The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.
Classically, there are three ways in which humans try to find transcendence–religious meaning–apart from God as revealed through the cross of Jesus: through the ecstasy of alcohol and drugs, through the ecstasy of recreational sex, through the ecstasy of crowds. Church leaders frequently warn against the drugs and the sex, but at least, in America, almost never against the crowds.
The distinction between drugs that are considered legal or illegal in a given society is often based on much more than just scientific information. Traditions, economics, religion, and the popular media all influence the stance that a community takes on drugs.
Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs… (Fully Revised and Updated Fourth Edition), W.W. Norton & Company.
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Consider checking out our illustrations page on Drugs.