Category Archives: PCP

Teenage PCP Tripping, California 1974

My very first drug experience was actually with PCP an! I smoked PCP before I even smoked pot!

The PCP trip in 1974 was taken with my some of my more non-immediate family relatives, and it was one of the weirdest experiences I have ever had. It was like being on Mars.

We didn’t even know it was PCP. We were in my male relatives’ station wagon at the drive-in far away from my home. One of my female relatives, a 15 year old girl, whipped out a joint that she called a “crystal” joint. Well, “crystal” meant PCP, but we didn’t know that, and she didn’t exactly clue us in.

My two brothers aged 13 and 10 years old (!) both got totally blasted on PCP that night. I remember my 13 year old brother was in the back seat with this huge stupid smile on his face.

He kept leaning towards us in the second seat with this idiot grin. He would take out his finger and point it at us and say,”Suffer the little children to come unto me…” He was laughing like a moron the whole time. Well, he would get about that far into his Biblical spiel, and the whole car would erupt with “Shut up!,” and I (sometimes with some help) would grab him, yell, “Shut up!” and throw him really hard into the back of the car. He would go crashing back yelling in protest. We thought this violence was hilariously funny.

About 5 minutes later, he would be leaning over the second seat again with that moronic grin, shaking his finger at us, and saying, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, said the Lord.” We would all yell, “Shut up!” And then I would throw him hard crashing into the back of the car again. This insipid sequence repeated itself endlessly, maybe 30 times, for the duration of the movie.

The movie was The Hindenberg, and my relatives in the front seat kept yelling at everyone to shut up and watch the movie. I was so zoned out in another universe that I had no idea what the Hell the movie was about. I do remember a black and white image of a gigantic blimp on the screen though.

And one point, one of my female relatives, the 15 year old girl, started giggling in this idiotic teenage girl giggle, and the next thing I knew she had her face down in my lap. She kept rubbing her face into my cock beneath my pants while giggling idiotically. It seemed like she was trying to give me a blowjob right there in front of everyone. I had no idea what to do. I don’t like public sex, and I was practically a scared 16 year old virgin anyway, so that was as far as it went.

I remember the others kept saying, “Hey, why is (teenage girl’s name) trying to give Bob a blowjob?!” The others would shout, “I don’t know!” She would not answer. Instead she would keep giggling insipidly and while burrowing her face into my crotch and nibbling and slobbering on my pants like a terrier at a hole in the ground.

Anyway, I better stop now because these people are still alive, and if they read this and figure out I am talking about them, there will be Hell to pay.

I forgot to add…

Good times!

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Filed under California, Dissociative Anesthetics, Dope, Intoxicants, PCP, Regional, USA, West

Drugs, Inc.: San Francisco

Fascinating documentary about speed, crank, meth or methamphetamine in San Francisco. Centers on the Tenderloin, a famous rundown area near downtown. When I go to San Francisco, I like to hang out in a place called SOMA, or South of Market. It’s pretty seedy like the Tenderloin, but it’s not nearly as bad or dangerous. It’s been gentrifying a lot in recent years.

I didn’t know they were rocking meth up to cook it into ice and that the cooking procedure was rather complex. I must say that I have never smoked ice. However, I have snorted methamphetamine about 3 times. The last two times, the crash was so horrific that I said never again. Your whole body feels like a sack of bones and your brain feels like a Vietnamese rainforest after it’s been sprayed with Agent Orange. Screw this drug! Why does anyone take it anyway?

I thought it was interesting that a number of Blacks at least in the Tenderloin are using meth, at least in the form of ice. Blacks have typically used crack cocaine instead of meth, but maybe the fact that ice is smoked like crack makes it more attractive to Blacks. Otherwise, meth has traditionally been a White drug.

Some drugs are White drugs and others are more Black drugs. Whites typically go in for hallucinogens like psilocybin mushrooms and LSD, while Blacks to not like to use these drugs. However, Blacks have always used PCP more than Whites have. Both races go in for heroin at about equal rates as heroin is a pretty big drug in the hood. Cannabis is probably equally popular also among Blacks and Whites.

When it comes to cocaine, Whites have typically preferred to sniff it or ever shoot it, while Blacks have preferred to smoke it as crack. However, for some time now, many Whites have been smoking crack too. In addition, pills like Oxycontin seem to be a White drug. MDMA, ketamine and other club drugs are used by Whites and generally shunned by Blacks.

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Is Marijuana Ever Laced with PCP?

A commenter has some worries that he may be permanently damaged from smoking PCP laced weed nearly 20 years ago. I try to set him straight on it.

Thanks for your reply, I’m from London, and I stopped bout 17 years ago and only smoked for about a year and a half. I’m not sure if it was about in England, but surely if I did come across it a few times, it wouldn’t have caused any damage? Surely heavy use means people who used PCP specifically every day, so therefore if it was laced on marijuana it wouldn’t be significant?

BTW I’m fine but just a bit freaked out because we had a get together the other day with some ex smoking partners and it was mentioned by someone, so I Googled it, and it was a bit worrying. Anyway I never experienced any kind of hallucinations when I smoked, so I don’t think I came across it, just wanted some reassurance.

Well, a PCP laced joint doesn’t even taste like pot. And no dealers lace their pot with PCP. I smoked dope all through the 1970’s when PCP was very popular and no one ever laced their pot with PCP and sold it. Why would anyone do that? PCP is very expensive and there’s no benefit to putting it on your weed. No one ever put PCP on pot even back then. It was sprayed on mint leaves or came in a sort of silly putty like form.

People used to pass jays and not tell you it was PCP though, just to get you high on the stuff or because they were proseletizers. PCP has a very distinctive taste – it tastes very chemical and metallic. It was generally sprayed on mint leaves. We were usually told whenever PCP was passed to us, and in some cases where we were not, we figured out immediately that it was PCP and refused to smoke anymore.

Sometimes we would be at parties where the PCP jays would be going around along with pot jays. We would try to tell them apart but after a while, it got difficult. The PCP assholes kept trying to pass you the PCP jays to you because they thought you were a wuss for not smoking PCP.

PCP in those days was smoked by “Superfly” type Black 1970’s “hipsters” or “hepcats” (you had to live in the 1970’s to understand what such a person was like – they are not exactly ghetto Blacks at all), barrio Mexican cholo types and really grungy, semi-criminal, low class, “street and jail” type Whites.

Then there were regular guys, some of them my friends, who smoked it once in a while because the high is simply insane. The PCP high is very different from a pot high, and once you have experienced it, you know exactly what it is. I smoked PCP almost before I smoked pot. The high from a full blown PCP trip is one of the wildest and most insane drug experiences you will ever have. Sort of like a really really weird LSD trip, plus being incredibly stoned.

Heavy use of PCP may damage the brain. Very heavy users back in the 1970’s used to exhibit symptoms of brain damage while they were using heavily. We referred to them as “crystallized.” In general, after 6 months of abstention from PCP, these symptoms seemed to clear up and disappear.

I had some friends who were “dusters.” One guy nearly ruined his life on the stuff. He graduated with a BA in Philosophy from USC and then went to law school. Never finished and dropped out due to heavy PCP use.

Got a few “driving drugged” DUI’s for driving on PCP – the stuff gets you really fucked up, and it’s very hard to drive on it, so it’s not surprising you would get a DUI on the stuff. He ended up doing repeated jail terms, having his license suspended over and over. The last time he served 5 months in LA County jail and came out in bad shape. Each time he came out of jail, he seemed more and more fucked up.

Eventually he was homeless, riding a bicycyle and addicted to cocaine. He ripped off at least once for coke money. He would come over to my house and go into the bathroom and shoot cocaine. Later he started smoking the stuff. I tried over and over to get rid of the guy, but there was no getting rid of him. Sad story all around, and PCP basically wrecked this guy’s life.

The guy had some weird stories. One time he was sleeping over at this chick’s house. White woman, 20’s, PCP user. He woke up at 6 AM, and this chick was standing there pointing a pistol at him. He leaped up and kicked the gun out of her hand and then ran out the door. Weird story.

I used it maybe a dozen times in my life, mostly when idiots passed PCP jays to me pretending they were pot jays. Sporadic or occasional PCP use like that is not going harm your brain. The jury is still out on heavy use, but things don’t look too good.

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Filed under Cannabis, Dope, Hallucinogens, Intoxicants, PCP

Alcohol/Drugs and Brain Damage

Repost from the old site.

For those who are worried, I would add a few pointers from my own life. I’ve been using drugs and drinking, one or the other or both, recreationally, for almost 40 years, and my health is superb. Of course, as with all things, moderation is the key.

There were some wild binges of drinking and/or drug use where I thought, “Wow, this time I have definitely damaged my brain for sure!”

At that time, I just stopped using whatever it was that had me worried and waited for a bit, and it seemed that at some point, all my brains came back, and then some. In some cases, I a number of cases, I had to wait for 3-10 days (average ~1 week), but in one case, it took a month to get back to where I was.

After almost 40 years, you would think that I would be getting more and more fried by the year, but it’s just not so. To be quite honest, in many ways, it seems like I am smarter than I have ever been.

Furthermore, no one who meets me or knows me ever thinks I am stupid in any way whatsoever. It is quite the opposite. Not trying to brag here but people regularly say things like, “You’re are one of the smartest people I know.” I don’t think they would say that if I was fried.

When you exercise or play sports, they say listen to your body. With drinking and drugs, that too, but also listen to your brain. If things start seeming foggy, slow down for a bit and see if things clear up. Most if not all cases of permanent damage from this stuff have occurred from people who did not heed the warnings and careened right on ahead.

To summarize my writings on the subject:

Methamphetamine and Ecstasy are terrible for the brain, Ecstasy so bad you should not take it even one time. PCP is quite bad for your brain and probably ketamine is too. You can play around with any of those drugs a dozen or so times in a lifetime (and possibly more), and you won’t suffer any permanent damage. Any more than that, and things get a lot dicier.

Heroin is easy on the brain but nasty in any other way. Opium, and all opiates, are also harmless to the brain but can be addicting. Use must be judicious and occasional, if at all. In particular, don’t mix with other downers. Long term alcoholic drinking permanently damages the brain.

With less heavy drinking, the permanence of damage is much less clear. At low levels, drinking causes no damage whatsoever. The widespread notion, proffered even by many doctors, that each drink “kills brain cells” is utter nonsense.

Cannabis, marijuana or hashish is one drug that can be used even very heavily by adults with minimal permanent effects on the brain. Occasional use by adults seems to be completely harmless to your brain. The question of brain damage by very heavy cannabis use has not yet been resolved, but even if it occurs, most of it seems  to clear up on cessation.

Daily use of small amounts by adults can occur for years with apparently minimal damage. Any damage that occurs has not yet been proven, but if it exists, it seems to be quite subtle, and I am uncertain how significant it is.

Unfortunately, for minors, the question of little to no damage is much less firm, such that I recommend that anyone wait at least until they are 18 to begin using cannabis.

Of all of the drugs of abuse, as far as heavy use goes, cannabis is by far the easiest of them all on your brain.

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Filed under Alcohol, Cannabis, Depressants, Dissociative Anesthetics, Dope, Hallucinogens, Heroin, Intoxicants, Ketamine, MDMA, Narcotics, PCP, Reposts From The Old Site, Speed, Stimulants

People Are Getting High on Bath Salts

Here.

Actually it is some kind of designer drug being sold over the counter as a bath salts or plant food. Apparently you can use them for those purposes and they work just fine and don’t get you high. You sniff it inject it or smoke it. The drugs in question are mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV.

Apparently these are stimulants something like methamphetamine, but I don’t know much about them. Looks like a pretty crappy and evil drug, I would say. It’s mostly in Louisiana right now for some reason, and the state has banned the sale of the drugs. But the Feds have not banned them yet since they are not marketed for human consumption. Banning them will take some time. Most users are apparently meth users looking for a new high.

I increasingly agree with the Neurosoup girl on Youtube. She hates meth, cocaine, PCP and heroin. She comes right out and says that they are crappy and evil drugs.She doesn’t like alcohol either. She’s up on marijuana and what she calls entheogens, which is something like hallucinogens.

If a lot of the people using coke, meth, alcohol and heroin started using pot and entheogens instead, our society would look a lot different. I would say that the damage from drugs would go way down. The hallucinogens are somewhat self-limiting in use. They are so strong, and people are so afraid and paranoid of them that people tend to only use them for a short period of time. People want a drug they can get high on regularly.

My generation promoted the use of coke and to some extent speed. I would say we screwed up bad on that one. Those drugs are just crap.

One thing I always hated about drugs were the anti-drug morons. They’re still everywhere; in fact, they’re the majority. Instead of being sensible like the Neurosoup Girl and dividing recreational drugs into different classes, the anti-drug morons just lump them all into one great big mess. They’re all the same. They’re all dope, and they’re all evil. Weed is meth is heroin is coke is LSD is mushrooms. It’s nuts.

I had to deal with this all the time while growing up as a pothead. As a pothead, I was said to be “into drugs” and was lumped in with PCP users, cokeheads, meth freaks and heroin addicts. It was all the same.

To some extent, this was true of drug users too. They weren’t so stupid as to think all drugs are the same – no user is that stupid – but since pot was illegal, and you had to deal with illegal drug users to get it, a lot of pot users were also using and promoting the use of other stuff, often along the lines that the other drug was as easy and safe as pot. Pure pot users were quite rare.

Legalizing pot would put it in the class as alcohol. How many people have you met who drink, often a lot, but won’t touch any “drugs” (LOL)? Lots. Making weed legal would increase the number of pure pot users who don’t mess with other stuff.

One thing I noticed that is people, often the older generation, will talk about someone who ruined their life on drugs, often the son or daughter of a friend. Often I will ask, “What kind of drugs?” A legitimate question, right? After all, I’m an old drug fiend, so I’m very interested in details like that! I always get this frustrated response, “I don’t know!” as if it doesn’t matter. Ok, so they got into weed, is that right? Is that how they ruined their lives? This is more of the, “All drugs are the same,” BS. Very frustrating dealing with this moronitude.

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Filed under Alcohol, Cannabis, Coke, Depressants, Dissociative Anesthetics, Dope, Hallucinogens, Heroin, Intoxicants, Law, LSD, Narcotics, PCP, Psilocybin, Speed, Stimulants

Dope Sucks

Repost from the old site.

At the time I was into getting high, roughly 1973-1988, there wasn’t a lot of good information that most of that stuff was bad for you, or certainly that it was bad for your brain. There was a lot of information that said that drugs could be used recreationally in moderation without problems. That was the spirit of the age. It’s dead and gone now, maybe forever.

I keep thinking that if I knew then what I know now, I would not have gotten into drugs as much as I did. The drugs all seem so much worse now because our information is greater. My use was really a product of an era as opposed to just some general degenerate tendency of mine.

Cocaine.

Towards the end of the period, cocaine had turned from the Yuppie Party Drug into the Evillest Drug of Them All. A lot of us were still using it, because we couldn’t seem to make sense of how this drug had gone from White Status Symbol to Black Slum Drug. I guess we just didn’t believe it. We still thought we could use the drug recreationally.

Over a 13 year period, I probably did about 16 grams of cocaine by myself. Most non-dopers are horrified when I tell them that; they assume that anyone who used for 13 years is automatically an “addict”. But if you know anything about coke, you know a little over a gram a year is nothing more than dabbling, and it’s not really serious cocaine use at all. Further, of course you can do coke for 13 years without getting addicted. I did so myself.

But just about everyone I knew who got into coke at least to the extent that I did turned into an addict. Sooner or later, sniffers move on to smoking or shooting, because it’s simply a more economical way to take the drug.

I’m convinced that cocaine is a great big drag. For instance, I’m such a dabbler that I would actually save up coke. I’d get some out for the evening, lay out of a few lines for everyone in attendance, then sit back and drink Heinekens with everyone else. Coke is such a stupid drug that you can’t just give people a little bit of it and then put it away. If you do, you’re risking a riot.

After an hour or two, they start bothering you for more. You tell them that you’re saving it for later. Now they start getting belligerent.

I’ve had people swear right to my face that they were going to come back when I wasn’t home and steal my coke. The very idea of “saving coke” from one night to the next was considered to be the ultimate in stupidity, and they were going to punish me for being a moron.

So, really, coke sucks. It’s no fun. Even if you can somehow stay a dabbler like me, everyone else turns into an addict, and when they do, they’re actually dangerous to be around.

The addict idiots would come over, excuse themselves to go to the bathroom, and then shoot up in there for the next thirty minutes. We’d be out in the room steaming away. When the guy came out, we’d confront him and tell him to quit shooting up in the damned bathroom, but they never would quit. Addicts don’t take no for an answer.

Other coke addicts stole from me, then had the nerve to blame it on the coke, then told me flat out the money was never coming back. No problem, as long as you stay the Hell away. But they wouldn’t. They rip you off, then they keep knocking on your door and coming around.

I kept banning the worst ones, but they would come back, like males who batter their wives, bearing gifts and apologies. Soon they were back into their abusive manipulative addict game again.

One of the reasons I moved to Central California was to get away from some of these morons. I’d banned them over and over, but they kept coming back. I’d known them for many years, and they were still friends with all of our friends. Sometimes to cut yourself off from these idiots, you might just have to pack up and move away from them.

The addict has a personality. The personality is that of a callous, manipulative prick. There are some decent or classy addicts out there, but those are mostly dealers who deal to afford the habit. If they’re not doing that, they’re hungry for cash and all sorts of other stuff all the time, and probably mooching off or using others. The addict is a user. He doesn’t care about you or anyone else. The only thing he cares about is dope.

Speed.

Speed has got to suck even worse than coke. I did meth around three times in my whole life. When I tell this to non-users, they get a snarl of contempt on their face. But I’m comfortable with it. Three times is basically nothing; it’s experimental use. Why should I feel guilty about it because some annoying Puritan shit wants me to be?

The reason I only took it three times is because that’s how long it took me to realize it’s one of the most awful drugs on Earth. The high is excellent. You’re smart, in control, sane, happy and confident. You feel warm and friendly and talk all night with your wonderful friends. You don’t act wild or crazy or insane or anything like that. Your mind is sharp as a pencil, and your emotions are controlled. It lasts a good 18 hours.

The next day you feel like you got hit by a freight train. First it feels like your IQ just dropped 10 points. The stupid feeling gradually goes away after about a week. Your body feels like a sack of bones. It feels like someone took a vacuum cleaner and sucked all the energy out of you. That lasts a few days too.

So 18 hours of high is followed by up to one week of crash. Who needs this?

PCP.

PCP is a really strange drug, and I took it about a dozen times, mostly unwittingly. When I tell that to non-users, they get this wild, horrified look in their eyes, but it’s no big deal. A dozen trips is experimental use, and I don’t regret a thing.

Back in the 70’s, scumbag PCP users were common. They were evangelizing, and the way they did it was to pass PCP joints around masquerading as pot joints and not tell you.

You could always figure it out real quick due to the bizarre minty metallic taste, but you were still mad at the dusters for being so dishonest. The first time was out of this world; the rest of the trips were unremarkable. I’ve certainly heard of people doing strange things on the drug, but I’ve never seen it much myself.

I remember once I was at a party in downtown Huntington Beach in 1976. There was a band playing, then people started passing joints. At some point, the dusters sneaked theirs in too. By the time I realized it, I was flying, so I just kept taking hits off the PCP jays.

This was a party of around 20-30 young folks, most around age 18, and everyone was high on PCP. Not one person was acting weird in the slightest. Non-users don’t get it. Even crazy drugs like PCP typically don’t make most folks act nuts.

LSD and psychedelics.

Acid and all the other psychedelics suck because just about everybody on Earth despises them and the people who take them. We were never in the stage of psychedelic acceptance when I was using them from 1974-1988, and I’m not sure if we ever will be.

Nothing strikes terror, rage and disgust into the heart of the non-user like the word LSD.

In truth, psychedelics are probably my favorite drugs of all. I took them about 40 times and never really had a bad trip.

Once on mushrooms on got on a bit of a bad trip – sort of an anxiety – awkwardness – nerd trip where I suddenly felt like the biggest geek on Earth. I was with a tripping partner and he wasn’t cool about me being transformed into Ultra Nerd.

So I turned the trip around. There were bad nerd vibes with strange deep blue colors and energy fields running through my body like waves of electricity. Those were the shitty nerd vibes. The rest of you might refer to them as an emotion. The fascinating thing about psychedelics is the way your feelings actually become extremely electric and even colorful. Joy has one color, sadness another, on and on.

Well, I decided I was going to turn this trip around. It took me about 45 minutes, but I was able to do it. I took the bad nerd electricity, changed it from blue to red and changed its direction. It was going from my skull down all through my body and out my feet in a big fat blue-purple electric drag feeling.

I changed it by reversing it. A new red electricity feeling would start at the toes and go up, fighting the perennial 18 year old vibe in a sort of battle of the feelings. It took me a good 45 minutes to get the good feelings going in an excellent flow that didn’t hang up on the bad stuff on the way up. Then the trip was turned around and a really crappy trip was turned into a fantastic trip.

You know that, you bad trippers? A lot of you can do that. You can change your trips, turn them around, make them go this way and that way. It’s just a drug. You’re still generally steering the ship you call your mind.

I often would buy a hit of LSD and just keep it in my drawer for months or even years until I felt that I was ready to take it. I would wait until a period in my life when I was feeling happier, more together and more mentally healthy and centered than I had in a while. Sometimes I might have to wait a while until I felt my head was ready for it.

That’s really the only way to take LSD. Never take it when you’re out of sorts in any way at all, in a bad mood, or in a bad, down or stressed out phase in your life. That’s how bad trips happen.

I haven’t taken a psychedelic in 20 years. I probably won’t take one ever again.

You really don’t get any credit for being a casual, recreational or responsible doper. It’s hard to do with most drugs anyway, but you can do it with pot and possibly psychedelics.

But you don’t get any credit. If you take a hit off a joint once a year, you’re the same as some guy slamming a gram of coke a day. The non-users hate all dope and all dopers, and that’s one of the sad rules of the game.

With booze, people are pretty sane. If you drink lightly, say no more than 1-2 drinks a day, most non-drinkers are sane enough to recognize that that’s not a problem.

Not so with dope. If you don’t use, you hate it, and you hate people who use it. I’m not sure if I’ve ever met a non-user who was tolerant towards any kind of kind of drug use. Ex-users are pretty much the same way. I’m not sure if I’ve ever met an ex-user of even marijuana who was willing to tolerate it in anyone else. Once they put on that ex-doper crown, they get up on that high horse and never get off.

It’s for all of these reasons that I think dope sucks.

Drinking is fun in part because it’s socially acceptable. Things that aren’t socially acceptable are a drag. You’re always paranoid about who to reveal your drug use too, and you’re always running into morons who think that heroin and weed are one and the same.

Not because dope is bad for you or you’re evil or immoral if you use it, but more that the whole scene around it, and the ridiculous non-users, is a great big gigantic drag. If even pot ever gets to the point where non-users can accept it the way they accept social drinking, maybe it might get fun again.

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Filed under Coke, Dope, Hallucinogens, Intoxicants, LSD, PCP, Reposts From The Old Site, Speed, Stimulants

Cannabis and Brain Damage: Cannabis Compared to Other Drugs

The original post in its native form was far too long, so I broke it up into seven different posts, in addition to this post. The separate sections are listed below.

The original post, what is left of it, is here.

For an examination of the evidence of whether or not cannabis causes actual structural damage to brain cells, axons or dendrites, see here.

For an analysis of neuropsychological batteries of cannabis users to determine whether or not they suffer brain damage, see here.

For an analysis of EEG testing of cannabis users to discover evidence of brain damage, see here.

For an analysis of studies looking at cerebral blood flow in cannabis users, see here.

For an admittedly impressionistic analysis of whether or not cannabis causes schizotypal symptoms in users, see here.

For a summary of the findings of cannabis and brain damage, see here.

LSD and psilocybin, while not causing permanent brain damage (that we know of so far), can cause HPPD (Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder), a long-term perceptual disturbance of unknown etiology.

I have HPPD myself from using hallucinogens about 40 times, but “suffering” from HPPD once again is an interesting concept, at least in my case.

All I get are brighter colors, mostly in neon signs and store displays, and only at certain times. Maybe lots of people would love to have this effect, as the world looks so much better this way. I called up an ophthalmologist about it and he laughed me off the phone, saying he doesn’t treat people whose colors improve. It is only my continuing neurosis that causes me to view these changes as frightening instead of integrating them.

LSD does have a deleterious effect on the visual system of the brain – it is hypotoxic to that area in lab animals, for instance, birds – but it doesn’t cause any generalized brain damage at all that we know of, and we have been studying LSD’s effects on the brain for about 50 years or so now.

LSD does cause reductions in 5-HT2 receptors on serotonin neurons. But this is a case of these receptors retreating back into the cell due to LSD’s assault on those receptors. After about a week, the receptors to poke back out of the cell again.

The most recent evidence also indicates that psilocybin (mushrooms) and mescaline (peyote) also do not cause any generalized brain damage, although psilocybin can cause HPPD. Due to the risks of HPPD, this blog unfortunately does not recommend that anyone use LSD or psilocybin even one time, unless maybe if you are dying.

Ecstasy (MDMA) produces comparatively dramatic harm to the brain after only a handful of doses (2-10 doses), with the effects increasing with continued use. The drug causes degeneration of serotonergic axonal terminals, which afterwards do not grow back correctly, if at all.

There are suggestions that there may be hippocampal damage. On intelligence tests there are deficits in working memory, declining vocabulary, impairments in verbal learning, associative learning and attention and increased distraction. There also seem to be some mood changes.

Perfusion deficits and increased delta waves on EEG have also been found, but the same study did not find these in cannabis users. Impairments were also found in the ability to drive a car in Ecstasy users, even after they were abstinent.

However, a recent study found no persistent effects from one dose of Ecstasy.

Therefore, it appears that using Ecstasy one time is possibly safe. However, taking Ecstasy as few as an average of 3.2 times causes noticeable damage in verbal memory. Ecstasy should be taken no more than once in a lifetime, if at all.

Evidence strongly suggests that the heavy use of PCP, ketamine and DXM may cause permanent brain damage and can often cause schizophrenia-like symptoms which may be related to that damage. The theorized damage involves the vacuolization of neurons (basically a hollowing out and death of the neuron) in various parts of the brain.

The evidence comes from rat studies and the dosages have been criticized, but humans are far more sensitive to the effects of dissociatives than rats are, so the differential doses are probably about right.

The rat evidence has now been challenged by monkey studies, so the matter is far from settled. But until it is, extreme caution, if not outright avoidance, seems to be the best policy for these drugs.

PCP can probably be used up to a dozen or so times in life with no permanent damage. Beyond that, things get a lot touchier. Heavy users show an extremely high rate of schizophrenic and psychotic symptoms, along with symptoms of brain damage. There seems to be some recovery with abstinence, but full recovery is by no means assured.

Evidence indicates that ketamine can be used at least once with no permanent consequences at all to the brain. Beyond that, it is up in the air. Ketamine can surely be used at least a dozen times with no risks to the brain. Beyond that, things get hazier.

Heavy DXM users have reported a very high rate of psychosis and schizophrenia-like symptoms, along with symptoms of organic brain damage. Users should approach DXM use with caution, and heavy use should be ruled out.

Heavy methamphetamine use has been proven to cause permanent damage to dopaminergic systems, especially in the striatum, caudate and putamen (at ½ gram a day, 5 days a week, and 2 years of use). Studies have also shown degeneration of axons on serotonergic neurons and loss (cell death) of up to 15% of the neurons of the hippocampus with heavy use.

In the study above, there was some recovery of the dopaminergic system with abstinence, but it was only partial. Meth can probably be used a dozen or so times without any permanent damage. Beyond that, no guarantees. There is some suggestive evidence of chronic psychosis, depression and anxiety directly related to heavy methamphetamine use (over 10 years of heavy use).

Impairments in learning, processing speed, and working memory, along with delayed recall, are found in meth users. Brain dysfunction is often readily apparent in heavy meth users. This is one category of drug user, in contrast to most other drug users, that does sometimes appear “fried.” Much of this “fried” appearance seems to clear up with abstinence.

Methamphetamine can probably be used up to a dozen times or so in moderation without any permanent consequences to the brain. Nevertheless, some users have reported permanent effects from only 2-3 weeks of very heavy use. Meth is nasty stuff, and it’s best to keep away from it.

Heavy drinking can depress neurons for up to two years. With continued heavy drinking, at some point, there is organic damage, which in many cases is permanent, although there is often significant recovery with abstinence. The case of the “wethead” and “dry drunk,” the former alcoholic who is still damaged, psychologically or cognitively, is well known.

Heavy use of barbiturates over many years causes a damage syndrome that looks like chronic alcoholism and that does not completely recover with abstinence.

Even chronic Valium use causes long-term EEG changes of unknown significance.

Sniffing glue has been proven to be possibly the worst thing you can do to your brain short of putting a bullet in it, and the effects do not recover completely with abstinence.

Cocaine, unfortunately, seems to be capable of causing brain damage with as few as 11 doses (constriction of vessels in the brain). At three years of using several times a week, there is slowing on the P300 event related potentials test, that may not recover fully with abstinence.

Recent studies have also shown that chronic heavy cocaine use causes reductions in gray matter in various parts of the brain. This means that heavy cocaine use causes an actual loss of brain cells in parts of the brain. It may also cause white matter reductions, which means a loss of connections in the brain.

There are also impairments in attention, learning, memory, reaction time and cognitive flexibility in cocaine users. It is not known whether these clear up with abstinence.

This blog recommends that lifetime use of cocaine be limited to 10 times or less. Even there, there is a slight risk of sudden death due to perturbations in the heart’s electrical rhythms. These perturbations can cause a sudden heart attack or even possibly a stroke. Vasoconstriction is probably involved.

In many of the above cases, there is some recovery with abstinence, but often not to the previous level.

Experimental use of PCP, ketamine, cocaine and methamphetamine (use up to a dozen or so times for each one) probably does not cause significant permanent damage. Beyond that, you play with matches.

Compared to other drugs of abuse, such as Ecstasy, PCP, Ketamine, DXM, cocaine, methamphetamine and alcohol, the effects of cannabis on the brain are dramatically less deleterious.

In terms of its effects on the brain for heavy users, cannabis is surely by far least damaging intoxicant of them all, for what that is worth.

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