This post is perhaps a confessional and not something useful to many of you, and yet, I wonder.
A recent article in Pacific Standard made me aware of a new and important human challenge. There are certainly myriad of such challenges now, but the heightened availability of synthetic psychoactive drugs has the potential to dwarf many of its competitors for our attention.
I had no idea how extensive such drugs are, the extent of their use, nor the seemingly insurmountable obstacles to their regulation. A simple search on YouTube makes me wonder where my head has been in this regard for the last several years.
For what this statistic is worth, 11% of American high school students in a recent survey claim to have used synthetic psychoactive drugs in one of their multiple forms. When I asked my 19 year-old college students about the drugs, they made me feel even more removed from their lives than I already knew I am. Their basic response was “Oh sure”, and then they launched into tales of this or that friend who ingested one of them, often to her or his peril.
Humans ARE going to find ways to alter their consciousness. They have throughout history and show no signs of ceasing to explore a loss of control. Are we up to the task of self-control were the devices of social control that attempt to inhibit various avenues for unfettered use of mind altering substances to lose their bite?