Contributing Writers DRUGS - February 2018

Let’s Talk About Drugs

Written by Anonymous

Through my story, I want to share a different take on drug use.

I arrived in Amsterdam as part of my exchange year when I was 19-years-old. Beforehand, I had studied psychology for two years in France and was quite ignorant when it came to drugs. Years of watching South Park had taught me basically that, drugs were bad. My country lived in the hypocrisy that smoking a pack a day and drinking a bottle of wine a night was far better and more respectable than ever touching a joint.

My personal history with drugs is quite special. I don’t drink, and I’ve only barely tried cigarettes, I’ve been prescribed Ritalin and Xanax for my attention and anxiety disorders. Yet, I despised people who took drugs for ‘fun’. I remember rejecting advances from people high on ecstasy at parties on the belief that I thought I was better than them.

Arriving in Amsterdam, the smell of cannabis in the streets and the magic truffles on display quickly led me to rethink what I knew about drugs. Clearly, a country like the Netherlands couldn’t tolerate this if it threatened the security and well-being of its citizens.

In the first few months of my stay in Amsterdam, my life was becoming increasingly stressful. My big question was what am I going to do in life? I feared I had lost connection with myself and my anxiety was intensifying by the minute. I met a medical anthropologist specialized in psychedelics, and although our encounter was brief, I owe him a lot and will cherish those moments for a very long time. He promised me tripping on magic truffles would bring some clarity.

Photo by Amritanshu Sikdar

As an aspiring researcher, I seek truth and value empirical evidence. The Netherlands has softer regulations than other countries when it comes to drug trials and this allows progress. Whether or not you’re against drugs, we should all encourage research. Scientific research on all drugs is the best way to make them safe, and to protect all users (for example 2CB is widely used drug but is still unstudied). No matter where you stand, educating yourself on drugs serves your side.

After hours of conversation, and digging around on Erowid (the online Bible for substances), I thought, why not? It was a very spontaneous decision, but I’m a woman of science, and the evidence suggested it was the right thing to do. Researchers are aware of the healing potential of psilocybin (the molecule in magic trufflesand are coming to very promising conclusions.

It was by far the most meaningful and powerful experience of my life, changing me forever in a way I could never have imagined before. The experience is hard to describe with words, but I explored myself and the universe, and found peace. I came back to reality purged of all sense of worry, and for two months I walked the world with confidence and calmness.

A few months later, when the magic of my trip faded and anxiety crawled back in, I had exams coming up and little-to-no motivation or concentration whatsoever. I had read promising articles on microdosing psychedelics to study. Hofmann, the scientist who first synthesised LSD said micro-dosing could “have gone on to be used as Ritalin if it (LSD) hadn’t been so harshly scheduled (in the USA).”

I went and bought another box of magic truffles and divided them into ten portions. I took a portion every day or every two days after lunch and the results were convincing. The best way to describe it is increased stamina. You have increased sensory perception but not in a scary reality-distorting way, more in a sense that you progressively become more aware of your environment, like if you saw the world in high definition and had never realized that setting existed to begin with. Your attention becomes more narrow and sharp but not like with amphetamines when you think your heart is going to blow up. Your movements flow much softer and your head feels good without ever feeling high or like you’re tripping. I studied much better, became kinder to myself, and was relaxed and happy with myself throughout my entire break before finals.

From my experience with psychedelics I have become a much more open person. I doubt tripping every time you face difficulties in life is a good idea, and I doubt relying on substances to study thinking it’s going to save your grades is a good idea, either. But I do strongly believe there are good stories like mine out there that people should be willing to hear and share. Educate yourself on the chemistry, on your purchase, and on your body.

Be critical, because there is a difference between what’s legal, and what’s moral. Be careful about what you do as a person and what you inflict on your body. You’re not in a position to judge someone who does coke every Saturday night if you binge eat burgers and never work out. Drugs can be a blessing or a curse. Set limits for yourself (perhaps skip heroin), be aware of the dangers and possible drifts.

If nothing else get to know yourself and drugs better.

   
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