Once upon a time, I was arguing with some libertarians, who assuring me that it was impossible to stop people from toking (for example), even if we made sure that they could only obtain the ingredients by crawling over the Himalayas after they had been covered with broken glass. At the same time they were quite sure that you could move mountains via medium-sized changes in the marginal tax rate.
But… I’m pretty sure that in my home town, the fraction taking anything interesting other than alcohol was zero in 1955, 1944, 1925, 1900, 1850… With the possible exceptions of some guys taking opiates after the Civil War because their stump hurt. Many people back-project: they’re sure that any vice common today had to be just as common back in the days of yore. Yet they’re wrong.
In the same way, I have seen people saying that probably there was lots more false paternity back when people were poorer and less educated, say in 1890. Yet we know from Y-chromosome studies that did not happen.
Sometimes things change. As far as drugs other than alcohol, people didn’t use them much [recreationally] for most of the history of the Western world. Of course some hadn’t been invented, but from every bit of evidence I have, the Greeks and the Romans, the Elizabethans and the Founders and Victorians – just didn’t spend much time getting baked. Drunk, sure.
In 1964, there was an inflection point for this and many other things.