People with a high IQ (120-180) tend to wish to experiment with their own consciousness and peruse the bounds of their mind. People with a low IQ tend to not do their own research and explore beyond what society has led them to believe as being safe. Drugs are obviously not limited to people with a higher Iq, but there has been research on the fact that people with a higher IQ are more educated and therefore understand the effects of many compounds more accurately.
Natural psychedelic compounds (some call "drugs") such as Tetrahydrocannabinol (occurs naturally in the plant genus cannabis "weed") N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (occurs naturally in the brain "DMT"), Psilocybin (occurs naturally in many fungi "mushrooms"), Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (derived from the ergot fungi "LSD-25"), and 3,4,5-Trimethoxyphenethylamine (occurs naturally in the cacti peyote "mescaline") are very effective in expanding one's consciousness and potential with the connection with their life to the source of the universe and of all things. It helps them gain intellectual development to see life for what it really is, to gain a deep appreciation for all living things, and to get a sense of their place in the universe. Human words can hardly describe the intimate connection that such drugs reveal between one's self (mind/body) and the universe (surroundings). It is only part of human nature to experiment with our gift of being aware - and having a consciousness to make meaning and some sense out of our complex lives.
It has even been hypothesized by Terrence Makenna, and many other psychonauts, that the reason that humans have developed such advanced languages and thought processes is through the use of psychedelic mushrooms (possibly millions of years ago) by our ancestors. Hell, if you are even reading this you should notice that it is a large wall of small, organized, squiggly lines and shapes, that you are sensibly able to make out this complex train of thought and download it into your consciousness through your eyes.
There are definitely some terrible drugs for your body and mind, like the ones that OP has described. Alcohol, tobacco, heroin, crack, adderall, caffeine, and many others, are terrible for the long term and the short term body and mind.Possibly those people are taking those drugs to cover up something more complex within their emotional subconscious that you don't need to understand as the 3rd person observer.
One of the key's that I have found to take to heart in life is -- everything in moderation -- . Even cheeseburgers, or cereal, or even water(!), in excessive amounts can cause serious problems with the body and/or mind. The key thing here is that if something has an addictive quantity than it has the potential to be abused. There are certain compounds that are too intense to be abused by most people (i.e. psychedelics) and as a result their effects on human consciousness do not present a danger for addictive qualities. Addiction and abuse go hand in hand with the term everything in moderation. Addiction and abuse are very complex evils, and must be treated on an individual basis as their are too many variables that go into understanding why they occur in each individual. OP I say just let people experiment...why does it matter to you that these "people" in your life are doing drugs? Sure, if they are abusing the drugs, and you see negative health effects or behavior, say something to them.
Sure, it might be just fine and dandy to live a life without any of these wondrous, mysterious, compounds or novelties, but when you die, what will you make of the life you lived? What will you expect to come afterwards, having never experienced this thing people told you about their so called "psychedelic trip"? Will you really tell yourself that you lived your life to the fullest? That you lived a life that chose you, rather than you thinking that you are choosing your life? Life happens to you whether you like it or not. Its all up to you to chose your path, no one can do that for you. Just pick what the fuck you want to do with your own consciousness and let others do the same. I suggest testing the bounds of your reality and escape your comfort zone for a couple of hours and give a psychedelic drug a chance to blow your mind with a few good friends. I'm sure you will come out of it with much more empathy, love, and compassion for everyone and everything around you in your life. I just ask you OP, and anyone else reading this, to take home the following messages:
Always treat other people with a loving heart, acceptance, and compassion. Try to understand that you will never fully understand another person's perspective. You can't take their life path and see what they see. Everyone has a unique journey to carry out in this infinite symphony of the cosmos. Each and every part of this reality has a specific purpose and you're just beginning to learn the wonders of it all. Just go with the flow and worry about what you are doing with your life, stop wasting time thinking about other people's decisions.
As Neil DeGrasse Tyson said in the finale of Cosmos, these are the 5 rules you must abide to as a citizen of the cosmos if you are willing to learn something about the universe:
1. Question authority - no idea is true just because someone says so.
2. Think for yourself - question yourself.
3. Don't believe anything just because you want to - believing something doesn't make it so.
4. Test ideas by the evidence gained from observation and experiment - if a favorite idea fails a well designed test, it's wrong, get over it. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, if you have no evidence reserve judgement.
5. Remember that you could be wrong - all of the best scientists have been wrong about some things, they all made mistakes and of course they did, they're all human. Science is a way to keep from fooling ourselves and each other.
One love, and infinite love to you all Newschoolers.
I will now end this post with a quote by Neil in the finale of Cosmos to give you all my personal scientific perspective on the universe, as Neil put it into words beautifully:
""Learning the age of the Earth, or the distance to the stars, or how life evolves...what difference does that make? Well part of it depends on how big a universe you're willing to live in. Some of us like it small - thats fine, understandable. But I like it big, and when I take all of this [science] into my heart and my mind, I'm uplifted by it, and when I have that feeling, I want to know that it's real, thats its not just something happening inside my own head. Because it matters whats true, because our imagination is nothing compared with natures awesome reality. I want to know what's in those dark places [of the universe] and what happened before the big bang. I want to know what lies beyond the cosmic horizon, and how life began. Are there other places in the cosmos where matter and energy have become alive, and aware? I want to know my ancestors, all of them. I want to be a good strong link in the generations. I want to protect my children and the children of ages to come. We who embody the local eyes and ears, thoughts, and feelings of the cosmos, we've begun to learn the story of our origins - star stuff contemplating the evolution of matter. Tracing that long path by which it arrived at consciousness. We and the other living things of this planet carry a legacy of cosmic evolution spanning billions of years. If we take that knowledge to heart, if we come to know and love nature as it really is then we will surely be remembered by our descendants as good strong links in the chain of life, and our children will continue this sacred searching. Seeing for us as we have seen for those who came before. Discovering wonders yet undreamt of in the Cosmos."
Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop to look around once and a while, you could miss it.
RIP Tom Warnick
Planetary Geology Major, University of Colorado at Boulder Class of 2016