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> Drug use goes back as far as humankind does because people have been trying to cope with the stress of life since there have been people.

I do not think the second half of your statement is true. Certainly there was drug use in hunter/gatherer societies but it was mostly shamanistic/ritualistic use, not 'stress relief'. The example that you give of alcohol only really came on the scene with the advent of farming, which remains a small fraction of the history of humankind.






Wikipedia claims 10,000 to 5,000 years BC

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholic_drink

So you’re potentially correct, though we don’t know if fermentation was used earlier, either intentionally or opportunistically.


> Certainly there was drug use in hunter/gatherer societies but it was mostly shamanistic/ritualistic use, not 'stress relief'.

Can we really say this? Are we sure that finding a patch of 'those' mushrooms wouldn't have just meant party time?

We know that (for instance) animals seem to seek them out...


Ok, I just did a bit of searching for studies on hunter-gatherer use of drugs.

This paper [1] supports my characterisation of being mostly for shamanistic/ritualistic use.

And this paper [2] suggests that drug use also had medicinal benefits. But that is from a modern hunter-gatherer society that has undoubtedly been influenced by outside societies (indeed the drug they smoke has been imported from another continent), so I'm not sure how indicative of pre-historic hunter-gatherer use it is.

Where I remain dubious is the assertion that drugs have always been used for 'stress relief'. My feeling is that stress - as we understand it - was not something much experienced by hunter-gatherer societies.

[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512155025.h...

[2] https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-06/wsu-wrs05291...




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