Drugs, Abuse of
From The Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Author: Schwartz, Ray G.
The abuse of drugs is contrary to the teachings of the Church. Leaders have frequently cautioned members against using narcotics such as marijuana, heroin, Lsd, and crack-cocaine, as well as misusing prescription medication or over-the-counter drugs. In the October 1974 General Conference, President Spencer W. Kimball stated, "We hope our people will eliminate from their lives all kinds of drugs so far as possible. Too many depend upon drugs as tranquilizers and sleep helps, which is not always necessary. Certainly numerous young people have been damaged or destroyed by the use of marijuana and other deadly drugs. We deplore such" (Ensign 4 [Nov. 1974]:6).
Latter-day Saints view drug abuse as harmful to both the physical and spiritual health of the individual. Drug abuse frequently results in substance addiction, which severely limits personal freedom. That agency is vital and has eternal consequences is reason enough to avoid abuse and addiction. Furthermore, the impact on one's health and general well-being is often severe. Though not explicitly mentioned in the Word of Wisdom, the Church's health code revealed in 1833 (see Doctrine and Covenants: Section 89), drug abuse is nonetheless viewed as contrary to its precepts. President Joseph Fielding Smith explained that additional revelation in regard to drugs was unnecessary because if members "sincerely follow what is written with the aid of the Spirit of the Lord, [they] need no further counsel" (IE 59 [Feb. 1956]:78).
Bishops counsel drug addicts to seek professional treatment to help them overcome their addiction, and offer assistance as appropriate through LDS Social Services.
Swinyard, Ewart A. "Wisdom in All Things." New Era 4 (Sept. 1974):44-49.
RAY G. SCHWARTZ