An article in the January edition of the journal Substance Abuse covers "snake bite as a novel form of substance abuse." Novel indeed! Apparently people are purposely getting bitten by snakes to to get high. Here's one case from the article:

Mr. PKD, a 52-year-old married male with a history of substance use for past 34 years started taking alcohol at the age of 18 and over the years he added cannabis, benzodiazepines, and opioids over different periods of time and in varying combinations to produce the desired effects…

Two months before contacting our center, the patient learned of the intoxicating effects of snake venom through some of his friends and, as reasoned by the patient, he decided to try it in order "to experience the kick the other substances now lacked."

With the help of the nomadic snake charmers common in India, the patient subjected himself twice to the snake bite over his left forearm over a period of 15 days. There was no local tissue injury at the site of the bite apart from the bite marks.

The patient described a feeling of dizziness and blurred vision followed by a heightened arousal and sense of well-being lasting a few hours; a more intense state of arousal than he would experience with pentazocine injections. The patient was not able to identify the snakes used but was apprehensive about the risks involved in the process.

Another guy described by the article got bitten by an Indian cobra and felt "a blackout associated with a sense of well-being, lethargy, and sleepiness". This would be a really good thing for teenagers to show their parents if they get caught smoking pot. Really puts the whole weed smoking thing into perspective. [via Mindhacks]

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