How do drugs work from the Buddhist point of view? Are the things one experiences real?

Lama Ole’s answer:

Drugs as a whole are not recommended. The basis for the strong experiences they offer is not the drug itself. The basis is mind. The experiences arise out of our mind. There is not one drug that can bring happiness. The only thing a drug can do is to pack the happiness we would have had over a long period into a very short period. Then, after a while, one has nothing left and the bad experiences come.

In Copenhagen in 1963, there were maybe twenty or thirty people in our group of friends. Today, there are five of us left and two or three of them are carrying their heads under their arms. Of those who survived, only a handful function normally. The losses from drugs are just too high. I really advise against it.

I wouldn’t even use hash, the mildest of them all—and also not too much alcohol. The best thing we have is our clear understanding and the inner abilities of mind. I would bank on that. That is the best drug. Another good drug is a beautiful woman!—or a strong man. Love is also an excellent drug.