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What motivated people to use recreational drugs in the 1960 - Essay Example

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The recreational use of several drugs became widespread in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States during the 1960s. The exposure to cannabis of numerous American combatants during the Vietnam War was one of the major causes of the spread of recreational drugs in the 1960s…
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What motivated people to use recreational drugs in the 1960
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Download file to see previous pages The 1960s is known by many as the period when the youth rebelled against the government and strived to attain harmony, love, and peace (Iversen 210). The 1960s was also a period when numerous young people experimented with different kinds of drugs. This essay tries to answer this research question: what motivated people to use recreational drugs in the 1960s? Recreational drug is defined as any substance “taken on an occasional basis for enjoyment, especially when socializing” (Earleywine 54). Recreational drugs include a broad array of hallucinogenic and narcotic substances. The term also includes heroin, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), amphetamines, barbiturates, alcohol, and caffeine. The use of recreational drugs by the youth was strongly associated with the rebellion and dissent experienced by the people of the 1960s (Iversen 210): The most profound example of the ability of marijuana to raise mass social consciousness occurred during the Vietnam War era, on both the home front and the battle front....
Drug rehabilitation centers were established in the 1960s to provide assistance to drug addicts and to control the supply of recreational drugs. The Use of Recreational Drugs in the 1960s Two hallucinogenic drugs were at the core of the 1960s’ counterculture movement: LSD and cannabis. Cannabis is a plant grown in the American colonies for its fiber. Several Indian communities used the plant’s dried leaves with tobacco as a pain reliever (Conlin 940). Cannabis became a recreational drug due to two occurrences. First, a momentary fad for anything Turkish resulted in the establishment of hashish pubs, where people experienced the joy of ecstasy. Almost simultaneously, New Mexico and Texas inhabitants saw Mexicans using cannabis for its mind-altering effects. The use of cannabis as a recreational drug reached New Orleans, where clients of the city’s posh bordellos learned it from African-American singers who were at the time engaged in creating jazz. White singers, fascinated to jazz, began to use the terms ‘pot’ and ‘weed’ during the 1920s. Among the white people, using marijuana stayed practically a tradition for musicians until beatniks—the Beat generation of the 1960s—learned about it from the jazz clubs they visited (Conlin 940). The 1960s’ hippies learned marijuana use from the beatniks and began spreading the word about the hallucinogenic benefits of the drug. LSD has a shorter history. It was produced by Albert Hoffman in 1938, who was trying to create a new drug for headache. Hoffman described his experience with using LSD as “a kind of drunkenness which was not unpleasant and which was characterized by extreme activity of imagination… an uninterrupted ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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