The Dangers of “Exploring Oneself“ Through Drug Use

Young adults taking drugs in a house.

We live in a society that makes drug use “cool” and “hip.” Marijuana is the “cool” thing to do now, and people who pop pills at parties are a part of the “in” crowd. It’s considered customary to drink alcohol in just about every social situation imaginable, even if you don’t really want to drink that night. And while many people still maintain a taboo against hard drug use, even that has become less frowned upon as the all too common outcry for “full legalization” has become even louder in passing years.

With all of this going on at once, it can appear that our society (or at least a strong percentage of it) is erring closer and closer to becoming a society that supports self-exploration through drug use. The problem is that this a pathway that will only lead to pain and suffering. An individual will always be less likely to succeed in their exploration of themselves if they use drugs as their vehicle of exploration. In fact, such persons will inevitably end up worse off after experimenting with drug use than they were before they began using drugs.

We cannot deny that our generation Ys, the generation Zs, the millennials (however you want to break them down), the younger generations, in general, are becoming more prone to accepting drug use as a normal standard of behavior. Many young people hardly even blink an eye when they hear that a peer of theirs is also a drug user. In fact, they might even ask him if he has any pills that they can take for an upcoming academic exam or quiz. This is the condition of society today.

Why Self-Exploration Through Drug Use Never Works

Guy addict feel bad holding pack of pills

Self-exploration through drug use never works. And it never works because it involves the individual consuming a substance that is harmful to them, both physically and mentally. It involves the person poisoning their body, shortening their lifespan, and causing permanent damage to their heart, lungs, liver, kidney, brain, nerves, mouth, etc. How can someone explore themselves, expand their spirituality, and enhance their awareness for life and livingness when they are crippling themselves every day that they use drugs?

And that is just the effect of drugs on the body.

When people use drugs, it poisons their mind just as bad as it poisons their body, if not more so. Drug use dulls the mind. It slows reaction time. It reduces cognitive function. It lowers IQ. It inhibits one’s sense of judgment and clear thinking. It promotes lethargy and a lackadaisical attitude. It causes memory loss and a gradual dissociation with goals, dreams, and aspirations that one previously had.

Everyone’s experience with drugs is different in some ways. But everyone suffers. That is the lowest common denominator of drug use. At the end of the day, people who attempt a self-exploration through drug use will wind up feeding a crippling drug habit before they know it, no longer seeking self-exploration or even thinking about it anymore.

The Product Doesn’t Match the Sales Pitch

If you have ever struggled with a drug habit, the odds are that you felt pretty bad about having a drug problem. You probably felt pretty bad about the effect that you were creating upon yourself, your family members, your loved ones, your friends, your coworkers, etc. Odds are you felt pretty awful, not exactly like you were “transcending into new levels of awareness of life and the universe.”

The good news is, it’s not entirely your fault that it ended up this way. Drug users often don’t realize or even remember that they were sold the idea that drug use was a key to self-exploration. Like a clueless first-time car buyer who buys a lemon off of the used car lot, drug users were once gullible, hapless, and innocent, seeking the answers to all of life’s biggest questions, and being willing to follow the path of anyone who said that they had the answers.

Drug dealers always say that they have the answers, and they sell them to you, for hundreds of dollars an ounce. But the product doesn’t match the sales pitch. Drug dealers will say just about anything to get you to buy their products, telling all kinds of lies and tall tales just to get you to buy something. The “wow factor” of the sales pitch varies dealer-to-dealer, drug-to-drug, but the concept is always the same: “Oh, you want to explore x, and discover y? Yeah, you’re in luck, I have just the thing for that.”

In Drug Use, There are No Refunds

Drug dealing closeup.

After that sales pitch, drug buyers won’t get a receipt, no sales invoice, and no, there is definitely no thirty-day return policy. When people desire to engage in self-exploration or a form of spiritual quest and they use drugs to do it, they take a little piece of themselves out that they might never get back again. They take one step closer to becoming so addicted that they won’t even be able to explore their way out of their own clouded haze of drug fog.

And the problem is, there are no refunds. When an inquisitive individual decides to use drugs as a medium for self-exploration, that is precious time that they’ll never get back again. It is effort put in that started for a good purpose but which was instead completely wasted on an over-sold, under-delivered lie that will wind them up in a worse position than where they first started. Toxic chemicals and mind-poisoning elements gain no one any ground in their own efforts for self-exploration.

A Clean Life is the Best Life

There are so many avenues of self-exploration and spiritual enlightenment out there. We would have to write an entire book here to cover them all, so we won’t even attempt it. But the fact is, there are many ways that our younger generations and older ones alike can learn more, explore more, and increase their understanding of themselves and of life and livingness in general, all without using drugs.

There is nothing wrong with being curious. In fact, curiosity is a good thing. But drugs are not worth the risk. We have no way of knowing exactly what will happen when we use drugs, what decisions will be made, what physiological or psychological phenomenon will ensue, whether an overdose will be imminent or not, whether drugged driving will ensue, etc. Even if there was a spiritual or self-exploration result that came from drug use, it would be completely blindsided by all of the terrible consequences of drug use.

Sunshine city street.

A clean life is the best life. People don’t need drugs to find out more about life, spirituality, and themselves. All drug use will do is show one just how painful their life can get. And that is not an area of exploration that any of us want to engage in.

Reviewed: Claire Pinelli, ICAADC, CCS, LADC, RAS, MCAP



After working in addiction treatment for several years, Ren now travels the country, studying drug trends and writing about addiction in our society. Ren is focused on using his skill as an author and counselor to promote recovery and effective solutions to the drug crisis. Connect with Ren on LinkedIn.