Drug Use For Grown-Ups — A conversation with Dr. Carl Hart

Zach Rhoads By: Zach Rhoads
Reviewed By: Dr Stanton Peele

Posted on January 24th, 2021 - Last updated: September 18th, 2023
This content was written in accordance with our Editorial Guidelines.

Dr. Carl Hart explains that the vast majority of people who use drugs do so with no problem. In fact, drugs — yes, even so-called “hard drugs”– offer more positive than negative experiences.

Dr. Hart is a professor (and former chair) of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University. Today, he opens up to Zach Rhoads about his new book, “Drug Use For Grown-Ups”, in which he’s comes out of the closet about his own drug use and encourages the rest of us to do the same.

And why is he so boosterish about speaking openly about (even illicit) drug use?  Well, as he says in this interview:

“As long as you put forth an effort, you might make a mistake. That’s okay, we’re all human. The real crime is when you make a mistake, you don’t acknowledge it, then continue to speak dishonestly about it. We’ve been making tremendous mistakes about drugs, and I’m asking that people admit it and move past it so that we don’t continue to force people to suffer.”

Time Stamps

0:001:53 Introduction / drug use during the pandemic

1:535:20 Genesis of the book / when Carl began using illicit drugs RESPONSIBLY

5:208:34 When and why Carl began using heroin / the positive effects of using heroin responsibly

8:349:33 Zach opens up about his past heroin use and why he quit using it

9:3312:00 Why even the most BRILLIANT minds of our time get locked into– and then perpetuate– drug / addiction mythology.

12:0014:16 Racism and ignorance in history— how we’ve all come to believe drug myths

14:1615:12 Acknowledging our mistakes, as individuals and as a culture

15:1217:05 Carl’s response to Joe Rogan (re: “My flesh-eating friend on PCP”) and others when they speak nonsense about drugs

17:0520:45 What Carl means by, “harm reduction has to go”

20:4524:14 Psychedelics and spiritual health / Drug exceptionalism

24:1426:24 Addiction is NOT a brain disease

26:2427:20 Is addiction mythology (a la NIDA) foul play OR is it intellectual laziness?

27:2030:15 How and why Carl came out of the closet about his drug use (2.0)

30:1531:50 Dr. Drew is full of shit

31:5033:03 False drug stories about drugs offer people an identity

33:0334:00 Top 3 most egregious drug myths

34:0036:55 What small steps can listeners take to squash drug/addiction mythology?

36:5539:50 “I worry about my family and their interaction with POLICE more than I worry that drugs might harm them.”

39:5041:42 Book reviewers just don’t understood this book’s intention.

41:4242:55 Feeling alone as a truth-teller in academia

42:55 – END — How Stanton Peele has influenced Carl’s work / mutual thanks & signing off!


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