If you are reading this, it means you have managed to survive in this world, and if you are surviving in this world there’s easily a 99% chance that you are using a coping mechanism to do so. For some people this coping mechanism is psychotherapy, for others it is religion, still others rely on family. Many people drink, many exercise, and the most vilified people in America use, gasp drugs. I do not intend to argue that any of these things are good or bad, merely that when it comes to facing the trials and tribulations of life, they are all places of refuge. All of these refuges are drugs in one way or another as they create an on-demand change in mental cognition and emotional being.

We are all of us drug users.

It takes a strong constitution to face the world of today, even with help. We are assaulted on all sides by contradictory stimuli. Between pressure to survive, pressure to succeed, and pressures to buy, sell, and be like others (or like yourself), living nowadays is a stressful prospect. The human brain it seems needs help to cut through all the noise to find what is really important; we seem poorly equipped for this style of emotional filtering. This is where drugs come in: drugs help us to emotionally filter what is important from what is not. They allow us to live completely inside a particular neatly framed moment, and it takes concentrated training to capture that effect without outside assitance.

Which is of course to imply that you can indeed survive without a coping mechanism, but it requires a level of simplicity scarcely possible (and frankly not preferable) in this modern environment. The secret to survival without coping lay within survival itself. We have the problems we have as human beings because we have time and energy to spare, and we fill it all up with emotionally draining drama. A life spent at the level of mere survival is a simpler, more peaceful, easier to process life. This is not an option for most of us. We live in the world we live in and, short of drastic, often frightening steps, cannot escape that. So what is to be done? How do we cope with that which we cannot escape? We must choose our drugs wisely.

Obviously not all drugs are equal. Drugs with disastrous side effects are more likely to destroy your life than to help you manage it, creating the same problems they are meant to address. Coping mechanisms must be approached intelligently and with an eye toward the desired result, rather than the socially accepted view of coping. Every person copes with their unique problems in a unique way, and our society needs to identify that coping is a part of life: if it takes prayer, or family, or a bender to get by, so be it. We need to stop applying morality to behaviors which are, on a philosophical level, essentially equal cries for help. Life holds challenges for literally everybody on Earth, and those who are able to cope with those challenges and their aftershocks are those who will survive. They will live to pass down not only their genes, but their coping mechanisms. The drugs of the past will be reused by future generations to cope with the same problems, with the same results. Until we find a way to reduce the stressing stimuli on human beings, until we solve problems both physical and emotional, we will continue to rely on drugs to help us level the playing field with reality, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.