On drugs

M2407164.jpgabstract c/o chuen seng teoh

As a child, I was told and accepted that recreational drugs are bad for you. This notion was applied across the board without any distinction on the type of drug or its effect. In my mind then, ‘drug addiction’ is an inescapable, downward spiral towards losing humanity and eventually death. Doesn’t matter if it was ecstasy pills, LSD, marijuana, cocaine or heroin, they were all the bad to me and hence to be avoided at all cause.

Given my curious nature, experiencing the effects of recreational drugs was one thing I was never curious in somehow. Even when hanging around peers who were trying (indulging even!) out these substances, I never felt any temptation. Perhaps it’s my risk averse nature that prevented me from trying anything that could lead to unimaginable perceived negative consequences. I was scared of a lot of things.

Recently however, I have learnt a lot more about the types and nature of these substances. My perspective on this subject have shifted as a result. I now have some idea on how different substance have different effects on a person and that not all substance are promote addiction. Currently, I am most interested in two substances in particular, marijuana and psilocybin.

There are more and more research being done on how these substance have medical benefits and by nature are not addictive, unless abused of course. Marijuana, for example, has been shown to help relieve epilepsy patients from seizure attacks. More and more governmental bodies have started to recognize that marijuana is not as bad as it seems and are starting legalization process. The Dutch have always known this of course. On a personal level, my position on marijuana has changed. I no longer judge it and those who take it negatively and have accepted it as another substance that has it uses when done properly.

The drug that I am most interested in is the psilocybin mushroom, a psychedelic drug that effects the prefrontal cortex of the human brain. When taken, people go on ‘trips’ where time and reality is distorted. One interesting thing that I’ve learnt is how these ‘trips’ is able to help you let your guard down and properly explore the subconscious mind. Some benefits to this experience is the enhanced state of creativity and resolution of deep emotional issues. Personally, I look forward to learn more about the research done in this field and perhaps experiment with psilocybin in the future. If this subject interests you at all, I can recommend this NY Times article of author Michael Pollan sharing his experience with psychedelic drugs.

Not all drugs are created equal. However, they can and will change your behavior so never use it without professional supervision. Experiment, have some fun and don’t do anything stupid! Stay safe.

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