Category Archives: LSD

LSD, Flashbacks and HPPD

Man with OCD here. I’m taking medication for it. I will take LSD for the first time in a few weeks. What are the possibilities of having HPPD? You’ve said you got visual disruptions, what does it feels like? Is it the same thing which is called “flashbacks”?

I am not even sure what flashbacks even are, and I am not sure if I have experienced them. After I first took LSD at age 16, my marijuana trips changed dramatically. It was like the LSD had altered my brain and changed the pot trips. The pot trips became way weirder, more colorful and rather frightening, but I sort of enjoyed them anyway in the way that you enjoy the very scary rides at the amusement park. They scare the crap out of you, but you love it. Plus it was like journeying to another planet every time I smoked pot.

About six months after I had taken LSD, I went to look in the mirror. To my shock and horror, my entire face was deep, dark blue almost like someone who has had a heart attack. I flipped out and ran upstairs to my parents room and looked in their mirror. Now my face had changed and it had a slight reddish tinge to it. I ran down to the downstairs bathroom again and looked in the mirror again and all that was left was a faint greenish tinge over my face. I think I ran back to my parents’ bathroom instead and looked in the mirror again.

I have no idea why I was running from mirror to mirror, but my instinct just old me that there must be something wrong with the mirror. Thinking about it now, it seems so idiotic, but that is what I felt at the time. This time all of the colors were gone. The whole thing could not have taken more than a minute or two.

I happened one more time a few months later in the same mirror. This time it was a very deep dark red, as deep and dark as the blue-purple had been. I did the same thing of running from bathroom to bathroom and mirror to mirror, and after a minute or two, it went away.

I always thought for some reason that thee were LSD flashbacks, though I never had those colored faces on LSD. I do not know why I thought it was an acid flashback. I suppose I could not think of any other reason.

It never happened again, and to this day, I have no idea what caused it. I never worried about it although it was a hallucination. I never worried that those hallucinations meant that I was mentally ill or brain damaged somehow. I simply shrugged them off. Non-mentally ill people can hallucinate and even hear voices at times. The occasional hallucination is not big deal and nothing to fret over. You guys can call me insane all you want to because I had couple of hallucinations. See if I care.

I doubt if many people get HPPD from one use of LSD, but perhaps it is possible. I have dated some women lately who are or were LSD users. One ~50 year old woman had taken LSD 350 times. Another much younger woman had taken it maybe 30 times and was definitely a current user. These are only two heavy users that I have met in recent years. Neither woman had any HPPD symptoms at all. I know many people who have taken LSD, including folks who have taken it many times, and I never met anyone who had HPPD. I think it is not common.

However, a recent survey of university students found that of those who had taken LSD 50 times or more, 45% had HPPD symptoms. You really need to think about HPPD if you are considering becoming a heavy LSD user.

I took LSD nine times and other psychedelics (mescaline, peyote, LSA, Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds, psilocybin) about another 20-30 times, so maybe ~30-40 trips total. I have not taken psychedelics since an acid trip in 1987, 29 years ago. I am a bit worried about doing psychedelics now. I figure I am nuts enough as it is, so why take psychedelics and risk making myself even crazier than I already am?

I am not sure when the HPPD hit, but it is not very bad. On some occasions, I get very bright colors. I rarely get them anymore, but sometimes if I have taken a lot of caffeine or the drug Benadryl, I get the colors again. Actually the world looks much better all lit up Technicolor like that. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It only bothers me if I start freaking on it and thinking, “Why is the world all lit up this? Is there something wrong with my brain?” If I just relax and accept it, it’s not a problem and actually is rather fun.

I called up an eye doctor once and complained about my symptoms, and he busted out laughing over the phone. “Oh! The colors are getting better, huh? Well that’s great! Hope you enjoy it! We only care when the colors are getting worse. What you have is not a problem.”

Apparently he was referring to loss of color vision.

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Filed under Cannabis, Hallucinogens, Intoxicants, LSD, Mental Illness, Psilocybin, Psychology, Psychopathology

Teen Drug Culture in a California Beach Town, 1974

When I first started smoking pot at age 16, my weed trips were completely bizarre, almost like going to another planet. They were sort of terrifying and fun and the same time. I think they were mostly fun because I felt so damned weird! I could see how other people  could possibly flip on a pot trip like that, but I just rode the tiger and took off on the space journeys. These very strange pot trips continued for some time in the early days. They were a lot like LSD trips.

I took LSD and PCP one time each just about before I even smoked pot, and after I took acid, all my pot trips changed dramatically and got way weirder.

I am not sure why that happened, but back then people said if you took LSD, it would change your pot experiences for some time afterwords.

We smoked pot in people’s backyards, in hidden places at school, everywhere we could find a hideout. It was all very clandestine, and we could get busted or get in trouble at any time. I mean marijuana was quite illegal at the time.

There was a huge grass field in the back of the school near the auditorium and tennis courts. I believe it was a baseball field. Huge throngs would go out there every lunch and sit around in these huge hippie circles. They would often smoke pot. So much pot was being smoked at lunchtime at school that you could see clouds of smoke rising up from the back lawn!

Good times!

I remember once my friends brought a huge batch of LSD to school. A lot of it was in a an empty cassette box that said, “Led Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers.” They brought ~400 hits of LSD to school in the morning, and by lunch they had sold the whole thing! There was that much of an LSD market at a high school of maybe 3,000 kids. This acid was called Brown Windowpane, and it looked like tiny slivers of glass almost too small to even see. That stuff was insanely powerful, much stronger than a lot of the blotter acid I saw later. You were not even supposed to take a whole hit. A half a hit was highly recommended.

There were a few flipouts from that batch. A good friend of mine, 15 year old kid, flipped hard on it and ended up in the hospital for 48 hours or so. He came back to school afterwards looking dazed, confused but in general just fine. He didn’t exactly flip. More like he started hallucinating in a very bad way and was running around in public reacting to his hallucinations.

He was tripping very hard near my friends’ apartments, and he walked up to some guy’s apartment door and rang the doorbell for no reason. He didn’t even know the guy. A man opened the door, looked at him and started talking, and then suddenly the man’s head caught on fire and turned into a ball of flames! My friend flipped out, screamed and ran down the sidewalk to the intersection screaming all the way.

He started walking across the crosswalk when the cars in front of him all turned into gigantic steel bulldogs! The headlights turned into eyes, the grills turned into mouths, and the whole front of the car was a dog’s face. The cars then started lurching up and barking at him very loudly.

The Car Bulldogs seemed to be attacking him. He flipped and started attacking the cars stopped at the intersection. He started defending himself against these metal dogs, and he would run up top the front of the cars and start kicking the headlights and especially the barking grills and pounding on the hoods while yelling and screaming. Well, people thought definitely that was pretty weird behavior, so they called the cops, and that’s why he got taken in on 48 hour hold.

Good times!

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Filed under California, Cannabis, Culture, Dope, Hallucinogens, Intoxicants, LSD, Regional, USA, West

Teenage LSD Tripping, California 1974

I remember once my friends brought a huge batch of LSD to school. It was in a an empty cassette box that said, “Led Zeppelin and the Allman Brothers.” They brought ~400 hits of LSD to school in the morning, and by lunch they had sold the whole thing! There was that much of an LSD market at a high school of maybe 3,000 kids. This acid was called Brown Windowpane, and it looked like tiny slivers of glass almost too small to even see. That stuff was insanely powerful, much stronger than a lot of the blotter acid I saw later. You were not even supposed to take a whole hit. A half a hit was highly recommended.

There were a few flipouts from that batch. A good friend of mine, 15 year old kid, flipped hard on it and ended up in the hospital for 48 hours or so. He came back to school afterwards looking dazed, confused but in general just fine. He didn’t exactly flip. More like he started hallucinating in a very bad way and was running around in public reacting to his hallucinations.

He was tripping very hard near my friends’ apartments, and he walked up to some guy’s apartment door and rang the doorbell for no reason. He didn’t even know the guy. A man opened the door, looked at him and started talking, and then suddenly the man’s head caught on fire and turned into a ball of flames! My friend flipped out, screamed and ran down the sidewalk to the intersection screaming all the way.

He started walking across the crosswalk when the cars in front of him all turned into gigantic steel bulldogs! The headlights turned into eyes, the grills turned into mouths, and the whole front of the car was a dog’s face. The cars then started lurching up and barking at him very loudly.

The Car Bulldogs seemed to be attacking him. He flipped and started attacking the cars stopped at the intersection. He started defending himself against these metal dogs, and he would run up top the front of the cars and start kicking the headlights and especially the barking grills and pounding on the hoods while yelling and screaming. Well, people thought definitely that was pretty weird behavior, so they called the cops, and that’s why he got taken in on 48 hour hold.

Good times!

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Filed under California, Dope, Hallucinogens, Intoxicants, LSD, 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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Filed under Blacks, California, Cannabis, Coke, Dissociative Anesthetics, Dope, Hallucinogens, Heroin, Intoxicants, Ketamine, LSD, MDMA, Narcotics, PCP, Psilocybin, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Speed, Stimulants, USA, West, Whites

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

Risks of LSD Use

Commenter Nobody questions what the risks of LSD use are:

RL: There are good reasons not to do acid, but fear of being permanently mentally ill is not one of them.

Nobody: What are those reasons, in your mind? I’ve done acid and have my own ideas, but I’m curious what you have to say about it.

Use of LSD can cause permanent visual disruptions called Hallucinogen Post Perception Disorder. I have it myself, but it’s not bad. Others have it very bad.

It can also cause a temporary psychosis or mental breakdown, not because it did any physical damage to the brain, but simply via psychological mechanisms like panic and whatnot.

It can also cause long-term psychological trauma via the same mechanism, not through physical damage to the brain but due to psychological trauma, upsetting experiences, unpleasant unconscious stuff coming to the forefront, etc. It’s similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I’ve known way too many people who have taken LSD 100+ times who were totally normal in every way, shape and form. One guy took it 700 times and was completely normal.

On the other hand, there are folks who have taken LSD many, many times, like over 1,000 times and especially 2,000-4,000 times. Timothy Leary comes to mind. Tim Leary was one of the few drug cases I can think of who did seem to be damaged somehow. He wasn’t really nuts; he just seemed sort of fried. I’m not sure if it was the acid, but I’m worried. There are other folks who have taken LSD 1,500-4,000 times and are now permanently mentally ill. Some of them fade in and out of it. The diagnoses vary. At the same time, there’s no evidence that these folks suffer from any kind of brain damage, so the facts are confusing. Nevertheless, taking LSD 1,000 times or more seems to be a pretty risky endeavor in terms of your mental health, even though the reasons for why are not known.

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Filed under Dope, Hallucinogens, Intoxicants, LSD, Mental Illness, Psychology, Psychopathology

The 50 Craziest Rock Stars Ever

Here.

This article is pretty damn funny.

A lot of rockers are or were seriously nuts!

I’m having a hard time figuring out dx’s for a lot of these people. It seems to be something towards the more extroverted end. I suspect a lot of them are acting this way on purpose, sort of like a lot of artists act “deliberately insane.”

I only see a few who were obviously psychotic: Syd Barrett, Peter Green, Roky Erikson, Brian Wilson, Jim Gordon and Skip Spence for starters. I’m familiar with all these cases. They all had schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. It’s commonly said that they are all drug burnouts, but I doubt it.

For one thing, LSD does not appear to cause permanent psychosis. I’ve known too many completely normal folks who have taken it 100-300 times. It’s not even proven to damage your brain. The worst that can be said about it is that very heavy users sometimes do go psychotic and have to be hospitalized. Typically, they get better, but they often go back to heavy LSD use and become mentally ill again. No one has any idea how LSD even makes you temporarily insane.

All of these people simply developed schizophrenia. LSD can trigger schizophrenia, but no one knows how that works either. LSD-induced schizophrenia looks just like the rest of schizophrenia and it responds to the same drugs too. Since acid doesn’t damage your brain, I can’t see how it could cause schizophrenia. There are good reasons not to do acid, but fear of being permanently mentally ill is not one of them.

For the rest of them, dx’s are difficult. Some seem to have issues with narcissism and borderline personality disorder. Some were just seriously whacked out on booze and dope, often cocaine and/or heroin.

Ike Turner used cocaine for some 45 years until it killed him at age 76.

Sly Stone spent years on cocaine, even living on the streets smoking a crack pipe. No one quite knows what is up with Sly these days. He shows up at occasional performance, acts very strange, walks off stage in mid-show, gets on his motorcycle and rides away.

Rick James spent a good 15 years on a crack pipe.

Whitney Houston is ruined and is heavy into cocaine.

David Bowie went nuts on coke in the 1970’s, became full-blown psychotic and embraced Nazism.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard is on crack.

John Frusciante almost killed himself on heroin and coke.

Ozzy Osborne, Jerry Lee Lewis and Liza Minnelli were alcoholics.

Keith Moon was a drunk and a pillhead who liked to blow up toilets with dynamite for fun.

Elvis was a hardcore pillhead who apparently went insane from all the tablets.

Arthur Lee of Love spent 20 years abusing drugs heavily, became homeless, set buildings on fire and shot up his neighbor’s house.

Carlos Santana used acid heavily, then 20 years ago met up with an angel named Metatron who looks like Santa Claus who has been guiding his life ever since. He communicates with Miles Davis, a dead person, on a regular basis.

Miles Davis (while he was alive and not talking to Santana) spent years shooting heroin, beating his wife and just acting weird.

Little Richard spent years binging on cocaine, having sex orgies and sucking cocks in men’s restrooms.

James Taylor was a depressive and a heroin addict.

Some were suicidal.

Wendy O Williams sawed instruments in half with a chainsaw, then retired and blew her brains out.

Ian Curtis recorded some of the most depressing music ever made, then hung himself on the night of his US tour.

Adam Ant is a depressive.

Mariah Carey assaulted staff and reporters and slit her wrists.

Some like Courtney Love and Britney Spears simply cannot seem to function as adults.

Sinéad O’Connor is just a kook.

Lou Reed’s main problem is that he’s a terminal asshole.

R. Keely is just a weirdo with a taste for underage girls.

Sid Vicious assaulted fans, carved up his chest onstage, murdered his girlfriend, then OD’d on heroin as a grand finale.

Jaz Coleman, George Clinton, Captain Beefheart and Julian Cope are unclassifiable.

No one knows what’s up with Sun Ra.

GG Allin was just nuts, dx’d as narcissistic, Borderline PD and masochistic.

Michael Jackson was one of the weirdest of all. No one seems to know what was wrong with him. He seems to have been a homosexual pedophile. I’m familiar with most of his weird antics, but I never knew that he said he had fathered 2 “Aryan” babes named Prince 1 and Prince 2. Weird!

Just because you aren’t psychotic (and most of these folks are not) doesn’t mean you’re not nuts. You can be plenty nuts without being psychotic, plenty.

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Filed under Alcohol, Borderline, Celebrities, Coke, Depressants, Depression, Dope, Hallucinogens, Heroin, Humor, Intoxicants, LSD, Mental Illness, Mood Disorders, Music, Narcissistic, Narcotics, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotic Disorders, Rock, Schizophrenia, Stimulants

Dope Makes You Act Intoxicated

Repost from the old site.

Reduces your performance in every way, is incapable of enhancing performance, and other lies.

This is one of the biggest lies of all about dope, and it needs to be challenged head on.

Most, if not all, non-users believe that all drugs make the user obviously intoxicated and reduce performance in all areas. I’ve tried to explain to them that drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine are stimulants, and hence don’t make you “fucked up.”

Instead, in the short term, they improve mental and physical performance. If you take a test on meth or coke, you will probably do better. The jury is still out on physical performance, but for at least some things, you will do better on coke or speed.

In the Valley here, farm workers are using meth to help them do their jobs. They’re able to work harder, pick more crops faster and work longer before they get tired on meth.

I’ve never driven a car on meth, but I have driven a car on amphetamine tablets. Works great. You can drive just fine on cocaine too. I don’t see why it’s illegal to drive under the influence of these drugs. Might as well make it illegal to drive under the influence of coffee.

Non-users only experience with drugs is with alcohol. Alcohol makes you obviously intoxicated as a general rule. But the other drugs don’t necessarily. Non-users find this clear fact almost impossible to comprehend.

I decided to ask Doperman about this:

Hi Bob, Doperman here. Thanks for letting me post here. Every time I took psychedelics (LSD, LSA, psilocybin, peyote), I assure you I knew completely what was going on.

I even drove a car once for 15 hours on a nice straight highway on a head full of acid. Another time I drove to Mexico with my brother, went to Tecate, cruised around a bit, and went back to the US and stayed at Cuyamaca State Park.

On the 15-hour trip, I don’t think I was normal, because I drove by the Owens River, and there were all these guys fly-fishing there, and they all looked up at me driving by like “What the fuck is with you man???!!!

I went into stores a few times and bought stuff, and at the end of the voyage, and stopped and got a motel room near the Nevada border at 1 AM. All flying on a head full of LSD.

I can act totally normal on any of those drugs.

Problem is you get these huge saucer eyeballs and it’s verging on a bust right there to be walking around in public. But people on acid don’t necessarily act all that different. You can’t even really tell that they’re on a drug if you see them. They’re not obviously intoxicated.

I once threw a party and at least 200 people showed up. At least among those who showed up at the beginning, a lot of them were on LSD. At the start, there was a house full of people high on acid. It wasn’t really obvious, and no one acted really weird or did anything crazy or stupid. Only a relative few LSD users act stupid or crazy or have to be hauled off by the cops. Most of them make it through the trip acting fairly normally.

Coke is the same way. The coke user is not obviously intoxicated either. You can’t even usually tell if someone is high on coke, because people don’t act all that much different when they are on it.

I don’t think people act all that different on speed either. I’ve seen a lot of people on that stuff and they typically don’t appear intoxicated.

It’s often the case that you cannot tell when someone is high on marijuana.

In my mid-20’s, I was living at home and getting my college degree. I was stoned out of my mind every night. I lived in the basement and had a separate entrance and a separate phone. My living at home included unwritten contracts stating that I could smoke pot and drink all I wanted to, and have visitors over until all hours of the night.

The folks were sleeping two floors up, so we had to turn down the music late at night. I didn’t have the right to fuck women at home, but I fought hard for that one. My Mom wouldn’t budge on that one. I used to violate it anyway. I had a separate entrance, and could sneak women in no problem.

My Mom even heard about the women I sneaked in and fucked, and if they were knock-dead gorgeous (some of them were) she was quite proud of her son in a perverse way. I’ll never be able to match Sexmaniacman (Who can?) but I did my best.

But my Mom could always tell when I was stoned, and she hated it. So if you’re around it a lot, maybe you can tell.

I’m an experienced pot smoker for 35 years off and on, and I typically don’t have the faintest idea if someone is stoned or not. How can you tell anyway?

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Filed under Coke, Dope, Doperman, Intoxicants, LSD, Reposts From The Old Site

Lies About the Drug Burnouts

Repost from the old site.

Dope fries your brain, and all ex-dopers are “permafried,” or damaged by drugs. This condition is both immediately obvious and permanent.

This is one of the staples of the anti-drug line, and it appears that the vast majority of Americans have bought into it, including most drug users and former users.

I think it’s utter nonsense, so I’m going to take it on head-on here in this post.

Simply put, I don’t really think that “drug burnouts” exist anymore than “alcohol burnouts” do. The notion comes from the idea that illegal drug use damages the brain. Hence, after years of use of this, that, or various substances, the brain is permanently damaged, and the person is odd, strange, weird, bizarre, permanently spacey, “permafried,” crazy, nuts or mentally ill in some way or another.

The theory is very appealing in that unfortunately, it is starting to look like most of these drugs, at least in heavy use, are capable of damaging the brain. The jury is still somewhat out on cannabis, but even that does not look really encouraging for heavy long-term users.

The theory is typically used to abuse users of hallucinogens and psychedelics, probably because these are the most feared drugs of them all. There is a serious problem with the “fried brains acidheads” line: the hallucinogens are one of the very few drugs that look pretty clean as far as brain damage goes.

When you come out and say that LSD does not cause general damage to the brain, as I am doing now, people tend to get really upset. After all, if anything damages your brain, it must be LSD! After all, if acid, the ultimate evil drug, doesn’t mess with your brain, then surely nothing does.

The truth is much more strange. It’s now clear that the most popular drugs of all, like cocaine and methamphetamine. can damage the brain, often pretty quickly.

Cocaine begins to cause demonstrable brain damage after as few as 12 uses (constriction of the arteries of the brain). After a few grams a month for a few years, clear brain damage shows up on the P300 test (a general slowing of the EEG). There is now evidence for serious changes in white and gray matter with heavy cocaine use.

Meth is much harder to pin down, but heavy current users often appear scattered and damaged. After 1.5 grams a week for 1-2 years, clear signs of damage start showing up. I believe that damage is also starting to show up on white and gray matter tests.

I can’t emphasize strongly enough what bad news these white and gray matter tests are – they indicate destruction of the neurons themselves and the connections between them.

The damage from meth seems to be to dopamine neurons and their connections and is observable with brain diagnostic imaging tools. Whether or not damage occurs at lower doses over shorter periods of time is not known, but meth is starting to look like nasty stuff for your brain.

I still say you can take meth at least a dozen times or so (and possibly much more!) without any permanent damage. At some point though, you are going to start damaging your brain, and we don’t really know what that point is. Want to try to find out when the damage begins? Don’t bother!

Ecstasy or MDMA, formerly up in the air as far as brain damage goes, is looking worse all the time. The best we can say now is that one dose probably does not cause damage. More than one dose almost surely does, and the damage is cumulative. The drug damages serotonin neurons in certain parts of the brain by killing the connections (axons) between the neurons. The neurons themselves are not killed.

It is a common falsehood about drug abuse and the brain that “drugs kill brain cells.” In truth, actual neuronal death is hard to pin down for a lot of these drugs. Instead of killing brain cells outright, drugs often just damage them so they don’t work quite so well. With MDMA, the serotonin axons grow back, but they do not grow back correctly.

I never did MDMA – it was after my time.

Even heavy cannabis use is looking suspect.

Drinking more than two drinks a day over a period of time causes shrinkage of the brain. The shrinkage increases as the drinks per day does up. Periodic heavy drinking depresses brain cells for up to two years, and chronic heavy drinking actually kills neurons.

Now on to the psychedelics. The hard facts are that we do not have good evidence that LSD, peyote, psilocybin and similar drugs damage the brain in any way that would that reduce your intellect, make you odd, strange, weird, bizarre or crazy, or effect your ability to think and feel rationally.

It is true that LSD, psilocybin and MDMA are capable of causing HPPD. That is hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. The result is visual aberrations persisting into the period when one is not using the drug. LSD seems to be the worst offender, but some cases are caused by psilocybin. Until a cure or prevention is found, HPPD is an excellent reason to avoid using psychedelics, LSD in particular.

There is a board on the Net for HPPD sufferers, and if you go there and tell them that you are still using acid, they are going to give you a piece of their mind. They aren’t anti-drug ignoramuses or holier than thou moralistic types. They’ve just been there and done that and don’t want to see you in the same boat as they are.

No one has any idea what is causing HPPD, but a Dr. Abraham in Massachusetts has the notion that it is related to damage to the visual system. All LSD users show damage to the visual system. It’s not apparent to most of them, but it shows up on tests. It has to do with how fast you can adjust to from a totally light environment to a totally dark environment. LSD users do poorly on that.

It’s interesting to note that although all of the tests for LSD and brain damage in animals were negative with the exception of very high doses that would be about the equivalent of 1,000 50 mcg. hits at once, LSD was shown to be hypotoxic to the optic nerve in the bird.

These negative findings for brain damage and LSD go back to the 1950’s. We now have over 50 years of negative tests for LSD and brain damage in animals as well as humans.

LSD does some pretty bizarre things to animals. If you give it to a cat and put the cat in an enclosed area with a rat, the cat will cower in terror of the rat, which it normally would try to kill. Strange.

All tests of intellectual function damage for LSD users have come up negative. Some suggested temporary damage on visual function tests (the Trail-Making B Test), but as the HPPD data above suggests, LSD may indeed damage the visual system. Even this finding cleared up one year post-drug

Damage to the visual system would logically cause HPPD. Would it make a person weird, strange, odd, bizarre, insane and stupid? Why would it? The visual system effects vision. It doesn’t effect psychological stability or the ability to think or feel in a normal way.

That said, there is anecdotal evidence that very heavy LSD is somehow bad for your brain. It seems to go away if you quit, but it’s there nevertheless. There are reports on the net of users who used LSD very heavily – several hits, several times a week, for a year or so. Afterward, they had symptoms of brain damage.

They could no longer do the intellectual work that they could formerly do, and they had a hard time reading. After a year or so off the drug, their intellect seemed to return. The users were not mentally ill at any time.

The notion of mental illness from the use of LSD is very controversial. It seems almost impossible to understand how a drug that has no permanent brain effects outside the visual system could make a person weird, strange, odd, bizarre, crazy, nuts, insane, or mentally disturbed in any way at all. Surely, if it did so, the etiology could not be from actual brain damage but must be in purely psychological terms: psychogenic.

Nevertheless, we continue to get reports of mental illness after LSD use.

The most frightening to me are reports of mental illness after very heavy use. We have reports of individuals who used LSD very heavily (several times a week at high dose) for a year or two. After that, they became mentally ill and had to be admitted to a hospital. They got better and were released and seemed OK on the outside. But then they got into heavy LSD use again and had to be readmitted.

There are other reports of folks in their 40’s and 50’s who used LSD maybe 2,000-3,000 times. They are reported to be mentally ill to some degree or another.

We don’t yet have any good theory to explain cognitive problems or mental illness in extremely heavy LSD users, but nevertheless, based on anecdotal evidence, one ought to avoid this sort of high-risk behavior.

Timothy Leary probably used LSD between 1,000-2,000 times. I have to admit he looked pretty fried the last few times I saw him on TV. He also used all sorts of other drugs.

As a good general rule though, I haven’t met one person yet who is “permafried” from any kind of drugs. My perception has been that if you quit using, after a while you become normal again. Most of the so-called permafried types are still using drugs heavily. It seems to me that no matter how damaged people seemed, if they quit and sobered up, they seemed to be quite OK once they were clean.

I’ve met some folks who seemed damaged from very heavy dope use, but in the one case I can think of, he wasn’t really strange or weird. He could be socially inappropriate, and his basic problem was he didn’t give a damn about anything. You will find this personality syndrome in a lot of very heavy users that otherwise function pretty well – they seem like they don’t care about much of anything.

He couldn’t hold down a job because he was so damaged that he couldn’t even make change. Yet I was at a party with him once and he picked up this gorgeous young blond ten years his junior and fucked her brains out that night. How nuts can you be if you can pull off something like that?

I met another fellow like that on the streets of San Francisco 15 years ago. Smart guy, Masters Degree from a good university, lived off a trust fund, traveled the world, partied his brains out, in his 40’s.

He had that “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, but I don’t consider that mental illness. Hell, I don’t consider most stuff mental illness! He wasn’t ready for corporate America, but he didn’t want to be either, and I didn’t consider him mentally ill in any way, shape or form.

But then I think the whole notion of “crazy” is horribly abused against people who aren’t even nuts at all.

I’ve known many individuals who used drugs heavily for years who are now more or less sober, although some continue to use cannabis. For the life of me, I can’t see how even one of them has been permanently damaged by their drug use. I haven’t met a permafried person yet, but I guess there’s always a first.

I keep meeting people who used cocaine very heavily for 5-10 years, or so heavily as to have to go into drug treatment, or took LSD up to 300 times or so, or have been smoking pot for 20-30 years and still are, now heavily, in their 40’s. For the life of me, I can’t see anything wrong with them now. Some of them have very good jobs and make $100,000/yr or so.

Despite a lot of theoretical support for the “permafried” notion (in that many of these drugs are now being found to actually damage your brain), I haven’t seen much of it in my life. If anyone knows any “permafried” individuals who are now clean and have been clean for a while, let me know in the comments.

Until then, I think the whole notion is ridiculous.

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Filed under Coke, Dope, LSD, MDMA, Reposts From The Old Site, Ridiculousness

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