The Yes Function
"Sobriety diminishes, discriminates and says no. Drunkenness expands, unites and says yes. H is in fact the great exciter of the Yes function in man The drunken consciousness is one bit of the mystic consciousness and our total opinion of it must find its place in our opinion of that larger whole."
-Aldous Huxley. Moksha
"In the United Stales alone, some 800 million gallons of wine and distilled spirits and 100 million barrels of beer are produced legally each year The alcoholic beverage industry in the United States grosses $12 million a year with expenditures of nearly $200 million a year for advertisement Out of some 80 million consumers, there are. perhaps. 6 million people in America alone and more than 25 million in the would with drug dependency on alcohol."
"Around 15.000 deaths and 200,000 injuries associated with drunken driving occur, yearly in the United Slates."
-Dr. Joel Fort. Utopiaias push the 600 million gallons of distilled spirits, 100 million barrels and 6 billion cans of beer, 200 million gallons of wine, 100 million gallons of moonshine and unestimated amounts of homemade brews that Americans guzzle each year. Most people would probably admit to not liking the taste of alcohol when they first tried it„
Why, then, do almost 70 percent of adult. Americans drink the stuff? Simply because alcohol is a strong drug, with a wide spectrum of effects, that is socially and legally accepted. Although technically classified as a depressant, alcohol is known to cause people to become stimulated, placated, melancholy, homy, adventurous, nasty, joyous, uninhibited, sleepy and silly, depending on the drinker's mood, the dose and the phase of the drinking cy<Je. It. is truly a drug^ for all seasons; the same booze that sends a
"We frequently hear of people dying from too much drinking lliat lliis liappens is a mallei' of record, Bui llie blame almost always is placed on whiskey. Why this should be I never could understand. You can die from drinking too much of any thing-coffee^ water, milk, soft, drinks and a)I such stuffs as that,. And so long as the presence of death lurks within anyone who goes through the simple act of swallowing, I will make mine whiskey. No water* thank you ..„
TABLE OF ALCOHOL INTERACTIONS Anticoagulants (blood thinners): Alcohol can either increase or decrease effect^
Antidepressants (tricyclic type); This combination can produce dangerously profound sedation and severe drop in body temperature.
Aspirin: Alcohol makes the stomach more sensitive to aspirin's irritating effects; mixture can cause bleeding of stomach walL
Barbiturates, sedatives* sleeping pills, tranquilizers; Taken with alcohoL these can cause deep sedation, lack of coordination, dangerous drop in blood pressure, respiration failure, death.
MAO inhibitors (some antidepiessant and high blood pressure medication): These drugs depress the action of the crucial body enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO); extremely harzardous when taken with a substance, like alcohol, that requires the enzyme.
-The People's Phoimvcy by Joe Crandon, drinker into a minute inspection of his conduits of thong lit will, on another occasion cause him to yelL at strangers and stick his ass out a car window.
While the majority, of drinkers can safely use alcohol as a recreational drug, there are at least five million Americans who are addicted to it and perhaps four million more "problem drinkers." Taken in excess and over a peiiod of time, alcohol is debilitating, a toxin that pounds away at the brain and other vital organs. The right amount of alcohol is a caster of romantic mists, a sparker of adventure and outrageous social frolic. In oveidose quantities* the ugly side of hard drink makes itself, felt, through dizziness, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, unconsciousness and even death. Sadly, chronic alcohol abuse has been implicated in all the major social transgressions such as homicide, assault,, child abuse and rape.
Even moderate drinkers face sometimes profound dangers because it is not common enough knowledge that alcohol interacts with a number of oilier drugs in a manner detrimental to the body (see table).
"For this you've my word, and I never yet broke it/So put that in your pipe, my Lord Olio, and smoke il,"
-Richard Harris Bartiam "The Lay of 51. Odllle"
NICOTINE While visiting Lisbon as ambassador for the sixteenth-cenlury French king Frances II, dashing young Jean Nicot was presented with a tobacco plant recently brought from Florida. The plant flourished under his careful cultivation* and upon leaving Portugal Nicot sent his first tobacco crop to the queen mother, Catherine de Mefticis, Catherine almost immediately became one of Europe's first tobacco addicts, and lavish boxes of "American powder" became required equipment in the royal court...
Hearing of the tremendous popularity _ of tobacco in the homeland, Nicot reshuffled his ministerial schedule and returned to Paris with a huge crop of leaf in tow. Nicot made a quick fortune and became so much identified with the tobacco rage that the plant came lo be called nicotiana all, over France, The connection persevered; today, CniHuN" „ a poisonous alkaloid of the tobacco plant, is known as nicotine.
Tobacco has always been recognized as a drug. Prehistoric tobacco users, such as the Warao Indians of Venezuela, reserved the substance solely for magic and prayer rituals, as did most of the American tribes smoking tobacco at the time of the white; man's arrival. . The worldwide spread of the tobacco habit in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries probably constitutes the globe's most extensive drug epidemic. Official reaction to the craze was usually, swift and severe. In Russia, smokers' nostrils were slit to punish them for their disgusting habit. and "stinking and infectious breath*" and the Chinese tobacco prohibition stipulated decapitation. In Switzerland the Senate of Berne had smoking inserted along with stealing and killing in the Ten Commandments. All in vain, for no culture or nation introduced to tobacco has ever given it up.
Nicotine produces a wide range of edicts* a hallmark of the really popular drugs. When in need of stimulation, smokers will use tobacco as a pick-me-up; in limes of anxiety, they will light up to calm their nerves. There is a host of stimuli that provoke smoking. To many people it is a badge of sophistication, a bond with their peers that gives them something to do with I heir hands at parties and after sex. While lhe oral and respiratory satisfactions derived from smoking are definitely part of tobacco's pleasures (the feel of the smoking apparatus in the mouth, the smoke expanding in
"Tobacco is ihe only excuse for Columbus's great mistake in discovering America."
The kif Moroccans smoke is a mixture of seed bracts and a potent black tobacco especially cultivated to be used with cannabis. The tobacco is in fact a very strong stimulant that has a powerful effect for a short period of time. A small, quantiiy of this raw tobacco produces an intense excitation llial combines witli (Lie hemp to amplify the active psychedelic slate.
Paul Bowles llhjt Times, SqM.. 1976
the lungs), the fact that many cannabis and opium smokers continue to smoke cigarettes indicates that there is something powerful behind tobacco's popularity.
That something is, of course, that nicotine is possibly the most highly addictive drug known to science, a substance that numerous heroin addicts describe as more difficult, to give up than junk.. Nicotine is the chemical hook that keeps American smokers inhaling over 550 billion cigarettes each year.
No bioaclive substance is used with anywhere near the regularity with which smokei-s consume tobacco. Over 95 percent of smokers light up each day, and the majority of smokers have at least one cigarette per waking hour. Smokers deprived of tobacco show withdrawal disturbances of nervousness, drowsiness, headache and fatigue; a small number experience sweating, cramps, palpitations, hacking cough and constipation.
While nicotine damages the heart and circulatory system, perhaps the worst aspect of the tobacco habit is the detrimental effects of inhaling the toxin. Current information indicates that the inhalation of tobacco is the number-one cause of lung cancer, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. A female smoker has a projected life span 17 years shorter than that of a nonsmoker.
NUTMEG AND MACE Any kitchen with a reasonable conglomeration of spices contains a cupboard of hallucinogens. Nutmeg and mace (the spice, not the spray) are both intoxicating when taken in large quantities; .common reactions include euphoria, inability •<> think clearjy, impaired motor function, hallucinations, nausea, an extreme feeling of unreality and disorientation, bloodshot eyes, erotic visualizations, constipation and dryness of the mouth-quite a mixed bag.
The only group to get high regularly on these spices seems to be prison inmates, who yearn to alter their states of consciousness with such a passion that the unpleasantries are deemed acceptable. In addition to the dubious nature of nutmeg's high, it is an extremely challenging substance to eat in bulk.. A good 20 grams of the stuff is a common dose for veterans, although it is known that individuals' reactions vary widely, and many olhei-wise drug-hardened people might be in trouble with more than five grams. A common prison practice is to dissolve eight to ten heaping tablespoons of nutmeg in a glass of very hot water, turning the powder into a disgusting drink...
About 45 minutes after swallowing a dose, the nutmeg head begins to feel intoxicated and euphoric. After another half hour.' or so, many users report dry throat, pinpoint pupils and inflamed eyes, then overwhelming lethargy. As the stupor and hallucinations set in, every joint and
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