Drugs - Religious Studies, AQA, Ethics

Information on Drugs along with Christian and Buddhsit beliefs.

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Facts on Drugs

-Examples of illegal drugs include ecstasy, LSD, cannabis, cocaine and heroin.

-Illegal drugs are divided into Class A, B or C, depending on how addcitive and harmful they are, for example, ecstasy is a Class A drug, because it is very addictive and also can have very harmful effects on the body.

-Recreational Drugs- drugs that people use for pleasure or relaxation. The majority of these are illegal, although alcohol and tobacco are both legal recreational drugs.

-Prescription drugs- drugs that are prescribed by a doctor to treat a medical condition. These are legal.

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Reasons why people take drugs

There are a number of reasons why people take drugs, including:


-Peer pressure



-Want to try it

-Because it is forbidden



-Therapeutic reasons

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Consequences of taking drugs

There are a variety of different consequences of taking drugs:

-They can affect your body physically- can cause palpitations, heart problems, organ failures such as liver and kindey

-The body can be affected mentally- they can cause health problems such as depression, manic depression, schizophrenia, psychosis and paranoia

-People can be affected socially- they can intervene and affect friendships either by causing new dangerous relationships as you inhibitions are down or by causing the person to become withdrawn and lose friends

-Can lead to crime, such as stealing in order to pay for the habit

- People may drink drive, which can cause accidents as well as death

-Drugs can cause family breakdowns through arguments over misuse of money or behaviour resulting from drug use

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Reasons why some Christians are against taking ill

-The body is a Temple, and therefore should not be treated badly. However, taking drugs has a number of risks on a person's health and body, and so they may believe that you are not respecting the life that God gave you

-Drugs are harmful to both the mind and the body

-Drugs can cloud a person's experience of God

-Taking drugs is losing control of the body and can lead to bad actions

-Can lead to crime, which is breaking the law, and is therefore against what God wants

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Reasons why Buddhists may be against taking illega

-Drugs are harmful to both the mind and the body

-Taking drugs breaks the precept of do not put anything into your body that will cloud your mind

-Consuming illegal drugs is against the law, and is therefore not a right action because it breaks the eightfold path

-It can lead to crime, which also is not a right action

-Can cause/lead to death, either directly or indirectly, and so can count as harming a living thing

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Buddhist attitudes towards alcohol

-Alcohol is able to damage the body, it can cloud the mind and is also a retreat from the truth

-It can prevent effective medication

-Craving for alcohol is bad- the 4 Noble Truths say that we only suffer because we want things, and so as the result of craving alcohol, you will only cause harm/suffering for yourself in the future

-Consuming alcohol is against the 5th Precept- do not put anything into your body that will cloud your mind

-Some Buddhists drink moderately

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Christian attitudes towards alcohol

There are many different and potentially contrasting Christian views on alcohol consumption, which may include:

-The Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit and should therefore not be abused

-Addiction can not only be harmful to yourself, but also others, including family, friends and the public

-Paul encouraged people not to get drunk, however, some Christians interpret this as if he was saying it was okay to drink in moderation

-Because Jesus drank alcohol at a wedding, it could be okay

-Timothy is told to drink a little wine for his own health

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Potential Buddhist attitudes towards smoking

-Buddhists are encouraged to follow the Eightfold Path, which includes right action

-Because tobacco affects health, it is considered to not be a right action

-The results of addiction can be bad

-Smoking means an increased likelihood of disease, and so not taking care of the gift of life

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Potential Christian attitudes towards smoking

-They encourage that you should try and avoid tobacco because of the potential harmful effects on both the consumer and those nearby

-The Body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit

-The body should be used to glorify (worship) God

-There's the problem of getting addicted and the implications as well as costs aren't good

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Treating drug users

Different people and religions have different views on how we should treat Drug users:

-Many Buddhists and Christians believe in working to rehabilitate drug users

-Some people believe that these programmes are very effective, and there are many examples of people who have turned their lives around. On the other hand, there have been many failed stories too

-There are charities such as the Oasis Trust, Teen Challenge and London City Mission which all work to help people with addictions. They are run by Christians

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Why Buddhist?



AQA probably has a unit on Buddhism that you aren't doing.

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