When drugs are used for the exclusive use of getitng high, they have a stigma. They are relegated to the realm of the addict and the weak.
When drugs are used to make you play sports better or study harder / longer / “be smarter”, give you erections or alleviate anxiety, they are called “performance enhancing” drugs and enter the realm of the socially acceptable.
Interestingly enough, those same performance enhancing drugs that DON’T necessarily have a stigma attached are also more expensive to acquire and (in theory) harder to get. The drug dealers don’t wear Timberland boots and white tees, but sensible shoes and white jackets…
Here is a link to an article from this past Sunday’s New York Times that takes a look at the rapid rise of ADHD medication abuse.
As a sociologist and anthropologist, it’s interesting to observe how we label substance abuse and determine when consumption moves from the realm of the acceptable to a social problem. In particular, what does it say about our social norms and our paths to achievement? How does it affect how we define happiness? How we define concepts of honesty? Of Cheating? Of Integrity? Why does legal regulation make the use of one drug that is identical or remarkably similar to another, illegal drug more acceptable?
It’s a point to ponder for sure. I’m running low on my Adderal buzz at present so don’t really have the bandwidth for the analysis at present…have to get back to pushing out that research report….