Drugs & Beats
Internet Psychonauts Try All the Drugs You Don’t Want to Do
If you’re looking for a new hobby and get a kick out of taking newly-synthesized designer drugs before anyone else in the world, why not become a psychonaut? Sign up, and you’ll be able to get high on drugs that aren’t even regulated yet. Which sounds kind of dumb and very dangerous, but at least won’t land you in jail, because you’re doing it in the name of “research.”
In a general sense, psychonauts seem to fall into two camps. One party say they test the chemicals in order to document the drugs’ effects and assess whether it’s safe for others to use. The other (more self-aggrandizing) party claim that being a psychonaut is about exploring the frontiers of the mind.
Examples of some designer drugs are 25I-NBOMe, JWH-018 or Dimethocaine. While they can be fun, they’re a lot more dangerous than what they’re replacing—LSD, weed, and coke, respectively. The LSD substitute, 25I-NBOMe, is measured in micrograms, making dosages impossible to measure with the naked eye, which led to five deaths linked to 25I-NBOMe last year because of careless dosing.
Despite the risks, plenty of responsible (relatively speaking) drug users on Erowid claim that the new research chemicals they’re testing are fun, just so long as you don’t go nuts and start abusing them. I got in contact with a few psychonauts through Erowid and asked them why they’ve chosen to guinea pig themselves for anyone out there who might want to buy a bag of strange powder off the internet.
Some more, slightly less evil-looking JWH-018 powder. (Photo via)
VICE: Hi Hammilton. What makes you want to try all these new, untested chemicals?
Hammilton: I like the idea that the compounds I’m trying are completely new—that no human has tried them yet. Dimethocaine isn’t even a good drug, really… it’s decent at best. But I’ve always felt like it was kind of my baby, just because it was my original work, obtaining it and testing it, then posting about it online, which caused it to be sold by just about all research chemical vendors today. Although, usually they sell lidocaine with added caffeine as dimethocaine.
That’s all your doing?
Yeah. But I feel somewhat responsible that I didn’t look into the less toxic derivatives back then and post about them instead. Because now, instead of the likely less toxic dimethocaine-para-desamino analogue being sold, it’s the potentially more dangerous compound that’s out there. I recently learned that the desamino analogue is less active as a stimulant, though, so maybe it’s irrelevant.
Whatever you say. Have you had any bad experiences testing these drugs out?
I’ve had terrible experiences with synthetic cannabinoids. Before it was known that JWH-018 was the compound being sold in spice—and before spice became popular—I obtained some JWH-018 to compare to spice and smoked it. I wasn’t really sure what a dose should have been back then, but it was too much. It causes anxiety and a mild overdose brought on a full-fledged panic attack.