Topic Recreational Drugs
07 Apr 2015 17:16
I've tried a bit of everything, though most of them only a few times: cannabis, hash, speed (amphetamines), cocaine, ecstasy (MDMA), acid (LSD), mushrooms. Cannabis has always been my drug of choice, most of the other ones I only took less than 5-10 times just to try them. I've always been a bit reluctant to drugs for various reasons (the typical ones I guess), but mostly I always knew deep inside that I had a kind of personality that's prone to addiction and the likes.
I really have that 'all or nothing' aspect to my personality: either I don't partake in something, or I do in an almost compulsive way. Before I started smoking cigarettes I was very opposed to them (even holding my breath when I was next to smokers and obviously refusing them when they were offered to me), then I randomly found a coat in a park in my early 20s and there was a pack of cigarettes in one pocket; I tried one just for the fun of it and within a week I became a pack-a-day smoker, an addiction that lasted for the greater part of my 20s. And I display a similar behavior concerning most of my habits: I weight my food and count my calories because I value fitness, I read extensively about skincare and I have strict beauty-regimens because I care about looking good, I have a few other narrow topics that I'm obsessed about, etc. Luckily I'm also the least impulsive kind of person, so I'm usually able to remain objective before I incorporate a new habit into my life; I've never had any dysfunctional form of OCD either (though a few of my habits could be considered a little odd by some people).
However, you can imagine how it would be if I 'turned the switch on' regarding a substance like cocaine and allowed it to enter into my life: I wouldn't be the recreational weekend user, I'd be the freak that can't get enough of it and that wouldn't give much of a fuck about the consequences. Not to mention that I also hung out with a lot of hardcore ex-addicts in my 20s (some of them actually had a few relapses) and that most drugs were readily available to me during that period. That technically could have been tempting for me, but I've always been more interested in setting a good example for these people instead of being the kind of jerk who only used them to satisfy his own addiction and encouraged them to destroy their lives furthermore. And these people also provided me quite a few sad stories to discourage me from becoming an addict myself anyway (most of them were in fact 10-20 years older than me).
I met a lot of these folks through different work environments: I spent most of my 20s alternating between studying in numerous fields at university (mostly social sciences) and then working to accumulate more money for my next 'university bout'. I've always preferred these kinds of shitty/physical jobs for many reasons: the salary was actually pretty decent (because nobody wanted to do these jobs), they maintained me in top physical condition, they were awesome to release my frustrations and to grow a few extra-pairs of balls, and these environments were crawling with people that had various addictions, psychological conditions or existential baggage (which I've always found a lot more interesting than most 'common' people). I loved this dual-lifestyle during that period, learning a lot of theoretical knowledge and then testing it on the field; or alternatively, being confronted to a lot of situations and then trying to understand the whys and hows in a classroom. Very enlightening, I don't regret any of it.
I've pretty much seen it all regarding drugs: the coke addict that acted as a friendly intermediate between a dealer and a rich consumer, and that got $150/day worth of coke offered to him by both of these; the heroin ex-addict that had to take his dose of methadone at 3pm and who had huge scar down his neck (because he overdosed); the model-like blonde who prostituted to pay for her various addictions; the spiritual oddball that tried every hallucinogen known to mankind; the black guy from Congo who saw his own brother gunned down before his eyes and that was heavily addicted to crack. That said, I was rarely around when these people were taking drugs (except for cannabis): most of them were fairly rehabilitated, I wasn't hearing from them much when they had relapses (luckily), and some of them were simply coworkers or acquaintances (ie. friends of friends) that I met a few times. Funnily enough, most of my own drug experiences actually happened with my more 'regular' friends that I met at school.
Anyway, cannabis has always been my favorite drug, I used to smoke quite a lot of it, though that was still a tiny amount compared to what some other guys I knew could smoke. You can imagine that it was fairly common in the workplaces I've been: the great majority of people smoked pot on the job, a lot of them were actually more functional when they were stoned, haha (being rather irritable/violent when they were sober). And the bosses didn't really care (a lot of them were just as fucked up as the rest of these people) and the job was getting done anyway. I've known a few guys that smoked 1/8 oz per day (3.5g or 10 substantial joints for the uninitiated). That's a budget of around $25/day, $750/month or $9,000/year for people that weren't earning more than $25,000-30,000/year; pot addiction is a very real phenomenon, trust me.
Myself, I very rarely smoked on the job and rarely had a big stash at home either (generally only 1-2g, often times none at all). Pot was pretty much all around me, even my friends from university were into it more than any other drug, so I never really felt the need to keep a huge supply just for myself. I was a rather social smoker, I could get stoned pretty much everywhere and then I'd simply enjoy the comedown at home while doing my things. For example, I had a few friends that I could visit on my way back from work/university. I could drop by at around 5:30pm, smoke a joint (or two) with them, and then be on my way at around 6:30pm and I'd be stoned or semi-stoned for the rest of the evening; I rarely felt the need to light up another joint at home all by myself (especially when I had to workout). And plenty of coworkers and fellow students also offered me to smoke with them at the end of the day (or during the day for that matter). I could get my hands on pretty decent pot for a very low price ($7.50/gram), so money wasn't an issue and we weren't really counting who was owning who: sometimes I was paying (or bringing the pot), sometimes my buddies were. When I was alone all by myself (during a lonely weekend for example), 1 gram could last me around 2 days. I preferred to roll smaller joints (around 6 joints/gram, whereas many of my friends rolled 3 joints/gram), and then smoke a small amount every now and then. I've never enjoyed being heavily stoned or being stoned all the time, for me smoking pot was much more a fun complement to my lifestyle, similar to drinking coffee. And I never made much of a fuss about it, especially since it was so common in my life.
That said, I barely smoke anymore (since around 2-3 years). I only smoke during a few social occasions (eg. when going out, during a poker game with friends, etc.) or I buy an occasional gram (or two) for old times' sake. Of course though, I totally had to smoke with my new girlfriend, haha. I'm more stable now than I was in my 20s and pot was becoming kind of an old friend which didn't thrill me as much anymore: I've been stoned in just about every circumstance and experienced all the highs and lows, smoking pot was slowly becoming a boring burden more than an excitement. Plus, I actually stopped smoking cigarettes during the same time period and smoking weed was just tempting me to light up a cigarette; I figured it was a good time to quit smoking weed as well (or at least diminish my consumption considerably). And most of my best friends are similar too: a lot of them don't smoke much anymore and are busy with other things, so weed is a lot less accessible to me now than it was a few years ago. To top it all, I haven't called my official pusher since more than a year either: that guy was a very good friend (almost a brother) which I shared a lot of things with during the greater part of my 20s, but ironically he too was becoming an old friend that didn't thrill me as much anymore. We pretty much shared all that we had to share and our conversations were getting boring as fuck, and calling him back just to buy pot would feel way awkward. Nowadays I mostly buy pot from a few random acquaintances, when the occasion presents itself.
I don't regret my 'weed years' at all, though as someone that's quite experienced/knowledgeable about it, I'd say that it isn't a drug that's as beautiful/innocent as some people would want it to be. In fact, I'd even say that its light/common nature is exactly what can make it such a nasty drug: some people get to smoke insane amounts of it and don't heed the warning signs because it's natural, it's so common, and it's 'just weed'. I've known many guys that were heavily addicted to it and it's an addiction that can be just as sad/detrimental as any other addiction: these guys were wasting all their money into it and looked like zombies for the majority of the day (and therefore the majority of their lives). I had a few good friends that I only visited early in the afternoon (before they were heavily intoxicated), otherwise they just couldn't keep a sensible conversation with me: they were simply staring at me without any emotion when I was talking to them, while drooling with their mouths half-way open (and this is very serious).
The physical addiction isn't that strong, but it can certainly put you in that comfortable bubble of contentment where you just don't give a fuck about your personal situation; and when your personal situation is more disastrous than it is glorious, the contrast between stoned/sober can be extremely strong... and addictive. Those few studies that have been published in recent years also appear very plausible to me: affecting the development of the brain in teens and triggering psychosis in people that are at risk. And of course, nobody think it's much of a big deal because you don't see these people screaming on the streets or getting into trouble to get their next fix, as opposed to some other drug addicts (eg. heroin, crack, meth). That said, many of the guys I knew were actually ex-addicts of much heavier substances, so I guess that was still an improvement and just a way to cope in their specific cases. And the majority of my friends were more moderate in their consumption of pot (or at least more tolerant to it), and it was simply a fun supplement to their lives... similar to how alcohol can be pure fun for some people, but a living hell for others.
I even had a few frightening episodes with pot myself. One time I was working at night (12am-7am) and I was giving a lift to 3 other coworkers around my age... which all happened to be major pot users. These guys were so thrilled that I was giving them a lift that they were bringing huge bags of weed to smoke every morning in my car after our shift. They were rolling enormous joints while I was driving (almost 1g per joint), then I'd stop in a random parking lot and we'd smoke it all; that was literally the biggest pot-fest I ever witnessed in my entire life, and it went on every goddamn morning for nearly 4 months. I wasn't smoking prior/during the job, but I was still stoned for the greater part of my free time during that period. Pot also has that effect on me where I often get lost into my own thoughts when I'm alone (which can be enjoyable in moderation), and I also broke up with a girlfriend just a short while prior, so I had a lot to think about and I just constantly kept thinking during the day before falling asleep and repeating the same routine again and again. And I was working at night in a shitty environment, which drained a lot of my energy (especially since I was already rather depressed due to my breakup).
One day at home (while still thinking), I had some kind of epiphany where I thought that I had discovered the secret of the universe; I took a few pieces of paper and started scribbling all sorts of crazy thoughts, similar to those schizophrenics that you see writing on the walls of their cells in movies. The core of it was in fact rather brilliant (ie. the duality of the universe, a central part of Nietzsche's philosophy which I read about a few years later), but a great deal of it was just utter psychotic nonsense. I was hyped about it for a few hours, then I thought to myself: "Nope, I'm really not feeling all that well." . And I even had trouble making simple mental calculations (something I'm usually outstanding at) or reading what time it was on my clock. I called at my job the same day, told them that I was in a burnout, and asked them to transfer me to another shift; of course they argued about it, but I promised them that I'd bring them a paper from the doctor (which I did). I took some time off, indulged in healthier activities (eg. sleeping well, going outside, fitness), quit smoking pot altogether (for a short while), and then one month later my employer offered me a job on the evening shift (4pm-12pm). That was by far the most frightening psychological incident of my life, I really thought that I was losing it for a while. To this day, I still have all those scribbles that I wrote down that day, and I look at them whenever I feel like reminding myself that weed can be one hell of a nasty drug. I had a few other weird moments under the influence of pot, but nothing overly panicking and no episodes of paranoia either (aside from feeling that everyone was looking at me when I was stoned in public).
With other drugs, I experimented a bit for the sake of experimentation just to figure out what they were about; I wasn't planning to fill some kind of gap in my life and some of my friends could provide me quite decent/reliable drugs, so I was safe that way. I tried amphetamines (ie. speed) a few times in different environments, which I kinda enjoyed. A few guys that I worked with during physical jobs relied on them to get through the day; I usually relied on caffeine myself (a big thermos per day), but I popped a pill or dropped a bomb a few times when I was feeling very tired. Some of these situations turned out to be way hilarious because I'm already quite hyper when I'm performing physical jobs... I truly was on fire, haha. Same thing in nightclubs: I've always relied on caffeine to keep me alert (drinking a large cup before heading out and then usually another one while changing venues or having a snack across the street), but I took amphetamines in moderation a few times when they were available. And I also snorted some at friends' places, just for the fun of it. As another poster mentioned previously however, they're pretty much like a poor man's cocaine and can be quite addictive: you get the same kind of physical/intellectual energy, only it doesn't provoke a rush that's as strong as cocaine and lasts much longer. And mind you, I love that raise in my dopamine levels, so I only took amphetamines during a few rare social occasions because I truly felt that I could become addicted to them (especially since they're so cheap). Caffeine/nicotine have always been my stimulants of choice and they've always been good enough for me, plus you're never sure of what you're getting with those chemicals and they aren't always all that reliable or safe. Amphetamines weren't all that popular among my usual friends anyway and I didn't have access to them all that often; I took small amounts maybe 10 times in total in my entire life, that was experimenting more than anything.
I also tried cocaine on a few occasions, though I barely felt any effect at times. A few of my ex-addict friends got their hands on some at times (from random/suspicious sources) and insisted that I try it with them, which I did with some reluctance. We only had about 1/2 gram to share between the both of us (sometimes less) and it was gone after 5 minutes (either snorted or smoked with tobacco); that's $50 gone in under 5 minutes which barely provided any effect, maybe stimulating like a coffee or a Red Bull at most. My friend then acknowledged that there was barely any cocaine in there, maybe a few, but nothing to really feel the effect. And I turned the situation to my advantage to remind him how shitty that drug-culture really was: "That's $50 who just disappeared man!" . I'm sure a lot of younger folks who get sold coke only get a mix of amphetamines/novocain: amphetamines to simulate the stimulating effect, novocain to simulate the numbing effect, with only a minimal amount of cocaine just to feel that slight rush. You really need to have a trusted source to get quality coke, and even then it's likely to be cut substantially.
I also had a few legit cocaine trips with some of my more moderate friends (those that weren't addicted to it); one of these guys had access to quality coke, so I jumped on the opportunity to really experience its effects without setting a bad example for an ex-addict. I did a few lines with an interval of around 30 minutes. Results: exactly as I expected, way too fucking awesome and addictive for me. I absolutely loved that rush where I felt like a god, but then I also realized how so fucking addictive it really was; I really don't understand people who can only do that drug moderately/occasionally. I only did 2 legit trips like that (years apart), and that was majorly playing with fire for me. The comedown wasn't all that bad either (we smoked a bit of pot afterward), aside from the fact that was craving for more. The majority of the regular friends that I used to go out with really weren't that hyped about cocaine however, maybe only 1/5 of them took it occasionally when going out; and they knew how I felt toward it, so they rarely consumed it in front of me and it was easy for me to just ignore it.
I had various levels of success with ecstasy, though even the best experiences made me realize that it wasn't really my type of drug and it's never been very popular among my closest friends anyway. The first time I tried it I was 18 was in an average nightclub (not overly focused in EDM or dancing, it was more a bar/club type of venue with a few quieter areas). One of my friends offered some to me, and the rest of my friends (who were older than me and who already experimented with ecstasy) kinda went: "You guys are gonna do some X? Well have fun, we're just gonna have some drinks ourselves." . Then I popped a pill and my friend tried to 'sell' the effects to me: "Come on the dance floor, doesn't that feel great!? Ah man, touching my hair feels so orgasmic, you should try it yourself! Dude I like you so much, I love everyone when I'm on ecstasy!" . Then I played along to fully test the effects, pretty much like a first-time pot-smoker gets overly excited and will laugh at just about anything. Part of it was fun (like any new experience), but it didn't feel all that great to me either. At some point I looked at my other friends who didn't drop ecstasy and I kinda envied them: I just wished that the effects would wear off to get back to my usual self. And I also felt a bit dumb and mildly paranoid, it wasn't the kind of scene where everybody was on ecstasy so me and my friend definitely stood out (especially since he encouraged me to exaggerate the effects so much). I also felt a few uncomfortable side-effects (feeling nauseous mostly) and I didn't feel in the best possible condition to interact with girls either. And the comedown felt awful afterward.
I tested it a few other times during the same time period (my early clubbing years), and the experience was rather similar. I kept thinking: "Yeah, that drug might be fun in a rave/afterhour environment where everybody is on the same drug, but I can't really let myself go and fully enjoy the effects in a regular nightclub." . I've never been much of a heavy partier/dancer who likes to completely exhaust himself anyway, I just like to hang out with some friends, meet a few girls, and dance sporadically just to be in a good vibe and to stimulate myself a little, so I wasn't exactly looking for some kind of 'booster' to get me through the night anyway. And I didn't really like this happy-trippy feeling where everyone/everything was so wonderful either, I like to maintain that edge in my personality where I can just tell people to piss off if need be; not that it happens all that often in nightclubs, but ecstasy always felt a bit 'depersonalizing' for me that way. I actually argued about this a few times with people: some say that ecstasy is very pure and wholesome, while a few others argue that it feels fake. It definitely feels fake for me personally, I feel my personality changing and I know that I'm behaving in a way that I normally wouldn't with some people. People who already have a happy-trippy personality might only feel like an uplifted version of themselves, but for a rather serious/cerebral guy like me it always felt rather weird/fake. I much prefer weed to get that overall feeling of 'communion' with other people and to engage in personal discussions, the effect on your neurotransmitters is a lot more indirect and it feels much more genuine to me.
I also tried it with a few girls (because they were taking ecstasy themselves and told me that the sex would be awesome), but I just couldn't get a hard-on; partly because of the physiological side-effects, but also partly because I was way too districted by the overall effects of the drug. Ecstasy actually has a reputation for making sex more sensual/affective than purely sexual. Then I had to indulge in that kind sensual/affective sex with these girls (touching/caressing each other and licking their pussies), which felt rather odd considering that I simply wanted to fuck them good and then be on my way; I didn't exactly feel like being sensual/affective with those particular girls, especially since I barely knew them. Again, those experiences felt rather fake, I knew that I normally wouldn't have been all that affectionate with those girls.
I barely touched ecstasy in the next five years, then I met my second girlfriend who had that artistic/crazy vibe and who occasionally enjoyed dropping ecstasy with some of her friends; not all that often though, maybe once every 2-3 months while dancing the night away and completely draining herself in afterhour clubs. And weed was still her regular drug of choice (like me). I thought: "Here's finally my chance to fully appreciate the effects of ecstasy." . I had never been to a proper rave/afterhour before, regular clubs close at 3am here in my city which has always been plenty enough for me to have a fun time, and my friends weren't really into that scene either. We planned our evening (we slept during most of the afternoon prior) and went to that afterhour club with her friends.
Those were the times where I enjoyed ecstasy the most: almost everybody there was on ecstasy so I could just let myself go completely and be as crazy as I wanted to, I had nothing to prove to anybody (I already was with my girlfriend), I was with someone which I already felt affectionate with (ie. my girlfriend) so those overly 'affectionate feelings' felt quite a bit more natural. The comedown was awful though, I felt drained/depressed for a whole week afterward. I really don't do well with those drugs that affect my serotonin levels I must say (the main mood neurotransmitter), my doctor even prescribed me different SSRIs through the years when I was feeling a little down and they always gave me nasty side-effects (mainly making me feel restless/nauseous). Having my serotonin levels depleted really made me feel awful, especially since I was working in rather exhausting/depressing environments and really had to be at my best to maintain a positive attitude. I stayed with that girlfriend a bit more than 2 years and I reproduced the same experience maybe 3-4 times. I didn't go out with her every time she went to those afterhours however, I just let her have fun with her girlfriends a few times; she knew I wasn't reacting all that well to ecstasy and she was perfectly tolerant of it. And as I mentioned previously, it was still something rather occasional even for her anyway. That's the thing with ecstasy I guess, as I discussed with a few other people over the years: it's not as versatile as some other drugs (ie. weed), you kinda have to plan ahead before using it. You almost need 2 free days on your calendar if you really intend to appreciate the effects fully.
I also tried ecstasy during sex with the same girlfriend a few times. It was much better than with those previous random hookups, but still not better than sober sex for me (or weed sex, which is fantastic too). It was easier for me to get a hard-on these times. Basically, we started having sex before the effects of ecstasy fully took effect and I already had a hard-on; I figured that when I already had a hard-on, it was easier to maintain it than trying to get one when I was already high. Having said that, I had a hard time cumming and lost my erection a few times; nothing too disappointing however, we just switched to something else (eg. oral sex, caressing) until I could get hard again. It was fun to indulge into that kind of sensual sex where every sensation was amplified, but I felt quite a bit at the mercy of the drug concerning hard-ons, which was rather frustrating. And fucking for so long was getting a bit pointless, I almost had to wait for the comedown to finally shoot my load.
I experimented with acid (LSD) and mushrooms a few times too; 2 times with LSD and around 3-4 times with mushrooms. As with some other drugs, that was mostly to figure out what the fuss was about. Hallucinogens aren't quite my type of drugs, though I had fun with mushrooms a few times; I once tripped with about 8 other people around a campfire, that was a fun experience. I reacted fairly well to them, though it's really not an experience that I seek or intend to reproduce over and over again. I had a friend heavily into hallucinogens who took a blotter of LSD once... and it ended up being PCP. He had a major paranoid experience and told me that he never really felt the same ever since. As with any other drug, you need to have a reliable source, otherwise you might end up swallowing something that can fuck you up big time.
Well, those are my overall experiences with drugs. I doubt that anybody will read this long post entirely, but it just feels good to let those things out all at once, haha.
It's funny that my drug experiences almost sound like a comprehensive biography. I'm not quite sure what this tells about me.
Fucking requiem for a dream over here.