Household Highs

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"For unrestricted use ihe West has permitted only alcoliol and tobacco. All the oilier chemical Doors in the Wall are labeled Dope, and their unauthorized takers are Fiends."

Aldous Huxley The Doors of Perception, 1954

A good amount of nutmeg will produce a change of consciousness, it is (rue, as will a family-size bottle of Vitalis or just a few direcl squirts of ant and roach killer. One man's high is another's hell, in terms of where he goes and how he gets there. No doubt there exist, in this wide and ingenious country, enclaves of oven-heads that consider natural gas a nice organic high..

Extreme measures, indeed. There are, however, quite a large number of drugs to be had from the shelf of the "modern Pathmark-no questions asked, except "Cash or charge?"-that will stimulate, depress, soothe, euphorize, psychedelicize and otherwise affect the human organism. Some are very pleasant and some are really ghastly, but it is important to note that almost none of these substances-not even the most potent psychedelics and profound depressants-is found in the aisle labeled "drugs."

Some, such as alcohol, nicotine, coffee, tea, chocolate, colas and other caffeine products, are firmly entrenched in mainstream society, enjoying such widespread promotion, acceptability and availability that their status as drugs has been obscured, if not obliterated. Others, like nutmeg, mace, paint remover, airplane glue and Stemo, are used as drugs by only a small minority of individuals and so retain their utilitarian status. Even substances commonly acknowledged to be drugs, such as aspirin, are gobbled in large quantities on a regular basis by individuals who would never see themselves as "drug abusers."

Three of these highs-caffeine, alcohol and nicotine-are by far the most popular mind-affecting drugs in the wodd. The Big Three maintain their top status in leims of time, money and popularity.

CAFFEINE Coffee is both the most popular drug and the most popular beverage of this day, used by approximately 40 percent of the woiJd. Six or seven billion pounds of coffee are traded on the market each year. Every day, Americans drink more than 400 million ctips, enough for two and a half_ cups for every citizen over the age of ten. A good number of coffee freaks imbibe six cups or more a day.

Surveys show that almost everyone who drinks more than one cup of coffee per day has a cup in the morning»

In addition to its agreeable taste and extraordinary aroma, there are really quite a few reasons for coffee's popularity. Caffeine, which

It is very easy to shirt; it may be hard to stop.

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