Essay about Psychoactive Substances And Its Effects On Society

979 Words May 2nd, 2016 4 Pages
Psychoactive substances such as alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and heroin have become increasingly commonplace in our society, affecting the brains of their numerous users in a variety of ways. Drug users have copious reasons for consuming psychoactive substances, whether they are personal (e.g. to satisfy curiosity or to deal with stress), social (e.g. to fit in with a group), for increases in performance (e.g. to stay awake or focus), or for health reasons (e.g. to mitigate pain or to treat a mental illness). While legal and religious prohibitions against these substances are incredibly prevalent, this paper argues that if controlled for appropriately, certain drugs can have a beneficial role in achieving an enjoyable life. Certainly, drugs can be extremely detrimental to their users, leading to addiction and other negative health effects. Nonetheless, if used appropriately, psychoactive substances can present medicinal benefits and improve performance at school and work. Furthermore, by shifting from a punitive standpoint to one of rehabilitation, our society has the potential to improve the lives of drug addicts and fix a broken criminal justice system. Perhaps the clearest positive application of psychoactive substances lies in their medicinal value. Evidently, there are numerous prescribed drugs that are recognized for their healing power – however, recent studies have shown the medicinal benefits of various illicit and controversial drugs, including hallucinogens such…

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