In honor of Santonio Holmes, from Chuck Klosterman's 2001 Fargo Rock City:
Regardless of how someone describes their drug use -- as a "habit," as a "problem," as a "recreation," whatever -- they are really just trying to find a euphemism for their lifestyle. Even if the actual ingestion of narcotics consumes only a fraction of their free time, it's never a minor personality quirk. For one thing, it's illegal; for another, it freaks out a good chunk of the population.
Drug use is really a lifestyle choice. Though drugs do not necessarily change your life, taking drugs will change the way people look at you (and the way you look at yourself). Those who have no personal experience with drugs will assume that you're throwing your life away; certain people will not date you. Employers will be more willing to accept a DUI conviction than the mere rumor that you have a drug problem. Consequently, drug users will absorb these perceptions and recognize that they are now in a different societal class: They have a secret that makes them both vulnerable and dangerous -- and it probably makes their lives a lot more interesting (at least for awhile).
Talk to people who do a lot of drugs (or regularly drink to excess), and they will tell you they love it for at least two reasons. One is the physical effect of getting fucked up. The other is the actual process. It's not just fun to be high; it's fun to smoke pot. It's fun to score dope and put ice cubes in the bong and put on boring reggae records and talk with other stoners about idiotic stoner topics. It's fun to browse through liquor stores and mix drinks on the coffee table and tell memorable puke stories. There is an appeal to the Abuse Lifestyle that exists outside of the product.
Tags: Chuck Klosterman, Fargo Rock City