Don’t be a Guinea Pig – The Importance of Knowing What You Put Into Your Body

Guinea pig

We’ve all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” When I went off to college and traded my parents’ home-cooked, farm-grown three meals a day for cheap cafeteria food, boy did that distinction become apparent.

But I think we can take that old saying a step further. Yes, you are what you eat. But I would go even further to say that you are also what you drink, smoke, snort, inhale, inject, etc. Simply stated, you are what you put into your body.

The “Argument” For Natural or Prescribed Drugs

We all know that we should take good care of our health. That generally boils down to three main categories:

  • Create, maintain, and adhere to a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Get plenty of exercise.
  • Get lots of rest each night.

That is the health advice we grow up with. Those three items are (generally) culturally imposed upon us via our parents, mentors, schools, groups, etc. And while it’s also culturally imposed upon us that we shouldn’t drink to excess or use drugs, the reasons for avoiding such substances are not always given.

When people become exposed to drugs or alcohol, they will likely come up with seemingly convincing reasons to use such substances. Two reasons are:

“I’m only taking plant-based drugs. The drug comes from a plant. How can something that comes from a plant be harmful to me?”

“I’m only taking plant-based drugs. The drug comes from a plant. How can something that comes from a plant be harmful to me?”

And the other:

“I’’m taking a legal drug, prescribed by my doctor, Why should I be concerned?”

Both of these statements are illogical. Just because a substance is plant-based does not mean it is not harmful. We certainly wouldn’t chew and swallow poison ivy, would we? And just because a substance is legal to sell does not make it safe. Look at junk food, fast food and liquor. Spirits are distilled by humans from natural sources and intended for consumption, but a full bottle of liquor in one night would be enough to send most people to the hospital. Junk food has contributed to a national epidemic of obesity.

That’s why it is so important to know what we are putting into our bodies, to not allow ourselves to become guinea pigs.

Why Avoid All Unhealthy Substances?


We learn in grade school biology classes that the human body is made up of millions of cells, cells that are enclosed by semi-permeable membranes. Each cell in the human body absorbs and expels substances through the transference of that substance through the cell membrane.

We think of the human body as being a solid form, and that is to some extent true. However, if the human body is made up of millions of cells with each cell being coated in a permeable membrane, then what is the human body if not one, huge permeable membrane? That would explain why scientists have been able to prove that the very environments that humans live in has a strong influence on their health. The oxygen that we breathe, the sunlight that strikes our skin, the very air that touches our skin, the water we bathe in, all of that can and does affect our health.

If the air that touches our skin can affect our health, then the substances that we put into our bodies can most definitely affect our health. The known, adverse chemicals in both synthetic and plant-based drugs will wreak havoc on our bodies if those substances are ingested into our bodies. The harmful effects might not even be apparent at first, but they are occurring. The body is being harmed, every time a joint is smoked, a plant-based drug is consumed, a pill is swallowed, something is snorted, or a substance is injected into a vein.

The safe bet is to avoid all unhealthy substances as much as possible. That means, of course, eating well and avoiding lousy food. But it also means keeping other harmful substances out of the body. Smoke, powder, toxic liquids via IV, consumables, inhaled vapors or gases, etc. It doesn’t matter where these substances came from; all of these substances should be avoided.

If You Do Become Dependent On a Substance…

Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we put harmful substances into our bodies that we shouldn’t. Sometimes we become the victims of peer pressure or simple (yet dangerous) ignorance. Sometimes we face struggles and challenges in life that causes us to seek out harmful substances (like drugs and alcohol) as a coping mechanism.

Regardless of how drug abuse comes about, it becomes pretty apparent pretty quickly that we are indeed putting something very harmful into our bodies. And whether it’s a plant-based drug or a synthetic, man-made drug, it will have adverse consequences. Drug use always gets worse when nothing is done to address it. A drug habit or a drinking habit does not go away on its own. That’s why we have to call upon the help of residential drug treatment centers to help us overcome our toxic habits.

If you are struggling with a drug habit that you just can’t seem to break away from, seek help from a residential drug treatment center today. Make sure you find a program that offers detoxification services, as it is the detox aspect of the program that is going to help purify the body of toxic residuals and chemicals.

It doesn’t matter if you’re hooked on heroin or marijuana, alcohol or pills, cocaine or meth, methadone or psychotropic medications. Each one of these substances has harmful effects, effects which come on fast and which don’t leave easily. Addiction is addiction. If you’re putting something harmful into your body and you can’t seem to stop doing so, you need to seek help from a qualified treatment center as soon as possible.


Reviewed by Claire Pinelli, ICAADC, CCS, LADC, MCAP RAS



After working in addiction treatment for several years, Ren now travels the country, studying drug trends and writing about addiction in our society. Ren is focused on using his skill as an author and counselor to promote recovery and effective solutions to the drug crisis. Connect with Ren on LinkedIn.