…when the drugs don’t work…

Inspector Morse once found a wardrobe papered inside with rave fliers whilst looking into a teenager’s suicide. He came up with a theory that once you’ve peaked on Ecstasy you might realise you’d never be that happy again and end up killing yourself. At the time I thought that was ridiculous.

Now I’m not so sure…

I can still remember the first time I really did get Ecstatic. I was running around, jumping up and down whooping and couldn’t believe how fantastic I felt. That disbelief on top of euphoria can’t be repeated, as next time you’re not so amazed that you can feel so good, now you’re just trying to get there again. I spent a few years raving the weekends away, which made work almost impossible as my brain was unfocussed for a few days each week, including the mythical ‘Black Tuesday’ when I hated and/or was scared of most people. But it felt worth it- I danced and played, met an incredible array of people and felt such love and optimism. I remember stocky Bradford hard lads in nappies chewing dummies, dodgy dealers hanging round old warehouses in London, and most of all dancing in fields or woods for days. I once took my furbies to a Megadog night at Leeds Uni – they both had epileptic fits and never spoke again. i think i should probably have taken more notice of that. Seeing people literally crawling around blinded by drugs was a bit disturbing, as was taking tablets that had heroin or ketamine added without warning- it was like wading through treacle.


I don’t regret doing it, as it was the most wild enjoyable part of my life, but I do feel like I have nothing much to look forward to now and that is sad. That may be a function of getting older, rather than a 10 year comedown, it’s very hard to say. After regular use drugs don’t seem to work in the same way, so I didn’t choose to stop, I just stopped enjoying them. Paranoia isn’t much fun.

I’ve often mused on Larry Niven’s wireheads- I think they were in his Ringworld books. wirehead

Wireheads plugged themselves into an electric socket, with electrodes wired straight into the pleasure centres of their brains. If you could be ecstatic until you died (not long as you can’t be bothered to eat or even drink) would you do it? That’s how I imagine heroin addiction, and at some point when I’ve had enough of this life I might give it a go.

The argument against is that you can be fulfilled in other ways, I guess conditioning that ‘work is good’, ‘selfishness is bad’ etc comes into the equation, but if I could be constantly ecstatic until I died, why wouldn’t I? Fear of a god perhaps.

There’s a thought experiment called the Experience Machine along these lines. Google it, it’s interesting.

I haven’t gone into other effects of regular drug use, such as paranoia, weight gain (after you stop), possibly even dementia. I feel depressed enough as it is. It’s enough to make me go and get royally pissed 😉 …if I could remember where I left my fekkin purse.


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