I frequently write about "good" legal (or grey-area) substances such as hemp, kratom, mescaline cacti & coca leaf, but there are also some legally available drugs that are downright dangerous. As most know, legal does not = safe. Just because a substance is available online or over-the-counter doesn't mean it's a safer choice than something illegal. I don't care how desperate you get, you should never abuse the following substances to obtain a "high". These drugs are toxic in high doses & can produce nasty side effects that are neither fun nor enlightening. Some can even kill.
(Note: The "safer alternatives" are only safe if you research the appropriate dose & interaction information first & use them in a familiar, comfortable setting. Anything can be dangerous if used carelessly).
Nightshade Plants (Datura, Belladonna, Henbane): This family of plants contain tropane alkaloids like atropine & scopolamine. They act as a deliriant when ingested & can easily kill by sending the heart into overdrive. Other side effects may include blindness, terrifyingly real hallucinations, dry mouth, convulsions, self-injury & overheating. In some cases, simply touching these plants can be sufficient to cause mind-altering effects, so if you see them growing wild (which they do in many parts of the U.S.) just keep walking.
Safer Alternatives: DXM, 3-MeO-PCP, MXE, Deschloroketamine.
Antihistamines: Like nightshades, antihistamines have anticholinergic effects & act as deliriants in high doses. And they're dangerous for all the same reasons. But don't take my word for it.
Safer Alternatives: See above.
Inhalants: (Gasoline, Computer Duster, Glue, Paint, Freon) Inhalants are in a class by themselves--more a toxin than a drug. They can easily kill you the first time you use them by triggering irregular heartbeat, freezing of the throat (!) or stroke . They produce their effects partially by depriving your brain of oxygen. There is no safe way to use volatile inhalants of this type*
Safer Alternatives: *Nitrous oxide, nitrite "poppers," diethyl ether (technically inhalants but don't cause brain/organ damage with responsible use like the volatile chemical solvents listed above).
Nutmeg: While often used to spice up eggnog & other flavorful dishes, nutmeg also causes deliriant effects in high doses. It can also cause horrific nausea, vomiting, seizures & CNS depression that can be dangerous. It may not kill you, but you'll wish it did. Some of the Erowid Trip Reports have titles like "Dizzy for 5 Days Straight," "The Two Week Hangover," and "Early Morning Dementia".
Safer Alternatives: Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seed, Kava, Salvia Divinorum leaf.
Imodium: This common over-the-counter diarrhea medication doubles as a recreational substance for opiate users and is sometimes used to stem withdrawals from drugs like heroin. But the high can come at a cost. In addition to its opioid effects, Imodium is a cardiotoxin in high doses and has caused several deaths. If you're looking to ease withdrawals or obtain an opioid-like high, there are much better options out there.
Safer Alternatives: Kratom, Tianeptine, Poppy Pods, Akuamma Seed, Cheratussin AC (available without Rx in some states--ask a pharmacist).
Ergot: Ergot is a fungus that grows on rye & is used as a precursor to synthesize LSD. While it might seem like a good idea to ingest it for psychedelic purposes, doing so could result in dire consequences such as limb amputation or death. Ergotism was common back in the day & was even theorized as a possible cause of the Salem Witch Trials. Today, ergot is used to synthesize some migraine & Parkinson's Disease medications but can be deadly when ingested directly.
Safer Alternatives: 1P-LSD, AL-LAD, Morning Glory seed, 4-AcO-DMT, San Pedro cacti.
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