We're here to present some of the biggest news in the world of drugs last week. To inform, to lift, to liberate.
1. The harder you trip, the better off you are afterward, is one possible takeaway from a new study of users of ayahuasca, a jungle hallucinogen. Folks showed increases in satisfaction with life after a session, but positive results were "significantly correlated to the level of ego dissolution." "Ego dissolution" is a fancy way to say You Were Fucking Gone, Bro.
2. Not new but still funny, tourists are snorting cocaine off the grave of Pablo Escobar. The greatest cocaine king of all high time would probably approve. There is also a brisk rotation of people smoking spliffs at the mausoleum of Bob Marley. Not yet trending: shooting heroin on the grave of Jimi Hendrix. Too soon.
3. A synthetic form of cannabis calms the agitation of Alzheimer's patients. Good news! Although why they keep making fake pot when the real stuff works just fine, we'll never know.
4. Magic mushrooms help folks stop smoking cigarettes, and a new survey looks at why. Like, why would tripping your labia off — perceiving the houseplants talking to you, say, or seeing your surroundings shatter into a million little wavy pieces — persuade you not to suck on a lit tobacco stick? The study says "participants reported gaining vivid insights into self-identity and reasons for smoking from their psilocybin sessions." So they figured out why they smoked, which made it easier to quit. Also, "participants reported a range of persisting positive changes beyond smoking cessation, including increased aesthetic appreciation, altruism, and pro-social behaviour." A good relationship with the researchers was important.
5. Worth noting: mushrooms can go sideways in bad environments or with a bad mindset — you might even think you're going to die. In one study, 8 percent of bad trippers had to seek treatment to get over it. Oddly, most bad trips seem to have positive outcomes, according to 84 percent of people in the same study.
6. Meanwhile, with stimulants and opioids, which almost always feel good, addiction and poverty are the highly-possible — although not inevitable — dangers.
7. DMT feels like dying, according to a new survey of 13 people. The psychedelic drug — also a main ingredient in ayahuasca — is so weird and immersive it makes virtual reality look like a children's picture book. A DMT trip shares qualities with the near-death experiences of people who almost die, researchers found, like the feeling of "falling into the void" and losing your ego. Don't try this at home, kids. Actually, you apparently already are. And remember what we learned earlier: big trips can help the most.
8. The Mexican Navy chased down a speedboat with 4,000 pounds of cocaine near Acapulco and released video of it, including the moment the boat slides up on shore and a helicopter pretty much lands on a dude. Watch:
9. And, just in case you think your drug use is out of control and you want to compare your situation to something worse, here's a 2 year old in Asia smoking a cigarette. Enjoy!