Remember

Prohibition kills: education saves lives. Learn and never skip the safety measures.

PREFACE

Drugs. What image does this word conjure in your mind? What picture is painted for you by newspapers and broadcasters?

It is a word that has become so stigmatised and misappropriated that, in our society, rational discourse is almost impossible, and factual information is buried. The result, in terms of human misery, is everywhere to be seen.

You know, as well as I do, that it doesn’t have to be like this.

My own introduction to drugs was not uncommon. I was always curious, but not enough to fully engage. I smoked cannabis a couple of times at university, and tripped on LSD once, in my twenties.

I then strayed from the script, albeit temporarily. I stumbled upon Adam Gottlieb’s tiny book, Legal Highs, which introduced the world of botanicals. From this, foolishly, I sampled a couple of… nutmegs. These induced an experience which was so horrendous that I didn’t touch another psychoactive for many years.

It was back exclusively, to booze; the socially acceptable but deadly intoxicant. Like many of us trapped in a certain culture, I drank too much. Don’t misunderstand here: this wasn’t habitual, or daily. It was just that when I did drink, I tended to binge somewhat. I could probably claim that I was perfectly normal.

It was a generation or so later that my curiosity and interest in the subject of this book was re-awakened by exposure to a series of loosely related topics.

The first of these was quantum physics. I had grasped that my existing perception of reality was flawed when I first encountered Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Quantum physics, however, with it’s demonstrations of connectedness (entanglement) and the need for an observer to collapse potential into matter (double-slit experiment), obliterated it, and at the same time appeared to place consciousness at the centre of the mandala.

On the back of this, courtesy of YouTube, I discovered the charismatic Terence McKenna. His theories on the nature of reality were staggering, but plausible. Psychedelics were the name of the game, expanding consciousness and facilitating a sojourn from our limited static perspective. Of particular interest were frequent references to shamanic rituals, embracing strange vision inducing cocktails. The most common of these brews was the famed ayahuasca, which almost came with a guarantee to open the door to the indescribable.

I was intrigued; so intrigued that I researched this field intensively, and in the fullness of time determined that I must travel to Peru to engage in the ritual. With the research for this expedition came my first home-based experiments, always cautious, always scientific, always with a clear objective.

Ayahuasca not only provided an unimaginably beautiful and beneficial experience, but bestowed confidence to continue the quest for knowledge. The journey, at least as far as psychedelics were concerned, was underway.

One aspect of psychedelics is that they tend to have an excellent safety profile. The risk of harm is extremely low, compared to other substances. Despite this, it became increasingly obvious that other classes of drugs could also be navigated sanely and sensibly, if a methodical and scientific approach was used.

I understood fully that non-psychedelics provided less intellectual value, but at the same time, I was interested in widening my field of exploration, to at least embrace dissociatives, oneirogenics and nootropics. The game was on.

I was soon to encounter a disturbing tendency. Whilst I perused forums and message boards, I occasionally noticed that contributors had disappeared. Sometimes, word would get back that they had made a mistake, and had died. This was horrific, more so as I understood that most of the deaths were completely avoidable.

People were dying, and they were dying because of ignorance. They were dying because they didn’t know how to use their drug, because they were experimenting with insane doses, buying from dodgy sources and not testing, underestimating onset and double dosing, and taking crazy drug combinations.

They were dying because unremitting propaganda against psychoactives was denying them essential safety information. They were dying because legislators and the media were censoring the science, and ruthlessly pushing an ideological agenda instead. They were dying because the first casualty of war is truth, and the war on drugs is no different.

Prohibition kills people, education saves lives. Yet, the education currently provided broadly amounts to ‘take drugs and you will die’. This lie is so obvious that no-one takes it seriously.

However, here, before me, was my own modus operandi, and a database of my own experiences. It included precisely the sort of risk mitigation and personal safety information that would surely be of value to others, and which might actually save some of those lives. This juxtaposition was so stark that the embryo of this book was quickly envisioned.

So my course was set. I would expand my initial mission, and embrace all commonly available chemicals and botanicals. I would document the journey directly and accurately, emphasizing and explaining the safety aspects throughout. I would seek to document the hidden truths, spanning the entire drugscape.

I hope that one day society may mature sufficiently to lift the veil of propaganda and confront this subject on a rational basis. In the meantime, I hope on hope that the information published in this book reaches those who need it most.