Drugs have been around for a long time now. We are taught about the dangers of drugs from a young age. Yet, many people still get caught up in them and suffer heavy consequences. All this is well known, but Ohio seems to have been hit harder by drug problems then most states in recent times.
Per the Ohio Department of Health, the number of opioid-related deaths skyrocketed from 296 in 2003 to 2,590 in 2015 a 775 percent jump over a 13-year period. The main culprits are heroin and opioids. It has gotten to the point that many counties in Ohio have had to use a cold-storage trailer to act as an overflow morgue. This epidemic has devastated many families. Pictures have been posted showing disturbing scenes, like a man and a woman barely conscious in the front seats of a car. While the woman’s 4-year-old grandson sat in the back seat. This brings me to ask the question of why do people use drugs?
To answer this I think it is important that we define what happiness is. John Stuart Mill believes that happiness is the only intrinsically valuable thing in the world. He splits happiness into two main categories animalistic and attitudinal pleasures. Animalistic pleasures are defined as sensuous pleasures. These are the pleasures you get from physical things such as food, sex, and drugs. Attitudinal pleasures, on the other hand, are pleasures of the mind and soul. The kinds of pleasures that are constitutive of human wellbeing such as love and knowledge.
People who use drugs are trying to satisfy their animalistic desires. The problem with animalistic pleasures is that they are fleeting, and often cause more harm than good in the long run. Even worse chasing after animalistic pleasures, like drugs, can even harm those around you that have done nothing wrong themselves. Just like the child in the car. That is why Mill believes that seeking attitudinal pleasures is the best way to achieve happiness. Mill has a famous quote about the difference between animalistic and attitudinal pleasures. “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied.” In this case I believe that the drug addicts in Ohio are the fool Mill talks about. Hopefully they can realize this themselves and stop being the fool, and instead become Socrates.