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The ALEX VAN STARREX Website


ALTERED STATES


INTRODUCTION

Are drugs really one of the great issues of our times? Three decades after the notorious 'sixties' (which were, themselves, more of a mass-media phenomenon than a social one), it's quite easy to see what has changed and what hasn't. For example, it's fascinating to trace back specific developments in history - such as the story of LSD (move down the page if you want some background music for this):

Then you read a work such as Terence McKenna's "Food of the Gods" and realise that this same cycle of hysteria and acceptance has been going on for hundreds of years over seemingly ordinary things such as coffee and chocolate. But in case this sounds too much like 'by the people, for the people', try reading David Black's "Acid - The Secret History of LSD".

Underlying all this, of course, are the political, social and religious aspects of drug use. Given the opportunity and time, we could delve into the formative role played by mind-altering substances throughout history - from the establishment of the major world religions, the rites of ancient royalty and their use as a tool of divination right down their impetus behind the discovery of DNA and the development of modern computer programming. Of course, the effect on music, clothes and politics is easy enough to see - and market.

Do I advocate the use of drugs? Well, they're certainly not for everyone. My forthcoming book goes into the area in greater detail, but within the context of other agents for social and personal change. For the moment, I offer a simple equation: the effect of a drug is ultimately the combination of the the drug itself, the person using it and the environment in which it is being used. Within this context, the effects are relatively predictable - thus enabling controlled use. Problems arise through uninformed experimentation or the persistant abuse of substances - and widespread abuse within a population is simply an indication of larger social concerns.

This being said, I have no time for "buzz"drugs - amphetamines, cocaine, heroin and the like - since I'm far too cerebral in nature. And the long-term potential for turning into a mindless, drug-dependant zombie is far too great to justify any short-term thrills. In any event, if you want to get a clear and comparatively safe idea of how drugs alter one's perceptions, you can always have a look at the following sites. Readers should note that links to clinical discussions on drugs and their effects are contained on the Health & Well-Being page - and in the search engines below.

GENERAL LINKS (in alphabetical order - not according to subject matter)

CANNABIS LINKSnews

PSYCHEDELIC LINKS (in alphabetical order - not according to subject matter)

MULTIMEDIA

NEWSGROUPS


AUSTRALIAN DRUG FOUNDATION

Search for


Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies - search MAPS Website by Keyword

  Examples


Keyword Searching
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MDMA
Ketamine AND psychotherapy
Ketamine OR psychotherapy
psych*
"LSD Studies"

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URL: http://homepages.tig.com.au/~avanstar
EMAIL:
avanstar@tig.com.au
Alex Van Starrex