Drugs, Alcohol & Addiction
This topic is so broad and socially controversial, I'm only going to attempt to map in my personal experiences and observances of how drugs affected my life particularly. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'll offer my own opinion.
In general, I can not say drug use is bad; however, over-usage and addiction is. Acid, mushrooms, and ecstasy had helped me achieve some mental breakthroughs, although arguably I surpassed my quota at some point and damaged a few too many brain cells. Marijuana has helped me with anxiety, although overindulgence has lead me to a state of delusional psychosis requiring hospitalization due to my bipolar condition on two occasions. Yes, you can overdose on pot.....if you're me!
Highly addictive drugs such as Fentanyl, methamphetamine, crack, coke, heroin, Oxycontin and others such as misused psych meds are the bane of society. Coke gets you cranked up and that's it. I've never had a major breakthrough or epiphany on coke, just a yearning to track down a drug dealer in the middle of the night to get more. I used it a lot and looking back, it was terrible shit. If I could contain myself to just a little, that might have been acceptable, but with my addictive personality, I got hooked for years on the shit.
Alcohol is a fun, yet dangerous drug that can be beneficial in breaking down inhibitions, but I overused it in my lifetime and was addicted at times in my life. I have since stopped drinking altogether as well as smoking pot and doing coke. Unless I decide to someday use hallucinogens in a ritualistic and therapeutic way, I will never take drugs again in a recreational manner.
Putting the legality aspect aside for a minute, I think some classes of drugs are essential in the evolutionary ascent of our species. They help develop our consciousness and bring us closer to a Universal Truth or Higher Power - many call that cosmic force God.
I always felt a Grateful Dead concert with Jerry Garcia as lead guru was a safe place to ritually take acid and mushrooms and explore a universe otherwise not known to man. It was more than just a trip or a spiritual journey. It was therapeutic and helped me sort out my life's problems of the day as I put them under a kaleidoscopic microscope.
Then there are the bad trips. I had only one horrific experience where I thought I was in hell. My anxiety and mental stability wasn't where it needed to be when I dropped about three to four hits of liquid acid at the same time. To some, that's nothing, but to me, it was too much. I did everything wrong. I left my friends at a Grateful Dead show to journey closer on my own. I started hearing audible hallucinations that wouldn't go away and had to leave the concert in the middle of the third song and walk back to my hotel trying to get my shit together. I could barely walk straight and was paranoid the cops would pick me up for public intoxication. It was simply too much too fast. By the grace of God I got through the trip without hospitalization or incarceration.
For millions of years, man drank, ate, or smoked hallucinogenic and other mind altering drugs. They have historically lead to opening doors to finding God. The effects of a good hallucinogenic trip with the proper guidance of a shaman can help break down root causes of people's general problems, but moreover, they can help supplant childhood trauma, depression, delusion and other psychological afflictions.
As for people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder using drugs, it's a tricky subject. I believe western medicine has developed great mood stabilizers and drugs to prevent psychosis and voices; however, there are people practicing healing inside the United States and outside with the use of Ayahuasca, magic mushrooms and marijuana in a ritual setting that seemingly have produced positive results including the cessation of using western medication.
In conclusion, I believe in moderation of drug and alcohol usage, no matter what drug it is. MODERATION is key. I try to circumscribe my passions as best I can. I stay away from the addictive shit. If you have an addictive personality, try abstinence. I do not use hallucinogens currently, but I advocate others do so - not recreationally, but rather spiritually and ritualistically a few times a year at most. If you want to be a stoner, that's on you.
The following video is a Censored TedTalk about drug use and the evolution of consciousness by Graham Hancock. Note that some cities have started to legalize magic mushrooms like Denver and Oakland.