Jan 21, 2011

Digital Drugs- Latest drug trend

Forget about bongs, mirrors and crack pipes. Kids are getting high using headphones. Certain MP3 music downloads available online supposedly induce a state of ecstasy.
  • This new practice is called i-Dosing and requires a pair of headphones and something to play music. Proponents of i-Dosing say the ecstatic feeling listeners supposedly feel is caused by the binaural beat effect.
  • This effect is the result of two slightly different audio waves being heard separately by the left and right ear. The two tones played at slightly different frequencies makes the listener think they are hearing a quick beat.
The video I watched is called  the Leviticus Green, named not only for everyone's favorite Old Testament book but also for a sound drug developed in 1993 as a pain killer for wounded soldiers, or so says the intro to the video. It also claims that the project was abandoned a year later after soldiers who were listening to the music reported having Biblical hallucinations.
  • There is some research in the area of binaural beats for scientific and therapeutic uses, including research for hearing and sleep cycles and reducing stress and anxiety. But using it as a drug is new.
Messing with perception
Dr Brian Fligor, director of diagnostic audiology at the Boston Children's Hospital, thinks the idea of digital drugs is as far-fetched as the plot of a horror film."I found it to be a somewhat amusing story”

"To my knowledge there is no science that backs it up," Dr Fligor told the BBC. "They are experiencing an auditory perception."

"It's just kind of messing with your perception of the sound," Dr Fligor says.
"It's neat and interesting, but it has absolutely no effect on your perception of pleasure or anything else that was claimed."
The teens, he says, may have been faking or may have been experiencing a placebo effect, unconsciously convincing themselves that they were indeed high.
But doctors would find no real physical effects of this supposed intoxication, he says.
I-dosing, Dr Fligor says, is "neither good nor bad. It's completely neutral. It's not the least bit harmful and so I found it to be a somewhat amusing story."

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