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Why do people use drugs?

Updated on May 31, 2014

Why do people abuse drugs?

As a former addict heavily involved in recovery I've met many family members of my addict friends. The loved ones of drug addicts are always so confused about this problem.

"Why did my baby ever try drugs?" "Why is it so appealing?" "Why can't he just quit?"

Those are just some of the questions I've been asked over and over again about why people get addicted to drugs or why people would even try drugs in the first place. I never really had a good answer to this before. Because people are looking for a one liner of an answer. You can't really explain everything from drug experimentation to why people go on to become addicts in a brief tidy answer. It's a long complicated question.

So one night while I was trying to sleep this allegory of a bubble just came to me. This is my attempt as an addict to try to at least shed some light on the experimentation, abuse and ultimate addiction to narcotic and other addictive substances.

I hope it helps.

The Bubble

What is it like being on dope? Why would anyone in there right mind ever even try dope? Well it’s like this bubble that everybody knows about. There are a lot of people trapped in this bubble. Stupid people, poor people, lower class people, you know other people. Not you, not me, we know better than to get caught up in something like that. Because we can clearly see that everyone who enters that bubble gets trapped inside of it. From far away and outside of this bubble it’s obvious that it ruins lives. We see all these silly people who willingly walked right into the bubble knowing it would ruin their lives and then they want us to feel sorry for them when their lives are ruined. Whatever! Right? Who would feel sorry for them? They brought this on themselves! Everyone knows that if you mess with that bubble it will hurt you. Yet they wanted to test the waters and now they act surprised that they got hurt.

Hard Times Arrive

Then all of a sudden tragedy comes into your life. Some people are innocent like a loved one died, or they got ripped off and lost everything. Some people brought it on themselves. Like after a series of mistakes and bad decisions all of a sudden their about to lose their home, or job, or spouse or all three! While you’re down and not thinking straight this bubble kind of sneaks up on you. You’ve been looking at it from far away and for some reason unlike everything else in life this bubble is actually clearer from far away. I mean when you’re not around it when you don’t know anyone in it. It’s obviously something dangerous. No one has to tell you that you don’t want to have anything to do with it.

Like The Subtle Serpent

When it’s next to you though, when you’re down and out you start to see it differently. You look at the people inside and you notice something about them that you never noticed before. Yes their lives are crap, yes they have nothing, and yes they are all losers. But they don’t care! From up close when everything is distorted in your life, it looks like a shelter. (That’s when you’re close to the bubble, when you’re at a low point, when you’re down and out.) The bubble is subtle and sneaky like the devil that created it. It knows when you are depressed, it knows when you are vulnerable. That’s when it starts coming close to you. Because the closer it is to you the harder it is to see it. That is to see it for what it really is

A Portal of Escape.

When you’re close to it and you start seeing all these people with problems that don’t care. All they care about is the bubble. Getting more of the bubble, exploring the bubble becoming one with the bubble, it’s like the bubble makes people forget about everything but the bubble. And there you are with all these problems and no solutions. You worry day in and day out, it’s like you can feel ulcers growing inside of you. You feel trapped like a caged animal and worst of all you feel alone. Even if you know better, even if you know there are dozens of people that care about you, you still feel alone. You don’t feel like they can relate, or because you’re too proud to ask them for their help. Whatever the reason you keep seeing all the people in this bubble with worse problems than you but yet they don’t care. Then you think to yourself “you know what, it would be nice not to care.” You actually start to envy these stupid silly people that were dumb enough to walk into this bubble. Because even though the bubble ruined there lives they actually look happy anyway.

What Is There To Lose?

Then you realize that you are different than these people. I mean they were stupid to walk into the bubble knowing it would ruin there lives. But you don’t have to worry about that. The bubble couldn’t possibly ruin your life, your life is already ruined! So if you walked into the bubble it wouldn’t ruin your life like it did them. But maybe you could stop caring about your ruined life like they did. Besides that, you’re not going to walk all the way into the bubble like they did. You’re just gonna take a step or two in. Like wading into a lake up to your knees, them dummies dove into the deep end, but you’re gonna stay in the safe shallow part of the lake. Just get your feet wet no big deal.


So you walk into the bubble and it works! All of a sudden you’re happy again. You don’t have any problems. You find out that its fun inside this bubble! This bubble is full of interesting people that are really fun to hang out with (at first.) In fact this bubble is like being in a rock and roll movie. Everything is crazy and exciting, no wonder people forget about all their problems in here. In here who cares about things out there? Still you’re not going to go all the way in like they did, you’re way smarter than they are.

Sticky, Sticky Trap

But one day from inside the bubble you accidentally look out. You see that while you were inside, even though you were just a little inside, your life somehow got even worse! So what do you do? Well you could get out of the bubble, be a man and start working on your problems. But what if you can’t fix them? What if you had your chance but because you chose to go inside the bubble you took something that was just damaged but repairable and outright destroyed it? Way deep down inside you know better, you know that if you try hard enough and ask for help anything can be fixed. But the bubble keeps that feeling deep down inside. The bubble is very jealous of its victims. It doesn’t want them to leave. It wants them to keep thinking everything is bad out there and always will be while everything is “rock and roll” inside. So instead of getting out and getting yourself together you do what you made fun of all the others for doing. You go deeper into the bubble. Then deeper and deeper until you get lost in the bubble and nothing else matters anymore.


Then one day the haters come looking for you. Everyone outside of the bubble calls them the police. They come looking and they find you. Then they arrest you for possession of the bubble and intent to sell the bubble, and they lock you up. At first you’re pissed at them for ruining the party. And scared to death of your future not only in prison but in prison outside of the bubble!


But then after a few months of being outside of the bubble and your head starts to clear up you see that prison is the best thing that could have happened to you! You realize that prison saved you! The bubble tricked you into thinking it was protecting you from all your problems. But really it was feeding all your problems turning them into this big ole monster and was preparing to feed you to that monster!

New Life

Years later you get out of prison, awake and alert like never before. You look back and you can’t believe you were ever stupid enough to be fooled by the bubble. You’re never gonna look down on those people in the bubble again cause now you’ve walked in their shoes. You think I’m gonna get back on my feet and then I’m gonna start finding a way to help people out of the bubble now. I’m not gonna sit on the sidelines and shake my finger at them anymore. From now on I’m gonna use my finger to point the way. All these poor people that were fooled like I was I have to help them!

Time To Fix Things

Now you’re trying to get back on your feet and your so proud of yourself for overcoming the bubble. You know that you have overcome it too. You’re never gonna fall for that trick again. But nobody believes you. Your family used to be there for you trough thick and thin and would give you the shirt off their backs to help you. Now they think if they did that you would probably pawn the shirt and use the money to get back inside the bubble. But that’s no problem you understand that, you’re not mad at them. So you say “I’ll work hard and get a job, get my own place and prove I can be a productive member of society again.” But you’re a felon. You’ve proven yourself untrustworthy. Not just anyone is willing to risk their business and livelihood by entrusting you to work for them.

Round Two

So there you are. Your family seems to have given up on you, and you can’t get a job. Things are worse now than they ever were before you entered the bubble. With your head hanging low and a ton of burden on your shoulders you turn around and what do you see? The bubble staring right at you, full of people with problems just like you. But they don’t care about their problems.


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    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very good Jack,what Satan use to destory you, God will use for His good. Which is to take the knowledge you've learned from your mistakes and use it to save His people.

      Which we both know is not a easy job as some may think.

    • Jack West profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack West 

      10 years ago

      I know exactly how you feel James. When I first started writing hubs I didn't want to say anything about my battles with that bubble. But lately I've been feeling lead to I don't know. Anyway you're welcome, and thank you for the feedback

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      10 years ago from Chicago

      Yes, Brother. I have been in and out and in and out and in and out of that bubble. It does have a certain allure. I am happy to say that I am out for good. I am free. No longer a slave to that bubble. Thank you for a profound Hub.

    • Jack West profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack West 

      10 years ago

      I'll send you my number on Facebook call me when you get to town. :-)

    • profile image

      Max & Darlene 

      10 years ago

      There are 2 people here who believe you and who have not given up on you! You know God has a plan for your life and I'm sure it includes a job.

      Max will be in Wichita Spinal Hospital next Friday, 10th, for surgery on his back and will stay overnight. Would be nice to see you. Blessings, M & D

    • Jack West profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack West 

      10 years ago

      Thank you "me"

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I like it!

    • Jack West profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack West 

      10 years ago

      A M Werner lol thanks

    • A M Werner profile image

      Allen Werner 

      10 years ago from West Allis

      Great job Jack, I'm just a little bit frightened to take a bubble bath now - but I'll deal with that. Some people have greater fears than that to work out which you so poetically pointed out. Peace.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      well said jack. well said. =)

    • Jack West profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack West 

      10 years ago


      Thank you so much for the compliments. I pray for your son as well. In fact as soon as I read your comment I imediately prayed for him. I prayed he would get out and become an outstanding and productive member of society like we both know God created him to be. Remember what I said about round 2, cause he's gonna face round 3 and 4 and 156. He's gonna need all the prayer he can get. Something tells me you have that covered. :-)

      God bless you Lisa

    • Lisa M Smith profile image

      Lisa Smith 

      10 years ago from Coupeville, WA

      Wow Jack! Very powerful and enlightening. My son has been in and out of that bubble a number of times. Has been in prison and is now in work release. I pray he can stay out of the bubble this time. Thank you for writing this.

    • Jack West profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack West 

      10 years ago

      Shannon, Me too brother.

      Silva thank you so much, I hope it's useful to many people. Especially those with loved ones trapped in the bubble.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 

      10 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Wow, powerful writing. Voted up and useful.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very nice, would love to read how it finishes brother!


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