Drug culture

Drug cultures are examples of countercultures that are primarily defined by recreational drug use. They may be focused on a single drug, or endorse polydrug use. They sometimes eagerly or reluctantly initiate newcomers, but their main functions are to share drug experiences, to reduce harm by providing knowledge of how to use a drug as safely as possible, and to exchange information on suppliers and avoiding law enforcement. There are YouTube channels devoted to recreational drug use.

Drug subcultures are groups of people united by a common understanding of the meaning, value, and risks of the incorporation into one's life of the drug(s) in question. Such unity can take many forms, from friends who take the drug together, possibly obeying certain rules of etiquette, groups banding together to help each other obtain drugs and avoid arrest,[1] to full-scale political movements for the reform of drug laws.[2] The sum of these parts can be considered an individual drug's "culture".

Many artists, writers, and musicians have used various drugs to facilitate or enhance their creativity. Writers have explored their influence on human life in general and particularly on the creative process. There are many writings that portray drug culture. Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas employs multiple drug use as a major theme and provides an example of the drug culture of the 1960s.

Drinking culture

Alcoholic beverages contain ethanol (simply called alcohol). Ethanol is a psychoactive drug[3][4] primarily found in alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused drugs in the world (Metropol, 1996)[5] often used for self-medication,[6] and as recreational drug use.[7]

Cannabis culture

Cannabis has been used in the ancient past in places such as ancient India, Romania, Egypt, and Mesopotamia.[8] It was often used as medicine or for hemp. Its main route of consumption was smoking. Over time the culture became more international and a general "cannabis culture" formed. Cannabis culture has been responsible for the genre of films known as stoner films which has come to be accepted as a mainstream cinema movement.[9][10] In the United States the culture has also spawned its own celebrities (such as Tommy Chong and Terence McKenna), magazines (Cannabis Culture and High Times), and, in North America, its own distinct holiday: April 20 (420), which is marked as a day for calling for the legalization of cannabis and celebration of cannabis.[11][12]The consumption of Cannabis influenced many artistic movements such as Jazz, Electronic music and Hip Hop.

Witchcraft and drugs

The drugs used in witchcraft are different depending on the culture. Most of the research done on drug use in witchcraft has been done in the 60s during the hippie movement. And since then the claim that ergot was taken in Salem has been disproven. However, because the research was done in the hippie and drug movement in the 70s the theory is still a part of drug culture.[13]

Ancient Greek love magic uses many rituals that show drug use in poisoning to deeper the emotion of love. Love magic was used by women during ancient Greek times to keep a man deeply in love or to gain love by a man. In this field researchers look a lot at the agency of the women. Greek love magic relates to drug culture as it deals with poisoning people. There can be similarities found in today's date rape drug. However, in ancient Greek time the women would slowly poison the men. Women would put the poisons on their robes to expose it to the men.[14]

Shamanism used hallucinogens to further their spirituality. These hallucinogens were used for different ceremonies of the Indians in the Northwest Amazon. These ceremonies include funerals and initiation of the young. Shamans had a wider range of use for these drugs. Shamans used these drugs to identify illnesses and find possible cures or to find an enemy.[15]

There is a theory, seemingly disproven due to timeline of events and number of those who experience the symptoms, that the Salem witch trials were caused by ergot poisoning. Ergot poisoning gives a similar effect to LSD, but like ergine the physical effects and dangers (including death due to higher toxicity of the ergolines in ergot) are much more substantial than the use of LSD for psychedelic research and ritual contexts.[16]

See also


  1. Grund, Jean-Paul (2010-11-20). "subculture of injecting drug use". Thebody.com. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
  2. Armentano, Paul. "norml.org". norml.org. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
  3. Robinson, DL; Howard, EC; McConnell, S; Gonzales, RA; Wightman, RM (2013-03-25). "Disparity between tonic and phasic ethanol-induced dopamine increases in the nucleus accumbens of rats". Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res. 33: 1187–96. doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.00942.x. PMC 2947861. PMID 19389195.
  4. Drugs and society - Page 189, Glen (Glen R.) Hanson, Peter J. Venturelli, Annette E. Fleckenstein - 2006
  5. "Medscape: Medscape Access". medscape.com.
  6. Crum, R. M.; La Flair, L; Storr, C. L.; Green, K. M.; Stuart, E. A.; Alvanzo, A. A.; Lazareck, S; Bolton, J. M.; Robinson, J; Sareen, J; Mojtabai, R (2013). "Reports of drinking to self-medicate anxiety symptoms: Longitudinal assessment for subgroups of individuals with alcohol dependence". Depression and Anxiety. 30 (2): 174–83. doi:10.1002/da.22024. PMC 4154590. PMID 23280888.
  7. "Alcohol: The World's Oldest Recreational Drug - OUPblog". OUPblog.
  8. Rudgley, Richard (1998). Lost Civilisations of the Stone Age. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-684-85580-1.
  9. Peters, Jon. "top ten stoner movies". Killerfilm.com. Archived from the original on 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
  10. "top ten stoner movies". Ign.com. 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
  11. "report on 420 holiday". NBC News. 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
  12. "Marijuana rally in trouble". Foxnews.com. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
  13. Breslaw, Elaine G., ed. Witches of the Atlantic World: A Historical Reader & Primary Sourcebook. (New York: New York University Press, 2000), 427-511
  14. Faraone, Christopher A.. Ancient Greek Love Magic. Cambridge, US: Harvard University Press, 2009. Accessed April 27, 2016. ProQuest ebrary.
  15. Reichel-Dolmatoff, Gerardo. "The Cultural Context of an Aboriginal Hallucinogen: Banisteriopsis Caapi.. Flesh of the Gods: The Ritual Use of Hallucinogens. ed. Furst T., Peter. (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1972).
  16. Spanos, Nicholas P.; Gottlieb, Jack (1976). "Ergotism and the Salem Village Witch Trials". Science. 194 (4272): 1390–94. doi:10.1126/science.795029. JSTOR 1743999. PMID 795029.
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