ifIknew

ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

What is it? “Tripping”, the use of LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, DMX, Ecstacy and other mind altering drugs often produces extremely intense, mood, sensory and/ or thought altering experiences.  Hallucinating is when the brain interprets sounds, sights, smells, thoughts, emotions and other experiences, in dream-like, bended fashion in that they differ greatly from "common" reality. Sometimes one “sees things that aren’t really there.” The nature of hallucinations is that they are experienced as more real than real and have impact, for better or worse, on the mind for long after the 4-10 hours that the drug is active in the brain of the user.  The totally encompassing nature of the experience can be spiritually profound or absolutely terrifying for the individual - with no way of knowing which it will be in advance.  Religious, ritual uses of mind altering substances have been part of many native cultures’ practices. When these special practices have become common use, these cultures historically have suffered.

How does it affect the body?

DMX (dextromethorphan hydrobromide) is currently highly popular among teens who use drugs to experience hallucinogenic effects. DMX is the most widely available active ingredient in most over-the-counter cough suppressants. These cough suppressing products contain other ingredients that are highly toxic in the large doses needed to get the high.

Psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline from peyote cactus and high dose THC (marijuana or hashish) and some “designer drugs” can produce hallucinogenic effects as well.

LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamid) is a synthetic drug, which was manufactured in the late 1940's to the mid 1960’s as a drug to treat alcoholism and other psychiatric conditions. With its popularity in the 60’s as a recreational drug, it was removed from the market. Others since have copied the formula for this pill or clear liquid, and it is sold clandestinely.  The psychological health, positive mood, emotional and physical environment of the user at the time and place of its use, highly impact the nature and safety of the experience. Experimenting with this drug is a high risk choice. There have been numerous incidents of people who so misjudged where they were and their abilities (e.g.,  they thought they could fly from one building to another) with fatal consequences.

Use of hallucinogenic drugs tends not to engender addiction as there are just so many times a person can or will want to engage in such an exhausting and consuming experience.

Risks:

  • Misjudging obvious dangers
  • Decreased inhibitions
  • Increased likelihood of accidents and injuries
  • Engagement in high risk behaviors
  • Inability to respond effectively to danger
  • Increase in panic or depressiveness
  • Temporary or initiation of psychotic episodes (LSD)
  • Lapses in memory
  • Unwanted flashbacks (LSD)
  • Rebound exhaustion

How to cut back

People who get into the habit of using Ecstasy or these other drugs seem to use it in association with certain settings. Other people are able to just enjoy the partying without chemical enhancements.  People who find it hard to not use in these settings might do well creating alternative ways to physically challenge themselves and express their enthusiasm for life and people. If that doesn’t work, the logical next approach is seeing a counselor familiar with addictive behaviors, who can advise and support the person in developing healthier habits.