I read this last night before falling asleep. Prabhupada clearly explains why people take to intoxication. Many times people will say, taking drugs is spiritual – below he explains why this is total madness.
We all have had to deal with these crazy types of people who mistake intoxication for spirituality.
They will say – "Oh it says right there in Bhagavad gita – Krishna says "I am the healing herb"……
Prabhupada explains it all – very clearly — for those who can "hear".
Conversations, May 8, 1975, Perth
Kim: One more question. What do you think of the use of drugs as an aid?
Prabhupada: Drugs? That is another side of madness. Just like human being, after the evolution of 8 million forms of bodies, he comes to human body to understand philosophy, these Vedas. So instead of utilizing life for that purpose, he wants to become again like the cats and dogs, and therefore he takes drugs. He is already cat and dog. He's no better than cats and dogs, because he has no interest in this knowledge. He was meant for this knowledge but he remains like cats and dogs, therefore he is not satisfied, therefore he takes drugs to forget himself. This is the philosophy of drugs. He was meant for becoming satisfied by taking this knowledge. He does not get the chance. Nobody leads him to this knowledge. He remains like cats and dogs, but as a human being if he lives like cats and dogs, he'll never be happy. Because there is no happiness, therefore he takes drugs, to forget. This is the drug philosophy. Drug philosophy means to forget one's present suffering. He must suffer, because his consciousness is developed. He must take this Vedic knowledge, but he does not take.
Therefore he is dissatisfied, and to counteract the dissatisfaction he takes drugs. This is drug philosophy.
Kim: Perhaps often it is that, but…
Prabhupada: Not perhaps. There is no question of perhaps. We want to speak factually.
Kim: But Patanjali says that siddhis, powers, can be produced by drugs, so perhaps…
Prabhupada: Drugs are meant for medicinal purposes, not for drinking or taking generally. Every herb, every vegetable, is a drug meant for curing a particular disease. This is nature's gift. Just like if you cut your finger, you take little grass and take a little juice and apply it. It will act as tincturizing, immediately. They are meant for this purpose. These vegetable, drugs, are meant for when you are sick or disturbed, you can utilize. Not for intoxication. Just like opium. If you have severe type of dysentery, diarrhea, a little opium it will immediately cure. But opium is not meant for using as intoxication. There is use of opium. Morphia, opium, they have got use at a certain time, not for using it for intoxication. That is foolish.
Amogha: Srila Prabhupada, can drugs sometimes be used to help us for spiritual realization?
Prabhupada: No. That is nonsense. Spiritual realization means knowledge. Not to become intoxicated. Just like this is spiritual knowledge. So what the intoxicated person will understand? Even a sane man cannot understand. Then how he will understand in intoxication? It is foolishness. They are suffering material pangs. By taking drugs the suffering is forgotten, and he is thinking that is the solution. Spiritual means negation of material distress. So he is always suffering from material distress. By taking drug, temporarily he forgets it. Therefore he misunderstands "This is spiritual." That's not spiritual. Then committing suicide is also spiritual? One man is suffering, and the suffering is so great he cannot tolerate, therefore he sometimes commits suicide. Is that committing suicide spiritual? Spiritual means negation of material distresses, that's a fact. But that is a different thing. When you come to the spiritual platform, not by artificially forgetting your material suffering. That is not spiritual.