My curiosity over the terminology and collective cultural view of the term “drug” has been sparked by the re-emergence of the use of psychedelics in the field of treatment of trauma, and interestingly addictions themselves.
My own experiences with ancient plant medicines and traditions has led me to read and research more and more. I have been deeply interested in using substance to release unprocessed emotions from the cells of the body. This interest comes from my own healing journey and so I can better support others in their unique process.
The discovery of LSD about 100 years ago, and the modern popularization of ancient ceremonial traditions like peyote have sparked more and more interest over the last few years. In the field of addictions and trauma, certain substances are making some waves, and some wins.
Yet, in North America, there is a “war” on drugs. At the same time the population is the most medicated in history. There is a carpet bombing of this term, and with it everything is destroyed, that of damage and that of use.
Unlike humans, not all drugs are created equal. But what it is we are warring against?
Mariam Webster Definition:
Something and often an illegal substance that causes addiction, habituation, or a marked change in consciousness
“keeping teens off drugs, heroin and other hard drugs”
Oxford Dictionary Definition:
A medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.
‘a new drug aimed at sufferers from Parkinson’s disease’
Miriam Webster is clear about the definition. Often illegal. The example is clear. Drugs, such as heroin are addictive and illegal. Our teens must be protected.
Across the pond in Oxford, UK, the substance creates an effect, and is associated with healing a disease. There is a subtle insinuation here that is very telling of the cultural undertones around the explanation “drug”.
Merging the two, into something to use moving forward:
A substance that has a physiological effect or a marked change in consciousness.
So, we can categorize many, many things under this label. Caffeine has now been recognized as a drug. Alcohol, though culturally acceptable, and my drug of numbing for many years is also a drug. By this very definition we are all using drugs every day. Foods? Chocolate? Sugar? The satiating quality of fat? Whilst not “substances”, exercise and sex also have physiological effects.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”-Hippocrates
With increased awareness of the human body, we can become aware of the changes in our energy levels, blood chemistry, organ function, brain function, and states of consciousness. With practice we can experiment, and become aware of the change in state that any ingested substance has on our being.
That bowl of ice cream, that is a go to in times of emotional distress is, therefore, also a drug. If we are aware of the impact it has on us.
Under these definitions it is clear that any substance that is ingested is creating change. The butterfly flaps its wings, and your spleen changes function, which changes hormones, blood, sugar, energy levels and then thought patterns. It is all, always connected.
We are constantly medicating.
Our freedom of choice around our substance usage is then the deeper question. Why do we fall into certain patterns of consumption, blindly ingesting high glycemic index foods, spiking blood sugar and modulating this with caffeine and alcohol?
The harsh truth we are, for the most part, a society that is patterned, conditioned and unaware of the human body.
The culture of modern medicine has discounted the connection of food and substances with levels of health. The head is in the sand about the impacts of diet on health. To find a clear example try eating in a hospital for a few weeks.
We are all free to choose what we put into our mouths, and into our bodies. Yet, it is our desire to use substance to change the way that we feel that is driving our actions. We must deepen our relationship with ourselves, find the pain that we are numbing through substance, and release it. Only then can we find greater freedom to choose what will deeply nourish us.
Are we using something to numb the pain, or release it? Are we supressing or completing?
Certain techniques of movement, meditation and breathing will allow us to heal these deep, cellular, hormonal chemical pains that are stored in our bodies and that we are numbing every day.
Certain substances, with the correct guidance also.
I am a recovered alcoholic. Self defined, as there was a time that I couldn’t get through the day without a drink. I am “recovered” as I am no longer dependent. Once in a while I will consciously use a beer or a brandy to change my state. I do this, fully knowing I am medicating, and enjoying the whole process. The difference is that I have a much greater freedom to choose.
My drug of choice these days: Air.
With practice, through Conscious Connected Breathing, I have learned how to alter my state beyond any other external substance I have discovered.
I can get high breathing.
You see, the air we breath is a mind altering substance also.
If you are ready to learn about the power of your breath then please reach out.
Thanks for reading!