Recreational Pharmaceuticals

Recreational Pharmaceuticals
Posted by FoM on January 10, 2001 at 18:01:04 PT
By John Cloud
Source: Time Magazine
In the past few months, it's become nearly impossible to buy Ketaset in New York City's underground drug market. Made by Fort Dodge, an Iowa-based pharmaceutical firm, Ketaset is a brand of ketamine, a compound that blocks certain neuroreceptors, causing hallucinations in high doses and, in lower doses, a fuzzy dissociation  like the warmth of a couple of Jim Beams. 
Legally, it's used as an anesthetic. Illegally, one snorts ketamine because the fuzziness lasts half an hour and doesn't produce bourbon's four-Advil hangover. Ketaset's scarcity dates back to August 1999, when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, acting on preliminary evidence that ketamine may lead to dependence, subjected its legal purveyors to strict security rules. But K, as users call it, had already won so many devotees that traffickers were smuggling off-label brands from Mexico. Today Manhattan dealers sell a gram of K for $80, up 100% from 1998. The recent history of K limns a well-established law of recreational drug use: once users find a substance they like, they will snort or shoot or drop whatever version is available, whatever the cost. Which is why you must look to the market to understand the future of drugs used for anything other than doctor-approved healing. That market can be divided into three groups: the partyers, who just want to have fun (and who sometimes become addicts); the shrinks and shamans, who believe drugs can expand your consciousness; and the scientists, who suspect that illegal drugs  or their chemical cousins  may have marketable legal uses. These groups are distinct but tightly linked: scientific research leads to new drugs, which shamans discover and use in their quests, which often turn out to be as much fun as spiritual. The use of drugs in party settings eventually leads to government crackdowns. But as a rule, the partyers don't pursue the new drugs; they tend to find a potion and stick with it, sometimes until it kills them. Today's popular party drugs are derived from ancient medicinal herbs: marijuana from hemp, cocaine from coca leaf, prescription painkillers from poppies. It's the shamans who aggressively seek out new substances. Recent additions to the U.S. market include ayahuasco, a plant long used in religious ceremonies in Brazil for its mind-manipulating qualities, and Salvia divinorum, a soft-leaved plant native to Mexico that is chewed or smoked for hallucinogenic effects. New compounds do occasionally come from underground drug labs or, like MDMA (ecstasy), are rediscovered after years of being ignored in scientific literature. In this world, no one is held in greater esteem than Alexander Shulgin. Shulgin is a biochemist who once studied psychedelics for Dow Chemical. Now 75, Shulgin has synthesized hundreds of compounds in the smelly lab in the woods behind his California home. He and his wife Ann, a therapist, have published two books that are the bibles of underground drug research: PIHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved) and TIHKAL (Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved). Many of the drugs that have emerged from underground labs can be traced to well-thumbed copies of the Shulgins' books. It was they who helped popularize MDMA  a signal event in the history of recreational drugs. Ecstasy is easily the biggest advance since LSD. It changed not only the party world but the shaman world, where it was used by psychologists who believed it had therapeutic value. Since MDMA was banned in 1986, scientists have looked for compounds that have the same effects without damaging neurotransmitters, as MDMA can. They haven't had much success. So today's nonmedical drug research tends to focus on new uses for old substances. That effort is led by Richard Doblin, who runs the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies out of his Belmont, Mass., home. Founded the year MDMA was outlawed, the association uses its $530,000 yearly budget to assist scientists who, with government permission, study the risks and benefits of a wide variety of nonmedical uses for psychedelic drugs and marijuana. Such research is highly political, however, and it can take years for a research protocol to be approved. The new drugs that appear on the market usually do so after underground chemists read scientific papers and decide to cook something up. Scientists studying how cocaine works in the brain, for example, have developed a version 100 times more powerful. The recipe is available in academic journals, waiting to be exploited. But the chemicals needed to synthesize such drugs are tracked by authorities, a change from the Shulgins' day. And even if the ingredients were widely available, the scientific expertise is not. According to David Nichols, a student of Shulgin's who is now a professor of chemistry at Purdue, "The underground chemist is typically not going to discover a completely new psychoactive substance. The kinds of things that are easy to make, by and large, have been made." Note: Finding new party drugs like K and ecstasy won't be easy. Source: Time Magazine (US) Author: John CloudPublished: January 15, 2001 Vol. 157 No. 2Address: Time Magazine Letters, Time & Life Bldg.Rockefeller Center, NY, NY 10020 Copyright: 2001 Time Inc Fax: (212) 522-8949Contact:  letters Website: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies:
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Comment #4 posted by bigben on September 16, 2001 at 03:32:04 PT
k fucks you up worse than you expect
drugz are bad especially K it fucks up your brain perm-a- like I used to shoot it into my arm I am now retarded and I have super anxiety atttacks cause my brain works to fast for society and everyone can tell so they stare and try and figure out what you are it sux and it wierds me out I don't want you to have to go through this so don't do K....K
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Comment #3 posted by mix on July 20, 2001 at 13:51:24 PT:
2-CB, MDMA, 2-CT-7
2-CB is the warmest, most sensual, and enlightening substance I have ever experienced. I experience a color shift toward the yellow-orange-red side of the spectrum followed by a connection to that one true cosmic love that connects all (much like MDMA with no teeth clenching). I have projected my thoughts out onto surfaces and observed my thought process undulate as 3 dimensional waves of light. It was as if I was seeing a mental exposure of my brain waves and understanding visually what was running through my head. I don't understand why this drug is not more popular and available. It is easier to produce than MDMA I'm told with much less side effects and virtually no hangover. I usually feel better the next morning than I usually would.For me 2-CT-7 is entirely different. First off, its extremely dosage specific. 20mg may send one person completely out of their head for 12 hours and do nothing to the next. For me the visuals get so thick it becomes difficult to see at 20mg, while 18mg will give me little to no effect... 25mg will make for a very unconfortable experience for most including vomiting, vertigo, and very intense visuals. I rarely feel much love on 2-CT-7... its much more like LSD and mescaline combined for me. I'd love to hear about others experiences on this substnace.
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Comment #2 posted by TroutMask on January 11, 2001 at 08:36:32 PT
No more scheduled plants, please!
My greatest worry is the popularizing Salvia Divinorum will lead to it's increased abuse (use not necessarily equal abuse!) and subsequent scheduling. However, it isn't a "party" drug; some experiences can be terrifying. That may keep it from being over-abused and therefore scheduled. FYI, don't mess with it unless you are a very experienced Psychonaut!-TM
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Comment #1 posted by Dr. Ganj on January 11, 2001 at 07:24:05 PT
3,4 Methlyenedioxyphenylisopropylamine + 2CB
Indeed, it will be a while before something better than MDMA comes along. What a beautiful compound. Has to be a gift from our Creator. Interesting though, how this drug can NOT be taken every day, as after about a week of daily use, it doesn't work at all. Its own built in safety valve.The other yummy phenethylamine worth a venture is 2CB, and that was discovered by Sasha-aka Dr. Shulgin. Also called 4, Bromophenethylamine, 2CB is rather visual, and unlike most other amphetamine based compounds, one can eat food and really enjoy the experience. Together, MDMA and 2CB are synergistic, and can prolong and enhance the users psychedelic journey.As with Ketamine, too much can lead to unpleasant trip where the psychonaut feels detached from his/her body. Similar from taking a large dose of mescaline-the drug in the Peyote cactus. I predict in the future, all these compounds will be available by prescription, and with LSD and the other more intense compounds, strict guidelines to their usage will be in order.Factor in the obvious blocker drugs that will be made to quickly end an unpleasant experience, and we'll see in a few more years a much more enlightened world.Thank you FoM for posting this article!Cheers to everyone who has taken ecstasy! Tune in, turn on, smoke DMT!Dr. Ganj
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