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Recreational drug use

Recreational drug use is the use of psychoactive drugs for recreational purposes rather than for work, medical or spiritual purposes, although the distinction is not always clear.

The use of illegal drugs, as well as the illegal use of some legal drugs, has effects that could hardly be considered recreational. For example, illegal trade of cocaine has caused tens of thousands of violent deaths in South America, corruption of government officials in producing countries, and social consequences derived from addiction in consumer countries.

At least one psychopharmacologist who has studied this field refers to it as the 'Fourth Drive,' arguing that the human instinct to seek mind-altering substances has so much force and persistence that it functions like the human drives for hunger, thirst and shelter.[1]



Responsible drug use

Main article: Responsible drug use

The concept of responsible drug use is that a person can use recreational drugs with reduced or eliminated risk of negatively affecting other parts of one's life or other peoples lives. Critics argue that the drugs are escapist--and dangerous, unpredictable and sometimes addictive, and have negative and profound effects in geographic areas well beyond the location of the consumer. Advocates of this philosophy point to the many well-known artists and intellectuals who have used drugs, experimentally or otherwise, with few detrimental effects on their lives.

Drugs popularly used for recreation

The drugs most popular for recreational use worldwide are:

Other substances often used:

Drug use over time

Drug use has increased in all categories since prohibition.[2] Since 1937, 20-37% of the youth in the United States have used marijuana[3].[2] Between 1972 and 1988, the use of cocaine increased more than fivefold.[4] The usage patterns of the current two most prevalent drugs, methamphetamine and ecstasy, have shown similar gains.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Siegel, Ronald K (2005). Intoxication: The universal drive for mind-altering substances. Vermont: Park Street Press, pp vii. ISBN 1-59477-069-7. 
  2. ^ a b c Monitoring The Future
  3. ^ Charles Whitebread: The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States
  4. ^ Controlling Cocaine: Supply Versus Demand Programs
  • (2002) Out of It: A Cultural History of Intoxication. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-027977-6. 
  • * The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World's Most Troubled Drug Culture by Richard DeGrandpre, Duke University Press, 2006.
  • Dale Pendell, Pharmakodynamis: Stimulating Plants, Potions and Herbcraft: Excitantia and Empathogenica, San Francisco: Mercury House, 2002.
  • Pharmako/Poeia: Plant Powers, Poisons, and Herbcraft, San Francisco: Mercury House, 1995.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Recreational_drug_use". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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