Current psychobiological models of drug addiction are focused on the capability of drugs to cause a pathological exploitation of the neural rewarding system. This approach has emphasized the role of hedonistic factors in the etiology of drug addiction. Comparing primitive and modern settings of intoxication, such as shamanic rituals and rave parties, it is possible to confute this assumption. The archaic way of perceiving and elaborating drug effects mainly determined their use as being for supernatural purposes and excluded recreational purposes. Only after a completely profane setting of drug use was developed, did psychoactive drugs express all their hedonistic potentialities. This development, however, has been a slow process.