be properly informed about your substance usage

substance usage

MDMA

Summary -

MDMA is 3,4 Methlynedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known as Ecstasy. Ecstasy is the street name for MDMA. However, many other drugs are sold under the name Ecstasy. To see global reports on the contents of pills and people's reactions to them, please visit PillReports.com or EcstasyData.org.

MDMA can come in a variety of forms.

  • Powder - In his book PIHKAL, Dr. Alexander Shulgin describes MDMA as a "fine, white crystal" but mentions that various factors can have an effect on the form it takes when it is made. MDMA powder is sometimes referred to as "molly" which is short for molecule.
  • Capsule - MDMA powder can be measured, placed in gelatin capsules, and sold without being pressed into a pill. The powder in the capsules may be cut or uncut (meaning it may have other substances in it to either enhance the effects or dilute the MDMA contents).
  • Tablets - By far the most common form of MDMA, the pressed pill or tablet appears in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Pills contain a significant amount of binders and fillers in addition to any active substance(s) they may contain. Weighing a pill will not give an accurate indication of how much of an active substance it contains. To see global reports on the contents of pills and people's reactions to them, please visit PillReports.com or EcstasyData.org.
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING! STAMPS, COLORS, SHAPES, OR SIZES ARE NOT RELIABLE METHODS FOR DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF MDMA CONTENT OR SAFENESS OF A PILL.
– NatGeo Documentary on Designer Drugs
Ask what chemicals are in the pill before buying it. If the person doesn’t know, then it’s probably not worth the risk.
The pill may not be lethal, but the wide variety of chemicals found in ecstasy pills these days can cause undesirable effects for different people. Piperazines, for example, can cause vomiting, dizziness, and nausea.
Learn more about testing kits

Learn more about brands and “stacked” pills.
A list of other chemicals found in Ecstasy tablets

Amount -

MDMA is commonly sold in pill form. The amount of MDMA varies from pill to pill, and it is difficult to know how much of the drug any given pill contains. According to Erowid:

"trying to calculate dosages from tablets containing unknown quantities of MDMA can be difficult, but a good quality tablet of street ecstasy generally contains an average of between 75 and 100 mg MDMA."
The studies done by Dr. Shulgin indicate that 100-120mg will work for almost anyone, although Erowid claims that a few people may require upwards of 200mg in order to have a full-blown MDMA experience. Beginners are advised to start off with a dose in the 100mg range (ie: a single pill). 120mg of MDMA (about 1-2 caps) is generally all that is needed to completely deplete all your serotonin. Taking more will not increase the feelings, nor prolong them.

Side effects and Health –

Here is a list of things to consider once you’ve decided you’d like to partake in MDMA usage.
A list of immediate and dangerous side effects can be found here
The risk of death is real. Assessing the magnitude of that risk is not easy. At the time of this writing, there was no source that provides a reliable total of the number of deaths for which the root cause was MDMA.

Part of the problem is that MDMA is often taken in combination with other drugs. In such a scenario, one cannot say that MDMA was the cause of death because it was the results of the combination that killed the person.

Another resource on the effects mixing drugs

Another issue is that not everyone makes a clear distinction between MDMA and street Ecstasy – this is the main reason that estimates are unreliable. When view with a perspective that includes the plethora of bunk pills that have flooded the market, this lack of clarity makes one question the nature of Ecstasy-related deaths.

Another point about death statistics is that there does not seem to be any accurate information on the number of deaths or serious incidents among people who were employing harm reduction techniques.

Nicholas Saunders wrote the following in his book E is for Ecstasy, first published in 1993:

"Taking the worst figure of seven deaths in 1991 and assuming there were only 1 million users, the risk of dying from using Ecstasy would have been 7 in a million or 1 in 143,000 per year. If users take an average of 25 Es a year, then the risk of death on each occasion is 7 in 25 million or 1 in 3.6 million. "To put this into perspective, if you take five rides at a fun fair you run a risk of 1 in 3.2 million of being killed through an accident. Some sports are obviously dangerous, such as parachuting which kills 3 in 1000 participants per year. Even skiing in Switzerland is risky - 1 in 500,000 are killed. If you play soccer, every year you run a risk of 1 in 25,000 of being killed. But if you stay at home instead of going out you still aren't safe, since the risk of being killed through an accident at home is 1 in 26,000 a year!"

To put the words of Saunders in perspective, it is important to note that patterns of use have changed a great deal since his book was written. For example, copycat manufacturing and people taking multiple pills are two trends that were not nearly as prevalent when his book was written as they are today. All told, the side effects of MDMA can be lethal. Employing harm reduction techniques will reduce the risk of unhealthy side effects.

Who should not take MDMA

Learn about Drug Testing and MDMA

Alcohol

Summary -

If you are reading this, you are probably interested in life extension and anti-aging concepts. Aging makes us increasingly vulnerable to alcohol-induced hangover, liver injury, and damage to the central nervous system. Because alcohol consumption produces toxic compounds and causes vitamin deficiencies, in the best of all possible worlds it would be better not to drink alcohol at all. For those who still want to drink, it is possible to do so more safely. The first piece of advice would be to drink only moderately and follow the preventive measures outlined in this protocol.

The consumption of alcohol results in the formation of two very toxic compounds, acetaldehyde and malondialdehyde. These compounds generate massive free-radical damage to cells throughout the body. The free-radical damage generated by these alcohol metabolites creates an effect in the body similar to that caused by radiation poisoning. That is the reason why people feel so sick the day after consuming too much alcohol. If the proper combination of antioxidants is taken at the time the alcohol is consumed or before the inebriated individual goes to bed, the hangover and much of the cellular damage caused by alcohol may be prevented.

Aging makes us increasingly vulnerable to alcohol-induced hangover, liver injury, and damage to the central nervous system. In the elderly, alcohol- and drug-induced injury are more common and more serious, and recovery is more difficult.

Amount –

Recmomended Usage - The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans1 recommend that if you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, do not exceed 1 drink per day for women or 2 drinks per day for men. According to the guidelines, people who should not drink alcoholic beverages at all include the following:

  • Moderate - There is no one definition of moderate drinking, but generally the term is used to describe a lower-risk pattern of drinking. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,1 drinking in moderation is defined as having no more than 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men. This definition is referring to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days.

  • Heavy Drinking - For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming an average of more than 2 drinks per day. For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming an average of more than 1 drink per day.
  • Binge Drinking - According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism binge drinking is defined as a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08% or more. This pattern of drinking usually corresponds to 5 or more drinks on a single occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on a single occasion for women, generally within about 2 hours.

Side effects and Health –

Alcohol intoxication can be harmful for a variety of reasons, including—

  • Impaired brain function resulting in poor judgment, reduced reaction time, loss of balance and motor skills, or slurred speech.
  • Dilation of blood vessels causing a feeling of warmth but resulting in rapid loss of body heat.
  • Increased risk of certain cancers, stroke, and liver diseases (e.g., cirrhosis), particularly when excessive amounts of alcohol are consumed over extended periods of time.
  • Damage to a developing fetus if consumed by pregnant women.
  • Increased risk of motor-vehicle traffic crashes, violence, and other injuries.
  • Coma and death can occur if alcohol is consumed rapidly and in large amounts.

Excessive drinking both in the form of heavy drinking or binge drinking, is associated with numerous health problems, including—

  • Chronic diseases such as liver cirrhosis (damage to liver cells); pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas); various cancers, including liver, mouth, throat, larynx (the voice box), and esophagus; high blood pressure; and psychological disorders.
  • Unintentional injuries, such as motor-vehicle traffic crashes, falls, drowning, burns and firearm injuries.
  • Violence, such as child maltreatment, homicide, and suicide.
  • Harm to a developing fetus if a woman drinks while pregnant, such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Alcohol abuse or dependence.
More information about alcohol use, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism.

Ketamine

Summary -

At low doses, Ketamine is a mild, if weird stimulant. It is in the same class of drugs as PCP (Angel Dust), DXM and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). At medium to high doses, it becomes a very powerful paralyzing psychedelic. Its effects are like a combination of cocaine, cannabis, opium, nitrous oxide, and alcohol.

When Ketamine separates or dissociates the mind from the body, the brain is freed from the usual business of reacting to sensations from the body. Perception increases to fill the gap vacated by the senses and gives rise to Ketamine's more mind-expanding effects. At low doses, Special K increases heart rate and blood pressure. Taking a larger amount has the opposite effect, leading to depressed respiration.

Some users report feeling nauseous after taking Vitamin K. Vomiting may occur, as well. Using the drug on an empty stomach may help to minimize this side effect.

Amount –

Ketamine has a very steep dose-response curve. It is a very different drug with very different effects at higher doses. However, unlike other psychedelic drugs like LSD, Ketamine is a short trip, lasting no more than an hour and a half from start to finish. The duration is not affected by the dose. So if you're not enjoying yourself, it's all over pretty quickly.

  • low doses (10-75mg) A small line of Ketamine, up to 50mg, will induce the mild, trippy euphoria that has led to its sale as an alternative to Ecstasy. Smells and tastes seem muted. Visual perception and sense of touch amplified.
  • medium doses (60-125mg) everything is in slow motion, there's a buzzing or ringing in the ears, disconnection from your surroundings, loss of coordination and in less than ten minutes you'll yourself hardly able to move.
  • large doses (100-250 mg)You're in the "K-Hole", where it is physically difficult to do anything other than lie in a near-comatose state and stare at the ceiling. In this state some users report life-altering insights about the meaning of life. Others are just scared.
  • mega doses (250 mg+)You're unconscious.

Overdosing on a self-administered dose of Ketamine is nearly impossible because it has a wide safety margin and you will pass out well before it can kill you. However, Ketamine is not a good drug to take outside the home. You're quite likely to fall down, get run over, or at least make a complete fool of yourself. Talking, moving or even going to the toilet is not easy; it's important to be in a safe environment with, ideally, one non-participating friend who you can trust to watch your back.

More about Ketamine, its uses, and effects

Side effects and Health –

If you've ever had an operation under anesthetic, you'll recognize that lousy post-operative feeling after a strong Ketamine trip. There are few other side effects other than this general drowsiness. You might feel wiped out, a bit achy, and not ready for anything too loud or too complicated. Sometimes you may feel rather disoriented or even a bit shell-shocked, as Ketamine is a very extreme experience at higher doses.

It's not uncommon to have a memory lapse about the details of the trip. This side effect is similar to that of not being able to remember a dream the next day, even though it may have been a very intense one at the time. Many people feel energized after a Ketamine experience and have a strong urge to move around, dance or stretch.

Ketamine should not be used in combination with respiratory depressants, primarily alcohol, barbiturates, or Valium. Ketamine has been used without negative interaction effects with cannabis, LSD, nitrous oxide, dextromethorphan, and MDMA, although combinations are not recommended and are generally unnecessary given the strength of the ketamine experience. It does not have a build-on effect with hallucinogens and will generally overpower other drugs. Some people use nitrous oxide during ketamine's onset and comedown periods.

More about mixing Ketamine with other substances

In some cases, chronic ketamine use has been associated with urinary tract symptoms that can include increased frequency of urination, urinary incontinence, pain during urination, passing blood in the urine, and reduced bladder size. In several reported severe cases, surgical intervention to remove the bladder was deemed necessary by clinicians. The wide dose-response range leading to documented cases suggests that individual responses to ketamine may be idiosyncratic and unpredictable, making it unclear what level and frequency of use may lead to urinary problems. Nevertheless, frequent ketamine users may want to cut back on their use, and all ketamine users might want to moderately increase their intake of water and pay attention to even minor urinary symptoms.

More about health issues associated with Ketamine (and dissociatives in general)

While fatalities with ketamine as the sole cause are rare, they are not unheard of. More commonly, however, other substances are involved in addition to ketamine. Depressants such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, GHB or alcohol can amplify ketamine's suppressant effects on breathing and heart rate, possibly causing cardiovascular and respiratory functions to slow dangerously or discontinue altogether. In one fatality case, where the death was attributed to ketamine in combination with another dissociative anesthetic and tranquilizer known as Tylazol, the autopsy revealed cardiomegaly (enlargement of the heart) and hepatosplenomegaly (enlargement of the liver and spleen). In another case, asthma was listed as a joint cause of death along with ketamine, again most likely due to the respiratory suppressant effect of the substance.

Information about Ketamine and Drug Tests

LSD

Summary -

LSD is a synthetic psychedelic derived from ergot fungus. It is the most powerful conscious-altering substance known to man. LSD is colorless, tasteless and odorless and usually comes soaked into blotters - squares or sheets of paper decorated with kooky designs (sunflowers, strawberries, rockets etc). A lot of mythology surrounds certain 'brands' of LSD. You may hear that "Oh Sunflowers and Rockets are really powerful". Dealers may claim their product is "200 micrograms". In fact, you can never be sure how much LSD you are taking, since LSD degrades rapidly on exposure to light, air and heat, and the amounts involved are microscopic.

  • Blotter - A single tab usually contains between 30 - 100 ug of LSD. Paper blotters are created by taking a sheet of absorbant paper (usually decorated and perforated) and soaking it in a dilution of lysergic acid diethylamide. The dilution can vary greatly from one batch to another, or one chemist to another. Because of the method used to make blotter tabs, there is no practical way to know the exact dosage of a particular tab without either trying it or knowing the chemist. Adjacent tabs on a sheet will usually contain very similar levels of LSD. Because a blotter tab is so small, only extremely potent chemicals such as LSD can fit at active levels.
  • Liquid - LSD is soluble in water and other solvents, though liquid LSD is usually water based. Liquid LSD is used in the creation of blotter tabs. A single drop of potent liquid LSD could be 50 times a normal dose, although it is generally diluted to the point where a single drop is equal to approximately one dose. This varies greatly from batch to batch, and is sometimes a weak dose while othertimes a very strong dose. Liquid LSD is uncommon. Be extremely careful when dealing with it as there is no way to gauge it's potency. It is frequently stored in small dropper bottles, one precaution...when you reach the end of the bottle, don't rinse it out and assume that what remains is a small dose. There can still be many doses left along the inside surfaces and taking them all at once can lead to some unexpectedly strong and possibly very uncomfortable experiences.
  • Gelatin - Also known as "window panes". Gelatin LSD is made by mixing liquid LSD with gelatin and forming it into small, thin squares. The benefit of this method is that less of the LSD is exposed to sun and air which break down lysergic acid diethylamide. A single square of gelatin is commonly stronger than a single blotter tab of LSD. (Rough estimate 50 - 150 ug per square).

The LSD effect is described as a 'trip' because it is a long (8-12 hours) and powerful experience which takes you beyond normal perception and then back again. Simply put, it profoundly alters and expands consciousness by loosening or -- at higher doses -- completely erasing the normal filters and screens between your conscious mind and the outside world.

With these filters down, more information rushes in. You sense more, think more and feel more. You become aware of things normally filtered out by your mind -- visual, auditory, sensory and emotional. The intricate details on surfaces, the richness of sound, the brightness of colors, and the complexity of your own mental processes are all brought to the foreground of your consciousness.

At higher doses, the rush of information becomes a flood and your senses actually begin to merge and overlap (syntheasia) until you can see sounds or smell colors.

– Every individual reacts differently to every chemical.

More information about psychadelic effects

Amount –

Doses of LSD are measured in micrograms (ug) or millionths of a gram. One ounce of LSD contains enough doses for 300,000 adults. Two suitcases of the stuff would be enough to dose the entire population of the USA.

  • Threshold - 20 ug
  • Light - 25 - 75 ug
  • Common - 50 - 150 ug
  • Strong - 150 - 400 ug
  • Heavy - 400 + ug
  • LD50 (Lethal Dose*) - 12,000 ug LD50 = dose which will kill 50% of the tested animals.
More information on LSD Deaths

Side effects and Health –

LSD is non-toxic, has no known adverse physical after-effects other than fatigue and a lingering sensation of mind-expansion. However, LSD is a powerful mental amplifier. If you are feeling depressed, anxious, sick at the world, at the quality of modern television, at rampant consumerism, at life in general, do not take LSD.

LSD's effects and your reaction to them are strongly determined by set and setting. Setting is your mindset when taking the drug; setting is where you are. The LSD effect makes you enormously sensitive to your environment. You should always be in a safe, comfortable environment, preferably with a friend you trust. The higher you fly, the safer must be the landing arrangements. Many users recommend being outside, in a beautiful setting in nature.

Under the influence of LSD, the ability to make sensible judgments and see common dangers is impaired, making the user susceptible to personal injury, which can be fatal. After an LSD trip, the user may suffer acute anxiety or depression, and may also experience flashbacks, which are recurrences of the effects of LSD days or even months after taking the last dose. A flashback occurs suddenly, often without warning, usually in people who use hallucinogens chronically or have an underlying personality problem. Healthy people who use LSD occasionally may also have flashbacks. Bad trips and flashbacks are only part of the risks of LSD use. LSD users may also manifest relatively long-lasting psychoses, such as schizophrenia or severe depression.

LSD produces tolerance, so some users who take the drug repeatedly must take progressively higher doses to achieve the state of intoxication that they had previously achieved. This is an extremely dangerous practice, given the unpredictability of the drug.
This is not a drug to be taken arbitrarily. In general, it is recommend that you do not use LSD.
More information on the effects of LSD.

But if you are in the company of individuals using LSD or are actually planning to use yourself, be aware of these safety precautions so that your risk of becoming a statistic is lessened. Again, the best choice is not using and avoidance of those who do.

Learn about Drug Testing and LSD

Mushrooms

Summary -

Magic mushrooms are naturally occurring, non-poisonous fungi which contain varying amounts of the conscious-altering substances psilocybin and psilocin. When eaten or consumed in chocolates or tea, they combine readily and hungrily with the brain to evoke a powerful psychedelic trip experience, shorter-lived but similar in tone and effect to LSD.

There are over 90 species of magic mushrooms worldwide. Common varieties include UK and Northern Europe's 'Liberty Caps' (Psilocybe semilanceata) and North America's Psilocybe cubensis. The world's most famous magic mushroom is the European Fly Agaric (amanita muscaria), the red-and-white spotted toadstool which often pops up in children's literature. However, it contains not psilocybin, but ibotenic acid and muscimol which have very different effects.

Mushrooms are light to dark brown in color and come in fresh, dried or powdered forms. All of them taste disgusting. They smell distinctively 'mushroomy' and are impossible to confuse with any other powdered drug.

The mushroom effect is described as a "trip" because it is a long (4-6 hours) and powerful experience which takes you beyond normal perception and then back again. The active ingredient that causes this effect is called psilocybin. The mushrooms can be eaten raw or used to make tea (it has also been encountered in the form of a chocolate bar/chunk).

At low doses, mushrooms induce a tingling body feeling and sense of euphoria and lightness. You may feel happy and giggly. Colors seem more vibrant, music sounds richer.

Simply put, it alters and expands consciousness by loosening or -- at higher doses- completely erasing the normal filters and screens between your conscious mind and the outside world. With these filters down, more information rushes in and you become aware of things normally filtered out by your mind. You sense more, think more, feel more -- visual, auditory, sensory, emotional -- the intricate details on surfaces, the richness of sound, the brightness of colors, and the complexity of your own mental processes.

Amount –

Psilocybin content varies widely from species to species and from mushroom to mushroom. As a rough guide, however, a reasonable dose is equivalent to two grams dried or 20 grams fresh.

First time, aim low. You can always increase the amount another time, but you can't undo a far-too-large dose. Be wary of over-confidence. Each psychedelic trip is different and each level of the experience has its own intensity and pitfalls. Even if you know the lay of the land, tread carefully.

Here is an interesting calculator that allows you to measure how much you should take.

Side effects and Health –

There are no known adverse side-effects of using mushrooms, other than leaving you feeling fatigued and probably surrounded by a load of mad paintings and some half-eaten chocolate bars. However, magic mushrooms and other psychedelics are powerful mental amplifiers. If you are feeling depressed, anxious, sick at the world, at the quality of modern television, at rampant consumerism, at life in general, do not take psychedelics.

Mushroom effects and your reaction to them are strongly determined by set and setting. Set is your mindset when taking the drug; setting is where you are. The magic mushroom effect makes you enormously sensitive to your environment so you should always be in a safe, comfortable environment, preferably with a friend you trust.

One of the dangers associated with taking magic mushrooms has do with the fungi themselves. If you decide to go out looking for mushrooms to take to get high, be sure you are picking the right ones. Unless you are very familiar with the "right" kind of mushrooms to achieve the effect are looking for, don't attempt to find your own. Some species of poisonous mushrooms look very similar to the psychedelic type, and you want to avoid them. Whether you have grown your own mushrooms or have acquired them elsewhere, check them carefully before you ingest them. Any shrooms that have brown or black mold on them should be discarded. Mushrooms that have gone bad can make you quite ill due to the bacteria they carry.

More information about using caution with shrooms
Learn about Drug Testing and Mushrooms