‘Kitty Flipping’ and the Psychonaut Obsession With Mixing Drugs

James Nolan, writing for VICE:

Mixing drugs is not a good idea. Most recently, Lil Peep's fatal cocktail of Xanax and fentanyl – along with cocaine and a slew of other opioids – was a reminder of what can go wrong when we treat our bodies like Year 7 science experiments. However, in 2019, with marathon club nights not uncommon, and rollover house parties picking up where they leave off, it may now be more novel if only one drug is used over the course of a session.

Cue the increased popularity of "flipping" – taking two or more substances (one usually a hallucinogen, one usually MDMA) at timed intervals to synergise their effects. A brief etymology explainer: when you take a psychedelic like shrooms, you trip. When you take MDMA, you roll, so a trip plus a roll equals a flip. Thanks to the dark net, substances like DMT and 2C-B – drugs that are integral to some flips, but hard to find on the street – are more readily available, while the popularity of drug talk on message-boards like Reddit has allowed many to discover these flips, hype them up and ultimately tick them off their lists like saucer-eyed stamp collectors.

Again, mixing drugs is not a good idea. In fact, it's often an actively bad one. But for those who are going to do it anyway, it's important to have as much knowledge about what you're putting in your body as possible. […]

I spoke to some of these "flippers" to find out whether there's more to this phenomenon than simply young men and women wanting to get as fucked as they possibly can.

One or two of the drug combinations included in this piece do seem a little foolish to me, and of course combining multiple types of drugs together can result in a variety of problems, but I don’t agree with the blanket advice that “mixing drugs is not a good idea.”

That’s because some of my most transformative experiences in life were catalyzed by consciously experimenting with polydrug use. And I know that I’m not the only person in the world who has benefitted from this practice. There’s a difference between approaching drug combining with proper preparation and respect and simply attempting to get as fucked up as possible. Denying that the former is possible and realistic only tells one side of the story.

However, with that said, drug combining can indeed be incredibly dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, potentially even causing permanent psychosis or death. Last January I wrote a piece for Psychedelic Times about how to use TripSit’s ‘Guide to Drug Combinations’ chart. If you’re interested in experimenting with drug combining, I’d advise you to check it out. But whether you’re already deep into polydrug use, poly-curious, or adamantly against it—get educated and be safe out there.


The Deadly Worst Case Scenario for America’s Xanax Obsession

Maia Szalavitz, writing for VICE:

Prescriptions go up. Overdoses skyrocket. People start to freak out. In response, US government officials and physicians clamp down on the medical supply of the drug in question. But that seems to only make things worse: An illegal substance – many times more powerful than those commonly given to patients – hits the streets as the death toll stubbornly continues to climb.

If this sounds like the story of the American opioid crisis, culminating in recent years with the proliferation of super-deadly fentanyl, that’s because it is. But it’s also the story of the Scottish response to an eerily similar problem with the anti-anxiety medications known as benzodiazepines (a.k.a. benzos), which include Xanax (alprazolam), Valium (diazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam), among others.

Americans like benzos, too.

Cutting back on prescriptions only exacerbates the problem.


This Week in Psychoactives - 2.15.19

ThisWeekInPsychoactives.jpeg

CANNABIS

  • Senator Files '420' Marijuana Bill To Legalize It Federally (Forbes)

  • Mexican Senate Report Lays Out Marijuana Legalization Considerations (Marijuana Moment)

  • New Mexico Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill At Committee Hearing (Marijuana Moment)

  • Oregon has more legal cannabis than the state can consume in six years (Quartz)

  • States With Legal Medical Marijuana Have Lower Teen Use Rates, Large-Scale Study Finds (Marijuana Moment)

  • Why CBD Works Better With a Little THC (Even If You Don’t Want to Get High) (Leafly)

  • Study Shows How Marijuana Component CBD Can Help People With Substance Use Disorders (Marijuana Moment)

  • Veterans Medical Marijuana Access Legislation Introduced In House and Senate (NORML)

  • European Parliament Approves Medical Marijuana Resolution (Marijuana Moment)

  • Bill to Provide Greater Access for Virginia Medical Cannabis Patients Succeeds (NORML)

  • Missouri Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Expungement Bill For Medical Cannabis Patients (Marijuana Moment)

  • Kamala Harris Got So High Smoking Weed in College She Thought She Was Listening To Snoop Dogg and Tupac (Reason)

  • Where Presidential Candidate Amy Klobuchar Stands On Marijuana (Marijuana Moment)

  • Michigan’s First Cannabis Lounge Is the Chill Alternative to Bars (Leafly)

  • Marijuana possession bill reintroduced in state Senate (Winston-Salem Journal)

  • Maury Povich Smoked A Marijuana Strain Named After His Wife, Journalist Connie Chung (Marijuana Moment)

  • Dan Bilzerian's Weed Company Is Keeping Sexist Cannabis Ads Alive (VICE)

  • If you support marijuana legalization, you should support safe injection sites (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Here's How New Mothers are Using CBD to Combat Baby Brain (Civilized)

  • Aurora Cannabis earnings show big growth in pot sales, but worrisome profit trend (MarketWatch)

LSD

  • The Man who Mapped LSD (OUPblog)

  • Microdoses of LSD change how you perceive time (Big Think)

  • Amanda Feilding: ‘LSD can get deep down and reset the brain – like shaking up a snow globe’ (The Guardian)

MAGIC MUSHROOMS

  • $1m kicked into campaign for magic mushroom therapy (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Push to legalize psychedelic mushrooms gains traction in Eugene (KEZI)

  • Hallucinogenic Mushrooms Are Having a Moment. Here's What It's All About. (Cheddar)

  • Magic Mushrooms Show Promising Results for Treating PTSD and Depression (San Diego Entertainer Magazine)

MDMA

  • MDMA Users May Have a Social Advantage Over People Who Use Other Drugs (Inverse)

  • Israel's Health Ministry Approves Compassionate Use of MDMA to Treat PTSD (Haaretz)

  • MDMA Expanded Access is almost here. What’s it all about? (Psymposia)

  • Use of Ecstasy spreading in Cebu: PDEA 7 (Sun.Star)

  • Police issue a warning for yellow octopus ecstasy pills (Mixmag)

  • Daniel Eades, 19, took MDMA at Halo and Wetherspoon (Bournemouth Echo)

  • Young dad dies after taking ecstasy on New Year's Eve (Derbyshire Live)

AYAHUASCA

  • The First Indigenous Ayahuasca Conference (Yubaka Hayrá) in Acre Demonstrates Political, Cultural and Spiritual Resistance (Chacruna)

  • Ayahuasca Shows Huge Potential As a Treatment For Severe Depression (Reset.me)

  • What Ayahuasca is Trying to Teach Us: An Interview with Dennis McKenna (Reality Sandwich)

  • Mindful Eating as a support for Ayahuasca Dieta (Tam Integration)

SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS

  • Severe bleeding associated with use of tainted synthetic cannabinoids (AAP News)

  • Colorectal cancer: Scientists halt growth with cannabinoid compounds (Medical News Today)

  • Children as young as THREE are treated in hospital after taking Spice as Britain's synthetic drug crisis deepens (Daily Mail)

NITROUS OXIDE

  • Laughing gas now an option for women giving birth (Everything Lubbock)

  • Residents 'disgusted' after piles of 'hippy crack' canisters dumped outside Cambridge home (Cambridgeshire Live)

  • Everything you need to know about nangs, the worrying craze growing amongst Aussie teens. (Mamamia)

KETAMINE

  • Taking Ketamine Can Feel a Lot Like a Near-Death Experience (Tonic)

  • F.D.A. Panel Recommends New Depression Treatment (The New York Times)

  • Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles Commemorates Five Years of Patient Success Stories (New Kerala)

PCP

  • Man who killed USA Today reporter in PCP-fueled crash sentenced to six years in prison (The Washington Post)

OPIATES/OPIOIDS

  • When the Cure Is Worse Than the Disease (The New York Times)

  • Mapping the Opioid Epidemic (New America)

  • Overdose remedy naloxone now carried by all Ventura police officers (Ventura County Star)

  • Mass. Issues Guidelines After Boston Nurse Was Denied Life Insurance For Carrying Naloxone (WBUR)

  • Even in best-case scenario, opioid overdose deaths will keep rising until 2022 (Los Angeles Times)

  • Opioid-Related Deaths Decreasing in Iowa, Report Shows (WHO-TV)

  • Veterinarian sentenced to 6 years for stitching heroin into puppies and turning them into drug mules (INSIDER)

  • Why the Rural Opioid Crisis Is Different From the Urban One (CityLab)

  • Opium cultivation business squeezed by market shift towards meth (Myanmar Times)

  • Vet saves Victoria puppy with naloxone injection (Maple Ridge News)

  • Offer: help solve the opioid crisis, have your student loans forgiven (Rooster Magazine)

  • Indy coffee shop is the newest place to offer life-saving drug naloxone (Fox 59)

  • Coroner: No carfentanil spike locally, but OD deaths are up (Dayton Daily News)

  • 'Church Of Safe Injection' Offers Needles, Naloxone To Prevent Opioid Overdoses (NPR)

  • It's too late to save my son's life, but this drug can save others (The Sacramento Bee)

  • Houston Cop Involved in Deadly Drug Raid Relieved of Duty Due to 'Ongoing Questions' (Reason)

  • Naloxone training could help save numerous lives (KVAL)

METHAMPHETAMINE

BENZODIAZEPINES

  • The Deadly Worst Case Scenario for America's Xanax Obsession (VICE)

ALCOHOL

  • Beer before wine, you'll feel fine? Not according to a new study (CTV News)

  • More than 100 dead after drinking bootleg alcohol in India (Reuters)

  • Man 'under influence of alcohol' allegedly beats stepdaughter to death (Jakarta Post)

  • How heavy drinking might boost your appetite for alcohol (Health24)

  • Alcohol Problems Grow as Booze Gets a Bigger Kick (WebMD)

  • Alcohol’s effects on the brain (The Ithacan)

  • Plan to raise alcohol limits in beer at Utah stores approved (Cache Valley Daily)

  • Report says Utah has lowest alcohol consumption per capita in country (KUTV 2News)

  • Thousands sign petition to stop ban of alcohol on some Michigan rivers (WXYZ)

  • I Stopped Drinking For 30 Days — & My Skin Got So Much Better (Refinery29)

  • Giving up alcohol made our lives better — and turned us into terrible guests (The Washington Post)

ABSINTHE

  • Does absinthe really make drinkers hallucinate? (Fox News)

NOOTROPICS

  • Brain‑Enhancing 'Smart Drugs' Promise a Boost in Creativity, Memory (The Swaddle)

  • Seven Mental and Athletic Performance Benefits of Nootropics (Youth Health Magazine)

  • Noopept: one of the most potent brain boosters on the market (London Post)

KRATOM

  • Kratom Is A Drug, But Indonesia Really Wants It To Remain An Unlicensed Supplement (Science 2.0)

  • The FDA is wrong about kratom (The Washington Post)

  • Regulations Are On Hold as Kratom Debate Rages (WebMD)

  • Kratom No Longer Allowed In Columbus (WCBI)

  • What Is Kratom & Why Is It Being Used For Opiate Self-Detox? (Psychology Today)

  • Miracle treatment or dangerous drug? (The Star Online)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • El Chapo, the Notorious Drug Kingpin, Has Been Found Guilty in His U.S. Trial (TIME)

  • 'Kitty Flipping' and the Psychonaut Obsession with Mixing Drugs (VICE)

  • FDA explores using blockchain to track drug supplies (Engadget)

  • How Brexit Will Shape Britain's Drug Supply (VICE)

  • GOP Iowa lawmaker proposes decriminalizing psychedelic drugs for medical use (The Hill)

  • Sri Lanka hiring hangmen, inspired by Philippines' war on drugs (Reuters)

  • Will El Chapo's conviction change anything in the drug trade? (The Guardian)

  • Victoria city councillors call on B.C. to provide safe-inhalation sites for drugs (Times Colonist)

  • Tennessee bill would charge pregnant women using drugs if baby born addicted (KMPH)

  • Students Turn To Study Drugs And Alcohol To Cope With Campus Life (Forbes)

  • Is there something divine about gender and psychedelics? (The Psychedelic Scientist)

  • Microdosing Hallucinogens Has Positive Effects—but Not What You Might Suspect (Pacific Standard)

  • Riverstyx: A Small Family Foundation That Funds Psychedelic Research and Other Fringe Causes (Inside Philanthropy)

  • Sex On Drugs (PSU Vanguard)

  • The case for drug decriminalization in Baltimore (The Baltimore Sun)

  • Japan managed to win its war on drugs, why can’t we? (The Spectator)

  • Trip Sitters and Conscious Bachelorette: Interview with Chi of Truffles Therapy (Psychedelic Times)

  • Psychedelics Live Up to Early Promise (Discover Magazine)

  • How 'Russian Doll' flirts with psychedelic therapy (The Outline)

  • Becoming an Entheogen (Medium)

  • Psychedelic Meditation (The Third Wave)


On the Monday following each edition of “This Week in Psychoactives,” I post a “Last Week in Psychoactives” video recap to my YouTube channel. After that is done, I retroactively add the video to the corresponding blog post. Here is this week’s video recap:


Think Wilder is reader-supported. If you enjoyed this week’s update, please consider helping out by becoming a patron, making a one-time donation, or sharing this post with a friend. Thank you for your support.

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychoactives" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

Image by Psychedelic Astronaut.

Crystal Meth Is North Korea’s Trendiest Lunar New Year’s Gift

Mike Ives, writing for The New York Times:

Like many across East Asia, North Koreans have been exchanging presents this month to celebrate the Lunar New Year. But rather than tea, sweets or clothing, some in this impoverished, isolated country are giving the gift of crystal meth.

Simply amazing. Methamphetamine, although still quite illegal under North Korean law, is so commonplace that everyday people are gifting it to each other.


FDA Explores Using Blockchain to Track Drug Supplies

Jon Fingas, writing for Engadget:

The US Food and Drug Administration wants to be sure sketchy drugs don't find their way to hospitals and pharmacies, and it's mulling a technological solution to keep medicine safe. The agency has launched a pilot program that will let the drug supply chain explore ways to track prescription medicine. While the FDA isn't specific about what tech companies would use, it noted that blockchain was one example. The same decentralized trust system that can trace the origins of your lettuce could also verify that your pills come from a legitimate source.

Blockchain has a ton of potential. But don’t expect this FDA pilot program to start anytime soon—its not supposed to get going until 2023.