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Hallucinogens or Humans—Which Control?

Casual Use Can Become Controlling Abuse, What's “vitamin K”?, Treatment And Recovery

Maddie was an A and B student until her last semester of ninth grade. Transferring to a new school two summers before, she had easily made new friends. Some of them persuaded her to try marijuana for the first time in her life, and she enjoyed the sensation. She began smoking joints every weekend and sometimes at weeknight events with her friends. As months passed, she felt less and less high from pot. Time for something new, a classmate suggested.

Something new was ecstasy (MDMA), given to her at a dance party. She understood why it's called that. Within an hour, she felt incredibly alive, as if she could dance all night. All of life—the people, the music, the conversation, the entire scene—seemed blissful.

Other new “somethings” entered her social life, including vodka, LSD, and cocaine. Like her friends, she often used them in combination, searching for the ultimate high. Sometimes, they worked wonders; other times, they worked horrors. However, the bad times—the vomiting, anxiety attacks, muscle weakness, teeth chattering—were never bad enough to make her stop.

Maddie's interest in school studies waned and her grades dropped, but she wasn't concerned. She was getting by academically, she was very popular, and never a weekend approached when she couldn't look forward to a good time.

She doesn't remember the night she overdid it, but friends tell her she used eight different substances—several doses of some of them. She awoke in a hospital room after a twenty-hour coma with her parents crying at her bedside. Referred to a rehabilitation program, she met other young people who were much heavier users and whose minds, emotions, and lives were wrecked. That got her attention. With a determined effort and a little help from her “clean” friends, she kicked the habit. She is now approaching high school graduation with a straight mind, a straight–A average, and a scholarship offer.

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