"When we feel ourselves to be sole heirs of the universe, when 'the sea flows in our veins and the stars are our jewels,when all things arc perceived as infinite and holy, what motive can we have for covctousness or self-assertion, for the pursuit of power or the drearier forms of pleasure? Contemplatives aie not likely to become gamblers, or procurers, or drunkards; they do not as a rule prcach intolerance, or make war, do not find it necessary to rob, swindle or grind the faces of the poor."
Aldous Huxley The Dooi^s of Perception, 1954
and enlightenment. .In his premescaline novel Brave New World, the drug soma, while producing euphoria and hallucinations, basically sedated its users, keeping them politically oppressed. His experience with psychedelics led Huxley to moksha. a mushroom extract that serves as a psychedelic . sacrament in his tiovelhland: the bl uep rint for a f111 tire ps yd lede 1 tc com in u 11 ity culture.
As a stieet drug, mescaline is rarely encountered. Its synthesis is much more difficult than LSD's, When it does appear for illicit consumption it is almost always in the form of mescaline sulfate, a white crystal packed in a large capsule. The cost of genuine mescaline on the street is usually no less than five dollars per dose, but the chances of it being the real thing are said to be one in 50. Large gelatin capsules filled with brownish peyotc bits appear now and then. Dried peyotc buttons
are occasionally distributed outside the Southwest, nowadays costing 35 cents per button (three to six are needed to get off), much less when purchased in bulk in Texas.
The example of the successful political struggle of pey<He-using native Americans had a strong influence on the psychedelic subculture of the Sixties. The great San Francisco be-in of 1967 was called a "powwow." "Gatherings of the tribes" brought together thousands of stoned hippies from Woodstock (Nation) to the Grand Canyon to Griffith Park in L.A.. Psychedelic communities around the country structured themselves as communes; some became well known for political activism, e.g.. Trans-Love Energies, Morningstar Ranch, Berkeley Tribe, New Buffalo, Diggers,
Yippies and an infamous band of marauders called the Family. Art Kleps's Neo-American Church, John and Louisa Aiken's Church of the Awakening, Leary's Ixague for Spiritual Discovery and Jefferson Fuck Poland's Psychedelic j Venus Church all unsuccessfully brought legal action to gain for their sacraments the free status that the Native American Church was granted for peyote. As the Seventies dawned, a new native American cult, figure was born: don Juan, the mysterious Yaqui sorceror of Casta neda's books, for whom peyotc ("mescalito") is a teacher and protector and the magic mushroom an ally. Don Juan teaches the use of certain plant. . hallucinogens to suspend conditioned imprints and beliefs and allow supernatural realms to become accessible and useful to a warrior or a man of knowledge. The techniques of this Indian shaman living in the remote countryside of Sonora are remarkably similar to methods of self-1neiaprograming in the human hiocomputer worked out by scientist John Lilly after years of taking LSD in total isolation.
STP Popular interest in psychedelics was at an all-time high between 1966 and 1968. In the wake of illicit acid manufacturing and distribution came a variety of other synthetic mind alterants. Probably the most famous was STP, or DOM, 2,5-d imethoxy 4 methyl methphenethylam inc. An amphetamine-related psychedelic like mescaline, this experimental mind-bending hallucinogen was synthesized by Alexander Slmlgin in 1964. Five thousand tablets from Owsley's lab were given away at the 1967 San Francisco Summer Solstice Festival, but the dose was too strong, even for veteran LSD users, and caused lots of bad trips. A pleasant euphoriant in low doses (one milligram or less), STP is the heaviest psychedelic in high doses (about twenty milligrams), for the drug is not readily metabolized in the body, and as a result its effects often last from 24 to 72 hours, undermining normal bodily functions. STP releases almost nncontainable psychic energy. Trembling and shaking may occur as "the past and future dissolve in an electric present, providing a totally new orientation" (Alperf/Ram Dass). The STP peak can last for 12 hours, with periods of great hilarity and insights of cosmic proportions. Users preferred the effects of a quarter dose (five milligrams), which are more similar to LSD and mescaline. But the reputation of STP (code letters for Serenity, Tranquility and Peace) never recovered torn the freak-out incidents, which in some cases were made worse by the administration of thorazine. About a year after it was introduced, STP more or less disappeared from the street scene.
MDA/MMDA These are two well-known amphetamine psychedelics, MDA (3,4-meiliylene-dioxyamphelamine) was first synthesized in Germany in 1910 but fell, into obscurity until ils psychoactive effects were accidently. discovered by Gordon Alks, discoverer of amphetamine. Beginning in the late Sixties, MDA was widely promoted as a "love drug" or "speed for lovers." It's very much a body psychedelic,, coupling feelings of euphoria and emotional closeness with increased tactile sensitiyiiy. It does not produce the depei'sonalized and hallucinatory slates of other psychedelics, but enhances feeling to a point of inediumistic potential and makes users very communicative with one another. The effective dose is 120-150 millgrams, and the trip lasts about eight hours.
MDA is a derivative of iso-saffrole, found in several plant oils including sassafras and nutmeg. It has proved a very promising psychotherapeutic agent,. Pioneer psychedelic therapist Claudio Naranjo calls ii "the drug of truth" and "the drug of analysis." He warns, too, of the possibility of toxic symptoms that vary in individuals and suggests that smaller doses be used until. toxicity, is established. A number of closely related compounds (PMA, TMA and DOB) have much more serious overdose potential, including damage to vision, and their misrepresentation as MDA has brought adverse publicity to this substance, for which proper synthesis and dosage level are very important safely factors. Despite a consistent demand for quality MDA, this psychedelic, is often unavailable. The price per dose is usually five dollars.
MMDA (3-methoxy -4,5-meth ylene-d ioxyphen y1-isoprophylamine) is a synthetic compound derived from one of the essential oils in nutmeg (myristicine). It differs from MDA only in the presence of a methoxyl group in the molecule. Its psychic effects also differ in that there is a peak to the experience-but one of calm and serenity, and the trip is only about half as long. Naranjo characterizes this drug as a feeling-enhancer of the present, the "eternal now," whereas with MDA one is more apt to recall llie past..
OTHER AMPHETAMINE PSYCHEDELICS Besides STP, MDA and MMDA, a number of other amphetamine-related psychedelics. (melboxylaied phenethylamines-compounds thai are chemical analogues of mescaline) have been occasionally. _ manufactured1 by underground chemists and distributed in limited quantities for recreational f use. About 30 or 40 such compounds have been tested on humans, some in secret military and CIA experiments. The best-known of these are DOB, TMA-1. TMA-2. PMA (a highly toxic substance)
and IT-290. With the right dose a six- or eight-hour mescalinelikeL trip can result,, but too much can seriously overamp the nervous system. Hundreds of further psychoactive combinations are possible.
DMT /S-MeO-DMT /DET Probably ilie most spectacular psychedelic,, because of its extremely fast action, is DMT (N, N-dimelliyllryptaurine), an indole-based semisynthetic substance widely used in the Sixties and sporadically since then. lis effects are nearly, identical to 5-MeO-DMT (5-methoxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine), the active agent found in the resinous bark of several South American trees, partiiularlyi Anadenanihera peregrina (formerly. Piptadenia peregrina) and used by native tribes in the form of snuffs called cohoba, virola, parica,' and yopo. Cohoba was probably the first New World psychedelic to be discovered: Columbus and his crew obsei"ved ils
Quanah Parker use in Haiti on their second (1496) expedition to America. A common way of turning on with the snuff. is for two people to blow it into each other's nostrils through a long hollow bamboo or a bone lube. Banisteriopsis rusbyana, which has a high concentration of 5-MeO-DMT, is one of the more powerful additives to the hallucinogenic yage brew.
The chemical structure of DMT is very similar to psilocin. Its synthesis is relatLvely simple. In street use it is soaked into parsley and smoked in a mixture with marijuana. An individual dose is three and a hall to five milligrams, which should be increased by a factor of the number of people planning to toke up on the DMT joint.. The full effects of a psychedelic, trip will manifest within seconds of toking up, and a peak will occur from about the third to the tenth minute. There is no way to prepare for the iaish, except by lying down or sitting comfortably. One can only surrender to the tremendously accelerated input of sensory phenomena. Leary invented an 11 experiential typewriter" to describe the DMT experience: each key related to a whole range of effects. Because the effects subside within a half_ hour, the DMT trip was known as the '"businessman's lunch/'
DET (N> N-diethyhryptamine) is a synthetic compound closely related to DMT, but rarely encountered on the street.. Its effects are not as intense as DMT, but last for an hour_ and a hal£ to two hours. The standard dose is 50-60 milligrams. DPT, another short-acting trypiamine, has a duration of two or three hours. DET and DPT are like mini-acid trips and thus have had good success as psychotherapeutic agents. The short-acting tryptamines are not cross-loleranl to LSD, psilocybin and mescaline.
PCP Although not a psychedelic, PCP (phencyclidine) has consistently played a role in the psychedelic culture. Pharmaceutical^ marketed under the name Setnyl as an animal tranquilizer and anesthetic (hence the underground name '"Hog"1), PCP debuted in the
Woodstock late Sixties as the "Peace Pill," alleged to be the recently synthesized THC. Its mild psychedelia effects come on slowly and last four to six hours, much like good hashish, except for a strong feeling of mind/body separation. A little later it reincarnated as "Angel Dust," a smoking preparation of marijuana and parsley saturated with PCP. PCP is sometimes added to LSD, and the resultant combination is misrepresented as mescaline or psiLocybin. It has a serious abuse potential, creating severe paranoia when used extensively over a short period of time. PCP reacts dangerously with alcohol, and although it is easily (and cheaply) manufactured, it can cause dangerous somatic reactions when pooiJy synthesized.
KETAMINE Ketamine hydrochloride, a non barbiturate aiaesthetic for children, has also been used in recent years to produce a 45-minute psychedelic trip of substantial power. An injection of one ce. quickly produces disorientation, an aBE and an hallucinated, dreamlike state. With higher doses it's possible to experience a psychedelia peak. Ten cc. is an Ol), but complete recovery follows. Psychiatrists have been using ketamine experimentally in psychotherapy. It had only limited availability on the street as a recreational drug until it appeared in the form of a green crystal that could be snorted; and though now it is commonly a white powder, it retains the nickname '"green/1
THE FUTURE OF PSYCHEDELICS It seems likely that by 1980 psychedelic, drugs will be fully restored to their former position in the array of experimental psychopharmaceutical research substances. Terminally ill patients and people with serious psychological problems will be the fii-st to legally enjoy the benefits of psychedelics, just as glaucoma sufferers are currently receiving legal marijuana. Underground alchemists will, continue to experiment and to supply a steadily expanding ''human potential'" movement, although pharmaceutical LSD-type drugs will probably be redirected into the illicit, market with greater frequency than in the Sixlies-a factor which will not, hopefully, bring down new waves of repression.
At some point during the 1980s low-dose LSD-type pills will probably begin to serve a large consumer market as commonly as aspirin does now. Psychedelics will be prescribed for anxiety and a variety of psychosomatic ills, in conjunction with prevailing systems of therapy. As has happened with tobacco, coffee and alcoholic beverages, the magical and religious qualities of the drug will gradually be screened out of mass-market
"I had given L353 * number of pundits around ladla and »me msoftaMy^piire men. An old Buddhist Lama said, It gave roe a headache!1 Somebody ehe aaid. 'lift jjood. but not as good h* meditation/ Somebody etae »aid, 'Where can I get some mwtV Babij FUm D&yi (Richard Alptrt) Be Here Now, 1971
consumption, but cult, uses will survive in accordance with prevailing trends in mysticism.
Post-psychedelic drugs, which have already been the subject of more than a decade of research by both licit and illicit chemists, will combine the features of the psychedelic high with those of metabolic stabilizing agents, psychic energizers, intelligence enhancers. A number of drugs with attributes similar to those are already in material form. One called DOET was described recently in a national magazine as "a kind of custom-tailored LSD. It enhances your associative power, it 'connects you up,' but there are no hallucinations, no distortions, no scattering of attention. Nothing but pure, ongoing safari."
Whether such a drug corresponds to the soma of Brave New World, or1 to the moksha of Island, or whether it has qualities of each, will have to be decided by the generation of 1984.
"1 contend lhat one day we shall. use ihese soothing substances without danger, lhat we shall. avoid habii-making, thai we shall, laugh at the bugaboo of the drug "
[eari Cocleau Opium. 1930
"1 contend lhat one day we shall. use ihese soothing substances without danger, lhat we shall. avoid habii-making, thai we shall, laugh at the bugaboo of the drug "
[eari Cocleau Opium. 1930
Once hailed as God's Own Medicine, the opiates are now widely regarded as the Devil's Brew. Heroin, the most notorious, has become synonymous with junkies and pushers. And in the liells conjured up by addiction alarmists, there is no room for the basic fact about the opiales-namely, lhat ihey are the best and safest pain relievers we have, a class of drugs medicine simply can't do without..
Opiates are any of the various sedative narcotic drugs containing opium or its derivatives. The term also applies to those synthetically, manufactured compounds which simulate the characteristics of opium. The chief ones are opium, morphine, codeine, heroin, meperidine (Demerol), hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and methadone. Moipliine and codeine are natural alkaloids of opium; heroin and hydromorphone, semisynthetic derivatives of morphine; meperidine and methadone, completely synthetic.
The opiates vary widely in potency. In doses of equivalent weight morphine is about ten limes as effective in altering the awareness of pain as opium and five to six times more effective than codeine and meperidine. Simijarly, methadone is slightly more potent than moipliine, heroin two lo three times more powerful and hydromorphone five lo seven limes more powerful. .But in equipoient doses-say 200 milligrams of opium lo 20 milligrams of morphine-the psychoactive effects of the opiates are very similar. All. trigger analgesia (reduced awareness of pain) and euphoria. To varying degrees, tolerance-the need to take progressively larger doses to achieve the same effect-is bulli lo all opiates, and cessation of regular use results in a characteristic set of withdrawal symptoms. Put another way, all opiates are potentially, addicting.
Large doses may lead to fatal respiratory depression. In normal, nontolerani individuals, a "large" dose is on the order of 100 to 200 milligrams of morphine. No one lias yet determined how large a dose is fatal to opiate addicts. Some have taken moipliine in doses of 4,000 milligrams without experiencing observable adverse effects. And the huge doses long-term heroin addicts are capable of handling is legendary.
The usual ways of taking the opiates are by mouth (opium, morphine, codeine, meperidine, hydromorphone, methadone); snorting (heroin); smoking (opium, heroin); subcutaneously, or skin popping (morphine, heroin, meperidine,
"With opium I suckled new cells, which were re-stoied to the would after five months of abstinence, and I suckled I hem wilh countless unknown alkaloids, whereas a morphine addict, whose habits frighten me, fills his veins with a single known poison and surrenders himself far less to the unknown."
Jean Codeau Opium, 1930
hydromoiphone) and intravenously, or mainlining (morphine, heroin, methadone, meperidine, hydromoiphone). The various routes of administration qualify the effects. And while most of what is known about these qualitative changes comes from clinical studies on morphine, the findings appear applicable 10 all opiates. The oral route is the least efficient, requiring about eight times mere morphine to produce an equivalent analgesic effect than subcutaneous injection. Morphine administeied subcutaneously reaches its peak analgesic effect in 30 minutes to an hour,1 and lasts from four to six hours. Taken intravenously, the peak effect, is experienced much sooner, is more intense, and lasts about the same length of lime. Heroin is similar in these inspects to morphine, except that the peak is reached much more quickly» Regular users can seldom distinguish between morphine and heroin
when skinpopping mainlining.
but almost always can when
Apart from the respiratory depression which may follow an oveixlose, the physical side effects of the opiates are lelatively minor. The most frequently experienced ones are constricted pupils, itching skin, menstrual irregularities, nausea, running nose, joint pains, hiccups and constipation. Contrary to popular opinion, long-term opiate use is not physically, destructive. No researcher has found any evideiice of organic damage resuiting from the use of opium, morphine or heroin. Even microscopic tissue investigations in autopsy reveal no such damage. The physical deterioration commonly seen among opiate addicts is a result, of their lifestyles, not of the drugs they use» Likewise, serum hepatitis, and other infections which frequently afflict heroin addicts are caused by ulistenle syringes and the contaminants used to cut heroin, not by heroin itself. „
How the psychoactive effects of the opiates are experienced depends mainly on why they are used. People who take them primarily to relieve pain naturally, focus on their analgesic power, and
L>thydroo*yc odd i none (EufcodaJ)
Oihyviroihdbainc cih co OCH,
1. It causes a most agreeable, pleasant and charming Sensation about the Region of the Stomach... 1
• t, . It causes a brisk, gay and sood humour.., ;: Warn** Promptitude. Serenity, Alacrity and Expbditenttfs in Dispatching and Managing of Business.,, .-^-i ' ? -, \ 4. ' It causes Assurance. Ovation of the Spirits. : ¿(uirflgb. Contentvt of Danger and Magnanimity.
, Si\ - If prevents, takes away Grief, Pear, Anxieties. :: Peevishness, Frotfulnesa. etc.,.. |6. . . It caudcs Buphory. or oases undergoing uf all .Labour, Journeys, etc . ' 7. it lulls, seethes end (ae it were) charms the mind with Satisfaction. Acquiescence, Contentation. Equanimity. etc.;... ¿a
' .. rIf quiets, nltays and composes all Perturba-- t ions and Commotions of in*. Spiri t,..
ft., % It'causes, a Relaxation of all the Sviuibk Part y of the Body.,. >,'
10. , If causes Indolence,or exemption from pain... , 11. It'atops, moderates, cures or palliates all
Fluxes... a/4; ' 12. It mightily promotes insensible Perspirations. 13: Jt prevents,Shiverinps in Ajfue-Fils and such like cases... .ft
14. It prevents andcures colds. 113. If causes a larger and,slower Pulse... 1 IS; It causes drinet* in the Mouth... 17. It hua most, effect in warm and moist Weather,.'. • | *
lfc It has 'mure, affect upon lax and fine-textured persons, ps Women. Children, etc—
19. It causes an Efflorescence of the skin.
20. It is observed by all, that It mainly affects the Genus Nervosum, and animal bpirits, find noi the Blood and Humors,
21. It Increases Seed in some metwure.
22. . It causes a groat promptitude tn Vtnury, Erse-lions, etc. especially if tho Dose he larger than
iJr John Jones Thb Myxtaies of Opium fievenie<f, J?r*:
with the exception of LSD and the other major psychedelics, no class of drugs is more effective than the opiates in altering the awareness of pain. Tlieir usefulness in this respect lias been so highly valued thai to the pliysimians of the nineteenth century opium andmorphine were known as God's Own Medicine. Tlie word "analgesic" literally means "painkiller," and doctors as well as their patients believe that the ability to kill pain is a characteristic property of the opiates. Certainly a sufficient dose of any opiate wUI noticeably reduce one's awareness of pain.
But the opiates do not cause the pain to go away any more than LSD causes you to see God. In both cases the drugs trigger the user into an alternate state of consciousness in wliicli things are
DIVINE REPOSE "Laudanum gave me repose, not sleep; but you, I believe, know how divine that repose is, wlial a spot of enchantment, a green spot of fountain and flowers and trees in the very heart of a waste of sands!1'
Samuel Taylor Coleridge lellei lo George Coleridge. 1798
experienced differently than they are in the normal state. Unlike the local anesthetics which relieve pain by blocking the transmission of the pain impulse from the nerves, the opiates do not block nerve transmissions. A person under the influence of the opiates can still accurately describe the source of liis pain. He is, in other words, still aware of the pain. The relief lie experiences comes from being no longer concerned or anxious about the pain. He feels detached from it, a feeling which results from being in a state of consciousness where pain is much less important than it usually is.
Those who use opiates to gel high naturally focus oil the nature of the high and are much less or not at all concerned with the relief of physical pain. As with any drug, the high differs from individual to individual and from setting to setting. Generally, however, the opiate high involves euphoria, a greatly cnlianccd sense of wcllrbcing and a feeling of cool un involvement-a state of detachment which makes heroin an ideal drug for watching the rats run around your tenement room. The opiates are also capable of triggering the interna) theater into action. The opium or heroin head on the "nod" is not sleeping but rather is experiencing visions roughly analogous lo those had in closed-eye LSD tripping. The chief difference is that on LSD the user is usually an active participant in the vision, whereas on the opiates the user generally is observer only.
In addition, mainlining morphine, heroin or methadone-which is never done in medical practice-pro vides a ''rush,1' a jolt lo the central nervous system which can't be had by any other rouie of administration. The rush is often described in sexual terms: ''an orgasm in the stomach,'1 ''coming all over.'1 (For those who don't like opiates, this rush is far from pleasurable and is usually experienced as a sickening jolL in the stomach.) Heroin is said to give the best rush, morphine the second best and methadone comes in a distant third. Chronic opiate use reduces the effects of the rush. Long-ierm heroin addicts claim they usually can't afford enough smack to give theni a rush; the best they can do is slay mellow. But it seems likely thai no amount of heroin short of a fatal overdose would provide such people with the rush they desire. They have developed
"It is hard to feel oneself dismissed by opium after several failures: it is hard to know thai this magic carpet exists and that one will no loiiger fly on it: it was pleasant to buy it, as in the Baghdad of the Caliphs, from the Chinese in a sordid street hung with washing; pleasant to return home quickly to try it out in one's hotel, in the room between the columns where George Sand and Chopin lived, to unroll it, stretch out on it, open the window onto the port, and take off. Undoubtedly too pleasant."
Jean Co clean Opium, 1930
tolerance to the rush just as they have to the other effects associated with the drug.
With the exception of opium, tolerance to the opiates builds fairly rapidly. The initial dose of morphine for severe pain is 15 to 20 milligrams administered subcutaneously every four or five hours, and patients have worked up from this to an intake of 500 milligrams a day in a ten-day period. Tolerance to heroin apparently builds more slowly, but it progresses as inexorably. The pace at which it builds is directly related to the intervals of use» Someone shooting four, times a day will build tolerance far more rapidly than someone shooting once a day. How much more rapidly, ik> one knows. Moieover, while it has been established that 100 milligrams of morphine can be fatal to a nontolerant person, it is not known whether 200 milligrams would be fatal to a user accustomed to 100 milligrams. What is certain is that tolerance develops much more quickly to refined products like morphine and heroin than it does to their natural source, opium. People using a grain of heroin a day (15.4 grains = one gram) usually find it impossible to maintain that level for more than a couple of weeks. Opium users, by contrast, are frequently able to maintain the same level of daily use for years, and in some cases for lifetimes. They become dependent on opium just as others become dependent on morphine and heroin, but the stability of their habit reixlers it a relatively harmless one. It is an obvious empirical fact that the more potent the opiate, the more difficult it is to avoid .building tolerance to it. It is equally, obvious that people who can't stabilize their habits have great difficulty, leading productive lives even when there is iK) legal impediment to their drug use^and that people who can stabilize their habits encounter few problems so long as they have as much of their drug as they need.
One inevitable result of chronic opiate use and the ensuing development of tolerance is physical dependence, an apparent physiological state of adaptation to a drug which results in a characteristic . set of withdrawal symptoms when use of the drug is stopped. Simply put, once you are physically, dependent on a drug, daily doses of it are required to maintain "normal" functioning and stave off. the onset of withdrawal. . Little more than this is known for certain about physical depeiKleiKe. We don't, for example, even know how a body that is physically dependent on a drug differs from one that isn't, except that when deprived of the drug it: generates wiihdrawal symptoms until the drug is reintroduced into the system. With the opiates, these symptoms include such things as restlessness, yawning, running eyes and nose, sweating, violent chills, fever, hypertension, retching, diarrhea, insomnia, seminal ejaculations, loss of appetite, and general aches and pains. The intensity, of the symptoms is proportional to the level of dependence; the greater the habit, the more severe the symptoms. Up to a point, at any rate. Once users have developed habits on the order of three grains of heroin a day (nine to ten street bags), higher doses do not appeal' to result» in more intense withdrawal symptoms.
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