The Great Critic Drug Review

The Great Critic Drug Review

Disclaimer: The content provided in this article is not intended to encourage the use of illegal drugs or substance abuse. The information is based on personal experiences and subjective observations that are not applicable to everyone, and should not be used as a substitute for professional guidance on responsible drug-use. Remember to always make informed and responsible choices about substance use and seek help if needed. 

Critic Te Ārohi knows our readers deserve only the most seasoned drug connoisseur on campus to write this review, and so we found him for your reading pleasure. This student – who you voted to name “Boba Ket” – might be the most cooked man on campus. Name any letter of the alphabet and if there’s a drug that begins with it, he’s tried it – sometimes all together in an alphabet soup deemed “dangerous to life and health”, no less. 

But if you assume Boba’s Class A consumption must make him a D-student on the verge of dropping out, you’d be mistaken. In fact, his academic credentials are so bizarrely impressive we can’t even reference them without running the risk of exposing his identity. Academic weapon by day, high-functioning drug user by night (and day): Boba Ket is the archetypal Otago student – according to the ODT, anyway. 

Boba is also a man of integrity, admitting he’s not exactly the model of a responsible drug taker. He warns of potential risks of drugs throughout the article, clueing you into dos and absolute-don’ts. The saying “do as I say, not as I do” probably applies here. Whilst Boba’s lifestyle, tolerance level, and continued academic success makes him an outlier to the rule of drug harm (seriously, the man’s a unicorn), he also takes regular detoxes; noting his experiences have occured “over multiple years” as a student. 

With that said, if you’ve ever been curious about what drugs are like, from the mundane to the seriously dangerous, read on for Boba Ket’s brutally transparent takes. 


Like Chanel N°5, Oxford suits, and all black (mould in student flats), alcohol is timeless. You can’t really have a lit night without downing at least half a box, right? Those times you say and do things you’d never in your right mind normally do can create some pretty legendary moments – if that’s what you call a naked penguin slide down the Leith river rocks. There’s not many things that are off limits when you’ve sunk a coffin of Billy Mav’s. 

But alcohol sneaks up on you. If I’m out at pint night, I’ll only realised how sloshed I am when I’m holding my dick at the urinal in the bathrooms and come out to see freshers fucking out everywhere. Learn your limits, you babies. 

Is alcohol really anything that special? Or is Dunedin’s obsession with booze only because of how accessible it is? I mean, aside from a BYO or quiz night at The Bog, the actual act of drinking can be a massive ceebs. The majority of drinks taste like shit when you’re trying to get as sloshed as possible. Wine sucks (except when funnelled), beer makes you bloated, and RTDs taste like an R18 version of those soft-drink trays I’d skull back at the primary school disco (take me back). With the exception of funnelling and taking shots, alcohol’s kinda mid. 

Anyone who’s vomited from drinking or experienced the great existential dread of hangxiety following a black-out night knows the downsides of the drink. Since that’s arguably the entire Otago student body, I’m sure you munters can agree booze should be lower on the list. But hey, it gets a conversation going (and helps you forget the shit chat), some mischievous activities happen; and it offers a nice layer of warmth from the Dunedin cold. 

Ideal setting: Anywhere within the 9016 postcode
One word description: Buzzy
Comedown: Pretty bad once you’re not a fresher
Addictive? Yes


Cannabis. Marijuana. Kush. Bud. Nugs. The Devil’s lettuce. Whether or not you enjoy it, almost everybody has come across marijuana during their time in Dunedin. Personally, cannabis was the first drug I tried – even prior to getting on the piss. People say weed is a gateway drug, but I don’t see how that’s the case (ignoring the next 13 parts of this review).

Weed is a great drug to just chill out. It can make the most mundane things somewhat interesting and the chats can become pretty fried if you’re stoned enough. Plus, you realise that some media wasn’t made with sober people in mind. Until you watch the The Big Lez Show with eyes that resemble Flaming Hot Cheetos, you won’t realise this entire stoner genre exists (and your fave childhood show on Cartoon Network probably belongs to it). 

A weed high can vary depending on how you consume the buds. Bongs are the most common and effective method. But forewarning: they can be rough on the throat (have some water handy) and it's easy to get too high and “green-out” if you’re a rookie. Edibles can be dangerous for that same reason. Unlike a bong, the come up is slow and the high lasts for up to 12 hours. You never really know how high you’re gonna get until it’s too late. It’s a tale as old as time to take another edible because you “don’t feel it” and subsequently become humbled as you ascend to Jupiter. Joints are somewhere in-between edibles and bongs. It’s the only drug high I feel comfortable participating in society on; STATS110 lectures included (how else was I supposed to get through it?). 

The downsides of weed is that it causes paranoia if you get too high; and it’s tempting to smoke too much and become lazy. Maybe the Government doesn’t want to legalise cannabis in case we all become enlightened couch potatoes and stop participating in the neoliberal capitalist machine of endless productivity (or maybe I’m just high). But looking around campus sometimes, maybe everyone should just have a doobie and chill the fuck out.

Ideal setting: Parked up with junk food in the lounge watching Big Lez
One word description: Chilled
Comedown: Mindlessly munching on a bucket of wicked wings
Addictive? Not physically, but you can get hooked

MDMA (“Gear”)

Grab your chewing gum; MDMA is Dunedin’s staple drug. According to police, student city is the MDMA capital of New Zealand. Go to any Castle Street rave and you’re sure to see dozens of breatha’s with their pupils like dinner plates, gurning their mouths out like their soul has been sucked out of their body. 

With this drug, you have an excellent choice between snorting a fat rack or engaging in humble “finger-dippies” into the bag. The high lasts around six hours, but who the fuck are you kidding? If you’re anything like me, the chances you’re only having one line from that bag are slim.

The euphoria from gear makes you feel as if you could conquer the world and accomplish anything. You feel warm and compassionate and it’s far too easy to make friends (and more). MDMA turns DnB into a breatha's Beethoven; so you'll have the energy to dance until the sun comes up. It’s not like you have any choice, gear keeps you awake like nothing else. Sex feels amazing on gear too – if you can manage to get it up. 

Pro tip: if you’re going to do gear, make sure you drink lots of water because it dehydrates you, especially with the amount of moving you’ll do. Be careful when buying too, since many bags sold as MDMA are actually bath salts (you don’t want to snort those from experience). The comedown on gear is allegedly awful, leaving fellow breathas depressed for days; but I’ve personally never experienced that. 

That being said — don’t take my word for it. Given my reputation as a drug connoisseur amongst the most cooked student body in the country (so much so that Critic Te Ārohi commissioned me to write this review), it’s fair to say I’m probably just built different. 

Ideal setting: Baseline
One word description: Euphoric
Comedown: Supposed to be bad? 
Addictive? Low key, but most people’s comedowns are so bad they don’t do it enough to get hooked


Sourcing Ritalin is an incredibly easy task in Dunedin. Everybody and their mother can get a prescription. Conveniently, I have tons of friends with ADHD who choose to sell their meds (cozzie livs). It’s like gear on a budget. That’s to say, ever since I started cutting back on gear, this has become a drug of choice of mine. 

A close cousin of meth, Ritalin provides the energy levels I crave during a night out raving. While not as euphoric as gear, it still keeps me happy, affectionate, and chirping away to randoms at flat parties. And unlike gear, the comedown from ritalin is pretty much non-existent. I consume it by crushing up the tablet and snorting it, which I thought was a rite of passage. Recent feedback suggests that many people just swallow it… and that I may just like snorting things.  

One thing to keep in mind is that Ritalin will keep you the fuck awake. If they’re not taken early in the night, don’t count on being able to sleep. And if you take loads, it’s super likely you’ll start geeking out. Exercise caution, brethren. Despite what med students say, there is such a thing as too much concentration – especially when trying to interact normally with other people. 

While Rits are great, at the end of the day, if there is a line of gear and a line of rits on the table, you know which I’m choosing: both. 

Ideal setting: An exam season cramming session or flat party
One word description: Wired
Comedown: Napping in the back of the lecture theatre
Addictive? Potential risk

LSD (“Acid”)

LSD broadened my horizons and changed my life. I’m not even kidding. It forever changes the way you see the world, hopefully for the better. A high from LSD – and any psychedelic drug, really – is truly an indescribable experience. The majority of tripping hella balls just cannot be articulated. Brain scans have shown the same regions activated in a Monk’s brain after 30 years of practised meditation are activated during a gnarly trip.

So, what does this mean? Well, it means acid can be fucking awesome. Your senses become heightened and you start to feel a unique outer-body sensation. Visually, the world around you begins to almost “breathe” and outlines become smudged. Everything almost turns into watercolour, and your line of vision becomes like a Van Gogh painting in motion. 

Your inner dialogue becomes more pronounced, too. Small things you wouldn’t normally notice become more interesting and meaningful. I once stared at a wall and wondered where the wood was sourced from, who cut it down, and all the processes that led to this wall being right in front of me at that moment as a symbol of the interconnectedness of life. 

You make connections you have never had before, and everything appears to be in the right place. You feel that life is beautiful and, if you take enough, you can experience a complete dissolution of your ego and preconceived ideas of the world and self. It’s like a more complete and authentic sense of contentment than the euphoria of MDMA. LSD can uncover what’s deep in your subconscious. Because of its effects, if you go into the experience with intentions, it can help you work through anxiety, life’s stresses, and personal problems from a new perspective. 

Big fucking warning though: if you're not prepared for it, you may experience a bad trip. Don’t fuck around with LSD. I’ve heard a bad trip can be super disturbing from people who’ve had one — especially considering the trip lasts around 12 hours. People can come out the other end pretty traumatised. This is the only thing stopping me from giving this wonderful substance a 10/10. Oh, also probably avoid mirrors if it’s your first time. 

Ideal setting: The Botans  
One word description: Revelatory 
Comedown: Spiritually refreshed, but with a wrung-out hamster wheel brain
Addictive? No 

Magic Mushrooms

Yo, I looooovvvvvvvveeeee shrooms. There is a reason that they are called magic mushrooms. Some theorists believe that humans developed from shroom-eating apes who expanded their consciousness by tripping balls – no word of a lie, look up the ‘Stoned Ape Theory’. 

Shrooms are pretty similar to LSD, but far less intense. There are other subtle, crucial differences. They naturally chill you the fuck out, so you’re significantly less likely to have a bad trip. You feel the beauty and an interconnectedness with everything, like the breatha Buddha. I find the visuals to be probably even more gnarly than acid; akin to kaleidoscopes encompassing my field of vision. Unlike acid, the trip is far shorter (around 4–6 hours) so you can still make plans to hang out with mates afterwards and impart the meaning of life to them. 

Many places around the world have begun legally enabling the use of shrooms for different psychological benefits. Perhaps psychedelics are banned because they change our perspectives and make us question the way things in society work and ought to work? (Again, maybe I’m just high). 

Picking shrooms can also be a great recreational activity, but do your research. You don’t want to be eating the wrong mushrooms. Most people think they taste like dirty leather. I agree they’re way too dry, but I have an acquired palette and enjoy the earthy tones it brings to my diet. You can even try it with tea! 

Ideal setting: Signal Hill 
One word description: Wavy
Comedown: At one with the world
Addictive? No 


Everybody knows you snort cocaine, but did ya’ll know how fucking numbing it is? It literally felt like a dentist putting general anaesthesia up my nasal cavities and throat. Not gonna lie, I kind of liked it. 

Cocaine is sweet but short, the high lasting around half an hour. But damn, in those 30 minutes do you feel like the wolf of Castle Street. It’s pretty much like gear but multiply it times five. Cocaine gives you a surge of clarity, confidence, and desire… to do more cocaine. That’s the problem. It feels awesome, but it’s super expensive and you have to keep racking up lines every 30 mins to maintain the high. As soon as you snort that line, the comedown begins. It’s an endless cycle – hence its addictiveness.

I can imagine cocaine is more viable when you’re a corporate sell-out in the big smoke. But as a poor student, I’ll probably stick to gear. 

Ideal setting: Carousel (or your corporate sugar daddy’s desk) 
One word description: Moreish
Comedown: Finding a transaction of $900 for a Facebook marketplace motorcycle
Addictive? Fuck yes 

Nangs (Nitrous Oxide)

Nangs are the salt to drugs’ chips – a universal seasoning to heighten the flavour of any high. There’s something so wholesome about the ritual of nangs. Blowing up balloons with the whole squad, LEDs on, lights off, and ‘Nangs’ by Tame Impala playing are all essential for the experience. Nang’s feel like sitting inside a static TV, going through different dimensions and breaking through barriers of the universe – and fuck is it funny. There's a reason it’s called laughing gas. In fact, it was actually a doctor that first prescribed it to me. And while my prescription has expired, my love for nangs remains. 

Buying nangs at the store is a legal high in itself. I’m always giggling my arse off at the checkout (we both know I’m not making pavlova). Speaking of sweet treats, I won’t sugar coat it: nangs do make you feel temporarily braindead. But in my experience, they’re donating your brain cells to the greater good. There’s a reason for their hype. Nangs are short, sweet, and simple. Like the pavlova you’re pretending to make.

Ideal setting: Anywhere! It’s so easy.
One word description: Crack-up
Comedown: Reverting back to your Year 1 vocabulary with the depletion of brain cells
Addictive? No 


New and in fashion, there is nothing like ketamine because there’s no other drug that gets you as tranquilised as possible (it’s literally horse tranquiliser). I have no shame; this shit feels good. 

Ketamine is surreal. It’s so fucking weird it’s almost endearing. Unlike pretty much every other drug on the list, I’ve never had a time on ketamine where I came out of it thinking, “That was what I expected.” 

Now, how would I describe ketamine? It’s kind of like the video game The Sims. You just start to watch yourself do shit from a third-person perspective. You don’t have much control over your body. All you really do is bump more ket and say and do random shit. Once I took darts and began to aim at different spots on posters on the living room wall. Did I create holes in the wall and jeopardise my bond? Yes. But did I have a great time doing so? Fuck yes. When everybody is ketted, not a single substantive conversation occurs. Everybody is too out of it to be able to form coherent responses. Instead, we’re all just having conversations with ourselves.

Warning: if you bump too much ket, you enter the K-hole. The K-hole is the zone of no return. When you’ve dug enough into the ketaverse that you can’t see where you came from. I think in medical terms, this is called inebriation. I personally try to stay out of the K-hole, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t fallen in a few times. In the K-hole, time decides to speed up and slow down while your field of vision zooms in and out – but that’s all I can report. You tend to not remember much from the K-hole. 

Ideal setting: During ACs (after cones)
One word description: Surreal
Comedown: Contemplating your childhood suspicion we’re all actually Sims
Addictive? There’s a risk

Crossfade (Alcohol + Weed)

Why not start the drug combinations with the most classic of them all? Marijuana and alcohol; the breatha’s bread and butter. What happens when you mix perhaps the two most widespread recreational drugs? It’s surprisingly gnarly.

I have never jammed a drug combination where timing and circumstances are so paramount. Smoke that bong when you’re too sloshed? You’re going to be vomiting in the toilet for potentially hours. Puff that joint at just the right time? You’re in for a great night. That’s the thing about crossfading, it’s a sick game of drug roulette. You never know which one you’re going to get because you never truly know when the “right time” is when you’re drunk. But you also don’t want to get high first, because who wants to begin drinking when high? Despite being the drug connoisseur I am, the secret formula has still evaded me for years. 

Either way, you’re going to get incredibly fucked up. Even with all the Class A drugs I’ve jammed, I think this combination may have been the most dangerous during my time at Otago. But do I enjoy it? Hell yeah. When it works, it’s just like being drunk but more fun and you’re stupider. Not bad at all.

Ideal setting: A mate’s flat party 
One word description: Blurry
Comedown: Hugging your toilet bowl

Stoner-Flip (Weed + Gear)
Note: This combination is rated by the drug mixing chart as necessitating “caution”.

Weed and gear is a surprisingly accessible combination that not many people know about. I slept on it for far too long. Weed and gear seem to do the exact opposite things. One chills you out, and the other hypes you up. It shouldn’t work – but, my god, does it.

I ended up trying the combo when I was kindly gifted a joint at a festival. Imagine the euphoria of gear, except you are far more calm, articulate, and aware of your surroundings. That’s about it. It’s awesome and takes the best aspects of both drugs to create a wonderful combination.

Ideal setting to have it: Southern Sounds 
One word description: Serendipitous
Comedown: Staring at a blank word doc for eight hours straight

Candy-Flip (LSD + MDMA)
Note: This combination is rated by the drug mixing chart as “low risk with amplification”. 

Imagine the fun trippy vibes from the acid, with the confidence and chirpiness of gear that makes it less likely you’ll have a bad trip. That’s candy-flipping. It creates the most cooked chat of all time. But I have to give the chat credit, there’s been some profound shit that’s spurted out of my mouth. Unlike that assignment you submitted at 11:59pm, you're articulate as fuck when you snort that rail. 

I must admit, some of the magic of LSD is lost when combining it with MDMA. You aren’t as introspective, but at a rave that’s probably not a bad thing. And don’t get me wrong, you’re still seeing shapes and having out-there thoughts – it just feels more like a fucked food combo that turned out to go hard than unearthing your true calling in life. 

Ideal setting: Your PHIL103 presentation 
One word description: Incredible
Comedown: Not liking what you see in the mirror (for maybe a week)

Wizard-Flip (Acid + Shrooms)
Note: This combination is rated by the drug mixing chart as “low risk with amplification”.

What happens when you take an awesome life-changing substance with another awesome life-changing substance? You have an even more awesome life-changing experience. It’s simple maths. 

The most memorable time I jammed acid and shrooms together was when I experienced the phenomenon known as an “ego death”. Your ego is everything that makes you “you”. Whether that’s your values, hobbies, friends, dress-sense, music taste or even your favourite food. Jamming enough psychedelics can erase your ego as if it's a whiteboard marker on a canvas. 

Ego death is a complete loss of all subjective self-identity. Everything I thought I knew about myself was flipped upside down. I realised my identity was a façade. I was wearing a mask my entire life that stopped me from experiencing the unique and beautiful happiness of pure existence. I realised, at an atomic level, we are all simply particles randomly clashing into each other to create different materials and interactions at a macroscopic level. We’re all just the same thing viewed from a different perspective; like changing camera shots in the same film. 

Your man became at one with the universe and realised we're interconnected on a deeper level. It's true. You, me, your (secret) cat, and the magnolia trees in the Geology Quad are all part of some greater consciousness that we usually struggle to conceive of. Desire and attachment are simply constructed by our egos, preventing us from reaching the kind of coexistence that would achieve world peace. Free from the baggage and bias of constantly viewing the world in relation to “self”, I saw the possibility of a utopia; a world where there's no pint night line and Uni fees are free. A breatha can dream. 

It took me a good week to reintegrate back into society. Seeing all the destruction we have created because of our egos frankly depressed me. Ego death does change you permanently. If you want to try it, you need to be mentally prepared. You might think you’re prepared after reading this, but honestly, you can never be prepared for what you’ll experience during an ego death.

Ideal setting: Any place with people you vibe with and know well.
One word description: Enlightening 
Comedown: I am a more complete person (took a week to reintegrate into society) 

Galaxy-Flip (LSD + Ketamine + MDMA)
Note: The combination of each pair of these are rated by the drug mixing chart as “low risk with amplification”, so probably a lot riskier all at once. 

Okay, while I’ve done this combo a few times, I’ll zone in on one particular instance: the K-hole acid trip. As mentioned in my Ketamine review, I’m a bit iffy on the K-hole – as most are, mind you. I see how the K-hole can be enjoyable, but tend to stay at its edge. But not this time. 

Me and a few of the bro’s had just returned from a night out (already ketted and geared) and somehow ended up smashing even more ket. Naturally, I smashed far too much and found myself in the deepest K-hole I’ve ever entered. We ended up doing the typical ket shit, including a full loop around the outside of the house, for no other reason but to get some steps in. It was as chill as the K-hole can be. That is, until one of the bros piped up and said, “Should we trip?” Me, the acid enthusiast that I am, had tabs at my flat. Off we went. 

Once the trip kicked in, shit got crazy. I was in a trippy simulation. I had no control over myself whilst I watched the entire world swerving around me. At one point I had a cheeky durry and somehow sobered up for 20 seconds when the nicotine hit. “Hey guys, I’m sober now!” I exclaimed to the bros. Then straight back in the K-hole I fell.

While it wasn’t a bad experience, I’ve never been so out of it (except whilst crossfading). It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. 

Ideal setting: Probably don’t do it
One word description: Gnarly
Comedown: Burrowing under your duvet and hiding from the world

Jedi-Flip + Stoner Kitty (Alcohol + Marijuana + MDMA + Shrooms + Acid + Ketamine + Nangs)
Note: This combination is rated by the drug mixing chart as “dangerous to life and health.”

I’m not proud of this one. Alcohol, Marijuana, Gear, Shrooms, Acid, Ketamine and Nangs (in that order) on the same night. I admit I got carried away. But did it feel awesome? Yes.

I started with about a box full of drinks, and like eating a bag of Cheetos, I feigned for more. As I said earlier in the review, alcohol is foundational. You may imagine that I was slumped out in the corner of the host incapacitated, but you'd be wrong. I was the fucking life of the party! Being the responsible man I am, I took the recommended regular dose of each of the seven drugs – together. It was beautiful. All the stars in the universe aligned to create a holy amalgamation of different feelings and sensations in my brain.  

I felt the looseness of the alcohol, chill from the weed, euphoria from the gear, all combined with a deep sense of interconnectedness from the psychedelics. Then bring in a dissociated third-person perspective from the Ketamine and a nang into the mix: I literally felt like Jesus. All the love in the universe was inside of me. I’ll admit, I don’t remember most of it, but I do remember that holy feeling. People later told me I was on great form.

The comedown the next day (and the day after that) — holy Jesus fuck. It was something. I wouldn’t say it was a typical lie-in-bed watching Netflix and crying comedown. It was almost like a shellshock. I had reached enlightenment, making reality unbearably disappointing for weeks afterwards. So I took the same combination at a later date, swapping shrooms for cocaine offered by some Jafa at Rhythm and Vines. While it’d be irresponsible to recommend anybody take this many drugs in one night, I'd be dishonest if I said I didn’t have an epic experience. 

Ideal setting: Don't do it 
One word description: Transcendent 
Comedown: Returning from war (if you come out alive) 

This article first appeared in Issue 7, 2024.
Posted 2:08pm Sunday 14th April 2024 by Boba Ket.