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Drugs aren’t new. Your older relatives probably did them in the 70s. They can be fun! You might get sweaty and nauseous. They’re expensive and could conflict with your prescription medication. You don’t want to spend that much for a bad time—so let’s slow down and do a bit of research first. There’s a lot of information on the internet.

MDMA (a.k.a ecstasy, pingers, molly)

Stay hydrated. Taking this bad boy more than once a month is a quick way to fry your serotonin receptors. Serotonin receptors are important. They’re a big part of why you feel good, or even just okay, on a day-to-day basis. We don’t want to fear-monger but we also don’t want you to cook your head.

On that note, Google your antidepressants in combination with MDMA. There’s a fair chance the stuff you’re on will take the wind out of your sails but there’s also a fair chance you’ll die from Serotonin Syndrome. A little bit of research goes a long way.

Any ecstasy sourced within Australia (and probably overseas too) is going to be cut with something else. Especially the ‘pure’ stuff your mate bought with bitcoins. Seriously. Your dealer doesn’t know what’s in it either. If you actually want some certainty you’re going to need a testing kit—these can be found online and in smoking/head shops.

Cannabis (a.k.a reefer, ganja, 420)

Weed isn’t chemically addictive in the ways other recreational drugs often are. With this being said, if you don’t have much else going on in your life it can be an easy way to let things slip away from you. Be mindful of your habits in the same way you should be mindful of your alcohol consumption. The ubiquity of these drugs will let you feel ‘normal’ while you’re actually devoting a lot of time, money, and effort to them. Cops with sniffer dogs are known to show up at train stations (especially in low socio-economic status neighbourhoods) so be wary of packing salad for after-school activities.

It’s also worth mentioning that cannabis use has the potential to exacerbate natural predispositions to various symptoms of mental illness. Check yourself, make sure you’re having a good time, and if you’re hearing voices and/or experiencing overwhelming anxiety you might be better off without it.

Amphetamines (a.k.a dexies, speed, adderall)

This one’s particularly popular with uni students. It can give you a leg-up with the alertness and intellectual performance necessary to smash out a crap essay overnight. It’s also potentially addictive. Rely on this one too much and you’ll struggle to take a test or scrounge together an assignment without it. They aren’t a good way to deal with every academic hurdle you face. Unless they were prescribed to you, of course, in which case listen to your doctor.

Dexies aren’t magic. If you hate the unit, have no clue how to start the task, and aren’t in the mood to work, you’re probably going to masturbate and fiddle with apps on your phone. Before you know it, the comedown rolls over and you’re left with nothing but chafed genitals.

Nootropics/cognitive enhancers (e.g. noopept, modafinil)

You won’t become a cybernetic brain hacker by taking these, no matter how many glowingly positive reviews nerds on Reddit give them. The side-effects and long-term consequences of their use aren’t especially well understood. With that being said you may still choose to experiment. Research before you buy. Lots of the websites that sell ‘nootropics’ and similar drugs will provide a decent bit of information about their individual effects and dangers. Take advantage of this! If you aren’t willing to google the drugs you’re taking you’re probably not going to experience much ‘enhancement’ from noopept though.