"Recreational Pharmaceuticals are vibrations from a transmission centre far beyond the wave lengths of conventional communications media of the 21st Century. They transport some people while frightening others. And, despite a massive arsenal of legislative curbs, they bridle at control, and whirl into the darkest corners of the mind. To individuals riding its waves, the designer drug promises instant terror or instant bliss, and sometimes both. No one who has felt or heard these aerial stirrings remains unaffected."
Vaughn, Designer Musings, 2019
The most striking illustration of the evolution of a taboo, defined by the most severe punitive legislation, to a practice that has gained a wide measure of respectability is the emergence of designer pharmeceuticals on the international scene. Though still frowned on by law-enforcement, it has progressed from an activity associated mainly with the criminal fringe to the point where it has become a middle-class phenomenon. This shift to the more respectable segments of the 2020 population has helped proliferate the wide-spread dispersal of other drugs to the more traditionally drug oriented fringe / criminal elements.
In the 1970's marijuana conquered the mainstream, leading the first push of pharmacology to the common market. In the 80's cocaine broke th barriers and was an accepted part of most professional lifestyles (over 50% of yuppies were using), regardless of the beginnings of the "war on drugs" and massive bad press in the conventional medias. By the 90's the lowest of the street drugs, Crack Cocaine, was reigning king, and with it a strange leveling of the field occured, with lawyers and bums plying the streets for the same five-dollar fix.
But, while it's cliche to point out that the 2020s is a drug culture and to repeat such statistics as "over 300 mood-alterant doeses were consumed per capita in North America in 2019", there are still those who refuse to see the forst for the trees. They continue to point ot the sensational instances of drug abuse and tut-tut what they think is the aberration of the few - without acknowledging the massive drug use that is a fact of life throughout the 21st Century First World. They think of today's young drug users as having appeared on the scene overnight - some foregn element risen froma dark, ugly cellar and back into which they should immediately be stuffed.