This is not my original work but an essay I thought might be helpful.
Ecstasy (MDMA) is a semisynthetic psychedelic entactogen of the phenethylamine family that is much less visual with more stimulant like effects than most all other common “trip” producing psychedelics. It is considered mainly a recreational drug that’s often used with sex and associated with club drugs, as an entheogen, and a tool in use to supplement various types of practices for transcendence including in meditation, psychonautics, and illicit psychedelic psychotherapy whether self administered or not. The primary effects of MDMA include an increased awareness of the senses, feelings of openness, euphoria, empathy, love,happiness, heightened self-awareness, feeling of mental clarity and an increased appreciation of music and movement. Tactile sensations are enhanced for some users, making physical contact with others more pleasurable. Other side effects, such as jaw clenching and elevated pulse, are common.
Sitting comfortably in our cosy living room, Café del Mar and similar CDs playing in the background, we began at 8 pm. I swallowed one white tablet with water. Over the next hour nothing much happened except that I found myself talking quite openly and confidently with the others, moving very easily into interesting conversations. This was a little unusual for me as I am normally quite shy and overly self-conscious in social situations and it takes me a while to loosen up. The next thing I experienced was a striking shift in my visual perception. I don’t mean a hallucination or a distortion, but a wonderful step up in the aesthetic quality. For a moment it was like being in one of those nostalgic TV ads where the world looks all gold and sepia. ‘Everything’s gone amber!’ I blurted. But then I found that my vision was becoming beautifully enhanced. It made my normal visual experience seem like cheap, fuzzy CCTV footage in comparison. Now I was seeing the world anew in sharp, lush, top-quality Technicolor! I also began to move in time to the music. The music! Oh, the music! Wow! It sounded so good, so organic! The uplifted state stayed with me and took a long time to fade — at least a couple of weeks. It had unleashed in me a rush of joy that was still accessible when I focused on it weeks later.
Opium is a resinous narcotic formed from the latex released by lacerating (or “scoring”) the immature seed pods of opium poppies (Papaver somniferum). It contains up to 16% morphine, an opiate alkaloid, which is most frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. Opium has gradually been superseded by a variety of purified, semi-synthetic, and synthetic opioids with progressively stronger effect, and by other general anesthesia. This process began in 1817, when Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Sertürner reported the isolation of pure morphine from opium after at least thirteen years of research and a nearly disastrous trial on himself and three boys.
I remember that what I smoked was much easier to smoke than marijuana. There was no burning in my throat nor in my lungs. I took a very large, smooth hit. Smoking it like marijuana, I held it in for about 10 or 15 seconds and let it out. It didn’t taste like marijuana, I remember the taste being rather faint. It actually tasted and smelled like incense. I was very surprised to suddenly find myself on the floor, in the dark, with a crowd of people surrounding me. Apparently I had fainted and fallen to the ground, but I hadn’t noticed. The high itself is rather hard to describe. It was much more intense than marijuana. It felt heavy, like my whole body was being impacted… but it also felt very clear and refined at the same time. As I made my way towards the bathroom the drug began to kick in again. My steps kind of faded away and it felt like I was just floating over to the bathroom. The scary thing was though, that I was having trouble seeing. My vision was fading....
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