Written in 1974, this comment still seems true today, although the means of escape is probably now social media, rather than the drugs being discussed by Silverberg
The three books: Nexus, Crux, and Apex by Ramez Naam
Of course not as many had ever heard of Michael Crichton at the time.
And this was way before the supposed Fyre _festival_.
Eventually when they opened the initial far-from-complete version of Disney World, isolated in the middle of nowhere like a hidden Emerald City far from Orlando, when you went there, after you left it felt to some extent like it could have all been a mirage or an expereience influenced by some kind of gas they had in the air or something.
Especially if you had been aware of what it was like when the area was 100 percent swamp, and back then it was still over 99 percent so outside appearances were no different yet.
The Bahamas is isolated too and it's a famous resort even though it's always been 99 percent desert islands the whole time itself.
What do Apocalypse Now and A Scanner Darkly have in common? Drug abuse (I use the term abuse because the usage turns out harmful in both works). Philip K. Dick (writer of A Scanner Darkly, and other science fiction) is known to have used e.g. amphetamine.
I would assume its because the authors are or have been recreational users as well. Heroin was used as medicine long before it was made illegal. Musicians used it, and wrote about the usage. A lot of the references are hidden, for example Alice D. in Wonderland or Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. When I told my parents about that (they were teens/young adults in the 60/70s) they were flabbergasted. Its kind of like a wink or nudge, given drug usage or abuse being socially not accepted.
Edit: Another thing to add: Religions and traditions are full with drugs references as well. Find the mushrooms in old paintings of say Jesus Christ.
Found yet another reference (also brought up in the PDF), in Brave New World:
"Huxley took the name for the drug used by the state to control the population after the Vedic ritual drink Soma, inspired by his interest in Indian mysticism." 
Folklore has an abundance of drug references.
 - Hell, at least for pop music, IIRC those charts are mostly manufactured anyway and have little to do with any subjective or objective qualities of the songs in question.
Absolutely yes, I've had several discussions with people about this exact concept. The conclusion of those discussions is mostly something like "because theres probably a legal liability maze to do it without getting sued and given that, nobody has done it yet"
The competition would go from just being the sport to being also who's body can handle the most before serious health complications. There would be lots of heart attacks and other medical emergencies resulting which would all point a finger to whoever created such a situation.
The answer seems to be an obvious no? Besides, if you simply want competitors to go faster you could just give them bicycles. Or cars.
The drugs that are illegal for sports are all about pushing the body further, lifting that extra 20 pounds or shaving off that half-second. Art is very subjective though, so it cannot be pinned down in the same way. And there is no clear line on how “drugs” affect art, because “drugs” is a broad category that conflates a lot of different things under a single umbrella.
Would Morrissey’s music have resonated with so many if he was on anti-depressants? Or maybe he is/was, and that’s what gave him enough drive to make the music he did/does. How did Lou Reed or Kurt Cobain’s harder drug use affect their music? Did the effects come from the drug or from their lived experience while taking it? Would you consider someone who uses caffeine to have a competitive advantage? What about cocaine or amphetamines instead?
It’s not as simple as pointing to steroids or amphetamines in sports (and I’m not claiming that’s trivial to do), and it is not competitive in the same way. There is an element of training to making art, but someone with all the technical training in the world can still fail to make things that captivate people, with or without drugs.
Art is made from experience. Some kinds of drugs are very good at giving some kinds of experiences. I cannot say for sure, but I suspect that someone with talent and deeply-affecting life experiences can easily match someone else with talent who has had deeply-affecting drug experiences. The commonality is in the talent and the depth of experience, not the method.
> How did Lou Reed or Kurt Cobain’s harder drug use affect their music?
As a kid I read the book "Come As You Are" about Kurt Cobain (who was kind of a music idol to me, long before I could understand English well enough to understand the texts). He had severe back troubles, supposedly stemming from his choice of going left-handed guitar player. He was both left and right-handed, supposedly (elsewhere, from what I understood, people who are both are actually left-handed but partly adapted to right-handed world).
As with Philip K. Dick, I can totally imagine a writer on amphetamines. I'm a former Ritalin (Methylphenidate) user (legal with subscription). Whenever that worked, I could finally focus. Uppers help you focus for a while.
There are some excellent interviews with Andrés Gómez Emilsson about this topic. Here's a great start: