the "Inside PTSD - Addiction" collection:
ok, i promised details. here's my take on different substances that people have experienced throughout the history of humanity.
plus, some animals get high, fermented honey for bears or beer for well-raised pigs.
[editorial note: not all this is from direct experience; plus, if any of this is illegal where you live, it's all fiction.]
nicotine : nic provides one core benefit: predictability. this is a great benefit in times of stress and disorder. you know exactly how long you can milk one cigarette in a variety of circumstances, and you know, brand by brand, just how much a buzz you'll get, how long it will last, and truth be told, you know how many minutes off your life expectancy each cigarettes kills; you just don't care. you got 9 minutes of a slow burn and mild high. you could return to service nearly instantly afterward, and maintain and function for the next 90 minutes, with no added discomfort for having smoked.
weed : weed, herb, cannabis, the flower and leaf of a plant. this buzz is organic, but not without cost. it's not suitable for every occasion, as it serves to exacerbate current conditions. it has been shown to provoke (or promote, can't remember the exact wording) the condition of mania (ride that wave well if you can), and from personal experience, if anxious, it can amplify said discomfort, between 20 and 80% of the cases. 'weed' can be used to create a tiny bubble of spatial awareness which, on a good day, reminds me of our beloved place in all eternity
alcohol : this one is hilarious, literally. it provides a quick escape and a rapid change of 'current reality'. it magnifies bravado and encourages a particular openness that exposes why this particular range of beverages has been popular for millennia among humans and other creatures here on planet earth. i surmise—that in parallel universes where the mathematical constants are different and the air is unbreatheable to us—there will be an analog to alcohol. Alcohol is an archetype for a certain external and internal camaraderie, but the cost is high. it deludes as it trashes the liver, and in nearly every instance of excess, it degrades far more than it uplifts.
heroin : despite a long-held desire to experience the promise of this narcotic, i have never partaken. i have never felt courageous enough to resist the allure of its complete annihilation—of self and desire. you gotta be all in with heroin, and i've never been just that ready. when self-medication was a skill i mad wanted to master, my avatar for heroin was this dude i met in NY through my friend Z. This gent was about 33 to my 25, and he had no hair on his scalp, but he was buff enough i figured he either didn't care, or he shaved so as to reduce friction. he averred—i believe it still—that he would allow himself to do heroin once a month, and no more. Mad props for huge strength of will!! i knew i could never do that, i would stay high till strung out, and from there only misery. Heroin is an utter willingness to trade your full life for a span of deep-felt bliss. the price is exceedingly high, and almost no one comes out ahead, and i always hoped my avatar was one of them. ...heroin chimes in, we're organic it says. tru dat, barely. heroin is poppies refined till only the merest essence of plant remains, but what an essence it is...
and, if you get a chance to listen... The Velvet Underground, Heroin, 1968?
opium : which brings me to opium. again, thank you old friend for sharing w/ me your stash. this was decades ago, but the memories are as clear as a Tintin story from the Blue Lotus. To continue... technique: you take one of those cardboard tubes that used to connect the two downwards ends of an old school coat hanger, like you'd get from the dry cleaning place (does anyone dry clean; i don't; it kinds of weirds me out). Anyway, you take one of those tubes and cut it down w/ a kitchen knife to 5.7 inches, that's ideal. you sit on kitchen chairs about the kitchen stove, ideally gas, ideally white brushed enamel, b/c i know that works. you sit there, the 4 of your—mix your genders as you wish—and turn on the stove. if gas, no waiting needed; please, continue. breathe in, and take the metal part of same coat hanger, and ensure you have a semi-straightened end, a long way from where you will hold it. enter the tip of the hanger into the fire or onto the electric, heated coils. wait till the coat hanger wire is red hot, then... ok, step back, we're not ready. have P take the opium of his pocket, unwrap it, and with his cool knife place a small chunk, about the size of three frozen peas, onto the very corner of the stove everyone is seated about, on the white part, about 4 inches from flame and one inch from the edge where it drops four feet to the floor. Now, to continue, roll the red hot wire part into the pile of opium at the same time you take the tube and place the nether end .33 inches from the pile, into which you role the hot wire, causing combustion and smoke(!) which you inhale slowly. repeat for 8 hours, continually get more high, never get a soar throat, envision doing this for eternity.... opium is one of the few substances around which there might need to be discussion of legislation, for the good of weak people everywhere. opium is an eternal time-out, a rest from now till way after whatever end times will eventually arrive...