HOSTS- Jeremy Burns, Matthew Scott Phillips


TYPE- Special Topics




BUMPER MUSIC- "Gosh Dang The Pusher" (Area 47)

ANNOUNCER- "Heather Blisard"


For some reason, creative types are often drawn to mind altering substances. Musicians have been no exception. In this episode we will discuss the lure towards nicotine, alcohol, marijuana and hallucinogenic influences. We will discuss their effects and some of the risks involved. We will also share some stories of those who have fallen to, and those who survived, some of the dangers that come along with this lifestyle.



DESCRIPTION- Tobacco leaves are often dried and smoked in cigars, pipes and cigarettes. It can also be chewed, such as with "dip":. People who are trying to quit smoking can wear nicotine patches, where it is absorbed through the skin.

EFFECTS- Being a stimulant, nicotine immediately gives one a sense of alertness. Being an addictive substance, it immediately give one a sense of calm if they've gone to long without it.

RISKS- Over time, tobacco use can harden the arterial walls, increasing the likelihood of heart problems. Tobacco contains carcinogens that can lead to lung cancer. Smoking can lead to other lung problems such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.



DESCRIPTION- For at least 10,000 years, people have fermenting and processing various fruits and grains to create ethanol based beverages. Alcohol is commonly used for celebration but has also been used as a distraction from our problems.

EFFECTS- When drank, alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream and immediately takes effect. In smaller doses, it can produce a calming, euphoric sensation that often enhances ones sociability.

RISKS- Consumed in larger amounts can lead to dehydration, intoxication, memory loss, loss of muscle coordination and heightened emotions. The long term effects can result in damage to the liver and the brain. It is also the 5th most common cause of cancer. A majority of auto accidents and highway fatalities have been the result of those operating motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol.


ACTIVE COMPOUNDS- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

DESCRIPTION- Marijuana is a substance that is derived from the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. It can be inhaled, via smoking or vaping. It can also be prepared in food or beverages and injested as an "edible".

EFFECTS- When inhaled, marijuana takes effect immediately. It can produce feelings of euphoria, happiness, confusion, paranoia and has been known to enhance the appetite. The indica strains can have a relaxing and calming effect. The sativa strains can spark energy and creativity. When taken as an edible, effects take a few hours to set in.

RISKS- The negative immediate effects of marijuana very from person to person. The more commonly known effects are those of paranoia, absent mindedness, impaired attention and temporary memory problems. In other occasions, it has been known to increase the risk of psychotic symptoms. Children born to mothers, who used marijuana during pregnancy have increased risk of having depression, hyperactivity and attention problems. Chronic marijuana use (via smoking) can have many of the same long term effects associated with smoking cigarettes and chronic bronchitis, such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.


ACTIVE COMPOUNDS- D-lysergic acid diethylamide, psilocybin, mescaline

DESCRIPTION- Hallucinogens can be man made or found in various plants and fungi. These substances can interrupt communication between the chemical systems within the central nervous system. Some of them interfere with serotonin receptors, which regulate a variety of mechanisms and responses within the brain and body.

EFFECTS- When taken or administered, hallucinogens can have a variety of effects. Visual and auditory hallucinations are often involved along with unpredictable mental states. Some cultures have used these substances (psilocybin, peyote, ayahuasca) in their religious rites and ceremonies.

RISKS- While under the influence of hallucinogens, one's behavior can be unpredictable. One may see and experience things that are not there. One may have paranoid or warped perspectives of reality. One may experience an alternate sense of time. Long term effects are rare but could include persistent psychosis, visual disturbances ("tracers"), flash backs from previous "trips", mood swings and paranoia.


-For general descriptions and effects we relied on:





-For stories of casualties and survivors check out the following articles:


-"Is It A Myth That LSD Can Permanently Fry Your Brain” by Mike Pearl (vice.com)


-“Creating While Clean” by Chris Heath (gq.com)