How can we help friends who have started to take drugs and become rather arrogant and exclusive?

Lama Ole’s answer:

We should simply explain to people who take drugs that even though they feel better subjectively, objectively they function worse. Drugs decrease one’s ability to think critically. Although objectively their abilities continually decrease and they accomplish less and less in school, work, and life, they think they are good and are becoming better and better because their ability to think critically decreases so rapidly.

The ego avoids situations in which they could have developed. One can always point out the facts very clearly: exams they didn’t pass, work they didn’t do, personal issues they couldn’t cope with, and so on. They might feel good, but they are in their own personal dream. Seen objectively, life is not going particularly well for them. Actually, one can only help drug users once they have already discovered that their lives are going down the drain.

The reason why we don’t let people who take drugs into our centers is simply that it is a waste of time: you won’t be talking to them but rather to the drugs. If a heroin user walks in, he’ll be sentimental. If a cocaine addict comes, he’ll be callous and want to check everything. If someone on ecstasy comes in, he won’t understand anything. A person on amphetamines will run around the table three times and then out again. A pot smoker will sit there and have a lot of emotions, but the next morning he won’t remember anything.

Because our lives are so short and time is so scarce, we can say: “Thank you for coming and thank you for leaving. Come again tomorrow when you can understand what we are saying.