you can find another definition from another source:

“A chemical substance, such as a narcotic or hallucinogen, that affects the central nervous system, causing changes in behavior and often [note that it says “often”, not “always”] addiction.”

Ria777's avatar

@Rachienz: I would have asked the question more along the lines of “Why do people take drugs when it obviously has a detrimental affect on their lives?”

since you understood the intent of the question, it works a whole lot better (and causes fewer flame wars) if you answer the spirit of the question, rather than, as I said, creatively misinterpreting it in a condescending way.

please recognize that, especially so in previous generations and still today, if they have lived a sheltered life or simply don’t know, many people know very little about non-prescribed drugs. my mother fell (possibly still does) fall into that category. she had a mania about the dangers of drugs. (at the same time, under her watch, I took some evil psych meds, because of course, those didn’t count as drugs.)

Fernspider's avatar

@Ria777 – for sure. I suppose I try to illustrate to people that share that view to potentially give them a little insight from my perspective. I often think that there are certain people who have demonised something they appear to know nothing about as per this poster.

jazmina88's avatar

drugs can also be beneficial…..The key is the difference between use and abuse. I have severe pain and I am not presribed pain pills. That is a crime in itself. Torture.

and then there is the issue of medical marijuana.

There is no straight answers, there are different reasons for doing drugs, to relieve real and emotional pain. To party. The difference is in the intent. and if you have to rely on them. If you are using, or abusing…...

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