Editor’s Note: Every now and again there’s an opportunity that’s just too bizarre/funny/epic to pass up. Some people might pass on these opportunities, especially if they are potentially controversial. In this case, I’m not one of those people.
Let me state it clearly: The GW Patriot does not advocate substance abuse of any kind and the content below is the opinion of the author alone.
So who is the author? Well, we’re really not at liberty to tell you that.
But what was the Patriot to do when a GW student who’s tried every drug under the sun offers to write up a humorous review? We decided to give Walter Raleigh, a name we’ll use for our author, a shot. We will let our readers be the judge of his expertise.
Again, this is just a humor piece. Don’t try this at home. You get the point.
Walter Raleigh writes:
“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” – Hunter S Thompson
I have read many reviews in many periodicals. Some about food, some about restaurants and some about movies. But I have yet to come across a thorough set of reviews for illicit substances. I hope this piece serves to educate new freshmen about just what types of experiences they may come across during their time sandwiched between the State Department and the White House.
There surely are Colonials who teetotal just as effectively as Mitt Romney. I just haven’t met any of these people. If you are one of these strong-willed folk I applaud you. But even more I implore you to read this and learn about how the other side lives.
This is probably the most common of the illegal substances I come across. My first real marijuana experience occurred when I was a senior in High School. We had a day off and I was chilling with some friends. We did not have any rolling papers to roll joints (marijuana cigarettes) or a real pipe, so we fashioned a pipe out of a water bottle. There was nothing in that apparatus to cool the pot smoke before it enters our lungs, so the smoke was quite harsh.
After about 20 minutes everything became a whole lot funnier. My senses were slightly askew. I clearly was myself. The sky was not falling. But music sounded phenomenal and Domino’s Pizza; shit, Domino’s Pizza cemented its place atop my stoned Zagat ratings that fateful afternoon. (Not even joking, put Chocolate Lava Cakes next to a chocolate soufflé at the nicest of steakhouses and I’d pick the Lava Cakes every time)
Since that initial water bottle session, I have smoked, vaporized and eaten marijuana. Each technique has a different level of power. For instance, ingesting marijuana via vaporization is kind of like getting a full body marijuana massage. It feels great and the intensity will not be overwhelming. However my old gravity bong was like a Mike Tyson punch to the face of pot. If you can handle it, it is incredible. If you can’t, you’re out of commission for the remainder of the day.
Now there are some drawbacks. It makes you lazy. Like melt into a couch for a semester lazy. I have never completed a laundry on a day I have smoked pot. If I go out to socialize, marijuana is an inhibitor. For the occasional user sometimes marijuana can lead to intense (albeit momentary) paranoia. It also can lead to binge eating and binge napping. One out of every 30 or so times I smoke I might end up with a headache.
But marijuana has a special place for me. It has no hangover. It slightly alters your state and barely impairs you. Also it is safe. Really safe. They say the only way one can die from marijuana is if a two-ton bale of it falls on you.
The technical name for this substance is MDMA. Where marijuana is a couch drug, Ecstasy is a club drug.
I once watched a piece on MDMA that explained some of its effects. The one that stood out most for me was the fact that while high on this drug (an act known as rolling) you are unable to get proper reads on people around you. Instead the true expressions of people’s faces you are seeing an idealized cartoon. Not only are you in a state of euphoria, but it seems as if everyone else is basking in this glow too.
Ecstasy will keep you awake for a while, make dancing incredibly fun, and will keep an ear to ear grin glued across your face.
While many substances lead to paranoia or self-doubt, this drug leads to the opposite. The cares in the world don’t exist. You just want to dance.
This drug is tied to the rising Electric Dance Music scene. Many people roll outside of shows and many people at these shows are not themselves rolling, but it would be tough to divorce the substance from the genre.
It also makes everything feel awesome. I once was rolling at a concert turned around and saw someone with a velour shirt on and asked if I could rub it. I then asked a random girl I didn’t know if I could touch her hair. Later in that show I bumped into a lit cigarette and burnt my shoulder. Every one of those sensations still felt phenomenal.
There are however a whole host of negatives to this substance. Anything that leads to energetic dancing leads to sweating, which can lead to dehydration. Drink water while rolling. But not too much water because one can actually die from water poisoning.
The rest of the negatives of this drug arise from the fact that it is illegal and the government cannot regulate it. Ecstasy is the name for MDMA when it is in a pill form. Molly is the name when it is powder. Both Ecstasy and Molly are frequently cut with other drugs. The mystery substances create danger. You just plain don’t know what you will get. That sometimes leads to jitteriness, headaches or nausea. MDMA itself will not lead to an overdose, but those mystery substances can.
This is a silly little habit. It doesn’t alter your state. It doesn’t really do much. Sometimes it serves as a way to increase relaxation while drinking, but really it has an unimpressively weak effect. I would compare it to biting your fingernails; merely because they both make you look uglier yet scratch some itch for you. Oh, and by the way – it causes cancer.
This is the most common substance you will come across in college. Most of you will have had experiences with it. But many of you will taste the suds of freedom and beer for the first time here at college.
I have done every drug listed here more than once. Alcohol is hands down the craziest, strongest, most dangerous substance I have ever put in my body. There have been multiple mornings I wake up naked in a pool of sweat thanking god I am in my own bed and not on a sewer grate. All of those incidences have been because of alcohol.
Alcohol slows you down. Your thought processes are all off. Alcohol makes bad ideas sound good. It can and will lead to vomit. And then the next day can be even worse. Some hangovers merely resemble food poisonings. Other mornings it feels like Arnold Schwarzenegger spent all night clobbering your insides with a shovel.
But enough about the bad, here are the positives. Alcohol is legal and can be procured almost anywhere. I have never had to buy alcohol from a sketch ball in a parking lot. Not just is it legal, but also it is acceptable. You will have ample opportunity to drink, and in most situations, imbibe away! Alcohol gets rid of nerves. It is the ultimate social lubricant. It allows both genders to relax their physical standards and can lead to many fun things.
Hands-down my favorite aspect of alcohol is the social aspect. I love going to bars or parties and hanging out with friends. And it just happens that the glue to those interactions is alcohol. As I will say again alcohol is INCREDIBLY dangerous. But humans must like living dangerously, because humans love their liquor.
I once had an Everclear phase. Everclear is the strongest legal alcohol on the market. I dislike the taste of any alcohol, so why not just get drunk quickest. My Everclear phase ended when I blacked out one night at 9:30 p.m., after asking every girl at the party if I could perform oral sex on them, and then breaking my computer. During my blackout I texted a friend, “Everclear makes heroin look like Flintstones Vitamins.”
The Benzodiazepine family of anxiety drugs are some of my favorites. I don’t know why I have anxiety, but it’s there. I don’t have crippling, flunk out of college anxiety, but I have “I will never eat at Ivory or Whole Foods because I’ll have to say hi to people” anxiety. As a tightly wound individual this is great.
This drug makes me relax. It makes all surroundings more palatable. A train from DC to NYC is over $100. A bus is under $30. I take a half bar of Xanax and the cramped quarters of the Bolt Bus are more luxurious than the Acela Express. As an anxious individual who often finds himself uncomfortable in social situations, a Xanax high feels like heaven.
I hate to be a downer, but I have to call up my good friends Daedalus and Icarus to end my love letter to Xanax. For when you fly to high, the heat from the sun might just melt your wings. Xanax can be incredibly addicting. It is so addicting you can actually die from withdrawal. But even if you don’t die it truly changes some people.
Anxiety serves many purposes. It forced me to write this review on deadline. It made me get an internship so I can get a job when I graduate. To live a life devoid of anxiety is to not live.
When Xanax works properly it relaxes people and makes them comfortable to say what the feel. But a lot of people are assholes. Anxiety prevents them from showing their true colors. On Xanax they are unfiltered and act in manners that are uninviting.
I personally love Xanax as a social drug. Like most pharmaceuticals, when you mix Xanax with alcohol it has a multiplier effect, getting you a 6-pack drunk after just 2 beers. So I can drink less, while not being anxious around new people. But if you drink too much on Xanax you could definitely overdose.
I am not a huge fan of these drugs. When I take them I feel like I retreat into myself. As if these drugs have paralyzed me into a personal cocoon. I am not social on them. I get a nice internal warm feeling, but no real spillover benefits, like increased social skills.
I also become an asshole once I take these pills. My selfishness increases. I am not nice. Smartly, my friends encourage me not to mess with these drugs.
People I know that have enjoyed painkillers will use them at the end of the night. It will place them in a temporarily euphoric state, and then let them sleep with incredible ease.
I also know many people who slowly developed addictions to these drugs. Just because doctors prescribe these things, doesn’t change the fact that they are synthetic heroin. When South Park Elementary School Guidance Counselor Mr. Mackey said, “Drugs are bad,” I can imagine him referring to painkillers. Mmkay?
You will come across these drugs. Adderall is the name for the drug given to those with ADHD or overbearing parents. When sold on the street level, the exact same substance is the drug known as speed. Depending on the strength of the dosage, Adderall will keep you awake, jittery and focused, for 12-24 hours.
Many people love using Adderall for school assignments. Personally I think you are fooling yourself if you think Adderall helps you study. It can keep you awake while you read your textbook, or write your term paper. But Adderall rewires your brain chemistry in a way that makes it way harder to recall what you read. The changes sap me of creativity, my writing tremendously suffers, and the work I produce is garbage.
Some people use Adderall as a party drug. After a long day of work and class, a little speed will definitely help you party. It doesn’t have good mood, serotonin filled high, but it will keep you awake a hell of a lot better than caffeine.
I only enjoy using Adderall for long drives. It keeps me focused and awake. I do not need to be creative on the road. In fact I ought not to be creative on the road.
What is the difference between a baby and a bag of cocaine? Eric Clapton would never let a bag of cocaine fall out of a window.
Cocaine is similar to Adderall in the sense that it wakes you up. In every other way it is totally different. It delivers a tremendous shot of serotonin to your brain. For 5 minutes you are a goddamn king. You are energy, excitement, and euphoria.
But coke is really expensive and only lasts for a very short period of time, shortest of all drugs listed here. So why the fuck do people like it? Take it away, 19th Century Economist Thorstein Veblen:
“The ceremonial differentiation of the dietary is best seen in the use of intoxicating beverages and narcotics. If these articles of consumption are costly, they are felt to be noble and honorific.”
What Mr. Conspicuous Consumption is saying is that since coke is expensive, when you do it you feel like a baller. Rolling up that crisp Benjamin to snort with. Staring at your face in that mirror when you blow down those lines. It all feels glamorous. If coke were sold at corner stores in a sugary concoction, nobody would do it. But like the most exclusive clubs, coke will only let the rich cool kids in.
The downsides to coke, outside of a mediocre high, come from the fact that it is incredibly addicting, it makes you anxious and talkative, it can fuck with your breathing, and it can give you a heart attack.
Caffeine to me is very similar to marijuana. It has noticeable, but light effects, it is everywhere, and it won’t kill you.
I’m not a caffeine addict, but I grew up around them and deal with many in the workplace. They are all the same. They think they are fine, maybe even joke about their addiction, but if the clock strikes 8am without a coffee or tea on their table they get crippling headaches and are entirely unable to function.
I take pride in my ability to live without being addicted to this substance.
Red Bull and energy drinks are nice for going out. To be perfectly honest, they last longer than cocaine does, but they do not have the initial kick of it. When I had my everclear phase, I made a drink I called Deathmix. First I would swallow a half bar of Xanax. Then I would pour 4 shots of everclear into a cup (the alcoholic equivalent of 8-10 beers), 12 ounces of Red Bull, and enough Dr. Pepper to not taste the everclear. It was a fun drink.
This drug is legal in many places. It is a smoked substance that needs to be burnt at a temperature higher than marijuana and inhaled longer than marijuana. It is hands down my least favorite drug in the world. It causes an intense, 5-minute experience of misery. You do not have any control of your high.
I am half convinced the government made this drug legal as a way of making drugs not seem fun. Never smoke salvia.
I always like saving the best for last, whether it is the largest bite of a Lava Cake, or a review of drugs. LSD, also known as Acid is incredible. I feel like a total asshole having to describe it to people who have never taken it, because it causes such a dramatic shift in world view that anything I would write would sound silly. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who believes in ghosts? Have you ever met a Tea Partier convinced that Barack Hussein Obama was born in Africa? How about crazy liberals who are convinced Bush was complicit in 9/11? Well all of those people operate in realities different than the accepted true norm, and LSD creates a new, unique reality.
Words like groovy make sense. Tie die shirts look fucking awesome. You can feel things. The fact that plants are living organisms is very clear. Inanimate objects can hold emotions. I can have conversations with friends without using any words. How do you get there? Let me briefly walk with you through an Acid Trip:
The drug usually comes on a piece of paper that the liquid form has been dropped upon. You place that piece of paper on your tongue, and leave it there till it disintegrates.
After about 45 to 90 minutes the world starts to change. Colors are brighter, contrasts are greater. Everything is a little more intense. Slowly your brain starts to speed up. You dwell on ideas in your head. I call these thought loops. Some are intense. Some end up with you figuring out life’s secrets. Others don’t end, just one thought loop bleeding into another. Try talking; it won’t work as well as you wished. The inherently human action of speaking is limited. Your tongue impedes your brain. But you are always in control.
The intensity peaks within the first two hours. Then there is a slow, beautiful dénouement. There is the same glow as from Ecstasy and Molly, but not of the jitters. I have never felt as content with humanity as I have during the denouement of my LSD trips. This period of glory, post-peak, will last around 6-10 hours. Seeing live music on LSD is incredible.
Now before you do LSD, you have to be comfortable with yourself, your surroundings, your trip buddies, the weather and really everything. If you are not comfortable it can lead to a bad trip. But if you are having a bad trip, take a Xanax, it’s like a Trip Rip Cord, you take it and you are back to the regular reality.