Fear and Loathing in the N.E.V.

Fear and Loathing in the N.E.V.

When Critic decided they needed a first-person account on the effects of the legal and/or easily available highs found around Dunedin for their upcoming “Drug” issue, I volunteered for the task immediately. I had never tried any of the substances that follow, but as an aspiring investigative journalist I was keen for any opportunity to, well, investigate.
By the time the details were finalized, it was already late Wednesday afternoon and I had only one week to get through all the “drugs” and record their effects as they happened. Unfortunately I had a paper due Friday morning which I had yet to begin, so that, of course, came first. While some excellent writing has been done on drugs - Robert Louis Stevenson reportedly wrote Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde on a six day cocaine binge - I didn’t have any drugs yet, and certainly no cocaine, so I finished my paper as fast as I could, albeit chemically unaided, and was stocking up on “high” supplies by late Friday morning.

I had nine 10mg pills ritalin. The cough syrup and nutmeg were easy enough to come by; Gregg’s Nutmeg from New World, cough syrup containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan from the neighbouring pharmacy and Funk That supplied Kronic and Salvia. This had all gotten rather pricey though and I decided to hold off on any party pills for the time being. Mulberries proved difficult, as apparently they need to be white, unripe berries to produce their rumoured hallucinatory effects. I asked around and got nothing but queer looks. Eventually I got some dried mulberries from the health food store which apparently would do the trick in extremely large quantities.

It was now Friday afternoon and I was stocked up and planning to run the gauntlet in one wild weekend, hoping to finish everything off by Monday morning.  After a little Wiki research on each of my target substances, I decided to start with the nutmeg as I believed it would have the mildest effect and be a good way to ease into things. Well, that was the plan anyway.

This is my story.
After much research, the doses of the substances consumed were the most commonly suggested amounts for a substantial yet “safe” high for an 80kg male. The following is transcribed from a notebook I carried with me all weekend or from recordings I took on my phone.
I just mixed 25 grams of Gregg’s powdered nutmeg into two chocolate milkshakes and have drunk both. Nutmeg tastes like sand. Not sure what to expect. Watching TV.
Might be feeling something, not sure, no real difference, feeling very anxious.
Something is indeed happening, tingly skin, my skin is warm, feeling butterflies in my stomach.  Quite a pleasant buzz.
Bad stomach pain, ridiculous gas, strobe light effect whenever I move my eyes, feeling nice though, very dry mouth, fluttery heartbeat.  Watching TV, can’t focus on anything or think, very similar to being quite stoned.
Terrible stomach pain, really bad. There are haloes on the lights and auras and shimmering outlines on everything. Things look translucent. My skin is red and flushed and I’m hot. Walking from room to room feels like an epic journey, definitely constipated also. Very confusing feeling, can’t remember one minute to the next.
Want to sleep, feel like I could sleep if my mouth wasn’t so dry, my heartbeat is really loud in my ears, I’m actually quite fucked up, not getting any better. Keep hearing phone ringing but it’s not.
Terrible night’s sleep, very twitchy, still feeling quite weird, munted, feeling very rough.  Stomach pains have gone, thank God. Lights still have haloes and I’m thinking about throwing up to get rid of any leftover nutmeg, surprisingly potent shit, still hearing phone ringing.
20mg of Ritalin crushed and snorted and a few coffees, feeling much better about things in general though the nutmeg is still very much present and fogging my head. Ritalin hurts to snort, but no immediate effect.
Decide to walk down to the park, but first snort one more Ritalin, feeling better. Put on a jacket and shoes and feeling a bit cold, might just be cold. Maybe this is just the Ritalin talking but I want another Ritalin. One more, then I’m off to the park. Crush, snort, ouch.
Feeling quite paranoid walking down the road but good to be in fresh air, Ritalin definitely has picked me up, wide awake now, and mouth still dry, feels like I’ve eaten toilet paper. Nutmeg has definitely given me an insane headache though, still hard to focus, probably only holding it together because of the Ritalin. Aborting park mission, heading home to get more Ritalin.
At home sitting on porch waiting for text, decide to try Salvia. Roll up pathetic joint of what looks like hundred year old crappy bush-weed, not sure what to expect, haven’t tried this before, I’ve heard lots of different things but one two three and away we go.
HOLY MOTHERFUCKER!!! Insane instant tripping feeling, like a lot of nitrous oxide, feel like I was surrounded by whirring helicopters and there was a crowd of people talking around me and laughing but there is nobody here. Tin can-like ringing in my ears. Really insane feeling, very short lived though, really intense, sharply detailed, strange, actual hallucinations. This stuff cannot be good for you. I’m very surprised at how potent this stuff is and you can just buy it at the store. Maybe I had too much in one go? Wow.
Taking a break for a moment, having a beer and a shower to recharge. Make toast but can’t eat it, mouth is still really dry. Nutmeggy sick feeling still lurking around. Mysterious phone only ringing when I listen for it.
Feeling rather down, a bit depressed, feel like I’ve wasted my Friday and Saturday, still can’t communicate well on the phone. Have no money but don’t care, remind myself that I could have been experimenting with cleaning products.
All is well, pretty tweaked on Ritalin, good feeling, amped, where were we? Kronic, this is also a first for me. I pack one cone full of Pineapple Express and light that bad boy up. Tastes like ass. Makes me cough, not overly impressed.
Pretty fucked up actually, very much like weed almost. Maybe it’s the leftover nutmeg or some residual Salvia or the toxic levels of Ritalin I’ve been shovelling up my nose but I’m actually quite stoned-ish. I fuck around on the guitar trying to decide if it’s a high like weed or not, I think it is, I think in fact I’m wasted. Still constipated. Over all I have to say Kronic gets a thumbs up, goes nicely with another Ritalin.
Have watched BBC Ocean documentary and eaten some noodles, Kronic was not too bad but is long gone now, feeling tired and bored. Decide to get this over with and knock back a 250ml bottle of Robitussin in one gnarly gulp; quickly wash it down with apple juice.
Note: This is officially the end of the journal entries, the rest is described as it is best remembered, which is not very well. 

7-8pm? -  3-4am?...ish
At first there was a brief sensation of euphoria, like an E or a LSD trip coming on, followed quickly by very real and intense confusion of where I was, who I was and what I was doing. My heart was pounding and I felt like my veins were going to burst. I was slipping in and out of strange dreamscape visual distortions; things looked the wrong size in relation to each other. The TV remote, for instance, looked like a microscopic child’s toy and was impossible to operate. The presenters on the TV news seemed frightening and somehow aware of my presence. There was an extreme sense of loss of self-control and impending doom, and a sensation as though I’d become lost inside my head. At one point I was a polar bear walking through endless snow following a small yellow bird and was utterly convinced that if I couldn’t catch up to the bird that I would never wake up. It was all very disturbing shit. I spent most the night pacing back and forth trying to remember to breath. The very best way I can describe the feeling is like having a stroke.
I was done. Totally toasted, brain damaged for sure and I’d only gotten through just over half the products I was supposed to try. I’d barely slept and felt incredibly fragile and spent, emotionally depleted and hollow, very zombie like. The cough syrup was quite possibly the worst thing I’d ever done to myself. I couldn’t stop trembling and I felt even worse than the time I had meningitis. There was just absolutely no way in hell I had it left in me to try a party pill, legal or not, I was convinced I would die.
The last of the Ritalin and half a dozen beers later and I was feeling on top of the world again somehow, deranged and twisted beyond repair but actually upbeat and alive again, a little drunk but that was okay. Now to mulberry or not to mulberry, that was the question. I eyed the flaky berries and my stomach turned in disgust; the world could go on wondering, my bowels had only just started to show signs of life again and I couldn’t take the chance of another day without a poo. It was officially over I decided, from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon I had ploughed through 48 hours of absurd self-destruction, chemical abuse and an array of introspective nightmares. But what had I learned, I mused, what had I learned?
Well, for one, nutmeg is one nasty motherfucker and will make you feel like the walking dead for DAYS, not to mention the constipation. What are my final verdicts?
Nutmeg = not worth it.
Cough syrup (DXM) =Stroke.
Salvia = incredibly strange, might try it again someday.
Kronic = not the real thing, but does the job in a pinch.
Ritalin= more please, although don’t plan on getting any sleep.

Disclaimer: Ritalin is a B class drug, and it is illegal or use Ritalin unless prescribed by a doctor. Cough Syrup containing dextromethorphan can react with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors causing people to die. DO NOT take more than the recommended dose. Selling or supplying medications which are prescribed can constitute a criminal offence, as well as being dangerous.

Even legal highs can make a user unwell, and Critic cautions readers to be responsible and seek medical help if need be.  Critic and OUSA in no way endorse breaking the law or consuming illegal substances. The opinions expressed within this article are those of the author and not of Critic or OUSA


Posted 6:04am Thursday 14th April 2011 by Dr. Z.