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tristan

Trippin' Ballz

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Okay, before you flame me back into the 1890s, let me start by saying this is NOT a post asking which absinthe has the most thujone because I want to get hella high. This is serious concern of mine, involving a close friend.

 

Now, we all know (or at least, those who read the FAQ before posting know) that absinthe will not make you hallucinate, nor is it in any way mind or mood-altering other than its alcoholic effects. That being said, a friend of mine, who has recently returned from a six month trip around Europe, was just telling me a story about a night he had London drinking Absinthe. He told me about how he was skeptical that it would get him anything other than drunk, however, after only one or two glasses, he did begin to feel some strange effects. After another glass or two, he was (in his words) "off in green fairy land", talking to paintings and watching the stars dance around. This went on all night until the following morning, at which point he was violently ill and spent the rest of the day sleeping it off.

 

Now, I know this guy, and he's not the sort to tell a fib. He also seemed to have a pretty clear recollection of his "trip" and says he had his actions verified from several other sources whom he bumped into during the course of the night. I asked him what kind of absinthe he was drinking, but he said he didn't know. He just ordered absinthe and they gave him green liquid.

 

I have two possible theories about what happened that fateful night.

1) The effects were psychosomatic and, in a state of intense drunkeness, he simply believed he was hallucinating, or;

2) There was something else in his glass of absinthe.

 

The psychosomatic thing seems odd, as he started out a skeptic, and he's not that kind of guy either. It seems somehow more likely that his drink was spiked with something. For what purpose, I have no idea, but it's the only thing I can come up with. After talking with my friend about this, he became really worried at the thought that he might have been drugged.

 

Has anyone heard of this sort of thing happening? People putting hallucinogens or other drugs in absinthe to validate the myth and send tourists home with grand stories of trippin' ballz? It seems like an odd thing to do, but I suppose stranger things have happened.

 

Anyone have any ideas?

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It's possible he got dosed, but my vote goes to the placebo effect. The most skeptical and practical people can get taken in by it.

 

Another somewhat related possibility is cognitive dissonance, which we see a lot of in the absinthe community.

 

And yes, we've seen it before. Other forums are full of idiots who swear up and down that they tripped on absinthe, while those of us who drink it as a lifestyle merely get drunk and fall down.

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I vote placebo.

 

If he got spiked with a hallucinigen it would have lasted longer than a couple hours and most likely he wouldn't have puked.

 

My vote is he got seriously drunk, it was a different drunk than he's used to (e.g. Tequila vs. Vodka) and thought he was tripin balz™ but he was really just piss-drunk. That would explain the puking too.

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... while those of us who drink it as a lifestyle merely get drunk and fall down.

 

Well, it's nice to see I'm doing something right. ;)

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I say it was really pink elephants wearing green sheets.

 

I've heard stories and have seen people falling down drunk not on absinthe do all sorts of strange things. Seeing things or thinking he is seeing things and talking to paintings seems in line with high doses of the often under-estimated drug ethanol.

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And yes, we've seen it before.  Other forums are full of idiots who swear up and down that they tripped on absinthe, while those of us who drink it as a lifestyle merely get drunk and fall down.

 

Not again Hiram, I thought you completed the twelve step? :drunk:

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The possibility that absinthe causes mental distortions should not be ruled out. I once drank absinthe and imagined that I was at a strange party in Allentown.

Only the bizzare unreality of the situation convinced me that I was hallucinating.

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Isn't LSD often cut with strychnine or some other poison that causes the user to wretch and possibly puke (never used, but heard the stories)? Maybe spiked with that? Otherwise I go with "the alcohol itself did it" theory.

 

Anyway, the only historical reference to absinthe making you "trip" that I can think of is the infamous Wilde story about "watering the tulips." Everything else I can recall reading about the absintheurs of the day just references getting drunk and maybe the "mental clarity" effect...but not really any hallucinations. If anything, their poetry painted a picture that, if interpreted one way, could be construed as hallucinations but from the way I read them just uses absinthe as an allegory (is that the right word) to make a point about life or what have you.

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There is no reason to cut LSD with anything, let alone a poison. (it's just myth).

 

Except in the case of date-rape most drug spiking stories are bogus. Not many people would waste their drugs on other random people for no reason.

Hmm, are you sure he isn't leaving out the part where he met Olga, a russian prostitute with a low voice and muscular hands?

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Well, I'm just glad that I didn't make that comment on an LSD board or I'd have been directed to their FAQ and flamed for yet another "LSD cut with ____" post. :P

 

I'll go with "the alcohol itself did it" then.

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Good decision. Because that's my bet too. Alcohol.

 

Is there an LSD board? If there is, I wonder if they think the same way about it that we think about absinthe? "Nah, all that stuff about tripping ballz™ is bogus....it should be legal anytime now."

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"Sugar cube vs no sugar cube" Hah!

 

 

Did your friend drink his absinthe watered or straight. Drinking a glass or two of 140 proof anything might alter one to the point of -- well not hallucinating but being very altered and puking.

 

Aside from that, it was either spiked or mabe he has some sort of rare reaction to something in it. In the interest of science, the experiment could be repeated.

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1) The effects were psychosomatic and, in a state of intense drunkeness, he simply believed he was hallucinating, or;

2) There was something else in his glass of absinthe.

 

Just a not on terminology.

 

Interestingly, the term "psychosomatic" is so misused and misunderstood that the APA dropped it from their Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders. Or, more accurately, thy re-named the phenomena "Psychological Factors Affecting Physical Condition" to more accurately reflect what happens in such cases. A perfect example is a head or stomachache secondary to stress. The psychological factor = stress, the physiological condition is a spastic colon, etc...

 

What Tristan appears to be wondering is not whether his friend experienced psychosomatic effects, but rather, as Hiram more accurately put it using the term placebo, were the very real feelings of "tripping ballz" his friend experienced physiologically induced by a chemical not typically in Absinthe or were they psychological in etiology secondary to a suggestion that Absinthe might do such a thing.

 

It is very difficult to tell but either way, unless he is lying which Tristan says is unlikely, his experience was very real to him and virtually indistinguishable.

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Hey, if he can trip balz™ then by garsh, I can do it too.

 

But seriously...

 

Either way, I have a feeling the guy was just seriously drunk of his behind. I can't lie...I've been so drunk a few times, I've talked to inanimate objects myself. Seeing things? No, not really. But talking to no one, or a tree, or car, or whathaveyou -- yeah, I've been there.

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Just a not on terminology. 

 

Interestingly, the term "psychosomatic" is so misused and misunderstood

 

Well put, Shai.

Many years ago, while working in a psychiatric hospital, I learned a humbling lesson about "reality". Who's reality are we talking about? The power of the mind over the body is amazing.

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Many years ago, while working in a psychiatric hospital, I learned a humbling lesson about "reality".  Who's reality are we talking about?  The power of the mind over the body is amazing.
No, that is NOT where we met!  Thank you very much.

Or at least that's what you seem to remember.

:dev-cheers:

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Thanks for your comments. You've all pretty much confirmed what I've been thinking, (placebo effect), but I promised him I'd investigate all possibilities as he was quite worried about the whole experience.

 

Since this story, I've searched the archives for other Trippin Ballz stories, and there seems to be quite a lot of them... mostly from young, naïve party freaks who want to be able to impress their friends.

 

Anyway, thanks for the advice. I've convinced him to try and replicate the experiment at my place with a few glasses of something... maybe the clandestine.

 

PS - Thanks for the clarification on the terminology Shia, always good to be accurate.

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