Due to the changing English language and the very different moral codes of today, many words in the 1611 King James Version of the scripture, which greatly influences other versions, no longer mean what they did when that version first appeared. Because of this, many of the English words in the Scripture don't convey the meaning today that the writer intended.
This will lead to not understanding exactly what the writer had in mind when he outlined certain circumstances and actions that would not be allowed in the kingdom of our Eloah, the Father of our Savior Yahushua, whose name is Yahuwah. At the end of this article are listed the verses of scripture that deal with this subject. Read the verses, plus several ahead and behind it, in order to get the full sense of what is being said and to make sure that the meaning stated is in context. Pay particular attention to the other acts that are described in the same light as drug abuse to understand the seriousness of the giving in to this lust of the flesh.
Our modern word pharmacy and its derivatives deal with the preparation and dispensation of chemical substances intended for introduction into the body. All legitimate pharmaceutical endeavors provide medicines for the sick and ailing. But there are those whose efforts are geared toward providing controlled substances and other chemicals whose only reason for use is to provide a temporary "high" to the user. Any person who prepares drugs for any reason is by definition a pharmacist, whether he is legally licensed or not.
Pharmacy and its derivatives come from the Greek words listed below. In scripture these Greek words are translated as "sorceries" or "magic arts." By reading the passages where the words are found and understanding their relationship to drugs and their abuse, you can see that drug abuse is the likely meaning in the passage. Probably the drugs were magic potions administered by a shaman or "priest" to induce belief in the taker of the power of the shaman or "priest', and not intended for recreation as it is today, but it is still drug abuse. In the Americas many of the native shamans did exactly that with substances made from the peyote cactus, other local plants, and mushrooms.
While drugs and drug abuse in the sense that we know them today were not as rampant in the times of the writing of the Greek scripture, the meaning and intent of the words still convey a sense of drugs used for something other than as medication for an ailment. Misuse of drugs has been around as long as man has been around, even though it was often disguised as something else or called by a different name.
For instance, there were the opium dens (similar to the crack houses of today) of the Far East that had addicts who literally lived in them, but it wasn't referred to as drug addiction. After the wars on the soil of North America a standard remedy for the pain of bullet and sword wounds was a solution called laudanum. This was a tincture of opium and was very addictive. When someone became addicted, they were said to have the "Soldier's Disease." Tobacco has had people hooked from forever. When the Native Americans introduced tobacco to the Europeans they started the spread of addiction to this noxious weed all over the world. Coca-Cola when first introduced contained cocaine as the main ingredient (This is where the name came from). Many people became addicted to the "soft" drink before the formula was changed. So drug addiction is not something new, just an old sin that has become epidemic.
All of these instances above are in fact drug abuse under any definition that you care to use. The only legitimate reason for the introduction of chemicals into the human body is for medicinal purposes. All else constitutes misuse and abuse of that chemical substance. Note that every chemical that is being abused does produce medicinal benefits when used correctly and in the right dosage. Our Creator has provided all of these things for our comfort and well being. When these chemicals are used for the wrong purpose, it becomes sin.
G5331. pharmakeia, far-mak-i'-ah; from G5332; medication ("pharmacy"), i.e. (by extens.) magic (lit. or fig.):--sorcery, witchcraft.
G5332. pharmakeus, far-mak-yoos'; from pharmakon (a drug, i.e. spell-giving potion); a druggist ("pharmacist") or poisoner, i.e. (by extens.) a magician:--sorcerer.
G5333. pharmakos, far-mak-os'; the same as G5332:--sorcerer.
Galates (Galatians) 5:20 -- pharmakeia
Revelation 9:21 -- pharmakeia
Revelation 18:23 -- pharmakeia
Revelation 21:8 -- pharmakeus
Revelation 22:15 -- pharmakos