More Than 30 Million Americans Have Used Psychedelic Drugs
Monday, 06 May 2013 08:00 No Comments
Is illicit use of hallucinogens in fact a part of normal behavior? Healthline reports:
A new study shows that an estimated 32 million people in the U.S. (Read more…) have used LSD, “magic mushrooms”, or mescaline at some point in their lives, many in the recent past.
Researchers Teri S. Krebs and Pål-Ørjan Johansen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology used data from a sample of more than 57,000 individuals ages 12 and older who were questioned for the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
According to Krebs and Johansen’s study, the rate of lifetime psychedelic use was highest among people ages 30 to 34, with higher rates in men than in women. The authors also found that older adults were more likely to have used LSD and mescaline, whereas younger adults were more likely to have used “magic mushrooms.”
In our experience, people are surprised about the high rate of psychedelic use in the U.S.,” Krebs said.
Out of All Drugs Legal And Illegal, Which Ones Kill?
Saturday, 27 April 2013 15:30 No Comments
Picture: William Rafti (CC)
If we were to have a sane and adult conversation about drug use and abuse in America instead of waging a war on drugs the same way we wage a war on terror, we might come to the realization that we’re letting the bad ones in our homes freely while some of the most helpful to improving the quality of life of the average person carry some of the highest minimum prison sentences of all, while touting an infinitesimal number of related deaths. Some of you may have read Thad McKracken’s well thought out article on the state of drugs in society today. The numbers fall in lockstep with his thoughts.
It turns out that, aside from Alcohol, Big Pharma is the #1 killer while drugs that have been used traditionally as entheogens hardly appear in the statistics at all. Drugs like LSD, DMT, Marajuana, Peyote and other psychedelics are used as a religious sacrament in many belief systems around the world, but are vilified because of their tendency to provide people with what Terence McKenna simply called ‘funny ideas’.
In 2010, there were 80,000 drug and alcohol overdose deaths in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WONDER database. The database, maintained by the National Center for Health Statistics, keeps a tally of all the deaths listed on certificates nationwide. They’re classified by the ICD-10 medical coding reference system.
Death reporting in the U.S. requires an underlying cause—the event or disease that lead to the death. This chart represents all those listed in the CDC database as “accidental poisoning,” “intentional self-poisoning,” “assault by drugs,” and “poisoning with undetermined intent.” In addition to the underlying cause, a death certificate has space for up to 20 additional causes. That’s where “cocaine” or “antidepressants” would show up. The subcategories are limited in their detail—many drugs are lumped together, like MDMA and caffeine, which are listed together as “psychostimulants.” And about a quarter of all overdose death certificates don’t have the toxicity test results listed at all, landing them in the “unspecified” stripe.
Brooklyn’s Prince Rama: The Band that Talks to Ghosts
Wednesday, 03 April 2013 16:30 No Comments
Early in 2012, Redefine proprietor Vivian Hua and I decided to do a series of interviews focusing on musicians who drew from esoteric spiritual pursuits for inspiration. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but what we ran into is that we don’t actually know of, or personally know too many of these musicians, so it didn’t get very far. The other thing we ran into was that a few people agreed to talk to us and then completely bailed when they saw the weird shit we were going to ask them. What the fuck are you going to do?
Fortunately for us, we did manage to chat with Brooklyn’s Prince Rama, whose Taraka Larson used to intern with Paul Laffoley strangely enough, and they pretty much knocked the ball out of the park. It was also another one of those odd witchery situations, because I talked to them after their show, but the recording was mysteriously inaudible. And so Viv had to track them down and have them redo the whole thing by e-mail, which ended up being great because they went into even more depth in regards to their paranormal proclivities. Good times:
“Me and Nimai both have had pretty extensive ghost experiences. I had one not too long ago; I was at my parent’s house in Florida, which we found out later was built on this old Confederate farm. There was apparently a slave quarters that had burnt down on my parents’ property, and I had no idea until afterwards, when we all started having weird ghost experiences — everyone in my family [did]. I had this one where at the time I had this weird dream. I woke up and got up and splashed water on my face and went back to bed — but the bed just felt really weird. I felt, I don’t know, kind of an erupting feeling coming over me where I was paralyzed; all of my limbs felt really cold. There was something really heavy pinning me down, and I look to the side of the bed, and there’s kind of an open closet right by the bed. There seem to be these silvery film projections — that’s what they look like at first — but it was just a man who was dressed completely in an Confederate soldier outfit. He was kind of an older man, but then his face and body started transforming to become younger and younger, and then behind him, all of a sudden — this is going to sound really weird — this other image started coming up behind him and growing bigger and bigger. All of a sudden, it came in front of him and totally eclipsed him. There was this giant baby head. I don’t know. He was growing younger and younger, and all of a sudden, this giant baby head came and was staring right at me. I was like, “Oh my god, this is so crazy.” So I was like, “I’m going to turn around. I’m going to count to ten. At that time, you guys are all going to leave, because I want to go to sleep.” So I turn around and I count to ten; I look back and there’s nothing there. And the pillow next to my head started — I don’t know how to describe it, but you know how when someone first gets up from a really cushy area, you can see the imprint of where they were kind of rise, like inflate? It was totally like that. There was something that was lying beside me and it just got up. So I felt the sheets kind of uncrinkle and smooth out, and I kind of felt the heaviness lift from over me. We have a lot of stuff like that happen. I don’t know why; I feel like ghosts just like to hang out with us.”
Also, as a follow up, we actually chatted with them well before they released their most ambitious album to date Top Ten Hits of the End of the World, which is roughly the most out there concept album in history where we find the sisters channeling bands that died in a fake apocalypse (you should absolutely read the fake bios for these bands because they rule). Truthfully, this disc threw me off at first, as do most albums that find acts completely changing their sound, which takes a lot of balls to do. Here the trance rock queens hone their songwriting chops and sort of sound like 80’s nu wave on shit tons of acid rather than cocaine. Never been much of an 80’s nu wave fan, but I must concede that after listen number 3 or so, I was getting all of these spaced out channeling cuts stuck in my head. Fine work. Even finer is the video they made for the fake band I.M.M.O.R.T.A.L.I.F.E.’s song Those Who Live For Love Will Live Forever, which is sort of a psychedelic kitsch classic.
Here’s the bio for that particular made up band, which I think helps one appreciate the visuals:
“In the early eighties, a London sex cult infiltrated underground discotheques based on the principle that the secret to immortality was found through engaging in intimate acts of love. To retain their anonymity, members went by the acronym I.M.M.OR.T.A.L.I.F.E., or ‘Inner Messages Morphing Over Resonant Time, Always Loving Infinitely Free and Everlasting’. For years, I.M.M.O.R.T.A.L.I.F.E. dedicated itself to recording dance track hymnals that would provoke lovemaking acts and thus prolong the lives of its members. When the end of the world came, the group was found frozen in midst of an orgiastic collapse. They had not slept or eaten in thirteen days.”