The Idea of Having Fun Only by Using Substance is F*cked Up

By: Ali Sakr

I could very easily start this article with a “we live in a society” statement, complaining passive-aggressively about all the things that have been normalized in this day and age that I personally disagree with. I could talk about how society advocates behavior that is destructive in every sense of the word, and how it all needs to come to an end. I won’t do that, though – not now at least. I’m kind of getting bored of this constant generalization, where we seemingly blame this abstract concept of society for bad decisions made by individuals. There is much more depth to the issue, yes, but let’s take a look at it from a bit of a different angle.

What you deem as fun is a matter that is completely and entirely up to you. There isn’t really much explaining to do here – if it makes you happy and excited when you do it, it’s fun. This is regardless of whether or not it was even initially intended to be entertaining; as long as it entertains you, there’s really nothing to discuss. The issue, however – for me at least – arises when people begin to claim that they will only ever experience enjoyment when under the influence of some kind of recreational drug. This is where I’m willing to begin having a discussion.

Let’s start off by trying to explore some of the reasons one might consider using substance fun, and hopefully that can help direct us towards a path which will allow us to better understand the situation. Perhaps it’s the people. The atmosphere. The idea of a group of friends being collectively absent-minded, breaking down all walls and boundaries between them. Chaos to be enjoyed in the company of those you admire, unrestricted. Or perhaps it’s simply relaxing. Be it a temporary escape from real life, or simply a surreal experience that parts oneself from their problems, presenting a blissful state of detachment. I can see why such a thing would be appealing. I cannot, however, see how one could possibly cease to desire any other form of appeal.

All what I’ve just mentioned can be described as two things. Temporary, and attainable through other means. You don’t need to be high to relax. You don’t need to be high to enjoy time with your friends, and you don’t need to be high to have a temporary escape from your issues and worries. We just like taking the path of least resistance. We’re lazy, and we want to put in effort that is as minimal as possible. To some, this comes in the form of usage, and eventually reliance on substance in order to experience any form of fun whatsoever, rather than trying to find alternative circumstances that would allow one to experience the same emotions, without any chemicals. Note that I’m not talking about addiction, as that is a serious illness that requires treatment, but instead the conscious decision to depend on drugs, and nothing else, for recreation.

We can now begin to look at some of the arguments that can be made from someone who makes this decision. How it all started with simple peer pressure but suddenly grew out of hand. How this kind of a thing has been normalized and romanticized by our society, and that they wouldn’t have gotten into it otherwise. How plenty of recreational drugs are being legalized all over the world, so it’s not like they’re doing anything wrong. Thing is, though, this is all beside the point. Trying to use these statements as an excuse to why one can only have fun using substance is no more than an attempt to justify ignorance by playing the victim of society. It’s the easy way out. Rather than owning up to one’s decisions, and trying to consider whether they might have taken the matter too far, one can simply blame society, and continue on, doing nothing about the state they’re in.

It’s also quite obvious that not everyone who uses recreational drugs reaches this state of complete dependence in order to have fun, and that is my point exactly. Someone who does use substance, and is not ignorant about it; someone who actually knows exactly what they’re doing and does everything in moderation – they would be able to have fun with, or without substance. Of course, no substance at all would mean you’d get to experience all the fun – as a regular human being – with the added benefit of actually being able to remember it, but me trying to argue against recreational drug use altogether is a rant for another day. A day in the past, in fact.

So I think that’s about it. I’ll try to sum it all up in a sentence or two, in case things weren’t too clear. I don’t think you should use drugs to have fun, but if you do, and you use them correctly, you’ll still be able to have fun without them. Oh and, if you can’t seem to have fun without them, that’s on you to fix, not on your surroundings to feel guilty about.

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