The Myth Of 'Good Drugs' and 'Bad Drugs'

Source: New Pittsburgh Courier
Date: November 30, 2002

Many of us were raised to think that there are such things as good drugs, such as different types of medicine, and bad drugs, like cocaine or heroin. The simple fact is that they are all still drugs. In order to understand the issue of drug addiction, it is important to know exactly what a drug is. All drugs are essentially poisons; the degree they are taken determines the effect. A small amount typically acts as a stimulant, while a greater amount acts as a sedative. A large enough amount of any drug acts as a poison and is lethal.

Most drugs simply mask the pain and discomfort for which they are taken and don't actually "cure" anything. Aspirin, for example, doesn't cure a headache. It simply "short circuits" the person's ability to get the pain messages coming from the cause of the headache. The nutritional deficiency or physical problem that originally caused the headache is still there, but it is simply temporarily no longer perceived by the drug user. Usually, when the drug wears off, the ache returns and will often be more severe because the original problem has become worse as it was masked or hidden and not directly addressed or handled.

Looking back at the history of drugs, we find words from ancient Greece such as pharmakon, meaning medication and poison. There is also the Latin word venenum, which translates to drug, potion and poison. Either way, the commonality of the definitions is that they are both considered to be poisons. Even as late as the end of the 19th century, we saw the use of over-the-counter medications using drugs that are the most illicit today, such as heroin used in Bayer aspirin and cocaine toothache drops. At the time these drugs were considered to be useful to aid in the treatment of ailments. Now we spend billions of dollars trying to prevent them from even entering the country.

Though it is true that there are many drugs that seem to help a person live with a condition or malady, it does not negate the fact that even those drugs have adverse effects. These "side effects," as they are often referred as, are prevalent on prescription bottles, cold medicines and even the many television commercials promoting the latest legal drug. Unfortunately, the approach to covering up the problem with another drug is even applied to substance abuse. This is clearly evident in the case of methadone and other substitute drug therapies designed to get the person to stop using heroin or something similar, remembering that even that was at one time perfectly legal and used for other "cures." This form of treatment obviously doesn't cure drug addiction either, for the addict is still taking another drug.

There is a drug-free alternative to ending addiction though, and it is called the Narconon Drug Rehabilitation and Education Program. In fact, Narconon literally means narcotics-none, and happens to produce a success rate more than three times the national average for ending addiction. Founded in Arizona State Prison in 1966 by William Benitez, the Narconon Program uses the drug-free social education methodology developed by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard.

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