"You are what you settle for" was a sentiment expressed by Janis Joplin during her final interview. She died of a drug overdose at age 27. By all accounts, she held nothing back during the life she led. Make no mistake, she led her life, unlike many people who let their lives lead them.
Surrendering control of your existence to a substance, even temporarily, be it heroin or alcohol or anything else, is never the right or good thing to do. Ever. The longing for ultimate freedom that is seemingly realized while under the influence of drugs such as these is, paradoxically, the very opposite of freedom. It is enslavement to the whims of action without conscience. Like being in a rowboat without an oar in a storm-tossed sea, you have no choice but to go where it takes you, hopefully staying afloat and alive in the process. That's not freedom at all, nor is it enjoyable.
If, on the other hand, you came across a giant rock jutting out of the waves and were able to tether your boat and yourself to it until the storm passed and the waters calmed, you could actually have an exhilirating experience as you rode out the tempest protected by the rock.
Which brings us full circle to another profound expression by a musician, this one closer to home. It's a lyric from a Mumford & Sons song titled I Will Wait: "a tethered mind freed from the lies." When we lash ourselves to the Truth of God, we are no longer as susceptible to the deceptions and tempations that constantly surround us.
There is freedom in that. And there is freedom in leading our lives intentionally, purposefully, as opposed to being led by them.