Talking someone down from a bad trip
December 10, 2002 4:31 AM   Subscribe

Quick break for a Public Service Announcement:
How to talk someone down from a bad trip.
posted by sheauga (171 comments total)

 
Like Sketch points out, you never know when you might need this information.
posted by sheauga at 4:33 AM on December 10, 2002


After this, do not mention drugs again. The last thing this person needs is a reminder of how high they are.

That makes sense. In fact, the whole article does. Thanks, sheauga (and wb!). This is useful.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:37 AM on December 10, 2002


Nice link. I'd be interested to know how often really bad trips happen, and why people continue taking the drugs afterwards. I do not work for any federal agency.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:45 AM on December 10, 2002


I remember being told that huge doses of Vitamin C help stem LSD hallucinations.

Disused warehouses packed with people, lasers and LOUD house music was probably not the best place to exerience acid, but I felt a lot more comfortable with a tub of '1600% of your recommended daily vitamin C' tablets in my pocket.

Placebo anyone?
posted by niceness at 4:51 AM on December 10, 2002


From my experience this does not ring true at all. I have found that the quickest way to bring someone out a bad trip panic is to remind them that they are on drugs, none of it is real, and that they should just enjoy it. People on LSD are very susceptible. If you tell them they are having a good time, chances are they'll start having a good time.

They need to know it's not real. Remind them they took drugs. They may have actually forgotten that part.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:54 AM on December 10, 2002


Or: How to provide clean syringes and a barf bucket for your child's first heroin spike?

How to encourage liquid intake before tour child's first extasy rave?

How to clean the bong of residue so they don't cough too much?

Or actually, how to call yourself the most absolutely criminal, shittiest parent on the planet and do the responsible thing and call the cops.
posted by hama7 at 4:55 AM on December 10, 2002


or: how to pontificate with your head in the sand.

Hama7: How long has ignorance been your friend?
posted by niceness at 5:02 AM on December 10, 2002


hama7 - Bush did plenty of drugs and seems to have done pretty well for himself. I don't think he'd be better off, or Mr & Mrs Bush would have been better parents, if they'd called the cops on him.

Throwing your kids in jail might sound like a really good idea, but I don't think it has anything to do with raising healthy successful children. If the kid is addicted or ruining lives then you might have to, but having a bad trip has nothing to do with that.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:02 AM on December 10, 2002


Thoughtful and compassionate.

Personally, I'd try and dissuade my friends from taking hallucinogens in the first place - a seriously bad trip can really fuck you up psychologically. I have a childhood acquaintance who five years later is still under close medical supervision having had an awful trip on a huge dose

On preview: Hama7, that's pretty callous. Someone experiencing a bad trip is suffering an enormous amount already. I would contend that it would be a poor parent that would want to compound what could already be a psychologically damaging experience by calling the police. I’m guessing here but you’ve never had a bad trip and nor have you children. Am I right?
posted by dmt at 5:03 AM on December 10, 2002


The first time I did acid, some of the friends I took it with started to freak out. They became incredibly paranoid and believed that some sober friends who had come over to visit were planning to kill them. Luckily, I was clear-thinking enough to pull them into a different room and distract them with magazines and music.

The paranoia they felt was real and immediate, at least at that moment. There was no reason to think our visitors had any reason to dislike them. Calling the cops as a solution to this fear would have been the worst possible thing to do.

It's not about being a bad parent, it's about doing the right thing at the moment and saving your punishment for an appropriate time.
posted by turaho at 5:08 AM on December 10, 2002


Or: How to utilize information, verify it, and use it in pertaining situations.
posted by Keyser Soze at 5:09 AM on December 10, 2002


I’m guessing here but you’ve never had a bad trip and nor have you children. Am I right?

Bingo! And can you even imagine why? Because I don't condone or participate in criminal acts, nor do I expect any less from my children.

The very idea of "talking your child down" from a bad trip is criminal negligence, and both parent and child deserve what they get, hopefully ample time behind bars at least!
posted by hama7 at 5:12 AM on December 10, 2002


Ignorance is blissful, I will agree with that.
posted by Keyser Soze at 5:17 AM on December 10, 2002


The very idea of "talking your child down" from a bad trip is criminal negligence, and both parent and child deserve what they get, hopefully ample time behind bars at least!

So, having dodged the point that I made above, let me reiterate it for the logically impaired. Knowing that your child has taken a potentially psychologically damaging substance, you would want to exacerbate whatever damage is done and see them serve a jail term?

Hint: Answering yes to this question indicates that you’re not fit to have children.

And you imply that helping to protect your child or friend from psychological harm is “criminal negligence”. I’d content that such a failure to think critically rather than dogmatically constitutes intellectual negligence.
posted by dmt at 5:17 AM on December 10, 2002


Clearly what the country needs is more parents and children behind bars for recreational drug use. If we don't put parents in jail, the terrorists win.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:19 AM on December 10, 2002


Drugs are good, unless they're bad. Then they're not so good.

The very idea of "talking your child down" from a bad trip is criminal negligence, and both parent and child deserve what they get, hopefully ample time behind bars at least!

Jeez, hama7. I just start thinking you're a reasonable human being, and you start talking egregious crap like that again. Oh well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:21 AM on December 10, 2002


in my teen years, i once wandered off mentally while lying on the hood of a car doing acid and staring at a garage mounted spotlight. when i "snapped out of it" there were large blue/black "holes" in my eyesight. they wouldn't go away - long after it seemed that phenomena should have passed. i was in a panic - babbling tearfully that i had ruined my eyesight and my life. my friend walked me up and down the street trying to calm me down and at some point i FORGOT about my "damaged" eyes and they were fine. that was the night i decided hallucinogenics were not toys and i was not constructed in such a way as to be able to enjoy them. so i switched to alcohol. and eventually decided that wasn't for me either.
posted by quonsar at 5:25 AM on December 10, 2002 [1 favorite]


I think niceness has a good point, as long as you believe that the 1600% vitamin c works and it makes you feel safe that should work. As long as you know you're still under influence.
posted by sebas at 5:29 AM on December 10, 2002


I think the point about not mentioning drugs is that the person under the influence can get even more upset and panicky if you start to berate them about "why they did such a stupid thing as taking a bad dose of drugs!!!"

Reminding them that the drugs wear off eventually seems pretty reasonable to me.

Mr. / Ms. y6, I'd like some of your sunny optimism myself next time I feel generally disgusted with things and on a bummer ... maybe you could package it up and distribute it as a little pill! (On second thought, someone already tried that - hence this discussion.)

My sympathy to anyone who feels that they just don't want to deal with a person under the influence. You're certainly within your rights to have that person hauled off to a jail cell or an emergency room until they sober up / straighten up!

However, given the fact that people now wait as long as 6 hours for emergency medical care, and that the police have their hands full with serious crimes already, you will be doing your community and your neighbors a big favor if you learn how to handle a person under the influence on your own.
posted by sheauga at 5:30 AM on December 10, 2002


How to clean the bong of residue so they don't cough too much?

Oh! Is THAT why? I had no idea... thanks for the tip, hama7.
posted by crunchland at 5:33 AM on December 10, 2002


hama7, as a father, the first thing I care about is the health and safety of my child. Talking them down from a bad trip would be the first thing I would do to ensure their safety. We would discuss the repercussions of their actions when they were able to keep a sane thought in their head.

As a son, I have to say that I would not want to have you as my father. Everybody needs empathy, understanding and love, and from what I discern from your commenting history, you seem to be lacking in all three. You sound like a bad trip, to me.
posted by ashbury at 5:34 AM on December 10, 2002


All I can say is... once you have had a true bad trip, you will never, ever do a hallucinogen ever again. Period.

I wouldn't wish a true bad trip on anyone... Its something that the mind is just not designed to experience.

And one may spend the rest of his/her life trying to recover... Trust me...

If you have done LSD or any other hallucinogen, and not yet had a bad trip, I would suggest you stop before its too late... You will spend the rest of your life wishing you quit just one day sooner.

Thats the problem of a "true" bad trip... you never completely come down. Your mind is perminately altered. Associations and connections are made that were never ment to be. Thoughts have to wrap themselves around this new wiring for the rest of the individual's life.

Say you are deftly afraid of spiders. They are your worst fear... even the sight of one brings you terror.

Now imagine if you just found out that your entire world was, in fact, made of spiders...
posted by LoopSouth at 5:36 AM on December 10, 2002


Not to be melodramatic or anything.

All I can say is... once you have had a true bad trip, you will never, ever do a hallucinogen ever again. Period.

Sez you. But the argument is then : 'well, your bad trip wasn't a true bad trip, man!'

Bah.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:41 AM on December 10, 2002


I once had 4 hits of acid on a cookie given to me without my knowledge on my b-day, drank 12 beers and got in my car and drove home in the rain. On the wrong side of the road.
posted by Keyser Soze at 5:42 AM on December 10, 2002


I'll bet that rain-in-the-headlights looked very cool.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:43 AM on December 10, 2002


Answering yes to this question indicates that you’re not fit to have children.

Too late. And my parents would have done much worse had I broken the law while living in their own house, under their supervision and their roof, thank God.

I just start thinking you're a reasonable human being,

What is unreasonable about being legally and morally responsible for the well being of one's own children?

Finding that your own children have gone unsupervised to the extent that they have committed crimes or bought and ingested illegal drugs (for which parents are responsible) must be the ultimate shame, not that the majority of the above comments even express a fraction of that.

I have to say that I would not want to have you as my father.

Nor I you.

Obviously, abstaining from taking drugs is out of the question for Humanoids who Cannot Escape.
posted by hama7 at 5:46 AM on December 10, 2002


stavrosthewonderchicken:

Its one of those "stick your bare hand into a fire" things...

Unless your a moron, your not going to do it again.
posted by LoopSouth at 5:47 AM on December 10, 2002


Thats the problem of a "true" bad trip... you never completely come down.

yeah, i had a true bad trip about 10yrs ago. it was so bad that i comletely lost all connection with reality to the point that time and space were literally gone. i was in complete limbo and the bitch of it was that i was absolutely terrified because i somehow knew what i was going through. to this day (usually when im driving alone in my car) i have massive panic attacks, thinking im going through those sensations again and all i can do is try to talk my own self down.
posted by poopy at 5:54 AM on December 10, 2002


Well, I beg to differ, LoopSouth, but rather than do that, because truly the hallucinogens do different things to different people, and there's no point really in differing about all that, I'll say this, which is equally as pertinent (or not, as the case may be) :

Years ago, a friend of mine *cough* on his 30th birthday took 100 hits of sunshine (yes, 100) and went for a ride on his motorcycle.

He crashed and shit, of course. But he's fine, other than some interesting new scars he aquired at the time.

It is true though that I don't think he's done much in the way of hallucinogens since then, but I'm pretty sure it's not from fear.

On the other hand, a friend of mine who was terrified of acid once tripped with me, on a half-dose, and didn't enjoy it much, and swore that for (at least) weeks afterwards, he felt wrong. Each reacts in their own way, and sheauga's link is good advice, regardless.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:58 AM on December 10, 2002


Finding that your own children have gone unsupervised to the extent that they have committed crimes or bought and ingested illegal drugs (for which parents are responsible) must be the ultimate shame...

if i was a parent and discovered my kids were doing drugs i'm sure i would do something about it, punishment, etc.

if i was a parent and came home and found one of my kids writhing on the floor because they were on drugs then i would try to help them out of their current situation (instead of making it worse) and only after the crisis was over would i punish them, get help for them, etc. although i definitely wouldn't call the cops on them.
posted by poopy at 6:01 AM on December 10, 2002


hama7 -- not that I need to keep baiting you into saying anything else superior/ignorant, but I just have 2 quick points/questions...

1) It seems to me that which drugs are legal and which drugs are illegal is pretty darn random. I don't smoke much, but when I do have a cigarette, it feels pretty much exactly like a mild marijuana buzz. Why cigarettes are legal and pot is not is a political issue having to do with politicians and their personal economics -- it's not an issue of genuine right or wrong.

2) Your idea of "morally wrong" and my idea of "morally wrong" are clearly very, very different, since I believe that it's morally wrong to avoid genuinely helping your children when they're doing normal and natural growing-up-things, like experimenting with the world around them in order to learn more about it, or when they make a poor choice through natural adolescent oversight or peer pressure situations. These things happen. It doesn't make someone a bad child or a bad parent. Besides -- nobody said that you only got high when you chose to get high. What if they were having a bad trip after someone slipped them something at a chaperoned party?
posted by dryad at 6:04 AM on December 10, 2002


poopy:

Yeah... I get the panic attacks too. Its horrible... (Although I have been taking Remeron for this... it seems to help)

If you ever have a mind bending panic attack, Xanax is one of the only things thats almost sure to help. Its very quick acting. Problem is it knocks you out pretty well... But I guess it's better then suicide.

My vision has never been the same either. Its hard to explain. Besides the perminate tracers and flashbacks, I have to deal with the static. Its like watching TV channel with bad reception. There lies the problem... I can't just close my eyes to make it go away. Its always there reminding me.

I would give anything just to see pure "black" and pure "white" again... If any of you have had a bad trip, you will know what I mean.

Complete darkness scares the living shit out of me... Colors are everywhere... moving shadows.

In bright light its the same thing except more obvious. Its almost as if there are little tadpoles swimming in my vision (thousands... I'm not talking about "floaters")

I havn't been able to enjoy a blue sky or a sunset in a good while now.
posted by LoopSouth at 6:09 AM on December 10, 2002


hama7, you make me mad. Here's why: you make the assumption that all teenagers (hopefully they are teenagers and not children) who take drugs and drink must have bad parents, according to your strict definition of parenting. You seem to miss the fact that people will do whatever they feel like, whether they are 16 or 36, and that no amount of parental control will stop them from ingesting whatever horrible thing they suddenly decide to take. This is usually due to forces that are well outside parental boundaries, in areas such as school, the media, their own personalities, friendships and peer pressure.

I would rather my child feels that he has the right to choose what he wants to do, while at the same time weighing the issues, the pros and cons. I would hope that he makes the right choice, but if he doesn't, I would hope that he comes out of it in one piece and has learned something from it. Knowing that my child is able to make moral choices, not regurgitate somebody else's morality, would make me feel that my wife and I had done a good job.

What is unreasonable about being legally and morally responsible for the well being of one's own children?

Absolutely nothing! But our children don't live in a bubble world that is completely controlled by their parents. We can't be responsible for every single action they make, and at some point we must realize that they are making decisions that are more adult-oriented than not. As parents, we can only hope that we have guided them into becoming decent human beings who can make the best choices for their lives.
posted by ashbury at 6:13 AM on December 10, 2002


Contrary to what has been said in this thread, minds are never altered on Metafilter.
posted by crunchland at 6:14 AM on December 10, 2002


LoopSouth, that's terrifying : in all seriousness, are you sure the acid did all this to you?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:15 AM on December 10, 2002


Hama7, ashbury:

The best thing a parent can do is not make their children afraid to ask for their help. They should be there for their children, regardless of the circumstances. During something like... say... a bad trip, a child is not going to turn to perents they fear will just punish them for taking the LSD. For some kids, there are no other people to turn to. How would you feel if your child killed themselves to end a pain they were afraid to tell you about.
posted by LoopSouth at 6:18 AM on December 10, 2002


i'm confused.
when did the link take me to a description of how to talk down my children?
hama7, your post feel kinda outta the blue there didn't it? jerk those marionette strings a little louder next time, i want to hear it coming.
posted by kid_twist at 6:19 AM on December 10, 2002


feel, as in, the sky, it is feeling.
posted by kid_twist at 6:20 AM on December 10, 2002


I had a class A1 bad trip (LSD) once and a slightly less awful one (Mushrooms) also. I continued to trip after these experiences for a couple of years. It is true that these things can cause something like post traumatic stress disorder, which makes sense. When you are having a really bad trip you are feeling the most terrified you can feel multiplied by how much more intense everything is when you are doing these kinds of drugs. Bad trips are bad news, and I liken the impact of mine on my life to the impact of loosing a close relative. I think about it a lot to this day (9 years later) and I have to deal with some psychological glitches that come up when I think of it. It is a painful memory. Right now, writing this I'm feeling a painful anxiety-feeling that I know will take an hour or so to go away.

After my bad trip #2 I always carried a 10mg tablet of Valium with me when I would take these substances. A 10 mg Valium makes a bad trip go away pretty completely and overcomes the stimlulant-nature of the drug enough that it is possible to sleep within 30 minutes of taking the pill. That being said you ought to never mix things like Valium with almost any other kind of drug and it can be dangerous in itself, but it is, in effect an 'eject' button for a bad trip. These substances deserve massive amounts of respect, and if you must take them it is a good idea to have something on hand that will allow you to avert the worst experience you may ever have to endure. (I'd also recomend eating _very_ light for two days ahead of time, excercising the morning of your trip and staying away from sober people and strangers.) Just be careful and don't take the effecets of these powerful drugs lightly.

And this guys article is spot on and ought to be given to college students and parents. When someone is feeling like this they very well may *need* your help.
posted by n9 at 6:21 AM on December 10, 2002


stavrosthewonderchicken:

All I can say is, I never noticed any of these things before that night... (I had done acid a few timed before with no aftereffects.) Perhaps I could have gone the rest of my life without ever noticing. Like I said, Acid gives you perspective and insight one is not ment to have.
posted by LoopSouth at 6:22 AM on December 10, 2002


hama7
"Finding that your own children have gone unsupervised to the extent that they have committed crimes or bought and ingested illegal drugs (for which parents are responsible) must be the ultimate shame"

You know hama7, people need to discover things for themselves. How far does your 'supervision' go, when dealing with, say, a 14 year old boy? CCTV in their bedrooms? Tracking device under the skin? Do you think in later life your child will thank you for the way he was brought up? More likely he will turn into a rebel.
posted by derbs at 6:23 AM on December 10, 2002


Listening to all of the stories here, makes me really glad I never took anything. I was around lots of it, but my friends knew I wasn't into it. They respected my choice and I respected their's.
posted by mkelley at 6:28 AM on December 10, 2002


quonsar: This may not help (and you probably already know this) but that was an afterimage. It can be a kind of cool effect if you aren't having a bad trip. Close your eyes and hold your hands over them to observe. Put a very slight amount of pressure on your closed eyes and enjoy some pretty lights.

Note: Do not do this if you are LoopSouth. That's a bummer, man. Also, although I never thought of it that way at the time, a former roommate of mine was "deftly" afraid of spiders. She could not stand to share the same surface area or volume with them and after some acrobatic reaction on her part she would call me in to take care of the situation.
posted by wobh at 6:29 AM on December 10, 2002


Loopsouth, it sounds like you are still suffering my friend. Did you come to terms with the after effects on your own, or have you ever spoken to anyone?

When i was at college (3-4 years ago) i used to smoke a fair amount of weed, and drank some mushroom tea twice. The second time i had more than i should have done (although still a relatively small dose). I had a rough time, and needless to say have never touched a psychoactive drug since. I'm still feeling the effects, panic attacks and mild depression, but it made my slightly neurotic personality a lot worse.

I guess some people can handle it, even enjoy it. But i can't. I completely understand what you are going through.
posted by derbs at 6:32 AM on December 10, 2002


But what to do when they get belligerent?

Back in college, I watched a guy rip a hallway door effortlessly off its hinges while screeching at the top of his lungs. (He had taken LSD and mixed it with a cocktail of prescription drugs.) Three guys tried to pin him down, which made him go even more beserk. Despite being a skinny kid with glasses, he threw them around like ragdolls. Once he was free, he sprinted down the hall of our dorm and tried to jump (head-first) out of a window. Not was the window far too small for him, but it also had bars on it. Long story short: he knocked himself out, an ambulance took him away, and he was expelled.
posted by Ljubljana at 6:34 AM on December 10, 2002


derbs, did the mushroom tea effect you more than acid? I've always heard that the man made drugs (illegal/legal) were far more addictive and a worse reactant than the natural ones (pot, shrooms).
posted by mkelley at 6:37 AM on December 10, 2002


People's reactions to hallucinogens seem to differ quite a bit. I never had a problem with mushrooms or acid, but I've been with others who have had bad trips (but not LoopSouth bad). It's too bad there's no way to find out how your body and mind will react before taking the drugs.
posted by Samsonov14 at 6:40 AM on December 10, 2002


Derbs:

I have come to terms as best as I can, but alot of it is so abstract that there is nothing in the real world to associate it all with.

It did teach me alot about my mind/self, so I did not walk away empty handed.

I did finally tell my parents... After I moved out we never talked much untill I dropped this bomb on them. I told them how afraid I was to tell them because I didn't want to dissapoint them or scare them and whatnot...

But they have done nothing but help. They are my best ally at the moment.
posted by LoopSouth at 6:40 AM on December 10, 2002


Have ya got any Allman Brothers?
posted by spilon at 6:43 AM on December 10, 2002


What is unreasonable about being legally and morally responsible for the well being of one's own children?

What I find odd about that sentence hama7 is the "well being of ones own children" part. How is having your child arrested caring for their well being? How is possibly ruining any future they may have caring about their "well being"? So having them locked up with real, possibly violent criminals is good for them? (well that is only if you don't happen to be rich...which in this country only gets you a slap on the wrist and a short stay in rehab). I guess I must defer to your opinion as you are so obviously perfect and have never yourself made a mistake.
posted by SweetIceT at 6:48 AM on December 10, 2002


I thought I would just bring this up...

The sad state of drug laws in the US right now. Basically, this harm reduction website is actually illegal in the US. Any harm reduction information about illicit substances is illegal in the US.

It is illegal (or very very very hard) for any research to be done on any illicit substance.

People like me have nothing to go on but the little research done on LSD before the 80's. (more like before the 70's... but it was Reagan that pretty much killed it.)

This means my doctor knows little more than I do about the subject...

My own government has outlawed any research that could potentially help (or even cure!!) my problem. We are just swept under the perverbial rug in the name of the War on Drug$.

My own goverment has outlawed the publishing of any information (harm reduction) that may save the lives of coutless people. These laws do not stop anyone from using drugs.
posted by LoopSouth at 6:57 AM on December 10, 2002


The best thing a parent can do is not make their children afraid to ask for their help. --loopsouth

This is probably the most important statement in this thread. To me, this is the most important aspect of parenting, and you've succeeded as a parent if your children do turn to you when they are in need.

Loopsouth, good for you for keeping it all together. I'm glad that you've learned something from your experiences. It's too bad you've had to gain valuable insights at such a high cost.
posted by ashbury at 7:03 AM on December 10, 2002


mkelley:
i've never done lsd, so i couldn't compare. I know it wasn't a massive dose, there were no intense visuals, or anything. I know a couple of friends who have done lsd, and they said the trip lasted anywhere from 4 - 10 hours. My mushroom trip only lasted an hour at most, i'm sure most regular psychoactive users wouldn't have even felt it :)

One benefit was when the trip wore off. I felt relief that the experience was coming to an end, and gradually descended into an incredibly relaxed and calm state. I thought some very profound things, and almost 'felt as one' with the world, and my friends, as cliched as that sounds...

That was as good as it got though :)
posted by derbs at 7:04 AM on December 10, 2002


oh, and sheauga: thanks for a really great link.
Anything drug-related always seems to cause a storm of self-righteousness, but the article and discussion have been very helpful.
posted by derbs at 7:12 AM on December 10, 2002


I've never taken hallucinogens, and never intend to. At one point in my life, I took a look at what those drugs do, and figured that my brain chemistry was wacky enough - it didn't need the help. I got the information, from, amazingly enough, my college handbook, which had an article on most common drugs (legal and illegal), effects, side effects, long term side effects and dosages. The same handbook included some tips on what to do if someone had a bad trip.

Every year, some conservative groups got terribly upset that this information was in our handbook. (All of it was stuff easily found in any library). They were telling us kids how to do drugs, right? Well, in my case, it told me how not to, and several of my peers how not to O.D. God forbid we give our children truth instead of scare tactics.

On traditional party weekends, there were students who explicitly didn't drink (let along do drugs) and identified themselves with 'karma patrol' t-shirts. Their job was to make sure everyone got home safely, and to watch out for things like bad trips. These days, it seems, those students would be demonized, and I just don't get that.

(Funny sidenote - one of the traditional party weekends happened right before I had finals, and I had a terrible cold. I kept myself going with fluids, caffeine, and cold medication. I realized, sadly, that I was probably much higher than many of the partiers, I just wasn't having any fun. It seemed terribly unfair.)
posted by Karmakaze at 7:15 AM on December 10, 2002


Sometimes a trip to the hospital might be necessary. Many years ago my girlfriend took LSD at a party, I arrived later when things started to go bad. She had an allergic reaction to something in the drug and her eyes began to swell shut. This, of course, freaked her out even more. I was sober but scared enough to take her to the hospital where, thankfully, an understanding doctor gave her a shot of antihistamine and a sedative that counteracted the acid pretty quick. In a matter of an hour she was asleep and home in bed. Needless to say, that was the last time she ever did acid.
posted by btwillig at 7:18 AM on December 10, 2002


LoopSouth: the comment about the abstract nature of what's going through your head and not being able to associate it with reality really strikes a chord. I can't fully comprehend what's happened to my head either, but i know i'm slowly coming to terms with it, and learning to live with it whilst staying cheerful.

I find a couple of beers and some good comedy are the best remedy for me.
posted by derbs at 7:18 AM on December 10, 2002


derbs:

You got that right... Trying to get over a drug problem sure makes you appreciate the finer things in life... (hehe... a good comedy and a few beers... :)
posted by LoopSouth at 7:26 AM on December 10, 2002


Simper fidelis.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:33 AM on December 10, 2002


Sorry, that was unkind. Apologies.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:40 AM on December 10, 2002


This is a little late in the game, but hama7 has got to be one of the biggest sadists I've come across in quite a while. Also seems to be one of those people who believes the law dictates "right" and "wrong". Huh... makes me wonder what happens when laws change?
posted by botono9 at 7:43 AM on December 10, 2002


sheauga, thanks for a very useful link. I think this should be viewed as basic first aid information.

LoopSouth, I’m so sorry to hear about your condition, and I share your frustration that nothing can legally be done to investigate ways to help you. Even though my… friend never had any especially bad experiences herself during her foolish experimental days, it’s not hard to believe that under certain circumstances and given a much higher dosage people could suffer permanent damage. It is a grave mistake to take these kinds of substances lightly.

hama- what is your major malfunction? Nobody reasonable is saying that taking hallucinogens is a great idea here. Certainly nobody is suggesting that you ought to condone your children breaking the law. Why is handling a crisis situation with a calm and compassionate response (and settling on punishment and/or correction later) immoral? You would truly send your child to jail, and ruin his/her young life for a single foolish decision made out of youthful curiosity? Without hyperbole, I call that utterly, senselessly cruel. It just hurts my heart to think of a father doing such a thing. Please tell me you’re speaking from a need to be an extreme devil’s advocate, and that if it were a real situation you would behave differently.

posted by Fenriss at 7:51 AM on December 10, 2002


Whatever you do, do not show them a picture of this guy.
posted by samuelad at 7:53 AM on December 10, 2002


hama7 has got to be one of the biggest sadists I've come across in quite a while

Unlikely. I doubt that hama7 gets any pleasure from his lack of empathy. It's more like autism.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:54 AM on December 10, 2002


Having people to whom you owe a duty of loving care arrested, while in a delicate state, for a 'crime' of which they are the only victim, is emotional abuse that is likely to inflict permanent psychological damage. It's amoral behavior that displays a total lack of empathy and regard for consequences: sociopathy. Much worse than anything drugs might do. Good thing Hama7 probably isn't in a position to carry out his fantasies.

Taking drugs is stupid. Harming people for your personal gratification, which includes maintaining your self-image as 'obedient to the law, no matter what the law is', is evil.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:57 AM on December 10, 2002


Thankyou to everyone in this thread that has giving me kind words... It does help...

And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one out there trying to fight this.

The worst part of it is... I used to be such a wonderful artist... I was also quite an electronic musician too... (ftp.loopsouth.com if you want to listen) It was simple artistic curiosity that brought me to try LSD for the first time...

I instantly became addicted to this new perspective. I couldn't stop at 1, or 5, or 10 times... I wanted more... All I can think about now is how I wished I just quit one day sooner...

I have spent the last two years trying to recover, but during this time it seems that my artistic drive has been sucked dry by this problem... I havn't made a single song in about a year. I hardly ever draw anymore either.

Its hard to be creative when you are scared that at any moment you might have to end your life or otherwise suffer an unimaginable pain.
posted by LoopSouth at 8:09 AM on December 10, 2002


Fenriss: I don't particularly think dosage has much to do with psychological damage.

I think these drugs affect people differently. Hard core users don't seem to be affected by the drugs they take. Either they are blissfully unaware of these effects, know how to deal with the effects, or are simply not affected by them.

What we do know is the conscious, and subconscious, parts of the brain are incredibly complex. And the problem is, you don't know how these drugs are going to affect you until you've taken them, because it's an something you never get to experience naturally. That's why awareness needs to be raised for a) people wanting to try the drugs and b) people who want to find out what's happened to them
posted by derbs at 8:10 AM on December 10, 2002


oy.
posted by crunchland at 8:12 AM on December 10, 2002


Anyone got any vitamin c supplements?
posted by adampsyche at 8:15 AM on December 10, 2002


True story: I had a friend (we'll call him Stavros) who took a particularly potent dose of said reactant. Although this person had some previous experience with the hallucinatory effect of the chemical, this particular dose provided an abundance of visuals, such that he and his compadres decided, in sharp contrast to their normal shenanigans, that it would be best to avoid public places. Therefore they turned on the TV. After a few minutes (hours, perhaps) everyone agreed that they could not make out anything on the television screen, which was quite worrisome. It was all, according to this trusted source, a blur.

After a few hours elapsed and the effects subsided, the TV's picture again became recognizable. They could actually decipher the images on television again. This would have been a great relief were it not for the fact that at the time lucidity returned an informercial for the sea anomone-wearing psychic Gary Spivey was running.

This particular informercial had Gary and Downtown Julie Brown and other assorted folks on a yacht, with Gary handing out predictions-a-plenty. For several minutes everyone in the room wondered if they would for the rest of their days imagine a sea anemone on the head of the occasional random person.

OK, that isn't really an anemone, but you try telling that to a room full folks tripping.
posted by samuelad at 8:16 AM on December 10, 2002


What is unreasonable about being legally and morally responsible for the well being of one's own children?

First of all, Calling the police would serve no purpose, as you cannot be arrested for being high. If the drugs are no longer in their possession, then their is no crime. LSD can not be detected in urine or blood, and I doubt you would want to subject your child to a potential crippling spinal tap just to prove a point.

obviously you don't know anything about the effects of hallucinogens. If someone is freaking out, regardless of whether you are for or against drugs in general, you have to deal with that situation without compounding it by frightening them to death, (literally, I read a story of a well meaning parent calling the police on their LSD intoxicated child who, rather than face this frightening experience, chose to jump out a window. This child is now dead, I guess he/she learned their lesson.) If you really feel that strongly about "the law" then call the police the next day when the initial crisis is over. That just seems like common sense to me.

People make mistakes, I hope you would be forgiving enough to deal with them in a reasonable fashion.
posted by buz46 at 8:25 AM on December 10, 2002


I've always heard that the man made drugs (illegal/legal) were far more addictive and a worse reactant than the natural ones (pot, shrooms).

I've found this to be true. Acid, in my experience, is more likely to cause bad mojo, whereas mushrooms make people laugh at trees. And rocks. And each other. Ah, college.
posted by jess at 8:34 AM on December 10, 2002


If you really feel that strongly about "the law" then call the police the next day when the initial crisis is over. That just seems like common sense to me.

I know I said there is no way to prove they are on LSD, so the purpose of calling the police the next day would be to find out where they got it, etc...

For the record, this is not how I would deal with the situation. I don't think that drugs should be vilified to the point of imprisoning people for using them; unless you want to make alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and chocolate illegal as well.
posted by buz46 at 8:35 AM on December 10, 2002


I don't really know much about these drugs. How often does a bad trip happen? (1 in 10 times? 20?) What causes it...is it one's mental state prior to taking the drug, one's surroundings, additives in the drug, or what?

I've long been curious about hallucinogens and I've always wanted to try acid, just to see what it's like. But with what I've read about what can happen to you and how long-lasting the effects can be (and what happened to LoopSouth), I've never actually tried LSD, and I doubt that I ever will.
posted by Vidiot at 8:37 AM on December 10, 2002


A bad trip can happen your first time...

It can happen your 50th time...

Its like a game of Russian roulette, really...

If I skydive, I can reasonably assume that the chances that my parachute not opening are very low. But then again, you won't know unless you try it, right? You just might be that one in a million that gets the faulty 'chute.
posted by LoopSouth at 8:46 AM on December 10, 2002


LoopSouth
I've been listening to some of your tunes, and i really like it. I like ambient (are you into Aphex/Warp?), and this has a good depth to it. I'm only on track 3 but i will listen to the album.
Maybe forcing yourself to get creative again would be good for you, you're obviously talented. It could take your mind off things and give you something to build on.
Anyway if you feeling bad you should try to seek help from someone who knows what they're on about (unlike me :)
You certainly aren't the only one, and there are people out there who want to help.
posted by derbs at 8:48 AM on December 10, 2002


I know I said there is no way to prove they are on LSD

I don't know, I think you can tell if someone's on something hallucinogenic pretty easily.
posted by angry modem at 8:57 AM on December 10, 2002


How often does a bad trip happen? (1 in 10 times? 20?) What causes it...

Having taken LSD, and various other hallucinogens enough to be considered "legally insane", several times over; I have found that it is, almost, invariably environmental. I have never had a completely "bad trip", but in the few instances where I felt like I was going to "freak out", I found that if I removed myself from a particular place or people the feelings would subside. Also, I think these drugs often amplify emotions that one already has. So, if you are depressed, or dealing with allot of problems, you should not take these kind of drugs.
posted by buz46 at 8:59 AM on December 10, 2002


Derbs:

Thanks man. Hey... when your done listening... I'd love to know what you think. There is a whole range of styles on that album... form IDM/Ambient to Dance/Breaks.

Some of the older stuff is good too.

Yeah, I love AphexTwin... (I used to listen to some of his stuff while tripping... hehe)

Right now I listen to alot of jazz. I found that listening to music made by real instruments helps ground me a little...

But I still love electronic... (I listen to alot of glitchy stuff lately... E-mail me if you want I can give you a whole list of artists you might like.)
posted by LoopSouth at 9:03 AM on December 10, 2002


I don't know, I think you can tell if someone's on something hallucinogenic pretty easily.

I meant legally. Saying, "he was acting really weird", is probably not admissible in court.
posted by buz46 at 9:06 AM on December 10, 2002


The Lycaeum is a good resource for information on hallucinogens - for example their LSD page, there's also a brief discussion on bad trips.

From limited personal experience the only certain cure for a bad trip is time, lots of it, together with attention to overall physical health. Having said that, a limited, low dose trip in very carefully controlled surroundings can lay the demons to rest.
posted by grahamwell at 9:12 AM on December 10, 2002


Hama7 sleeps (alone) in a hair shirt, on a bed of nails.
posted by websavvy at 9:20 AM on December 10, 2002


Any harm reduction information about illicit substances is illegal in the US.

I find that difficult to believe. Do you have any links to support this claim?
posted by rushmc at 9:24 AM on December 10, 2002


Aaw, that's not very nice websavvy. Attack his opinions or ignore him.

Thanks to sheauga for the post. This thread is an interesting one to read.
posted by ginz at 9:31 AM on December 10, 2002


His faux-hardass opinions are hilarious. The point I was trying to make was that those who advocate calling the cops when their kids try drugs often have bitter, empty lonely lives.

Then again, there's always opportunities to regale the local meeting of the Spies with stories about how mom cried when the Thought Police dragged her away...
posted by websavvy at 9:54 AM on December 10, 2002


Whatever you do, do not show them a picture of this guy

This might not be so bad...
posted by buz46 at 10:01 AM on December 10, 2002


I don't know what your link was, buz46, but it went nuts asking me to add a MSN Passport to my XP experience...over, and over, and over... :(
posted by rushmc at 10:13 AM on December 10, 2002


Vidiot, the most critical determining factors in whether someone has a "good trip" or a "bad trip" are described as set and setting. Here's a brief introduction to the concept, but a whole book has been written about it.
posted by arielmeadow at 10:13 AM on December 10, 2002


quonsar: This may not help
wobh: just to assure you, at no point in my description of an incident which took place more than 30 years ago did i indicate that i needed help explaining it or that i suffered permanently from it, though that may have been read in by some. as soon as i thought about something else, the problem went away. don't confuse my story with loopsouth's. mine was offered up as an interesting anecdote from an old hippy, not a cry for help OR a dire warning. :-)
posted by quonsar at 10:14 AM on December 10, 2002


Say you are deftly afraid of spiders. ... Now imagine if you just found out that your entire world was, in fact, made of spiders...

but that's just it...the world isn't exactly made of spiders but it is indeed crawling with them, and hallucinogens open people to the existence of many such weird, woeful and wonderful facts.

my intensely bad trip occurred about 15 years ago. i was at a beach house with non-using (beer guzzling) friends and dropped acid 4 times in a week. during the last one, i convinced myself i had died and was in hell.

i wished my friends had read this link, maybe they could have helped me better. instead they did what i insisted they do, call the authorities ("maybe they can revive me from death") fortunately, i had taken my last dose and was not arrested.

anyway, i do occasionally hear the same the wild music in my head i heard that night...reading this thread for instance brings a lot back. but i've generally gotten over my experience and it seems very distant now. what i eventually realized was that the bad things in my head were already there and the experience just brought them to my consciousness. i no longer believe in hell and see death as a transition ... spiritually, i am in a far different place now than i was then and i truly believe my experience -- as horrible as it was -- helped bring me shed demons cloaked in the concept of sin.

i did do acid a few times afterwards but it was never really much of an expeirence of any kind. (and of course i had done it many times before the bad trip with wonderful results).

do a google search for william burroughs and "bum kicks" sometime for a better phrasing.
posted by danOstuporStar at 10:16 AM on December 10, 2002


i would class mushroom trips far heavier than acid tho the quality of acid has declined, i would say that a bad mushroom trip is not to be recommended and they are hard to overestimate in terms of psychological damage.
I know one guy who did the flying out of the window thing and another who was put in the nuthouse via lsd , oh and another who has manic depression now.
I sure count myself lucky i never tripped with hama7 around, that would have been a nightmare.....sounds like hama7 would definitely have a bad one...anyway i dont touch nothin now....
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:27 AM on December 10, 2002


the most critical determining factors in whether someone has a "good trip" or a "bad trip" are described as set and setting

Would this be a good place?
posted by snez at 10:27 AM on December 10, 2002


LoopSouth, a friend of mine who was/is incredibly musically creative has been more or less musically moribund since he had the resources to purchase any equipment he may want. he was much better off recording onto a 4-track, using the kitchen bin as percussion. i don't think psychedelics played any part in this. don't worry about the hiatus in your music making, just look at *various artists/authors/musicians* who took decade long breaks between creative bursts. maybe you could change focus, find another outlet for your creative abilities, perhaps join the mefiswap consortium to stimulate your musical interests?

on a personal note, i have experienced 'bad trips' myself, the outcome has been that i felt the need to 'sort my head out' before once again experiencing the glorious power of my brains capacity for wonder being amplified by the drugs most like my brain chemistry. AFAIK psychotropics neither take, nor leave anything chemical behind in the mind.

i am one of those who believes that everybody should go through a 'rights of passage' ceremony/ritual during puberty which involves psychoactive drugs. the reasoning behind this would be: people who are mentally unstable would 'freak out' badly. they would then have the bulk of their lives to sort this out, rather than waiting until they had a job/family/bills/real responsibility to have the probable breakdown. western society does not cope well with any form of mental aberation (save sociopathic trendencies in business/politics, but that is a different thread), so people have to be able to care for thier own mental wellbeing.
the downside to my facistic drug enforcement scenario may be that further distress may be caused to abuse victims and some people who had a small probability of suffering psychotic episodes would increase their succeptibility. in general, i think it would be a great way to non-destructively test peoples' behaviour under mental stress.
i understand that psychotic episodes can be triggered by any one of thousands of environmental conditions, from eating a ball of acid to not getting enough salt in their diet.
i often support Aproposition that dmt is the missing link. (not that dmt, this dmt)
posted by asok at 10:33 AM on December 10, 2002


re: Vitamin C as a way to prevent hallucinations

In my major drug ingestion years (late 80s early to late mid 90s) we always held the belief that taking vitamin C increased the liklihood and intensity of hallucinations. All hallucinagenic substance procurement was followed by a trip to the minimart for half-gallons of OJ.
posted by jennyb at 10:41 AM on December 10, 2002


It's a shame that drug use is so much a part of clubbing culture. Sadly, the dangers of club drugs, including LSD, are often known, but are either underestimated or momentarily ignored by users. For many young clubbers, they're certainly not spared the temptation or hardsell to have a good trip with acid, trips, bart simpson, sugar, eggs, beans, liquid, special K, etc..If these names are not familiar to you (particularly if you're a parent), you may want to take a fresh look at how LSD, MDMA , Ketamine (all have hallucinogenic properties) are being "packaged" as harmless substances (capsules or tablets or even liquid form) as they sound.
posted by taratan at 10:59 AM on December 10, 2002


I'm glad hama7 is able to live in such a black and white world where every jaywalk, tax he fails to pay, and traffic violation that he commits is promptly reported to the police for swift punitive action.

In the REAL world morality is often at odds with legality. This grey area leads to abortion clinic bombings, speeding, tax fraud and yes even the use of drugs.

If hama7's parenting skills will be limited to handing his offspring over to the proper authorities whenever they commit some kind of infraction of the law that would be his choice. I dare say that this type of parenting would not only lead to truely screwed up kids but also is an example of extreme negligence on the part of the parent. Certainly parents need to be responsible for some if not most of the discipline of their child much less the education of morality that the legal system will never adequately address.
posted by aaronscool at 11:05 AM on December 10, 2002


me too jennyb
posted by soplerfo at 11:06 AM on December 10, 2002


asok:

Thats why I never actually got any hardware... I did it all with software. I didn't even have a keyboard. I can't read music either, as I would just do it all by ear.

I only started doing it because there was music I wanted to hear that it seemed noone else was making. I figured instead of waiting for someone else to do it I would go ahead and write it. It was fun being able to hear what I wanted. It was nice to have that complete control over something.

Usually the music would just come to me. I would sit down without even knowing what I was going to make, and 6 hours later I would have a song (or the basis of one...)

The only formula I used was my goosebumps. If the sound was giving me goosebumps I knew I was on the right track.

Right now I'm in a listening mode. I still get new ideas... but right now I'm trying to learn a bit more about the music (like how to read it... chords... and whatnot) before I go back to production.

If I could make music without knowing a thing about it... I figure if I learn a bit of music theory and history, I'll be able to approach it with a bit more intelligence.
posted by LoopSouth at 11:07 AM on December 10, 2002


snez... I'm having flashbacks now, and I'm completely sober.
posted by crunchland at 11:11 AM on December 10, 2002


snez: Would this be a good place?

That is a grand place for such an experience, but if the clown shows up, we're all screwed.
posted by samuelad at 11:23 AM on December 10, 2002


Quonsar I wasn't really trying to help—it sounded to me like you were alright. I just thought it was interesting (and frankly somewhat amusing) that a phenomenon that is similiar to hallucinations so impressively intersected your experience of LSD.

I also thought people might be interested in getting an idea of what LoopSouth experiences in darkness by exploring a related phenomenon. One can do this safely by pressing gently on one's closed eyes. One should see a gentle boil of colors in a background not-black. It sounds to me like LoopSouth experiences this in an unpleasantly vivid fashion all the time. (I Am Not A Doctor)
posted by wobh at 11:42 AM on December 10, 2002


Definitely good advice! If you're interested, there are some amazing trip stories in fray.
posted by fraying at 11:47 AM on December 10, 2002


wobh:

Your exactly right... I remember as a kid rubbing my eyes in the morning... if I rubbed a bit too long I would start to see all sorts of interesting patterns and colors...

What I see (in darkenss or if I just close my eyes) is alot (almost exactly, but with more "static") like that... but all the time... it gets worse the longer I pay attention to it. (its hard not to) I try and surround myself with light, but not too bright...

Because of the trip, some times certain patterns will induce an involuntary "fight or flight" response in my body... A panic attack usually follows, so I try to fix my environment in a way that doesn't complement the problem.

I sleep with a pretty bright (for a nightlight) reddish orange light. (actually its a lightbulb I mounted inside a traffic cone... hehe)

I have found that certain wavelengths of light (besides just plain bright light) make the hallucinations worse... (blues, usually...)

I love twilight (its now my favorite part of the day...) because I can go outside without worry...

A bright blue sky is my worst enemy... just like a completely dark room...

Silence is another problem I didn't mention. You know that faint hiss you hear when it is completely silent... well for me it gets so loud its almost painfull... (sometimes it really is...) I have to have some sort of noise in the background at all times. (I am a music freak, so this isn't usually a problem either.)

Its been tough having to adjust to all of this, but I have been making it work.

I live in Houston, TX. In a big city, I don't have to worry about silence too much... and rarely is it ever dark enough outside with all the streetlights to cause a problem.
posted by LoopSouth at 12:21 PM on December 10, 2002


I am totally sympathetic with bad drug experiences and mean no disrespect by pointing y'all to the excellent advice of Aceyalone.
posted by blissbat at 12:25 PM on December 10, 2002


Invaluable thread--thanks, sheauga and everyone else. I didn't need any convincing to avoid LSD (There's no deterent like having parents who lost a good friend to acid--he crawled onto an interstate on-ramp while trying to "escape" a bad trip.), but unfortunately, I'll probably have to act on this advice sometime. A friend is across campus ingesting shrooms as we speak. Sigh.
posted by hippugeek at 1:17 PM on December 10, 2002


hama7 - you have been dosed with self-righteousness and lack of compassion and are having a bad trip. Take several deep breaths and watch the people around you so you might learn from them and soon you will come down. Eventually, your hallucinations of parents who are glad to send their children to jail and people who turn bad because they've ingested a drug will subside and you will see people, including yourself, as the confused mixtures of good and bad they really are.
posted by pyramid termite at 2:11 PM on December 10, 2002


I'm amazed that the article or no one here mentioned chugging milk to kill a bad trip. Bad trip>quart of milk>trip's gone in 20-30 minutes. I speak from experience; I as well as many other people I know have had to "milk it" multiple times and every time it was 100% effective. It's hell on your digestive system but it works. Basically what it does it just neutralizes the acid. Now sometimes the problem is getting people to drink it... it might be necessary to hold the person down, pinch their nose shut and make them chug it. It's certainly not pleasant but it's better than all the psychological damage they may suffer from letting the acid work its course.
posted by spungfoo at 2:21 PM on December 10, 2002


spungfoo: I'm not sure how it could "neutralize the acid", really, since the acid will have long been absorbed by the time the milk shows up and I highly doubt milk is some kind of LSD-Narcan (although ingestion of large amounts of pretty well any liquid could well help flush things out). I also think that holding someone down and forcing large quantities of liquid down their throat is a great way to cause pneumonia and massively increase their stress levels. I suspect that most of these "cures" really work via placebo effect (aside from benzodiazepines, which don't do anything to the LSD itself, but alleviate the anxiety and tension of a bad trip), and that effective talking down can be just as useful as anything else. Bad trips are usually caused by the wrong surroundings and circular negative thought patterns, and good trips can be brought about by the right surroundings and encouraging positive thought patterns. Great link sheauga, but I disagree that mentioning that the person is under the influence shouldn't be done more than once. Very often people need reminding that the state they're in has been brought about artifically, and will subside as the drug is metabolized. Many drugs have been found to bring out underlying mental illnesses, from LSD to marijuana to cough medicine, it seems unlikely that any of them are a direct cause of the illness, and more likely that they just function as a catalyst in some people who already have a latent problem.
posted by biscotti at 2:39 PM on December 10, 2002


Quick note on vitamin C: amongst myself and my compatriots, it's believed to be a trip-enhancer. On the other hand, that isn't necesarily incompatible with the belief that it's a trip-smoother. It may be that one eats one's eighth of mushrooms, drinks your two bottles of fantasia (1000% RDA of VitC per!) and it both hightens and de-barbs your trip.

Or, it may all be crap. As LoopSouth points out, any sort of research is verboten, so who knows, really?

I, personally, stick to the "nothing refined" rule. I don't smoke hash, I don't drop acid, and I don't take E. I just don't trust the criminal underground not to cut those things with nasty stuff.* If it's still recognizable as something that grew somewhere, or if it's FDA regulated (e.g.: alcohol), then I'll consider it. I've taken mushrooms three times, never more than an eighth, and besides a slight touch of paranoia about police officers (they know!) on the third trip (about six months ago, now - since Frosh year at university I've kind of done an annual "yay! It's Spring!" trip) I haven't had any problems. And, frankly, I think that's the way to do it. If you're curious what your brain does when someone of the valves get opened, I think it's worth finding out. But I also think that if you make a habit out of it, it's quite possible to run into LoopSouth's problem.

Which isn't to rag on Loop... I hardly think I'm qualified to judge. This is just sort of my personal hallucinogen policy, and it's my suspicion that it's a relatively safe way to go about using an unregulated psychoactive drug.

I think hama7 has been thoroughly refuted already, even if it's unlikely he would agree with me.

That's a great guide, sheuga. In an ideal world, there would be no need for it but (wacky simultaneous inventors of calculus aside) we probably all agree this isn't an ideal world.

-Kavasa

*Yes, I realize leaf and fungus can be laced with nasty stuff. However, I buy from people I know, and most of the stuff is locally grown, so the risk is minimized.

On preview: spungfoo, I dunno about that. The one time I womitted whilst enjoying a cannabis-high was when I sat there and drank much of a new gallon of milk to soothe my burning throat. Granted, that's more than a quart, but... Well, we're all milldly intolerant of bovine milk, and asking someone whose chemistry is wonkified, and who's flipping out anyways, to chug a bunch of milk... That just seems iffy, to me.
posted by kavasa at 2:55 PM on December 10, 2002


I can't read this whole thread. It's ridiculous. So please excuse me if I don't address your personal input or even the major elements of the thread. The guy's piece was fairly good if not comprehensive (what is?). Many, many, many trips later... I can say it's not for everybody, but the wisest cultures have always had a way OUT, and ours is no different. Just like life, you take the once-in-a-while "bad" with the mostly "good". Your "balance" is individual.
posted by Grand Wahzoo at 3:19 PM on December 10, 2002


hama- what is your major malfunction?

We are actually even remotely considering "talking down" a child who has gone unsupervised by a parent, and nobody's even batting an eye, or, more astoundingly, asking me what my major malfunction is? I am utterly flabbergasted. Speechless. Fortunately, I can still type.

Newsflash: Until your kiddies are legally adult and depending on what country or state in which you live: You as a parent are legally responsible for the actions of that child as a parent and guardian.

What I find most upsetting is that not one soul in this thread has expressed the slightest uneasiness about the lapse of parental responsibility.

What if you found that your child had drunk Dran-o or Clorox as a result of lack of supervision, or that they had smothered in a locked car in summer? The parent would be held legally responsible, and rightfully so.

What if your criminally unsupervised adolescent is storing drugs in your home? Well, whether you know it, or like it or not, when the cops bust your brat, they are going to take you too, because that child is your legal responsibility, and how anyone could let a child go ferally unsupervised is beyond this reader.

Sorry to crash the party. Please resume regaling one another with tales of wanton excess.
posted by hama7 at 3:33 PM on December 10, 2002


Your child is sobbing and uncontrollable because of having ingested illegal drugs? Call the cops and get them to a hospital as fast as possible.
posted by hama7 at 3:36 PM on December 10, 2002


"Them" = not the cops: your kid.
posted by hama7 at 3:55 PM on December 10, 2002


Wow! He's still around!
Which means I get to take my shot at beating my head against a brick wall.

Speaking of, allow me to point something out, hama7: although your points have been repeatedly addressed, in various ways, not once have you actually attempted to answer any point brought up by anyone else. Just sayin'.

First, it's not that people haven't expressed any unease at a lapse of parental responsibility. They have, however, defined that responsibility differently. Allow me to summarize what appear to be the two main definitions present:
hama7 definition: "It is the parent's responsibility to make sure that the child never does anything wrong*, and if s/he fails at this, it is then her/his responsibility to protect the child's welfare**."

Majority definition "It is first the responsibility of the parent to protect protect the child's welfare***, and part of that is supplying the child with the information s/he needs to make reasonable life choices, as well as a reliable and loving safety net so that if and when the child makes a mistake, s/he knows s/he has somewhere to go to."

* One of the first problems here is that you, hama, define "taking a hallucinogen" as morally wrong. Most of us find this laughably incorrect, but it's not actually central to the disagreement.

** Here is something that is central to the disagreement. Hama feels that the best way to do this in this situation is to contact The Authorities and get the kid to a hospital. I think what you fail to realize, hama, is that most of the people in this thread consider this to be very possibly causing grievous harm to the child. Say what you will, but do not characterize this position as one of mindless hedonism. It is very certainly motivated by the conviction that a brightly lit, noisy, confusing hospital, quite possibly surrounded by police officers, is an environment that will quite possibly cause permanent damage to the child. You may disagree with this, but you'll have to put forth reasonable arguments in support of your belief. And drawing parallels to drinking drano or, bizarrely enough, leaving an infant in a car won't cut it. A bad trip is a loss of connection with reality, like being in a horrible nightmare you can't wake up from. Drinking drano rips up your throat and causes internal hemhorraging; smothering in a car raises core body temperature too high. The situations are obviously different.

*** This is the other side of the argument you take in **. This is the position that a bad trip is a fundamentally psychological condition, and the best way to deal with it is to comfort the child, for the reasons outlined in the guide. Furthermore, the point has been made that if the child thinks you will call The Authorities, s/he very well may avoid you during the plague. And in whose care would you rather your child be during a bad trip: her/his tripped out friends and aquaintances, or your own? Furthermore furthermore, what's more responsible: pushing your child into the "care" of said wacked-out aquaintances, or pulling your child into your own care?

Kavasa
posted by kavasa at 4:08 PM on December 10, 2002


While hama7's "Baby out with the bathwater" approach to parenting is nearly as negligent as he is trying to make us all seem because kids will always have access to things outside of a parent's control.

One thing he is missing is that while parents are liable in some cases for their children's actions they are not in all or even most situations. I believe parents are only liable in 2 scenarios.

The first is if their child inflicts some sort of property or personal damage then in some cases (this would be a trial) the parents could be held responsible for some of the monetary damages. NOTE: This is a civil action restrained to monetary damages only and the plantiffs need to prove that the parents were unnecessarily negligent in their control of their child. I doubt ANY drug related cases could be proven to this degree.

The second is as special as it is unfortunate. This is the result of our "War" on drugs that has created special laws in which certain levels of drugs found on or in a property allow for the federal government to confiscate that property regardless of ownership of said drugs. This law is not only applied though in parent/child situations but is more likely to be applied in a landlord/renter situation.

The question is what can parents do to reasonably control their children. Short of locking them up until they are 18 they will always have access to illegal activities (Drugs, vandalism, theft) and an independant will to commit them. No one will believe that parents have some kind of absolute control of children hama7 so stop pretending that this is possible.
posted by aaronscool at 4:14 PM on December 10, 2002


Someone up there mentioned "set and setting" or something. Is a Las Vegas casino, with it's noise, glaring lights, zillion mirrors and mafia thug security guys a good "setting"? No? How about a party in garishly painted day-glo woods, or a large auditorium wherein a manic speed freak constantly flips a sledge hammer? The "set and setting" Leary-ites have the upper hand here, and we just can't have that. That is NO way to pass the acid test.
But seriously, Kesey always liked to have a safety net, whether it was the above mentioned 10mg of valium, or a bottle of screw cap wine, and it's a pretty good idea. Some go the other way, though, with a vial of adrenochrome and a bag of coke.
posted by gnz2001 at 4:14 PM on December 10, 2002


A little personal anecdote to clarify, here... At some point early in my pubescence, my parents made it eminently clear that I could and should call at any hour of the day from any location on the face of the earth, and they would be there as fast as they could to take me home. That is true responsibility. That is recognition that you can't control your child's life, but when s/he fucks up, you have a duty to save her/him.

Your "responsibility" is a limp, pale, and frankly noxious half-shadow of the real deal.
posted by kavasa at 4:18 PM on December 10, 2002


I think hama7 is actually Ed Anger

or vice versa...
posted by johnny vagabond at 4:54 PM on December 10, 2002


Hama7:
Children are weened onto responsibility, so that when they become adults they can make choices. Your attempt to draw a parallel between cooking an infant in a closed car or keeping bleach in a toddler's reach with letting a teenager acquire acid is absurd.

In one case, adult supervision is necessary for the day to day well being of a child. What about when a child is past that age? (What do you think that age is, hama?) Because once a child is past that age, he has the ability to defy you. You seem to be saying that the parent is morally and legally responsible for his child's actions. Honestly, I don't understand you here; my idea of free will doesn't permit me to blame the parents.
posted by adzuki at 5:02 PM on December 10, 2002


Your child is sobbing and uncontrollable because of having ingested illegal drugs? Call the cops and get them to a hospital as fast as possible.

OK, once more:
While possibly well intentioned your solution is wrong.
It's not wrong b/c it isn't "cool" it's wrong b/c it's dangerous to the psychological wellbeing of a child, or an adult for that matter. Do you not understand that? Or, do you just not believe it? I assure you it is true. Like I said before, if your hell bent on involving the police, do it the next day.

A personal anecdote:
In highschool a friend of mine started freaking out on acid. He took off all of his clothes poured bleach on his head and started trying to snort powdered detergent. He ran outside and started yelling, which prompted a neighbor to call the police. By the time they arrived, he had started to calm down, but the sight of them set him off again. They grabbed him and started beating him with billy clubs, at which point he involuntarily urinated on them (remember, he was naked). Guess where they took him? to the hospital? No, they took him to jail, where he was thrown, naked, into a cell and left until his parents could be located. Now tell me, how could this be good for anyone?
posted by buz46 at 5:06 PM on December 10, 2002


And no, this "friend" was not me.
posted by buz46 at 5:07 PM on December 10, 2002


Excuse the run on sentences in my previous post, I was a bit worked up.
posted by buz46 at 5:17 PM on December 10, 2002


It is very certainly motivated by the conviction that a brightly lit, noisy, confusing hospital, quite possibly surrounded by police officers, is an environment that will quite possibly cause permanent damage to the child.

So now it's the hospital causing the damage but not the drug? This kind of drug can cause mental illness an induce schizophrenia. Are we purposefully overlooking the severity of the documented side effects?

No one will believe that parents have some kind of absolute control of children hama7 so stop pretending that this is possible.

I did not say control, but I did say responsibility.

Is a Las Vegas casino, with it's noise, glaring lights, zillion mirrors and mafia thug security guys a good "setting"?

I have never taken drugs, so I don't know.

Your "responsibility" is a limp, pale, and frankly noxious half-shadow of the real deal.

Nice talking to you too.

I apologise that I cannot respond to a seemingly endless stream of enraged disagreement, but I require sleep and I work for a living.

We aren't talking about a kid who has a couple of beers at age 17 or something: this is a potentially deadly psychotropic hallucinogen which may or may not be strychnine (rat poison).

While the majority of posters here might be cooing soft words and warming milk, I would prefer to seek professional medical attention as soon as possible with sirens wailing and lights flashing.
posted by hama7 at 5:28 PM on December 10, 2002


*reminds self not to invite hama7 to any wild parties*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:30 PM on December 10, 2002


We aren't talking about a kid who has a couple of beers at age 17 or something: this is a potentially deadly psychotropic hallucinogen which may or may not be strychnine (rat poison).
except that lsd fatalities amongst humans are absolutely undocumented. for a proper frame of reference, see this article at erowid regarding an elephant fatality:
If a human model had been used to determine the dose of LSD for the elephant, the dose would be in the neighborhood of 0.003 mg/kg. For a 60 - 100kg human, doses of .2mg (200 micrograms) is enough to cause substantial clinical effects. Based on this, the calculated dose for an elephant of Tusko's size (3000 kg) would be about 9mg of LSD. West et al.'s choice to inject Tusko with 297mg was more than 30 times the effective oral dose for a human of Tusko's weight.
and strychnine? nigger, please. congratulations, you just sent your kid to jail over the oldest, dumbest myth in drug lore.

So now it's the hospital causing the damage but not the drug? This kind of drug can cause mental illness an induce schizophrenia. Are we purposefully overlooking the severity of the documented side effects?


somebody suffering from an lsd-related crisis is experiencing a psychic dilemma, not a physical one. the only thing a doctor can do--if indeed he or she diagnoses the situation accurately, which emergency physicians are not reknowned for doing in this case--is administer thorazine. at any rate, colloquial evidence suggests that the ER experience greatly exacerbates the mental trauma that has, up until that point, been entirely illusory: the spiders eating the user's brain, for instance, do not in fact exist; but once he has been shot full of tranquilizers, strapped to a bed, waiting for the cops to come with angry, disapproving parents looming above him, the danger has suddenly become very real.

educate yourself, for ignorance is true negligence.
posted by kjh at 5:43 PM on December 10, 2002


We aren't talking about a kid who has a couple of beers at age 17 or something:

Actually according to your "Hand'em over to the Police" book of parenting that's just what you are implying we should do. For ANY illegal infraction including underage drinking.

this is a potentially deadly psychotropic hallucinogen which may or may not be strychnine (rat poison).

LSD is only deadly in it's psychotropic effects. Thus if someone were to have a "Bad Trip" then the threat is that they may do harm to themselves. Calling the police or other authorities would likely exaggerate these tenancies. Again I don't see how your solution has any merit nor do I see it doing anything but make things much worse.

If you want to call the police and have your kids locked up when they run afoul of the law I suppose that would be your right. But don't expect any of us, your children or the general public to thank you for making a potentially bad situation even worse.
posted by aaronscool at 5:45 PM on December 10, 2002


I'm joining this thread really late, but wanted to comment. First, I wish I had this many come down strategies in college. I've taken most things mentioned here and had both good and bad times.

Whoever supposed that natural = better when compared to the possible complications with synthetic - I totally disagree. It is more difficult to dose shrooms correctly. I had the worst trip of my entire life on shrooms.

Also, I think it is important to mention moderation in all things. Dosage does matter. There is a difference between taking one hit and five hits. There is a difference between taking hits seven days in a row vs. over seven months.
posted by birgitte at 5:50 PM on December 10, 2002


This might have deserved a post to the front page in and of itself, but "Canadian Justice Minister Martin Cauchon created a stir on Monday by saying he wants to take steps to decriminalize marijuana within the next four months."

Which adds a layer of irony to hama7's legalistic talk, I'd venture.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:07 PM on December 10, 2002


my advice to everyone (including hama7) is whether ur freaking out on some mind-altering drug or your 16yr old daughter comes home and tells u that she's pregnant, always remember, 'there's no place like home'.
posted by poopy at 6:31 PM on December 10, 2002


hama7, how do you plan on making sure that your child/ren are obeying the letter of the law? They stop being in your care (I mistakenly typed "cage" instead of "care"--interesting, no?) from a relatively young age and spend increasingly more time away from home as they get older. Should they decide to do something that would damage them or is illegal, how do you plan on stopping them? More importantly, should you stop your child/ren, do you run the risk of their having a criminal record that could follow them for the rest of their lives by reporting them to the police?

I'd really like a response to these questions; you have a very interesting take on child-rearing. Feel free to email me, if you like.
posted by ashbury at 7:02 PM on December 10, 2002


There is a difference between taking hits seven days in a row vs. over seven months.

yes, but in this particular case, the bias towards "safety" is not in the direction of moderation as you suggest. (with acid at least), there's a short term tolerance that builds up, so that the effect on the 7th consecutive day if the dosage is uniform is much less than than the 7th instance if those hits are taken a month apart.

but yeah, the general principal holds.
posted by juv3nal at 7:19 PM on December 10, 2002


I have never taken drugs, so I don't know.

That's the only true statement you have made. Why do you insist on ignoring the myriad of anecdotal evidence that your, "sirens wailing," solution IS NOT THE WAY!

Did you not read the story of my friend and his billy club experience? do you think we are making this shit up? Do you really want your child to be in a cell, shivering, in a puddle of their own urine? The police are not going to follow your instructions on how to treat your child, you know that right?

Your eagerness to trust the "system" with your loved ones seems very naive
posted by buz46 at 7:29 PM on December 10, 2002


1. Taking niacin (not niacinamide) to stop a bad trip appears to be out of style in this thread. Is it ineffective?

2. Freakouts are also possible without the aid of LSD! If the exact reasons for someone freaking out aren't clear, I'd rather get help. Could be prescription withdrawal, a pre-existing mental condition, mixed drugs and / or alcohol, or simply a plain old hysterical shit fit by a person backed into a corner and desperate.

3. In the 1970s, you never knew for sure if someone would come back from a trip, and one person on the scene back then explained to me that this is because the typical LSD dose used to be much higher. My personal observation is that birgitte's advice to be moderate, not take huge doses of LSD at one time, or take it for prolonged periods, really does appear to make a difference.

4. Some of us have to struggle to see beyond the things of this world, but for others of us, the struggle is focusing on daily, mundane affairs. If you, like me, are already blessed with the direct access to the dream state and world of the imagination, why bother with LSD at all?

5. LoopSouth, there are cool psychiatrists out there who understand the sorts of things you are experiencing and can help you figure out strategies to make your life smoother. Some of them are old hippies working at county mental health centers, rehabs, or homeless centers. Others are straight-edge science types who are really on top of the latest brain research and pharmaceuticals. If you aren't getting good technical advice on exactly what's happening with your brain chemistry, keep asking around. It's out there. If you don't trust medical professionals, you might try hanging out with neuroscience grad students for a while ...

6. Another possibility: the old hippie who had to keep his act together enough so that after taking LSD for two weeks on a deserted desert island with 20 naked people, he could still pack them all back on a boat and sail them back home, explained it like this:

"It doesn't matter what drugs you take, or what kind of shape you're in. All you ever have to do in this life is maintain. As long as you just remember to do whatever it takes to maintain, you'll be fine."
posted by sheauga at 7:33 PM on December 10, 2002


Should they decide to do something that would damage them or is illegal, how do you plan on stopping them?

Children cannot be controlled like marionettes, but parents are ultimately responsible for whatever they do, no matter what. Again.

More importantly, should you stop your child/ren, do you run the risk of their having a criminal record that could follow them for the rest of their lives by reporting them to the police?

Parents run that risk too, as legal guardians, and as adults. Children make decisions too, they don't get a free 'felony pass' just because they're not adults. Are you suggesting they should?

Anyway, I am a totally uncool person who believes that patting a kid on the back for criminal behavior is flagrantly irresponsible at best and horribly dangerous at worst. Bad. Very bad.

And the comments are getting nastier, which means it may be time to flex.

Yay.
posted by hama7 at 7:42 PM on December 10, 2002


they don't get a free 'felony pass' just because they're not adults. Are you suggesting they should?

The last time I checked, being on LSD was not a felony. In fact, it is not a crime at all. Unless one is still in possession of the drug, there is no crime. Why do you think crack dealers try to swallow their stash when they get busted?
posted by buz46 at 7:57 PM on December 10, 2002


Children cannot be controlled like marionettes, but parents are ultimately responsible for whatever they do, no matter what. Again.

So if your child murders some one, you would expect to be arrested as well?
posted by buz46 at 8:04 PM on December 10, 2002


Hama7, I don't think anybody in this thread has said that it's okay for kids to take drugs or do criminal things. All that's been said is that we would do our best to protect and care for our children by taking a course of action that we think would suit the situation best. Obviously there are times when bringing your kid to the cops makes the best sense, but in a case of a teenager having a bad trip, it may not be in their best interests, for any number of reasons. Just like our children, we make judgement calls; hopefully we are mature enough to know what those calls should be, whereas a teenager may not, hence much of the very stupid and often dangerous things they do.

I'm not suggesting that they get a "get out of jail free" pass. We are all held accountable for our actions, as are our children. When we make bad decisions, we end up paying for them, somewhere along the line, and that applies just as much, if not more, to our kids. Hopefully the justice and discipline we dole out to our kids is enough of a determent to prevent further negative behaviours. But a line must be drawn somwhere. How much respect will your child have for you if you have them jailed? The odds are that they'll laugh in your face when you say "This hurts me more than it hurts you." It's a fine line and never an obvious answer as to what punishment should be given.

...parents are ultimately responsible for whatever they do...

Yes and no, I think. Perhaps in a legal sense this is true, but not so much in a moral and realistic sense. As you say, children are not marionettes and there may come a point when the parents simply have no say in what their children say, do and think. It happens.

Parents run that risk too [of getting a criminal record], as legal guardians, and as adults.

It's my job to protect my child as best I can. Depending on the situation and the nature of my child as a teenager, I might gladly (or not so gladly) take the rap. Or I might not. See, this is a complex area, filled with supposition on what I may or may not do based on what my child may or may not do. It's not black and white but many shades of gray. I'm sure there are MeFites out there who have been in this sort of situation. Would you like to share your experiences?

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I will do my best to make sure my children grow up to be healthy, mature and loving individuals with a good sense of self-worth and self-esteem, the ability to make their own decisions and willingness to be accountable to those decisions.
posted by ashbury at 8:18 PM on December 10, 2002


Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I will do my best to make sure my children grow up to be healthy, mature and loving individuals with a good sense of self-worth and self-esteem, the ability to make their own decisions and willingness to be accountable to those decisions.

And here, sir, we agee in no uncertain terms, and basically in entirety. And I have to add that you said it very well. In fact, I am glad to have read such a thoughtful post, as I was starting to get that "not-so-fresh" feeling.

Thanks, ashbury.
posted by hama7 at 8:31 PM on December 10, 2002


I have been reading this thread all day and it correlates to a idea I had for my Ethics class. Young people seem to want the world to be black and white. They want all the lines of right and wrong drawn out distinctly for them. I think as you get older you tend to come to realize that there are all sorts of shades of grey in life. As you mature, you begin to accept this. The class is about Ethics and the Web and it seems the younger people are the more likely they are to want more laws and regulations regarding Web usage. They want to be told what they can and cannot do with it. I guess they still need to know they boundaries in life. At least that seems to be the way the cards are falling in that class. This is also why we tend to rebel as teenagers, we are testing our boundaries . In light of this I am guessing that hama7 is under 30....perhaps well under 30. That being the case, when he grows(and he has children of his own) up he will understand. Just so you know I am one without children and I have sided on this with the side for compassion for ones children. Whether the child did take acid intentionally, or had it dropped on them....or they are having a manic episode, panic attack, experienced some horrific tragedy (for example what if this person is freaking out because they have just been sexually assaulted and do not at this time want to speak to authorities or doctors), or experiencing some other psychiatric episode, I think its very important that at least one person remain calm themselves, at least attempt to calm the other person down, and assess the situation before making drastic decisions that may forever affect this persons mental stability. All I can say hama7 is....as far as child rearing goes....Wish ya luck.
posted by SweetIceT at 8:41 PM on December 10, 2002


I have been reading this thread all day and it correlates to a idea I had for my Ethics class. Young people seem to want the world to be black and white. They want all the lines of right and wrong drawn out distinctly for them. I think as you get older you tend to come to realize that there are all sorts of shades of grey in life. As you mature, you begin to accept this. I guess they still need to know they boundaries in life. At least that seems to be the way the cards are falling in that class. This is also why we tend to rebel as teenagers, we are testing our boundaries . In light of this I am guessing that hama7 is under 30....perhaps well under 30. That being the case, when he grows up (and conceivably has children of his own) he will understand. .....

Just so you know I am one without children and I have sided on this with the side for compassion for ones children. Whether the child did take acid intentionally, or had it dropped on them....or they are having a manic episode, panic attack, experienced some horrific tragedy (for example what if this person is freaking out because they have just been sexually assaulted and do not at this time want to speak to authorities or doctors), or experiencing some other psychiatric episode, I think its very important that at least one person remain calm themselves, at least attempt to calm the other person down, and assess the situation before making drastic decisions that may forever affect this persons mental stability. If it does turn out to be a bad acid trip, what would be the harm in trying to alleviate thier current state of paranoia, before deciding to take other measures. Children make mistakes all the time...things that cause them harm....you tell you child not to touch the hot stove and what does he do....wait until you turn your back for a nanosecond and touches it anyway. He won't of course do that again. Perhaps this is one of those situations hama7? Would you not give your child even the benefit of a doubt? If this is an ongoing problem with drug abuse and not the first time your child has come home this way, this may be the time to seek help as you cannot handle the situation yourself. Your way hama7 is admitting defeat before you have even started. I cannot discipline my child so I must turn them in to the authorities...no second chances. Everyone deserves a second chance hama7 even you. I still find it hard to believe that you actually walk on water. Wish we could speak to the hama mama and verify that he never broke any rules as a teenager. All I can say hama7 is....as far as child rearing goes....Wish ya luck.
posted by SweetIceT at 8:52 PM on December 10, 2002


Sorry for the double don't kill me....that was a first time for me.
posted by SweetIceT at 8:55 PM on December 10, 2002


"agree"

I guess this concept of indulgence toward children in quite dire situations bordering on neglect is particularly alien to me because of the relationship I had with my own family. (funny you should ask, icetea)

Never in my wildest dreams would I have entertained notions of taking drugs or committing crimes because of the responsibility I had to respect the wishes of my parents, and the sacrifices they made for me which allowed me to live a comfortable life (in their house, abiding by their rules).

I understood that my actions could have enormous consequences for my parents, so I avoided, mostly, poor decisions and dangerous behavior. I say 'mostly' because my own parents would have given me the "Happy Birthday" treatment if I disobeyed them, or endangered them or myself, because my well being was a high prority and a natural parental instinct. What's more, I understood the consequences of my actions, and the possible punishments available, which is to say I was familiar with the punishment because I was a normal rambunctious kid.

In light of this I am guessing that hama7 is under 30....perhaps well under 30. That being the case, when he grows up (and conceivably has children of his own) he will understand. .....

Well, you're south by several years, but people always tell me I should act my age.
posted by hama7 at 9:07 PM on December 10, 2002


Never in my wildest dreams would I have entertained notions of taking drugs or committing crimes because of the responsibility I had to respect the wishes of my parents, and the sacrifices they made for me which allowed me to live a comfortable life (in their house, abiding by their rules).

While that is very noble, (honestly, no sarcasm intended)
I don't think it is representative of the attitude of most teenager's. However I don't think they/we did bad things to intentionally hurt our parents either.

During my youth, my peers were always more important than my family (probably b/c my parents were divorced and I lived with my grandparents, who should have been divorced). Being cool was everything, and my role models were rock stars, (who did lot's of drugs) In retrospect, this probably caused me allot of residual problems as an adult, but that's just how things were. my friends and I were all musicians, artists, actors, writers, etc., and, for some reason, artsy types tend to be more prone to drug use/abuse. Anyway, I'm glad you were such a grounded youth, but try not to lord it over the rest of us.
posted by buz46 at 9:36 PM on December 10, 2002


Teenager's= teenagers....apostrophe happy
posted by buz46 at 9:41 PM on December 10, 2002


hama7:
Parents run that risk too, as legal guardians, and as adults. Children make decisions too, they don't get a free 'felony pass' just because they're not adults. Are you suggesting they should?

Anyway, I am a totally uncool person who believes that patting a kid on the back for criminal behavior is flagrantly irresponsible at best and horribly dangerous at worst. Bad. Very bad.


Perhaps one of the things that is driving this discussion is that there are two major philosophies out there in regards to dealing with the drug problem. Unfortunately decades of our society dealing with the problem through prohibition has done little more than result in an amazingly high incarciration rate for a "free" country, increased reductions in our civil rights and a situation where addicts are less likely to get treatment.

Even where treatment is available, the war on drugs dictates that one can't prescibe clean doses of heroin or morphene to wean off addicts, instead we use methadone which is potentially more addictive, causes worse side effects and in Britian is associated with more ovedose deaths.

Granted, I don't care that much for the instructions provided by the link. But I agree with most of the comments here. If a person is in a medical or psychological crisis it is not the time to call the police and demand an immediate indictment on felony charges. Make certain that the person is going to live to the next day. THEN you can talk about consequences and the next step for taking responsibility. That does not mean patting the kid on the back. It may mean checking the kid into rehab, or flushing their stash and walking them into an NA meeting. Heck, even the courts locally know that the traditional criminal justice approach does not solve the drug problem and are willing to give "felony passes" for minor drug offenders willing to clean up and stay clean.

By all means, I will admit to talking down an underage suicidal drunk, throwing out his stash and walking him into counseling without involving the cops. It was the right thing to do at the time and I'd do it again tomorow if needed.

And the comments are getting nastier, which means it may be time to flex.

Comments 'getting' nastier? I find it hard to see how it can get much nastier than your first post. In fact, you have followed all of the characteristics of a troll starting off inflamatory and insulting and then pleading your desire for 'thoughful discussion' when it gets too hot for comfort.

I guess this concept of indulgence toward children in quite dire situations bordering on neglect is particularly alien to me because of the relationship I had with my own family.

This is a straw man not present in the linked article, introduced in your first post. I will also argue that in dire situations (and I've had the misfortune of having to talk down more than my share of people from suicide or out of psychotic episodes) is exactly the time that indulgence is called for. At that time the ONLY thing that matters is keeping the person alive and healthy for the next 5 minutes. In those situations, I had no time to think about right/wrong or legal/illegal (the two concepts are not synonymous) my only concen was keeping them from harm.

The next morning, when they are stable and lucid. THEN you can lay down the law and say, "If you are going to live in this house you must ..."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:16 PM on December 10, 2002


Children cannot be controlled like marionettes, but parents are ultimately responsible for whatever they do, no matter what. Again.

Legally speaking? Not really again mainly only as it refers to property and monetary needs. So I can't see as how this would apply in a scenario where your child has imbibed an illegal substance.

Morally speaking? I personally have a strong disagreement that I can take full responsibility for the actions of another person other than myself. To propose that we should is ludicrous on its face and draconian at its core.
posted by aaronscool at 10:21 PM on December 10, 2002


Hama7, you appear to be having trouble understanding the difference between treatment and indulgence, or acceptance and approval. Treating people who are damaged, even if that damage is no-one's fault but their own, is not "indulging" them. The doctor who swabs a wasp sting is not approving of the patient sticking their hand into a wasp's nest; they're dealing with it. Same goes for the parent who calms their child down from a bad drug trip, as opposed to making it worse.

Sure, most of the time following the law and doing what people want you to do is the right thing to do, because mostly their desires for you are helpful or at least not harmful. This is not such a situation. The authorities' plans for your child who has used drugs are very harmful. Because of the way the drug works (LSD enhances the senses and basically strips off the psychological armor of the reality/fantasy barrier) the child is extremely vulnerable to psychological harm. The helpful alternative, talking them down and taking them counselling at a later date, is obvious and easy. Life is full of clear choices between doing good and doing evil, and this is one of them.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:26 PM on December 10, 2002


"If you are going to live in this house you must ..."

I agreed with you right up to the point that you called my post a "troll", rather than the FPP, which I found uncharacteristically and unnecessarily cheap, given the tone of the rest of your comments.

As I said, when people start bandying the word "troll" and other words primarily used for fascist German dictators, it's time to give it a rest, so thanks anyway.
posted by hama7 at 10:41 PM on December 10, 2002


Perhaps its just the glorious area of Southern Indiana where the courts, jails, and juvenile centers are over-capacity but putting kids into the corrections system is a last resort. A large part of this is that the corrections system has a dubious track record for preventing future criminal offenses. So basically for first offenses the same result happens each way. Go throught the court system, charges are dropped and the parent deals with it.

Even with adults many public intox and underage drinking offenses go to pre-trial diversion instead of trial (charges are dropped for attending awareness programs, public service and a fine.)

I agreed with you right up to the point that you called my post a "troll", rather than the FPP, which I found uncharacteristically and unnecessarily cheap, given the tone of the rest of your comments.

It was an honest assessment of your behavior in this discussion. (And given that I have a peer reviewed paper in press about trolling I would not call it "cheap".) The point is if you are going to complain about the quality of the discussion "getting nasty", you should not complain when I point out that you very successfully created a flamewar with your first several posts. If you did not want a flamewar, then perhaps you should have started with the the thoughtful explanations of your postition that you contributed over the last few hours.

I don't regard the FPP as a troll because the text is fairly neutral (althought there are other problems with it). In fact the last clearly trollish FPP I can remember is the NRA road-rage post.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:13 PM on December 10, 2002


hamas7:Children cannot be controlled like marionettes, but parents are ultimately responsible for whatever they do, no matter what.

And why doesn't making a judgement call on how to approach a crisis with your child count as being a "responsible" parent in your eyes? Quite frankly, I think most caring patients balk at having large intimidating men poke at their child, bind their hands with handcuffs, put them in a vehicle with a loud siren and flashing lights, take them to a big building, have them placed in four-point restraints for hours at a time and/or being placed with God-knows-who in some dingy holding cell at the county jail... and experiencing horrific delusions and hallucinations at the same time.

It's important that kids get this message from their parents: you can trust me to help you when you're in trouble or something terrible has happened. We'll discuss consequences once the crisis has passed and everybody is safe.

Which would you prefer, a teenager who finds themselves in a crisis but won't ask you for help because he's afraid of you? Or a teen who calls you when they or one of their friends has a freak-out, or seems to be having an overdose of some sort of narcotic? I sure would want my child to feel safe enough to call me if such a circumstance occurred, for their safety and that of their friends.
posted by echolalia67 at 11:16 PM on December 10, 2002


LoopSouth, I exhibit several of the same porblems you do, without ever having had a bad trip.

The constant colors (especially in black or white places), swirling of stationary objects, and the swimming-tadpole-thing were a problem and the doctors had no idea what was causing it.

Then I was diagnosed with hallucinogenic post perceptual disorder (HPPD.) Essentially your brain and your eyes are in collusion to make you think you're tripping all the time.

Now it doesn't even bother me, I look at it as I'm constantly entertained for free.
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 12:15 AM on December 11, 2002


In fact the last clearly trollish FPP I can remember is the NRA road-rage post.

Dude, I apologized for that in MeTa, 2 day's ago! ;-)
posted by buz46 at 12:17 AM on December 11, 2002


Day's= days..... damn apostrophe's.....apostrophes
posted by buz46 at 12:20 AM on December 11, 2002


I exhibit several of the same porblems you do, without ever having had a bad trip.

Now, see, that's why I was asking if LoopSouth was certain it had been the drugs. Thanks for that, Freshy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:20 AM on December 11, 2002


HPPD info here.
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 12:20 AM on December 11, 2002


Hama7 it is unfortunate that you have done little it seems but stir up controversy without offering very much in substance or in answering the many critics of your seemingly brash statements about how to handle teens today.

You'll have to excuse me but it does seem to me that your first answer to call the cops on someone who may be having a very serious albeit drug induced psychological problem DOES seem to be very draconian, authoritarian and many other adjectives that can be associated with Fascism.

Frankly I find your opinion on the matter untenable.
posted by aaronscool at 12:55 AM on December 11, 2002


Bit of a late answer, but once after intaking 'shrooms something weird happened to me: to the utter fright of my friends.. I fainted.

Just plain dropped to the floor, and in my unconscious state I started trembling and groaning in my mother tongue (polish). My friends completely freaked out, they couldn't wake me up, couldn't "snap me out of it", and (so they say) I was very cold to the touch.
Long story short: I woke up 5 min later with a bump on my head and a huge smile and I was shocked to see my friends huddled in a corner whimpering (it was a collective bad trip for them).

That incident never ceased to amaze me.
posted by ruelle at 11:13 AM on December 11, 2002


sheauga:

I'm actually seeing a psychiatrist... but like I said, the problem is, he knows only about just as much as I do on the subject because of all the government regulations and restrictions on information/testing/ect...

I have been to two so far and they both seem to think I am just going to have to live with my problem. Apparently there are documented cases of people who... well... never quite came down all the way. It seems to have something to do with the (this is overly simplified, but it will work for this explaination.) frequency that parts of my brain function at. LSD seems to make changes in this mechanism that can be perminate in some people depending on the level of stress.

Basically, the LSD molecule can function as a syinthetic neurotransmitter... but not as well. It stays in the binding site on the neuron longer then normal causing alot of misfiring. This is where alot of the visuals come from. Instead of a clear path from, say, your retina to your brain via the optic nerve, the LSD actually introduces "noise" (for lack of a better word) that propagates down the neural pathway. (this would explain seeing fractal and other patterns while on the drug. These patterns have alot to do with the way that the LSD molecule changes an otherwise normal nerve signal... fracturing it... changing it. The receptors don't know what to do with all this extra noise and it just forwards it down the neural pathway just like any other signal. This is why such a small amount of LSD (only a handfull of molecules actually make it into your brain.) can make such a large lasting effect. Sortof a chain reaction, if you will. LSD just sets it off.

And this is also why there is a threshold for how much acid you can ingest and how much harder your trip will be. Any more and it will just prolong the trip, it will not make it any "harder" as there are only a finite number of neurons involved in this whole process.

My problem is very similer to Post traumatic stress disorder. But the links and associations made during an acid trip aren't ones that the mind is normally ment to handle. They are a bit more... abstract. So normal established treatment doesn't work in the same way on someone like me.

The associations made during my bad trip were, infact, so strong, that they remained even after it was "over". This is why I still feel like I never quite "came down".

Every doctor I have seen tells me that I am just going to have to live with it. Period.

There is treatment for the anxiety, but not the underlying problem. Unfortunately there is nothing that can "rewire" a brain in the "correct" way. (and what is the "correct" way? This question may never be answered.)
posted by LoopSouth at 11:49 AM on December 11, 2002


Homeskillet Freshy Fresh:

I just read your post. Yes I have heard of that disorder, and I believe it is what I have. But I didn't have it before the bad trip.

Perhaps it might have reared its head later on in my life. And perhaps it wouldn't have caused much anxiety.

But acid can bring out underlying problems early. And it can leave perminite neural associations in the brain. For instance, the harmless effects you describe seems to have been perminately associated with my involuntary fear response. Just like when soneone comes up behind you and screems "boo!" and you jump.

You jumping is involuntary, as are my reactions to these new visual (and mental) phenomina.

Typical reassociation therapy doesn't work on such an abstract level, unfortunately.
posted by LoopSouth at 11:57 AM on December 11, 2002


Hama- I’ll tell you what I find so horrifying about your attitude. You clearly consider your child’s debt to you because of the “sacrifices you’ve made for him/her” more important than that child’s best interest. That’s what’s appalling. “How dare you break the law in my house!” Anyone who would think of that before trying to comfort their suffering child is an unfit parent, period.

Again, nobody is saying that kids taking drugs is a good idea. In fact, this thread wasn’t even about children until you decided it was. I took the original link as advice to one adult who may find him/herself in a position to have to soothe another adult. And furthermore, why can’t you differentiate an effort to mitigate the harm of taking drugs from an endorsement of taking drugs? Since you are clearly not stupid, I have to assume you are deliberately choosing to ignore this significant point.

You keep repeating that a parent is legally responsible for a child’s behavior even though NOBODY has disagreed with that particular point. You’re dodging the issue, as you often have in the past, in order to have a point on which to thunder and rant. You know, you always act surprised when “the comments get nasty”. But as we once discussed in private email, you might want to consider that if the whole company besides yourself thinks that your statements are inflammatory and offensive, maybe the problem is with you.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a life of utter irresponsibility and wanton excess to attend to.
posted by Fenriss at 12:20 PM on December 11, 2002


For instance, the harmless effects you describe seems to have been permanently associated with my involuntary fear response. Just like when soneone comes up behind you and screams "boo!" and you jump.

Yikes. That's tough. In my situation I was once worried by these hallucinations, but I can't say they've ever scared me. Due to some bad people I've had this since a very early age, and I think that's what has helped me to cope with it. Well, that and the fact that HPPD doesn't hit you out of nowhere, it's more of a constant hallucination helps me to become desensitized to it. The nature of the beast, however, is that every person has their own little individualized problems with HPPD

But the anxiety is common with HPPD as well. And some people are getting that anxiety successfully treated. I hope yours will too. I wish you the best of luck.
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 12:33 PM on December 11, 2002


Fenriss: I think what's horrifying is that I addressed the link and my utter shock and disbelief at the thought of "talking down" one's "uncontrollably sobbing 17 year-old". Is that not what you read? That sounds like dangerous behavior, with a subtext of irresponsibility.

I appreciate your assessment of my expression of disbelief and low tolerance for drug use as "thunder and rant", but are you reading what I wrote? I thought ashbury's comments were spectacular, and I told him so, and I agree with them.

You know, you always act surprised when “the comments get nasty”.

No, I am peculiarly unsurprised when the comments get not only nasty, but more accurately become ad hominem attacks; things like "unfit parent" for one example, or "troll" or "lying shit weasel", et cetera.

I think it's dangerous to presume how to deal with illegal psychotropic drug abuse if one is not a physician, I think it's irresponsible and amoral to assume that children are going to experiment with illegal drugs anyway, and I think it's shitty parenting to combine those things when dealing with one's child.

Thank you for your comments, Fenriss.
posted by hama7 at 4:04 PM on December 11, 2002


One more try. Hama7, you claim not to be trolling. I'll take your word for it for the moment, treat you like a sensible person, and ask you to explain your viewpoint.

Hypothetical situation: You come home and find your kid jerking around on the floor, steel kitchen knife clutched in a vise-like grip, the tip of that knife in an electricity socket. Assume for purposes of argument that it's illegal, under a health and safety statute, to stick knives in the electricity socket. Do you: (a) call the cops; and/or (b) call a physician, because you don't know how to deal with electrical burns, and it would be irresponsible to try; and/or (c) grab a wooden broomhandle and whack the knife out of the kid's hands?

The link pointed to by the first poster is the equivalent, with regard to drugs, of instructions to "get a broomhandle and whack the knife". It's first aid. It's not advising anyone to stick a knife in the electricity socket, it's telling you what to do if someone does.

Now I don't see much moral difference, from the individual user's point of view, between taking dangerous drugs and sticking a knife in the electricity socket, but I'm willing to listen to an argument on the subject. Both could kill you, you get warned about them from an early age, and both are illegal. If you would treat people differently who did these two things, why?

(A point I think you're missing: It's not to the calling of the cops that is your opponents' primary objection. Most of us think it won't help, indeed we think it would cause considerable harm, and we have good reasons for that opinion. But whatever, that's secondary.

Our primary problem with you is the negligent failure to come to the aid of the person to whom you have a duty of care. Accept that it is best to get medical help to the kid now, and call the cops later, and I think most of us will get off your back right away.)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:59 PM on December 11, 2002


hama7 wrote:
Anyway, I am a totally uncool person who believes that patting a kid on the back for criminal behavior is flagrantly irresponsible at best and horribly dangerous at worst. Bad. Very bad.

I agree that taking drugs is dangerous. My question to you would be, "How much education about various drugs and their potential effects [positive and negative] are you giving your children?" Knowledge is power, especially when you're a 16 year old kid about to go out into the world without continual parental supervision.

A secondary point would be that there are those of us out here who don't necessarily believe that drugs are morally wrong, and that many drugs are only illegal for political reasons. Does this mean that I think that hardcore or very unpredictable/dangerous narcotics should be legalized? No.

Does this mean that I think we should help people to feel better and be safe even when they make a potentially damaging mistake? Yes, it does. Especially if that person is my (as yet nonexistent) child.
posted by dryad at 7:15 AM on December 12, 2002


This comment is probably far too late to actually be seen by anyone it might be helpful to -- i.e. someone who hasn't done research on drugs and isn't likely read kilobytes of debate on the subject -- but here it is, anyway.

Taratan: There's a fundamental difference between the risks involved with drugs like ecstasy (physical damage with heavy or long-term use) and psychedelics like LSD (rewired neural connections). In the case of the latter, the effects are heavily contingent upon tiny alterations in mood, which are in turn dependent on situation. Using a low dose of LSD on a whim, at a party, for the hell of it and without mental preparation, is far riskier than a higher dose well prepared for, taken in a quite setting, surrounded by friends. (This point seems to be escaping Hama7, too.)
posted by Tlogmer at 6:39 PM on December 12, 2002


Does this mean that I think we should help people to feel better and be safe even when they make a potentially damaging mistake? Yes, it does.

I agree with you one hundred per cent in any other situation except drug ingestion, especially illegal hallucinogenic, pshchotropic drugs which are cooked up in some yahoo's basement. Only a trained professional can accurately assess the extent of the damage, or the proper course of action or treatment. Which is why I don't necessarily agree with aeschenkarnos's knife analogy, well stated as it was.

This comment is probably far too late to actually be seen by anyone it might be helpful to......Using a low dose of LSD on a whim, at a party, for the hell of it and without mental preparation, is far riskier...

Thanks Tlogmer, this is what I am trying to underscore: even if this were a 100mg aspirin tablet, the effects will vary extremely widely from person to person according to a myriad of factors. With a dangerous unmeasured homemade hallucinogen with devastating long-term and short-term side effects, is there really *any* way to accurately assess the variety of risks involved?
posted by hama7 at 11:54 PM on December 12, 2002


Well, yes. Everything involves a certain amount of uncertainty; in this case I think the risks for most people well-educated on the subject (the key, that) are within reasonable bounds. (Side note: I'd never take psychedelics myself; I'm fairly sure my mind isn't built for them.)

Only a trained professional can accurately assess the extent of the damage, or the proper course of action or treatment

Again, LSD will not cause physical damage; and because of the minute quantities involved, it will not contain adulterants. Again, the trained professionals will be in an unfamiliar environment surrounded by bright lights and loud voices; the parent made the right choice and averted further damage. (Of course, you're free to disagree about that (though you'd be wrong :P) but an argument that the parent was not only incorrect but immoral and neglectful is complete nonsense.)
posted by Tlogmer at 3:19 PM on December 15, 2002


an argument that the parent was not only incorrect but immoral and neglectful is complete nonsense

OK then, an argument that the parent was not only correct, but moral and protective is complete nonsense. So there. You're wrong. :P
posted by hama7 at 3:40 PM on December 16, 2002


ffs hama7 , you still on your fucking soapbox are you ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:53 PM on December 16, 2002


, you still on your fucking soapbox are you ?

Yeh, and I'll stay on it as long as people insist that illegal homemade hallucinogens are cool for their children and friends to take. And that they know oh! so! much better than professional doctors when things go horribly wrong.
posted by hama7 at 8:16 AM on December 18, 2002


can we have a post about how to talk someone out of
valium withdrawal please ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:02 PM on December 24, 2002


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