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17 Facts About Party Drugs That Will Fuck You Up

This post is trippy man.

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1. Molly and ecstasy are essentially the same thing these days.

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Molly is supposed to be the "pure" crystalline form of MDMA, but while that might've been true once upon a time (who really knows?), most Molly nowadays is cut with other drugs like cocaine, ketamine, methamphetamine, synthetic cathinones — aka bath salts — and other drugs, basically making it no different than ecstasy.

2. The psychedelic effects of LSD (acid) were first discovered when the doctor who created it accidentally got high AF in 1943.

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"At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away," Dr. Albert Hofmann, who created LSD to be a circulatory and respiratory stimulant, wrote in his book LSD — My Problem Child.

Shortly after that first accidental trip, he experimented at higher doses, even having what we now call a bad trip. "A demon had invaded me, had taken possession of my body, mind, and soul. ... My body seemed to be without sensation, lifeless, strange. Was I dying? Was this the transition?"

3. Cocaine was considered a useful anesthetic in the 1880s.

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In 1884, Dr. Karl Koller introduced cocaine as an anesthetic for eye surgeries. And soon after, other physicians began using it for surgeries on the face, eyes, nose, and throat, because it causes blood vessels to constrict and reduces bleeding and swelling.

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4. In 1885, Parke-Davis pharmaceutical company started selling cocaine kits, making it super convenient to benefit from cocaine's ~medicinal properties~.

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They marketed it by saying: Cocaine “can supply the place of food, make the coward brave, the silent eloquent, and render the sufferer insensitive to pain.”

6. It might feel like your brain is melting on (magic) mushrooms, but studies show they actually increase communication between normally disconnected brain regions.

Journal of the Royal Society Interface / Via rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org

This diagram from a 2014 study shows how communication differs between a normal brain's regions (left) and one that's on shrooms (right).

7. It's this level of higher connectivity that scientists attribute to the so-called ~expanded consciousness~ that users feel.

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Researchers from that study above also said shrooms could induce synesthesia, a phenomenon where stimulation of one of the senses causes another to react — like seeing different colors when you hear music. Another study said they could loosen the ego's influence on us, giving us new ways of seeing things; intensify or distort what we see; and amplify what we hear.

8. It would take about 37 pounds of fresh shrooms to lethally overdose, but you'd probably have a bad trip long before that.

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Don't even try to test that, though. According to a 2011 review, the highest recommended dose for recreational use is between 1 and 3.5-5 grams of dried mushrooms. After that, you're just asking for a baaad trip — usually characterized by severe agitation, confusion, anxiety, and impaired concentration and judgment. Especially bad trips have led to psychotic episodes, frightening hallucinations, severe paranoia, and a total loss of reality, which may prompt dangerous behaviors that could hurt you or others.

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9. And speaking of bad trips, taking too much ketamine is also a first-class trip to what's known as the "K-hole."

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Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, and in low doses it'll sedate you, relieve pain, and cause memory loss. In higher doses, it'll make you feel like you're melting into your surroundings, and cause visual hallucinations and out-of-body experiences. And in even higher doses, it'll cause such a detachment from reality that you'll be in what's called the K-hole.

In one person's account of the K-hole, they describe being like "a bunch of rubber bands tangled and looped together, moving along with other masses of tangled rubber bands." They also described it as not too bad at first, but quickly becoming hellish. You can read more about it in the Erowid Experience Vault.

10. Nonfatal doses of MDMA in cool, quiet environments can become lethal when taken in warmer, more crowded places.

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That's because MDMA increases heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. Meanwhile, it also interferes with the body's ability to cool itself down, especially in the brain, according to a study that used rats to mimic the environments in which humans take the drug.

11. And that's why it's usually inaccurate to say someone who died while on MDMA died from an overdose.

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Overdosing means the person took too much of the drug, but like the aforementioned study suggests, it doesn't need to be a high dose to lead to adverse affects. MDMA-related deaths are more commonly caused by these adverse effects, and according to a review, these are typically hyperthermia (that rise in body temperature) and hyponatraemia, which happens when your body loses too much sodium/electrolytes as a result of dehydration (although there are other causes).

12. You can't get addicted to LSD or magic mushrooms.

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So far, there's no evidence that using shrooms or LSD will cause physical or psychological dependence or addiction, and there are no withdrawal symptoms when you stop using them. In fact, it is possible to build up a tolerance to these when consumed over a short period of time — so much so that they might not cause any hallucinogenic effect at all.

13. And both psychedelics have actually shown promise in treating addiction to other drugs, when used in a clinical setting.

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Most individual studies have been verrry small. For example, one study only involved 10 alcohol-dependent patients, but it found that psilocybin mushrooms could help them stay abstinent for up to 36 weeks after treatment ended. Meanwhile, an analysis of six studies (involving a total of 536 people) looking into how effective LSD was for treating alcohol dependence found that, overall, there was an association between treatment with a single dose of LSD and reductions in alcohol misuse.

Other studies involving addiction to other drugs are ongoing, and you can read up on some of them at the Multidisciplinary Association OF Psychedelic Studies' website.

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14. Speaking of party drugs with therapeutic value, MDMA may also help treat people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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In a small follow-up study involving 19 people with treatment-resistant PTSD, researchers found that, on average, they all maintained relief from symptoms three-and-a-half years after the initial study where they took the MDMA. The major benefits they experienced included general wellbeing, increased self-awareness and understanding, less excessive vigilance and avoidance of people or places, and fewer nightmares, flashbacks, and intrusive memories.

15. Crystal meth gets you high AF because it can actually PENETRATE BRAIN CELLS.

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It's more than three times as strong as cocaine. Both make you high by causing dopamine — a chemical involved in pleasure and reward — to build up in the brain rather than being reabsorbed. But meth is so much stronger because rather than just working at the junction between neurons, like coke, it actually breaks into the neurons, causing permanent damage.

16. And the high lasts longer too.

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It can actually last so long that it causes sleep deprivation. People who've gone on meth binges have reported staying awake from just a few days to over a week, and talk about hallucinations, like hearing voices and seeing shadow people — which could be meth-induced psychosis.

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