Cannabis legalization has restarted the discussion about the use of “mind-altering” drugs. So-called illegal substances have always been attractive. This is linked to the excitement of being prohibited. It is also linked to physical and mental sensations they can cause. Certain illegal drugs have always been associated with creativity and historical achievements. DNA was supposedly discovered after Francis Crick had an amazing LSD trip. He saw the concept while high. His wife sketched his subsequent brainstorm of the double helix. Sigmund Freud was heavily under the influence of cocaine when he understood “psychoanalysis.” Dock Ellis, a pitcher for the Mets, reportedly pitched one of the few strike-out west games in the club’s history, fueled by LSD. The German army was fueled by amphetamines due to the Russian winter invasion during World War II. Douglas Engelbart – the inventor of the computer mouse – credited the guided LSD sessions he took for this invention. Crick was not the only scientist to use LSD for his achievements. The Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry, Kary Banks Mullis also did so. As did the mathematician Ralph Abraham. Aldous Huxley is one of many writers and painters who also owed his inspiration to LSD. Huxley, ironically, was also one of the people who warned about the dangers of over-indulging in drugs. Brave New World is all about this theme. Samuel Taylor Coleridge reportedly used opioids to stimulate his creative impulses while writing Kubla Khan. There is no doubt, in other words, that “illegal” drugs have in some cases led individuals to achieve great accomplishments. From courage, creativity, bravery to strength. But what about the use of such substances that cause such effects? And why can drug use be so beneficial to some people and destroy the lives of others?
BRAIN DURING DRUG USE
These are questions that scientists are still struggling to answer. Science still cannot answer how the interplay between personal history, metabolism, addiction, trauma and drug use will affect individuals. Not to mention what drugs are used. The biochemistry of certain drugs also makes them more prone to abuse than others. Heroin triggers feelings of ecstasy and happiness. It also rapidly shuts down the respiratory response. Cocaine provides a lot of energy by attracting dopamine responses in the human body. However, it is highly addictive as a result. Cannabis, as finally discovered by science, not only causes euphoria, but also helps to heal the body. So far, no one has proven that it is addictive. Further fatal overdoses are unknown. All these drugs work in similar ways. They stimulate or block biochemical reactions in the brain. These then have an impact on the entire body. In the case of cannabis, for example, the metabolic processes affected by the drug appear to be a master switch regulator. However, legal or illegal substances today have a long history of use for a reason. They somehow change the way the brain works. This in turn affects stimulation or blockage of neuron-level connectivity throughout the body. This can make the user feel more “creative.” It can also make the user feel better.
FAMOUS INVENTORS WHO USED DRUGS
The connections between art, creativity, innovation and drug use are well known. Thomas Edison was known to use “cocaine elixirs.” This was a popular drink made from cocaine mixed with Bordeaux red wine. Paul Erdös, one of the most productive mathematicians who ever lived, used amphetamines until old age. He claimed they improved his productivity. On a purely fictional level, drugs and performance have long been linked. For example, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle made his famous detective Sherlock Holmes an opium addict. Holmes’s deductive genius was linked to his drug use and abuse. Back in the real world, truth is often stranger than fiction. Some of the most famous inventors have used mind-altering drugs. Many have also claimed that this made the difference in their success. For example, Steve Jobs used LSD. The computer genius later said this was one of the two or three most important things he had ever done in his life. He even went so far as to claim that Bill Gates’s suspected lack of creativity was because he didn’t use drugs.
LSD AND DNA
There is some controversy about the connection between the discovery of DNA and LSD. Reports began to surface in 2004 after the death of Francis Crick. The story is that he was microdosing on LSD when he discovered the double helix. Other academics in the 1950s and 1960s certainly believed that LSD “opened another level of consciousness.” Perhaps the most influential on this front was Timothy Leary.
WHO WAS TIMOTHY LEARY?
Leary was an American psychologist known for promoting the use of psychotropic drugs in therapy. He led research with both LSD and hallucinogenic mushrooms at Harvard. The influence of his work spread through the counterculture movement. Richard Nixon once called him the “most dangerous man in America.
COCAINE AND PSYCHOTHERAPY
The use of certain types of drugs in psychotherapy begins with its founder. Sigmund Freud led the field. Freud ended public promotion of the drug before the early 20th century. However, he continued to use it personally. Central to Freud’s work was one idea. Talking about the past without fear of disapproval was a way to get away with it. He also believed that dreams are the fulfillment of unfinished reality. Freud thanked cocaine for giving him the courage to engage himself in this practice.
COKE AND COKE
Freud’s writings influenced society far beyond the psychologist’s couch. One of the most famous commercial examples is Coca Cola. It was invented by Atlanta pharmacist John Pemberton. The drink was originally made with real cocaine. The coca was eventually removed from the drink. However, coca is still used as a stimulant by indigenous South American tribes.
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN FOR ME?
That is a very personal question. The choice to take certain types of drugs is a very personal one. With cannabis entering sports, expect to hear a lot more on this subject from now on. However, beyond endurance, drugs are also used to stimulate, what is also known as “creativity” . This creativity helps them see a problem in a new way. This is because many of the drugs described as “mind-altering” actually change how the brain works. Psychoactive substances alter time perception. This means that both chronology and the sense of time become blurred. Cause and effect is also disrupted. Logical results not seen before may even exist together. Many people also take such substances to lose feelings of self-awareness that can impede speech, action, or deed. Biochemically, this means that the brain fires neurons throughout the body, creating these feedback and sensations in the brain. Drugs that release high levels of dopamine in the body, for example, alter the bath of chemicals that affect the brain. Such drugs can be used for creative purposes that are positive, but there is always a limit. Addiction, particularly to drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines, is also a feature of many celebrities who use drugs to create their success. The reality is that success in the material world is usually the result of training, perseverance and discipline. Those who use drugs to enhance performance are not “lazy. Nor have they succeeded “just because” they use drugs. Tell that to the triathletes who use cannabis to improve their endurance. However, the line between life enhancement and destructive behavior is difficult for most people to judge. At the end of the day, it is better to prevent than to cure. We do not support the use of illegal drugs, but adults make their own decisions. Knowledge is essential in this situation – to make informed choices.