LSD, Adulterants & Killing The Vibe

This week, I’ll be talking about LSD testing. A somewhat taboo subject, the NY DanceSafe chapter, Ravelrie, Stay Safe Seattle & I really think this needs to be discussed. The appeal of and demand for LSD isn’t going away anytime soon, and now, for the first time ever, there are analogues that are deeply harmful & violently different than the drug you actually want.  There’s a lot of good information out there for people who are looking for it, but the problem isn’t just that we’ve got plebes running around. It’s that there’s now, and I do mean only in the last 5 years, a few different things that are very much NOT LSD, but people attempt to pass off as at events. In this post I’ll be briefly reviewing a few of the things commonly being passed off as LSD, but first I want to stress something.

Again, LSD is tasteless unless it is highly concentrated – as in more than would normally fit on a blotter or in a drop of liquid. Liquid LSD is usually a mixture of the crystalline substance and either distilled water or alcohol, which both lack a bitter flavor. If your sample has a taste, especially a bitter one, it may indicate the presence of another substance.

I’m not sure how to emphasize this point made by The Bunk Police more. If someone is trying to sell you on LSD being “good” because of how it tastes, that is either a dealer who doesn’t know what they are talking about, or actively trying to pass off another drug as what you’re asking for. In either case, fly you fools. That being said, here they are, the things you’re probably getting sold if you’re meeting some shady dude at a festival to buy.

That fun looking fella is DOI. DOI is generally seen as the more stimulant-y version of LSD for people in the know. For a lot of people, psychedelics have a significant amphetamine-like effect, and this stuff packs even more of a punch. I think this is important to note. This drug has been noted to be more stressful on the body while giving more energy, to the point where sleep is exceptionally difficult for days. This stuff is marketed as “good” LSD because of the stimulant punch. Ask anyone who has ever been done tripping and just wants to sleep whether they’d want to have that feeling stretched out for another 24-48hrs and you can see why I’m not an advocate. Also, it’s still a research chemical, so we have no idea if 30 years from now you’ll grow an ear or something. Just sayin’

Pictured above is 25C-C-NBOMe, which is one of the couple of different NBOMe bad ideas roaming the party scene currently. I wrote about NBOMe previously and maintain that NBOMe is worse than Ebola. I’ve been largely vindicated in that, but that’s the problem. This stuff is put on blotter and people are taking massive amounts, as it’s psychoactive at the microgram dose. This is the thing that’s been causing ODs & hospitalizations across the festival scene and is scarier than anything else out there. If you don’t test, you might find this stuff instead, which is bad news bears.

Sadly I wasn’t able to find a .gif to go 3 for 3, but AMT is another thing you might get instead of LSD. Differently than DOI, people who know what they’re taking take this because it’s reported to give symptomatology that seems to mix a couple of different drugs such as DMT, MDMA & psilocybin. However, there’s a butt-ton of side effects. Butt-ton is a technical term, it stands for, a bunch in combinations that will probably ruin your day. Additionally it’s got MAOI-style effects, which brings up an entire world of dietary complications that most LSD users will totally overlook. This means you go from zero to enzyme-level fucked up very quickly. Again, also a research chemical, so we got no idea what will happen to you. Your mitochondria could explode. We don’t know!

This isn’t meant to be garbage DEA-styled scare tactics, but to drive home one simple point. People want a drug, because the experience they attribute to taking that drug is something they want. They can’t find it, so instead of not having this experience, they either find other drugs that do similar things, or some pusher comes in claiming the stuff he’s got is that. These substances can mess your body up, while LSD is a physically harmless substance. Our current drug policy has allowed these terrible chemicals onto our streets & dance floors. Until we can change that, make sure you test your stuff, don’t believe the hype, and be excellent to each other. For more on this, check out #DFFryday on Twitter at 4:30 PM. We’ll be there, getting the word out.

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NeuroSoup, Krystle Cole & The Need for Information.

researchThis week, I want to tell you about a resource you’ve probably overlooked. Krystle Cole runs a site called NeuroSoup. It’s very similar to Erowid, in that there are informational hubs based around drugs and places to discuss things. But instead of being stewarded by veiled, noble guardians, Krystle came out from behind the shadows and told her story, which frankly is utterly astonishing. If any of the readers out there know their history, in 2003, an underground missile silo was raided by the DEA. Two chemists lived there, producing (allegedly) 90% of the world’s LSD. Krystle was in that world for 3 years, and it utterly changed her. There was a stunning VICE segment done on this, in case you’re interested in where all the acid went.

She could’ve spent the rest of her life ruminating on her experiences, but she struck out and decided to try and help people make sense of the experiences they were having, just like she did. Going into psychology, she’s spent her life not only educating people, but really just trying to make sure people didn’t get as lost in that world as she did. I think this kind of wounded healer needs to be celebrated. She walked the walk, unlike the dozens of authority figures that wag their fingers at ravers but haven’t ever done drugs. She is better than you at drugs. If she wasn’t, she’d be dead. She’s spending her life getting better at it, and in doing so, creating one of the only repositories of usable information about these experiences that exist on the internet, besides Erowid & Pill Reports.

This gets to the central stupid thing about the War on Drugs. At this point, because research on these things has only just started again in the last decade, people wanting to have these experiences could only rely on other lay-people’s experience. Which causes giant problems when it comes to reproducible dosages & variability in effect, especially with a new drug. This is preposterous. NeuroSoup should be celebrated, but the fact that it needs to exist makes me scared for the kids out there diving headlong into a lot of this stuff. This is what the community has created to protect itself. Just imagine what could be done if people actually helped or made the stuff legal such that we could figure it out instead of scrolling through forums hoping.

I’m so glad that Krystle is there to actually focus on helping people. We’ll be talking about her on Twitter using #bioDFF from 4:30-5:30pm, so come on in and learn from one of the best fighters we’ve got out there.

NBOMe, TomorrowWorld, Woodstock And Honesty.

I believe, if left unchecked, NBOMe will damage the dance music scene on a scale that hasn’t been seen since the RAVE Act. I’ve been doing some research for the last several months, and this issue has continued to crop up. 25i, NBOMe or N-Bomb, as it’s called, has been repeatedly showing up at festivals and parties on the East Coast. At this point, NBOMe has killed more Americans than Ebola. I don’t mean to be glib, but there just in the last month there are NBOMe associated deaths reported in BocaBoston & Mankato, Minnesota. There’s also been reports of people using/dying in Australia, but of more concern to our domestic festival attendees, TomorrowWorld may have had some of this stuff as well.

Something happened at TomorrowWorld that I think illustrates really the central issue that American festival culture needs to confront. This is a market demand issue at its core, but threads into every aspect of both festival & club culture. I was told by some people working at TomorrowWorld that rumors were going around kids needed medical transport around the time a “bad batch of LSD” seemed to hit the festival. Apparently 6 medical transports were needed to take care of people, and they had similar symptoms. This smacks of kids being sold NBOMe that’s being passed off as LSD. TomorrowWorld takes safety very seriously, but it’s very hard to prevent this kind of thing. To stress, there were no deaths, but people needed attention, because of greed & dishonesty. This isn’t even a new phenomenon. There are documented calls of “do not eat the brown acid” at Woodstock. And if you don’t believe me HERE IS THE AUDIO. 50 years later, and we’re still fighting the same fight. I think this can only be dealt with doing two things.

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