Nowadays, people tend to take more and more drugs. In big cities and European capitals, new drugs are created and adapt to different social groups and trends. But what exactly do we understand by “drugs”? And how has the consumption of these substances evolved?
First of all, we need to understand what drugs really are. Official definitions are:
- Mineral, vegetal, or animal substance used in medicine, industry or fine arts.
- Substance or medical preparation with stimulating, depressing, narcotic or hallucinating effects.
Basically, drugs affect the normal functions of the Central Nervous System. There is a classification of drugs according to the effects they produce; depressing substances would be: alcohol, cannabis, and any drug that’s inhaled. Stimulating drugs are cocaine, nicotine, and amphetamines. Hallucinating substances are LSD, psilocybin, and synthetic drugs. In a way, one might think that it’s no big deal to take stuff that affects his/her mood but today, we know that drugs create a physical and psychological dependency and that its consumption destroys the health and life of whoever takes it.
Nevertheless, mankind has known and used drugs since the world existed. All civilizations from Assyrians to modern societies have taken drugs for all kinds of reasons: religion, rituals, medicine, habits, etc. In western culture, drugs are taboo especially since the 80’s when the first laws against drug consumption emerged. The famous Seca law in the US prohibited alcohol consumption. Considering the amount of deaths due to tobacco and alcohol, 2 legal and socially accepted drugs, this law hasn’t been very efficient…
Speaking of drug consumption, social behaviours have changed over time: 30 years ago, LSD, marijuana, and hashish were very popular in Amsterdam which influenced a lot European habits. Also, we need to take into account social and cultural movements like the Hippies. Scandinavia and Great Britain were into amphetamines (Ectasy, XTC…) and drugs that can be inhaled (gas, glue…). Music also has had an impact on people’s consumption: in house, trance and techno environments, cocaine is rather common, whether rock and indie fans are more likely to smoke pot.
Spain is definitely a good example of what happens after 40 years of repression: all kinds of drugs have been circulating abundantly but today, things are calming down somewhat and the drug consumption level is now similar to that of other European capitals.
It’s true that the nightlife is a constant invitation to try new things, but be careful! Drugs are not something you can fool around with. How about you try something safer like good music, a few friends and a magnificent city? Rent the best apartments in Madrid and get some drug-free fun there!