It depends on the drugs, but if altered perception is involved then to a certain degree the answer is yes. However, for several reasons it is detrimental and definitely not recommended. Firstly, drugs artificially stimulate and force open receptive centres in a way which can be damaging to the unprepared subtler bodies. The natural conscious opening of these centres through simple techniques is by far a much more interesting and rewarding experience.
I believe the ‘instant gratification’ that drugs can seem to provide is just a learned mental greed, a blown-out-of-all-proportion ‘I want!’, especially when just a little patience and practice can produce lasting and repeatable results. Many drugs have physical side effects, but all of them temporarily imbalance the energy centres (chakras) to one degree or another. Often it is more the sensation of this imbalance and the resulting experiences which people are addicted to than any addictive qualities to the drugs themselves (marijuana is an example of this.)
Common street drugs not only do not help you achieve Astral Projection, but will most likely create energetic conditions inside your body that can actually prevent you from projecting naturally. At least until the imbalance truly subsides. And unfortunately for fans of the wacky tobacky, marijuana is known to suppress dreaming memory and alter REM cycles, which certainly doesn’t help Lucid Dreaming and in many cases prevents it (though the individual effect varies.)
Other bliss-inducing drugs (such as ecstasy, heroine, cocaine etc.) may temporarily open one to the feeling of more blissful astral levels. But whatever the short term effect, it is an undesirable means due to their temporary and pendulum-swing nature alone, and the physical and psychic repercussions confirm this. With natural techniques, one acquires access to the knowledge of how to anchor blissful experiences into everyday life. Isn’t this seemingly elusive state what people call ‘happiness’? It is far easier to create than is generally thought of!
Hallucinogenic drugs (such as magic mushrooms, LSD, party acid cocktails, peyote, etc.) mostly cause a ‘bleedthrough’ of astral perceptions into physical perceptions. This can be confusing or disorienting, especially without experience focussing one’s consciousness, and there’s always the risk of a ‘bad trip’; very unlike the vibrant and evolutionary Astral we are seeking to access. The temporary trip may be a curiosity for some, enlightening for others, but is truly incomparable to the available natural methods.
The more intense variety of hallucinogens such as DMT or salvia divinorum or others are a topic in themselves, purportedly resulting in dimensional journeys similar to projection. I have no wish to explore the topic here, there is plenty of information elsewhere. However, I would really like to caution against these to anyone who is inexperienced with hallucinogens, as the immediacy and intensity of these drugs is very difficult to control. Certainly they are not to be used for escaping a negative state like most ecstatic drugs – instead they will amplify the experience of your current state manifold.
Experienced projectors have done their own investigations by observing those using drugs to access the Astral and unanimously report the inferior aspects of such methods, including various damage to physical and astral bodies. The only thing observed to temporarily counteract this damage to any extent is the spiritual intent of the person, as for example observed in various shamans.
In conclusion, there is simply no need for drugs when greater, more stable, more beneficial, and more interesting and ecstatic experiences can be had through natural means. On a sociological level, the prevalence of drugs in any society is more an indicator of the devaluation of the meaning of life, and a lack of real spiritual education in the means for achieving psychic growth and these same ecstatic states naturally.
When it comes to the aims of Astral Projection and Lucid Dreaming, we want to learn how to create and experience what we desire. We need to become more consciously focussed. And focus is usually the first thing we lose when we use any kind of mind-altering substance. It is usually an ‘unconscious’ rather than a ‘conscious’ journey in many respects – at the very least we don’t know exactly where we are nor exactly how we got there. It’s strange and unfortunate to think some people struggle hard to maintain a drug habit when it’s much easier (and cheaper)to learn natural methods… if only they were far more prevalent and well-known (and used.)