Jump to content

 

Photo

The Placebo Effect


  • Please log in to reply
61 replies to this topic

#1 Brian Robinson

Brian Robinson

    Shabba

  • Advisory Board
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,811 posts

Posted 08 April 2010 - 07:38 PM

I am currently reading an absolutely fascinating book called 13 Things That Don't Make Sense, and this evening, I ran across something that comes up a lot when discussing absinthe. Namely, those people who have claimed to see things or experience auditory hallucinations when drinking absinthe.

Chapter 12 is called The Placebo Effect. On page 165 (viewable in the link I provided above) has an interesting story about a scientific study done on diazepam (valium), which found that it didn't work unless you knew you were taking it. I.e., you only felt the effects when you were told you were going to feel the effects.

I really think this plays directly into the studies I've done with groups of people, where some are drinking absinthe and not knowing it, and others are not drinking absinthe but think they are.

Now, I'm not talking about the normal secondaries we all agree are created by absinthe, and other anethole-rich spirits. I'm talking about the people who are absolutely die-hard in their assertions that they saw and heard things that weren't there.


P.S. - Yes, I'm a total dork. These are the kinds of books I read in my free time. So sue me. :)
Answers to common newcomer questions.

List of WS articles from across the web.


Help other absintheurs and newcomers by submitting a review. Click here to go to the main review page to submit your entry.

Rantings of a DC Gourmand.
WS on the Mutineer Blog!

#2 Julie Legate

Julie Legate

    0 jobs. 2 cents

  • Advisory Board
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,241 posts

Posted 08 April 2010 - 07:55 PM

It would be helpful to know more about the controls used in the diazepam study. The first study cited is anxiety producing in and of itself. Leave a patient alone in an room without a full explanation of what is being done to them? Duh. A person's metabolism can burn anything off with enough anxiety to get it revved up. Even diazepam. JMHO.

Stepping off my soapbox.

Yes, I agree that people can experience placebo effects too. The mind is a powerful thing.
I am the wood nymph.

#3 Joe Legate

Joe Legate

    2 jobs. 0 sense.

  • Advisory Board
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,988 posts

Posted 08 April 2010 - 08:03 PM

No Valium for me, please. Twice I have taken Valium, once knowingly and once completely unknowingly with the very same result: Blip! Blackout. Absolutely no memory of what happened or what I did or didn't do. To my horror, friends said things like, "Wow! You sure had fun last night." Yikes.

For me, there was no placebo effect. It was simply terrifying to know I was doing shit with no memory of what I did. No Valium for me. Ever.

#4 Brian Robinson

Brian Robinson

    Shabba

  • Advisory Board
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,811 posts

Posted 08 April 2010 - 08:13 PM

Jules, I was going to buy a copy of the study itself, which I located, but I ended up concluding it was yet another 'thing' that I don't need to buy. :)

The entire chapter itself is fascinating though. I highly recommend the book.
Answers to common newcomer questions.

List of WS articles from across the web.


Help other absintheurs and newcomers by submitting a review. Click here to go to the main review page to submit your entry.

Rantings of a DC Gourmand.
WS on the Mutineer Blog!

#5 mgs

mgs

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 603 posts

Posted 08 April 2010 - 09:29 PM

to see things, think that there are enemies behind your back, believe that you are being observed, having all these sort of allucinations..... we do not need absinthe, weed, anything...... just imbalance in our brain, lack of sleep, stress, personal distension....

sometimes psychiatric drugs will allow you to control these allucinations, but you start living in a dome that separates you from the real world.

everyone can easily experience allucination in our daily life, the simple feeling of déjà vu is already such an experience.

our brain is like a battery.... needs to be recharged.... and any uncontrolled emotional that affects our stability must be observed, because a spring taken more than its own elasticity levels will never return to the same position...

Well.... why I am saying that... because I think that no matter if placebo, or real drug, what matters is our own conscience and how we can feel that we can control our own environment. If we do not control our own environment that is already an allucination, independent of drinking, smoking or whatever....

Are you in control of your own environment ???

A bientôt !

- Marcelo

#6 Jonathan D.

Jonathan D.

    Really Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,556 posts

Posted 08 April 2010 - 10:05 PM

Always remember, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.

;)

#7 Bob Tessier

Bob Tessier

    WS token Canuck

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,031 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:01 AM

It's why I stopped going to football games. Every time one of the teams went into a huddle, I was sure they were talking about me.
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"

#8 Jack Griffin

Jack Griffin

    invisible member

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,307 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:04 AM

They were.

#9 absinthejack

absinthejack

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 106 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:44 AM

Very interesting Brian. And I think you're right, this most likely accounts for those people swearing up and down that they've hallucinated from absinthe. My father was 84 and a drug addict since world war 2. All legal narcotics prescribed by doctors for severe pain from war injuries. Towards the end of his life his body just couldn't handle the narcotics anymore, he'd OD. The doctors started giving him sugar pills and telling him they were narcotics. It didn't completely get rid of his pain, or completely alleve his drug withdrawl, but it worked very well. The placebo effect it quite real. And Joe, did you mix the valium with alcohol that got such a strong reaction? This should never be done as it's kind of dangerous to mix the 2. That being said, I'd be happy to dispose of any Valium you happen to get as I find them pretty mild and quite pleasant. :laugh:

Edited by absinthejack, 09 April 2010 - 03:54 AM.

LIFE.............is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming - WOW - What A Ride!

#10 OMG_Bill

OMG_Bill

    Complete Absinthe Geek

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,181 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:07 AM

Yes, I agree that people can experience placebo effects too. The mind is a powerful thing.

I agree and have said such on this forum a number of times.

The placebo effect is a fun game....in a twisted way.

I consider every prescription I take a placebo until verifiable results are known.

The power of suggestion is a cool tool. Better living through chemistry! :cheers:




The danger/risk of playing with meds and booze is real. Be careful.
Some folks may cringe each time I use the term "Booze" regarding these high quality drinks.
I mean no offense. There are bottles of extraordinary booze out there. I've tasted a few. Relax.

#11 Joe Legate

Joe Legate

    2 jobs. 0 sense.

  • Advisory Board
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,988 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:08 AM

And Joe, did you mix the valium with alcohol that got such a strong reaction?

Before I took the Valium? No way! After? Who knows? No memory. :twitchsmile:

I'd be happy to dispose of any Valium you happen to get as I find them pretty mild and quite pleasant. :laugh:

You'll be tops on the list but it's not going to happen. They are totally E-Vil! ;)

#12 Scott R. Cohen

Scott R. Cohen

    Member

  • Advisory Board
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 470 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:00 AM

My experiences with valium were quite convincing - it certainly did what it was supposed to do in both (medical) circumstances.

My only real hallucination experience came with deprivation, as was mentioned earlier. I decided to ride 1,000 miles in a day on my Harley to see if I could. Imagine focusing on nothing but the reflectors in the road on very dark, country freeway stretches for all of the nighttime hours. Every now and then I'd lose track of which reflectors represented what. Near the end, I had to gas up one last time and there was this sound of metal being shredded all around me and if I listened closely enough I could hear a voice trying to speak out of the mishmash of sounds. Sounded like a Transformer. So, yeah, that had nothing to do with any substances - I did it the old fashioned way. :laugh:

In hearing all the stories of hallucinations while drinking absinthe, I've always written them off as people trying to say what they thought was expected to be cool and part of the "in crowd" of absinthe culture. You know - the, "If you haven't tripped ballz on 'sinthe, you haven't had the real thing!" folks. I fell off my chair laughing reading about the guy who said a Native American ceremony popped up around him around a barrel fire. I think he also saw a truck-sized spider. I have seen no such things myself...
"Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same." - Oscar Wilde

#13 mgs

mgs

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 603 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:15 AM

in my own experience : every time that I was high in my life I was completely OK and aware of things around me.... just crashed at the bed..... that was all.

However, when I stopped sleeping for almost two months after my divorce, then I really got hallucinated for weeks and weeks, and I lost completely control of my own perception. I was under medical treatment for basically sleep deprivation and depression... thanks God, I am well again.... I am reborn.....

maybe people have different sensitivity for chemistry in his/her body, but I doubt I will ever get hallucinated with chemistry.... actually, I don't want this.... I was never attracted to absinthe because of "green fairïes" and never thought that would be the real effect.

Let's have another example, COFFEE.... I like strong coffee, not this american-style-of-big-mugs-with-a-washed-black-water, but REAL coffee. I have some friends who drink the kind of coffee that I like and say "oh my gosh, I will be trembling for the rest of the week, bla-bla-bla"... that is for sure placebo effect.

Cheers,

- Marcelo

#14 buddhasynth

buddhasynth

    Unseemly and Obtuse

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,647 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:04 AM

I like my coffee strong as well but of late cannot have it after about 3 in the afternoon or I can't sleep at night. Only 1 cup in the morning nowadays, I have become quite sensitive to caffeine. Maybe I could drink more if I had some Valium..?!
What part of Klaatu Barada Nikto don't you understand?


...because shoddy absinthes will be flavored with the lubricator of take the lead anise.

#15 OMG_Bill

OMG_Bill

    Complete Absinthe Geek

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,181 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:42 AM

It's all about balance. Drink coffee to get wired and smoke a cigarette take a valium to get back to calm.
Some folks may cringe each time I use the term "Booze" regarding these high quality drinks.
I mean no offense. There are bottles of extraordinary booze out there. I've tasted a few. Relax.

#16 Green Baron

Green Baron

    Advanced Decomposition

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,265 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 01:02 PM

Ahhh Bill, memories of smokes and coffee. I feel fortunate I still have my coffee, thank goodness I can now choose to have it without the damn cigarettes.

I've never hallucinated from absinthe (or fake "high thujone" absinth)- or coffee and cigarettes for that matter. ;)

I wonder about theories that say the actual "secondaries" are almost entirely from anethole. I subscribe more towards the TAB multiple herbal effect theory (anethole of course would still play a significant role). I've only had a couple brands of pastis (Pernod and Henri Bardouin) and one brand of arak (Razzouk), but they definitely didn’t effect me in quite the same way. Though the feeling was somewhat absinthesque, it wasn't nearly as distinct and specific as the experience I've had with many true absinthes.

In the same breath, I find it interesting that some absinthes I've had didn't really have much "effect" at all (though some of those were very tasty).

But I’m digressing from the placebo effect discussion (or maybe I’m not and I’m unaware of it!); it’s fascinating what the mind can do, especially the subconscious.

Edited by Green Baron, 09 April 2010 - 01:05 PM.

This post has been edited over and over again by Green Baron

Chasing the green fairy in my triplane!

"A decorous absinthe will persuade your whisper away with its hooch essence..."

#17 Absomphe

Absomphe

    Krinkles the Clown™

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,678 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:12 PM

I've never hallucinated from absinthe (or fake "high thujone" absinth)- or coffee and cigarettes for that matter. ;)


Does that mean you actually have? ;)

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#18 absinthejack

absinthejack

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 106 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:16 PM

Hey Brian, got any vintage, pre-ban Valium? :laf:
LIFE.............is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming - WOW - What A Ride!

#19 Absomphe

Absomphe

    Krinkles the Clown™

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,678 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:26 PM

If they manufactured it, he's probably got a bottle or two. :laugh:

Seriously, it was my prescription drug of choice in the 70s and early 80s...dibs on samples, Brian! :yahoo:

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#20 Jay

Jay

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:27 PM

I feel like the odd man out - I was prescribed Valium after my appendectomy, but I really didn't feel much of anything with it. Then again, maybe I was the control group, unknowingly given a bottle of placebos...

Expensive placebos, at that!

#21 Absomphe

Absomphe

    Krinkles the Clown™

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,678 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:30 PM

All I ever felt on it was blissfully relaxed, which, given my nearly constant level of anxiety back then, was a minor miracle. :twitchsmile:

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

You got a problem with that?


#22 absinthejack

absinthejack

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 106 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:28 PM

dibs on samples, Brian! :yahoo:


Me too! Huh, great minds think alike. :thumbup:
LIFE.............is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming - WOW - What A Ride!

#23 jcbphd

jcbphd

    Hooch Essence

  • Advisory Board
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,975 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 06:05 PM

I'd love to read the original study cited, as sedative-hypnotics are not a class of medication that is considered to have effects mainly due to expectation (as opposed to SSRI antidepressants, for example), from what I recall. Valium, Xanax, even Rohypnol (which ostensibly no one in the US knows their being administered as it is know colloquially as "the date rape drug"), work in the body by binding to the same receptors as alcohol. Taken to an absurd level, would one say that if one isn't aware that one is drinking alcohol, one wouldn't become drunk? There are much better examples of placebo effect, and I do believe that there is plenty of better evidence out there to illustrate this phenomenon.
Temperance, like chastity, is its own punishment. ~Four Vines "The Peasant"

Ça descend la gorge comme le bébé Jésus en culottes de velours.

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough. ~Frank Crane

#24 Joe Legate

Joe Legate

    2 jobs. 0 sense.

  • Advisory Board
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,988 posts

Posted 09 April 2010 - 07:38 PM

I remember a couple of hypnotic sedatives from the 70s which I enjoyed immensely. :devil:

#25 Bob Tessier

Bob Tessier

    WS token Canuck

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,031 posts

Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:30 AM

Demerol once had me seeing Monarch butterflies in the ER.
"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"

#26 OMG_Bill

OMG_Bill

    Complete Absinthe Geek

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,181 posts

Posted 10 April 2010 - 05:09 AM

Demerol and Monarch butterflies.......sounds like a pleasant ER visit.....if there ever is a pleasant ER visit.

hypnotic sedatives from the 70s

It's probably 714 somewhere. You're telling on yourself and it makes me twitch just a little bit. *smile*
Some folks may cringe each time I use the term "Booze" regarding these high quality drinks.
I mean no offense. There are bottles of extraordinary booze out there. I've tasted a few. Relax.

#27 Babble

Babble

    Advanced Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 546 posts

Posted 10 April 2010 - 06:17 AM

The first time I drank real absinthe (Deva 50), I was out in the woods (just outside my city in Southern Ontario) and I swear there were bears lurking around in the bushes watching us.

I take a mild dose of Valium every once in awhile to help get to sleep way earlier than I normally would. I fall asleep right away every time so I'm not sure if I experienced any effects. A friend told me to take it with ephedrine so I could stay awake to enjoy the "effect" the valium :laugh:

#28 Green Baron

Green Baron

    Advanced Decomposition

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,265 posts

Posted 10 April 2010 - 09:27 AM

I've never hallucinated from absinthe (or fake "high thujone" absinth)- or coffee and cigarettes for that matter. ;)


Does that mean you actually have? ;)


Naw, I was just comparing absinthe to coffee and cigarettes and saying that although they may have effects, it's absurd to claim any of them cause hallucinations. Make me spell it out for ya, geeze! :tongue:

UNLESS...Unless I actually have hallucinated from coffee and cigarettes, yet because I anticipated a non-psychedelic experience, a reverse placebo effect made me unaware I was hallucinating. :twitchsmile:
This post has been edited over and over again by Green Baron

Chasing the green fairy in my triplane!

"A decorous absinthe will persuade your whisper away with its hooch essence..."

#29 buddhasynth

buddhasynth

    Unseemly and Obtuse

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,647 posts

Posted 10 April 2010 - 10:22 AM

If they manufactured it, he's probably got a bottle or two. :laugh:

Seriously, it was my prescription drug of choice in the 70s and early 80s...dibs on samples, Brian! :yahoo:





an old roommate was doing a house sit with his girlfriend; the house was big and kinda spooky and the absent owner was an old lady who apparently never finished off several Valium prescriptions in her medicine cabinet. All the scrips were from the 70's, which would make them about 15 or so years old at the time of this story. Aforementioned roomie cleaned out said medicine cabinet, and was incredibly easygoing for the next couple weeks.





although he still refused to have sex with his girlfriend in the house because the place gave him the creeps...!
What part of Klaatu Barada Nikto don't you understand?


...because shoddy absinthes will be flavored with the lubricator of take the lead anise.

#30 OMG_Bill

OMG_Bill

    Complete Absinthe Geek

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,181 posts

Posted 10 April 2010 - 02:19 PM

the place gave him the creeps...!

It could be a Karma thing also.;)
Some folks may cringe each time I use the term "Booze" regarding these high quality drinks.
I mean no offense. There are bottles of extraordinary booze out there. I've tasted a few. Relax.


1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

Copyright © 2014 The Wormwood Society Absinthe Association