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People Who Have Never Tried Drugs Describe What They Think Drugs Feel Like

“A bit like the Windows 98 visual generator thing that happens when you play music.”

How do you describe red to a blind person? What would it be like to meet yourself? These are the philosophical questions that we have wrestled with for generations. But perhaps there is no bigger and more important question than this: what do people who’ve never got high think getting high is all about?

Today, finally, we can answer that.

CONOR, 26

VICE: What do you think being on drugs would feel like?
Conor: I imagine I’d feel like I’m slightly set back from my own brain, as if I’m viewing rather than 100 percent experiencing the high. Like, I’m aware that I’m fucked up.

That sounds nice. How do you think you’d act?
I think all my movements would feel a bit like the Windows 98 visual generator thing that happens when you play music. Flowy. I imagine skin would feel way better on most drugs, bar maybe coke. I dunno why.

Is that what you imagine your friends are experiencing when you’ve seen them take drugs?
With some people, yeah. But a lot of other people seem much more a part of their experience.
The kind of people who are proper drunks, I imagine, would be very relaxed and let the drug they’re on fully be them. So maybe they’d be more visual if it was a hallucinogen.

How long would you expect a high to last?
An evening? Longer then an afternoon.

What kind of stuff do you think you’d say while you were tripping?
I’d probably get into a discussion with someone else who really doesn’t wanna discuss anything but feels too polite to just get up and leave. Like, I’d end up having an impassioned debate comparing bagels and Cheerios or some shit.

LEM, 28

What do you think being on ecstasy feels like?
Lem: Probably like you’re on cloud nine, like even the deadest rave would be fun.

How long do you think a pill would take to start working, and how long do you think the high would last?
Can I gauge it by how long Paracetamol takes to kick in when I’m on my period? Is that sort of the same thing? So then about 30 minutes to kick in, and would last six hours, give or take. [To read about the actual average timings, go here.]

Okay, so it kicks in, then what?
I reckon it’ll be a hyper-emotive, slash sensory experience. I imagine you can feel up, down, mellow, enraged, lucid. Loads of different emotions, rather than having a singular emotion triggered and riding with it for as long as the pill lasts.

DANIEL, 31

VICE: How come you’ve never tried drugs?
Daniel: When I was a kid I used to go to under-18s raves where you obviously weren’t allowed to drink or smoke. I learnt to have a good time completely sober, so even when I was old enough, I just never saw the need.

What do you imagine being on drugs would feel like? What emotions do you think you’d feel?
Rap music has led me to believe that weed makes you feel super laid back and relaxed. And Scorsese movies have led me to believe cocaine makes you feel super paranoid, so that’s one I’d probably avoid.

What do you think taking a pill would feel like?
From witnessing others who have taken them, it just seems like everything is intensified – music, colours. Seems like it would be a pretty euphoric experience, apart from the gurning.

BARKAT, 24

VICE: What do you imagine being on drugs would feel like?
Barkat: Hopefully fun, but probably really scary. I’ve never even had a drink, so I have nothing to compare or contrast it with. I imagine I would probably feel a lot more confident and less anxious.

How come you’ve never dabbled?
Nothing exciting, sadly – I have a few health reasons that prevented me from diving into that zone when I was a wee guy, and then I just never did.

What do you think taking a pill would feel like?
I’m already quite an emotional person, especially within club spaces, so it may contain too much happiness for me to process properly.

If you could try any drug what would it be?
Mushrooms.

How come?
A lot of my friends are interested in the different type of mushrooms across the spectrum, and I’ve had a lot of convincing conversations about micro-dosing.

HELENA, 26

VICE: How come you’ve never taken any drugs?
Helena: I don’t want to. I’ve seen bad things happen to people and didn’t want that to happen to me. Also, I’m generally quite happy just drinking.

What do you imagine being on drugs would feel like?
Presumably quite fun, but possibly out of control. There’s a small possibility I’m a bit of a control freak, and I imagine I’d feel more out of control on drugs.

How do you think you would feel?
Woozy? I guess a bit freer, but possibly quite scared too.

What would you be scared of?
Losing control, dying, bad things happening to me because I wouldn’t be in control of my body. I think I would do things I regretted, yes, or put myself in situations I didn’t want to be in.

Like what?
Like situations that were stupid or unsafe, situations with boys, too – kissing someone uggers or someone I shouldn’t.

What kind of high person do you think you’d be?
I mean, I can’t imagine me being high would be that much different from being, like, extremely, extremely drunk, apart from cocaine, which seems to make people talk shit, so I would probably do that. Which is why I don’t want to do it.

Thanks!

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