As a teacher, he recalled how the druggie segment of the student population was very inclusive. “Looks, grades and athletic prowess were of no account; the only requirement was that you do dope. There is an even more welcoming social circle when the only requirement is that you be a dope . . . If COVID-19 has highlighted anything . . . it’s the utter and often poignant inability of many people to endure solitude—or even, in some cases, to avoid a large crowd. If they can’t be in a packed bar, gym, or banquet hall, they’d just as soon be dead.”
He quoted Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor who was executed for his role in a plot to overthrow Hitler: “. . . people who have isolated themselves from others or who live in solitude manifest this defect [stupidity] less frequently that individuals or groups of people inclined or condemned to sociability. And so it would seem that stupidity is perhaps less a psychological than a sociological problem.”
I recall a study suggesting that drug users were better adjusted socially, but I saw the opposite side: the loner faced less peer pressure to use drugs.