Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Drugs are bad, m'kaaay?

There was a programme on last night that had me thanking my lucky stars that I had my really, really bad drug experience fairly early on.

I smoked my first joint at fifteen. We were in a Vauxhall Chevette outside a friend's parents house in Oxfordshire. It was fucking brilliant - everything was all sort of fuzzy and cosy and I had never laughed so much in all my life. Pot and me became good friends over the next few years. When I lived with my psychotic boyfriend, a dealer lived across the road. He would bring "samples" of gear over on a free-of-charge basis and we would slump around our living room doing bongs and giant bottles of cheap white wine. Actually, now I think about it, I smoked pot pretty much constantly at that point. Get up in the morning, smoke the remains of the last doob of the night before over a cup of tea....get a lift to work (having a smoke in the car) pothead supervisor behind the container in the yard for a quick smoke....reconvene at morning break for another one...see also lunchtime...see also afternoon break.....get home and smoke a joint while waiting for the dealer to come round.....smoke pot all night....repeat for six months. I have never giggled so much or eaten more biscuits than I did during that period. The only adverse effects that I noticed (apart from being really fat owing to the constant munchies. Oh, and having no short-term memory because of the...ooh! look! a cat! um, where was I?....) was a vague feeling of disquiet unloading the washing machine. It was all shiny in the drum, you see. And it had black holes in that things might poke through. And it sort of put me in mind of a Dalek. That aside, dope and me were pretty good friends.

When I finally came to what was left of my senses and left the psycho (five weeks before a massive church wedding. So satisying.) I moved in with an ultra-straight guy I'd worked with. He is the unfortunate boyfriend in the "worst thing I ever did" post, and he really, really disapproved of drugs. Really. He made Mary Whitehouse look like Jim Morrison, so severe was his aversion. Naturally, on spending a weekend away (alone) with my oldest friend and various bikers, I jumped at the chance of a Saturday night on LSD. Can you say "mistake"?

I am here to tell you, should you not already know, that acid is a bad, bad thing. I knew I would jump at the chance if offered as it was on my list of things that I wanted to try at least once in my life. And once it was. Vehemently. It started off nicely enough - bit giggly, bit wobbly, just a really good laugh. When the seven of us went out for a walk and saw a dog getting run over, however, it started to go a bit wrong. Two members of the party spent the following six hours under a hedge in a blind panic, and when everything I could see started to kaleidescope I was taken back to the flat where, bored of trying to talk me down, my friends buggered off to the pub leaving me alone in a strange flat, with a bottomless (honest. I tried to get my toothbrush and gave up) rucksack and a sofa cover with evil pixies on it. Brr. Fourteen hours or so later I had come down sufficiently to go home. All was okay until about three weeks later when, having arrived at a friend's flat after an evening in the pub and being too drunk to skin up, I ate an eighth of dope. Not Good. At All. I tripped for twelve hours. Seriously. It was hideous. After that the problems really began . What started off as occasional panic attacks soon developed into full-blown agoraphobia. I could get to work - leaving the flat I was living in, getting in the car, following the yellow line in the road on the walk from the car park to the office (mustn't look up. no. too big), sitting at my desk, doing it in reverse at the end of the day - it was more or less doable. After a month or so, however, even this became intolerable and I resigned before I could be sacked. I seriously thought I had lost my mind. I obsessively replayed the acid trip, and couldn't let go of the fervent wish that I'd never done it. It took me a long, long time to get back on my feet. I smoke the occasional joint now, but only if I've had a drink. That feeling of being stoned after a beer is great. That feeling of being stoned when sober is really fucking scary. My LSD experience was (ulp) nearly fifteen years ago and I still get the occasional flashback. I'll always regret dropping that tab.

On the other hand, the programme last night featuring three or four people trying to get off heroin made me sort of thankful that I had my bad experience before I ended up getting into something I really couldn't get out of. The only drugs I've ever done are pot, acid and alcohol. Thank god I never tried speed, or ecstasy, or heroin (and all these things were easily accessible within the crowd I hung out with). Things could have been a whole lot different.

There. That was cheerful, wasn't it? Here endeth the lesson.


Blogger frangelita chimed in with...

That sounds horrible. Never done the acid thing, but at uni I did used to live with a man I was pretty sure was a drug dealer who was convinced it would be a really good idea for me to drop an E with him and he would "look after me" and I would have a really good time. I politely declined. Helped him with the odd spliff, though, although tried to avoid it before lectures - very hard to focus:-)

22 February, 2006 21:01  
Blogger mig bardsley chimed in with...

That post really makes my hair stand on end. I am so grateful I was too much of a coward to try any of those other things and was lucky that my one experiment with acid was mild.
No one ever seemed to think it was worth mentioning how utterly terrifying it is to lose your mind. I don't know how you coped but well done for surviving.

22 February, 2006 21:20  
Blogger garfer chimed in with...

Cannabis doesn't agree with me, it makes me paranoid and hungry.

I was around heroin users, and having seen what it did to them I steered well clear.

Just booze, fags, and teacakes for me.

22 February, 2006 21:28  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

Pot always made me incredibly paranoid or incredibly sleepy and stupid-both are useless states so I never got into pot.

I tried LSD once and had such a great time that it scared the crap out of me. I could see how people could want to do that all the time so never touched it again!

I even gave up the fags so its just alcohol for me.

I do worry myself silly about crystal meth and the other 'new' drugs that are so highly addictive and readily available. We have a real problem with it here in the schools. How about in the UK?

22 February, 2006 23:49  
Blogger crisiswhatcrisis chimed in with...

Surly, your experiences are so similar to mine it's almost scary. It was even in the same county. Smoked a lot of dope with my biker 'mates' (they weren't, really). I so nearly tried smack once when I was at my lowest state but luckily bottled it. That would have been the end of me, I'm sure of it. My first acid trip was weird and interesting, the second horrible so I didn't do that again. Was very lucky not to end up in the place you ended up. You have my every sympathy, and empathy.

Still, look at us now. Jobs, houses, partners, small people. You can come back from these places still smiling.

Carry on. (I miss 'carry on', actually! I know you don't like it any more, but I was envious of it as a sign off when you did it - wish I'd thought of it).

23 February, 2006 09:31  
Blogger LC chimed in with...

I did loads of acid when I was younger and never had a bad experience. And the only bad side effect was that I'd usually wake up with sore cheek-muscles from grinning so much all night.

There's a hill in Stockport where you can see all the city lights of Manchester, and the planes circling the airport - we used to sit up there tripping our nuts off and giggling at the patterns the lights would make. Awesome.

The coke, ecstacy and other stuff that I progressed onto in my early to mid-twenties was all good fun, but none of it was ever as entertaining as LSD, which got harder and harder to find.

These days I just like a nice cup of tea and a McVities Caramel Digestive.

23 February, 2006 10:42  
Blogger Perry Neeham chimed in with...

'He made Mary Whitehouse look like Jim Morrison' WhoooHooo, you slay me Surly!!!

After a nasty exposure with acid (reduced to a tearful, gibbering wreck because of snakes materialising out of the patterns in the carpet) I have restricted myself to hash or grass. And occasionally an e. But anything that involves needles or reduces the hydralic capacity of my willy is right out.

I must post about eating hash cookies (unknowingly) some time.

23 February, 2006 11:10  
Blogger Sherbert chimed in with...

I dropped acid once many, many years ago and never, ever, ever again. I don't get flashbacks anymore but did so for years but even now, I can still remember the drumbeat that went on in my head for days and days. Hideous.

23 February, 2006 11:49  
Blogger frobisher chimed in with...

In the Eighties did a lot of Acid, used to do the free festival circuit (Stonehenge, Greenham common, etc.) had a few bad trips but what really killed it was a good friend having a breakdown and being in hospital for a year - lucky he made a full recovery. My favourites were microdots.
Still smoke weed which I consider to be a gift from God, but not before 8pm, what a wuss.
Never understood the attraction of Heroin, a second class sleeping tablet - what's the point?

23 February, 2006 16:41  
Blogger claire chimed in with...

after reading these stories, i'm so thankful that i was a total chicken-shit when i was surrounded by acid in highschool and never tried. SG/sherbert/etc - i couldn't even imagine how scary that was.

Another trendy drug in my group of friends (circa 1996) was "K". Some form of cat tranquilizer that would be cooked in a microwave and then smoked? injected? i don't remember - i didn't do that one, either...

23 February, 2006 16:42  
Blogger Spinsterella chimed in with...

Crikey. I somehow missed out on acid during my various substance-abuse experiments. It's always been on my list of things to do, but, well, maybe not.

Don't do anything really these days, but I did find a spliff on top of the hoover on Sunday morning so I smoked it.

I'd forgotten how incredible toast tastes after you've had a smoke. I polished off all my flatmate's bread then didn't leave the sofa all day.

23 February, 2006 16:51  
Anonymous Whinger chimed in with...

A co-worker was telling me recently about her heroin-addicted friend who got the FLESH-EATING DISEASE on both her arms from dirty needles, and yet continued with the shooting up.

That is a nasty drug.

As a college youth, I took the stance that I would try any drug that came to me free of charge, reasoning that if I made the rule that I never bought anything, I could never get addicted. This actually worked as no one wants to hang out with a mooch. I can see how this might have failed, though, had I been friends with a dealer.

23 February, 2006 17:10  
Blogger DavetheF chimed in with...

Oh god, dope stories ... I lived in a kind of commune in the mid-70s that occupied a huge old mining magnate's mansion in a faded but still gracious suburb of Johannesburg. There were students, musos, a mad philosopher. I was the only person with a job and thus also the only one who paid the rent. So I never had to pay for weed. We used to stand out on the great balcony overlooking the weed-infested tennis court and do Durban Poison, hash, or what have you. Often while playing darts, which can get very Zen when you're stoned.

Presiding over this pothead crew was a rather sinister, but amusing Greek chemist called Basil the Black Prince of Braamfontein (a long story). His most renowned feat was synthesising THC, the active ingredient of cannabis, with a lashed up lab apparatus that filed the bathroom.
He regarded us as rank amateurs at the drug game. I could never tell if he was stoned.

Basil decided one day to try LSD. His chosen environment for this was his own flat, where he sealed up all the windows and covered them with black material. Then he dropped the acid in solitary darkness. This seemed to me something like jumping out of a plane without a parachute, but he said he overcame the 24 hours of demonic terror that followed by force of will and never saw the world the same way again. A dark and mysterious guy. He's now happily married with kids and I doubt he ever has so much as a puff on a joint.

23 February, 2006 19:19  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

actually, this is such a good topic I'm going to rip it right off. Giving you credit, of course. but...ah hell, you'll see. unless you hate me now.
don't hate me.
please don't.
oh god...*spills bong, wanders off looking for chips*

23 February, 2006 19:53  
Blogger bedshaped chimed in with...

I guess I should also hold my hand up to some of the above mentioned.
Like many others who have commented, I tried stuff because I was curious, but I still had enough wits about me to say no when it came to injecting things.
I always knew where I would draw the line and I'm proud to say that I stuck to my guns. After all, how easy is it to say yes, especially when you're being 'egged' on by your so called friends.

As far as I'm concerned, I've finished with all the experimental stages now and am happy to have an occasional spliff. Apart from when I went to Amsterdam recently and kinda went overboard! Oops!

I have to say...and I must be one of the monority here....I've never suffered with the 'munchies' after a smoke. I do however, have a tendancy to want to listen to really shite music.

23 February, 2006 21:42  
Blogger The Girl chimed in with...

Not good... you're very lucky that you have come out the other side of that experience with enough sense to seriously consider things now.

The difference between pot and other drugs is that you cannot actually DIE of cannabis toxicity. Not possible at all. The only way marijuana can kill is the behaviour that takes place as a result of smoking.

I have a particular problem with ecstasy (have never touched it), because where I live girls as young as 12 are rushed to the hospital having taken it. The scumbag who was giving it to them (yep, for free) has moved away now, but if he ever comes back....

Ahem. Anyway, good lesson.

24 February, 2006 03:45  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

*raises hand respectfully*

excuse me didn't answer my question...are you having crystal meth problems in the British schools?

*humbly bows out of the classroom, praying the surly schoolmistress doesn't chuck a chalk brush*

24 February, 2006 05:49  
Blogger Perry Neeham chimed in with...

Forgive me answering you Kyah. As far as I know (and some flakey contacts of mine would be the first to use it) Crystal Meth hasn't hit the UK in any kind of a big way yet, hopefully never.

24 February, 2006 09:31  
Anonymous Other Half chimed in with...

I must be getting old as when we get home from the pub and skin up after a few drags all I want to do is go to sleep.

We had some people round for an impromptu "after hours sess" the other week and while everyone else was chatting and drinking tea I seemed to be the only one partaking of the pre-prepared joints on offer. Roll forward an hour and I hit the sack, mumbling pointlessly and desperately trying to get undressed and into bed before I fall asleep !!!

24 February, 2006 09:59  
Blogger funny thing chimed in with...

I've done a couple of naughty substances in my time. Acid did me for a while... it took me a yaer or so until I got a bad trip and you're right, sg, it changes everything.

Now, like Mary Poppins, I'm practically perfect in every way.

24 February, 2006 12:03  
Blogger Huw chimed in with...

A good friend of mine did a fair wack of acid a while ago at a festival, went to the toilet and... well, to cut a long story short, 'saw' something terrifying, and then spent 10 minutes running round a field full of strangers with his trousers and pants round is annkles (well, more frantically shuffling than running then) screaming "My nob! My nob! Oh please, someone help me! My poor nob!".

Er... by 'a friend', I didn't mean 'me' by the way. No, really.

24 February, 2006 14:06  
Blogger DavetheF chimed in with...

This thread is too good to stop. Wish I'd thought of it. Well done, Surly. I'm resisting the temptation to start a drugs corner in my own blog.

24 February, 2006 19:16  
Blogger patroclus chimed in with...

*weighs in very late*

I'm amazed I got through my whole acid-taking phase without ever having a bad trip. Luckily I had some great, chilled-out friends to take it with, and it was only ever a great laugh. Who you take it with makes all the difference, I reckon.

It was ecstasy that did me in, in the end. I kind of overdid things in my late 20s, and to cut a long, dull story short, I can't touch any illlicit substances now, and I haven't been drunk for six years either. Makes me feel like a bit of a freak in Britain's alcohol-centric culture. But at least I never have a hangover.

26 February, 2006 21:18  

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