[14] Misinformation by BilZ0r

Catch-22

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[14] Misinformation by Anonymous

Late August 2003, somewhere in Massachusetts, a 17-year-old male with reasonable experience with recreational drugs takes a mix of approximately 30mg of 5-MeO-DMT and some Syrian rue seeds, an idea he got from browsing Erowid.

After being found on the floor of his dorm, his friends called 911. Paramedics described him as "extremely combative". On arrival at the emergency department, he was found to have slight hyperthermia (105.2ºF/40.7ºC) and hypertension (136/66) and severe tachycardia (186BPM). After being sedated with benzodiazepines, he became less agitated. Later he developed rhabdomyolysis, but that cleared after intravenous hydration [1].

This is the offerings from the latest issue of Journal of Toxicology: Clinical
Toxicology
, from an article entitled "Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor Poisoning Resulting from Internet Misinformation on Illicit Substances". The above case report is only the introduction to an article which although largely even-handed is generally damning of online "drug libraries". Positives such as that fact that "data found on drug Web sites are often preseted in a medical format, with specific pharmacokinetic information on duration to maximum effect and enzyme metabolism", are presented.

Largely a skeptical view is taken of not only the information, but also of the writers, with specific mention of Jonathan Ott. This is not the only article in medical literature to speak harshly of internet drug libraries. A letter to the editor in a 2001 issue of the New England Journal Of Medicine said that every drug website surveyed gave potentially harmful recommendations [2]. While other articles have given more positive reviews [3,4], the criticisms brought up above highlight many important points.

The fact is, most recreational drugs are dangerous, and have the power to kill. When any of us give our opinions via a medium capable of reaching so many people, we must ensure that we let neither our ego nor our ignorance get the better of us, and only say things that we know to be true. While this doesn't preclude us from speculating, it just means that when we are, we must acknowledge it. On relatively non-interactive websites such as The Vaults of Erowid, or The Lycaeum, the webmaster and his/her team of editors can relatively simply make sure that all information given is as accurate as possible. On forum based websites, however, this is far more challenging, and is largely up to the individual poster. What needs to be considered is that nearly any misinformation could potentially lead to a fatality.

Misinformation also detracts from the importance education has in the harm-reduction movement. Not only do inaccuracies reduce the authoritative nature of some websites, they also put the existence of the website in jeopardy. While many feel that the right to free speech is objective and universal, the fact remains that it is only a right that is afforded while the government wants it to be. Even in the US, the right to free speech isn't accorded to every example (fighting-words, or obsenity). It would be a terrible shame, if because of misinformation, websites with information about illegal drugs, became illegal themselves.

So, it is up to anyone who publishes information in anyway on drugs, to make sure it is as accurate as humanly possible.

1. Brush, D.E. et al. (2004) Monoamine oxidase inhibitor poisoning resulting from Internet misinformation on illicit substances. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 42 (2), 191-195
2. Boyer, E.W. et al. (2001) Web sites with misinformation about illicit drugs. N Engl J Med 345 (6), 469-471
3. Wax, P.M. (2002) Just a Click Away: Recreational Drug Web Sites on the Internet. Pediatrics 109 (6), e96
4. Halpern, J.H. and Pope, H.G., Jr. (2001) Hallucinogens on the Internet: a vast new source of underground drug information. Am J Psychiatry 158 (3), 481-483
 

Catch-22

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Reminder: I am posting this essay on behalf of someone else. These comments are not an official policy statement. Whether you want to agree or disagree, please put your thoughts in this thread. Do not send me PM's or emails unless you are contributing a new essay of your own. Thanks!

Edit: BilZ0r has identified himself as the author so title is adjusted.
 
Last edited:

runaway

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I read about the legalization of marijuana for "medical" purposes, and hear on major news channels that this is a tactic towards legalizing marijuana completely, followed by other drugs. Many more conservative people on this issue that I've asked have said they see nothing wrong with legal pot, as long as there is a medical need. I think the medical establishment has too much weight in these issues. First the government just plain bullshitted people with claims of madness, certain death, and other stereotypes of drug users that plainly still exist today. Now that science is slowly discrediting these claims, I'm affraid a new excuse will emerge to keep drugs illegal: "If it doesn't cure an illness, why take any risk at all", even if its one death in a million.

All this is nothing short of social engineering, one tool being the regulation of brain chemistry and function in homo sapiens sapiens . Another being the media, as this news article demostrates. Why don't I see an individual news article for each person in poverty describing their day to day life. Lets start a site for that.
 

diegoblunt

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This has most definately set a new standard for harm reduction essay's.
 

fire

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Re: [14] Misinformation by Anonymous

Catch-22 said:
Late August 2003, somewhere in Massachusetts, a 17-year-old male with reasonable experience with recreational drugs takes a mix of approximately 30mg of 5-MeO-DMT and some Syrian rue seeds, an idea he got from browsing Erowid.


It might be interesting to note that at the time of this incident we had only a few pages that mentioned the combination of 5-MeO-DMT and Syrian Rue.

There was Jonathan Ott 's page describing very briefly the potentiation of 5-MeO-DMT with Syrian Rue. In this description Ott only ever takes 10 mg of 5-MeO-DMT and describes "dramatic potentiation" of the material. The individual involved reportedly smoked 10 mg and then snorted 15-20 mg.
http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/5meo_dmt/5meo_dmt_info3.shtml

There were also a few experience reports, maybe 5 or 6 total. Included in those were reports titled "A Bad Combination", "Baseball Bat to the Skull", and others describing unpleasant effects from the combination.


Largely a skeptical view is taken of not only the information, but also of the writers, with specific mention of Jonathan Ott. This is not the only article in medical literature to speak harshly of internet drug libraries. A letter to the editor in a 2001 issue of the New England Journal Of Medicine said that every drug website surveyed gave potentially harmful recommendations [2].
This article pointed out a single piece of supposed "misinformation" on Erowid (Erowid contained approximately 13,000 documents at the time). We believe that the specific piece of information they claimed was wrong was in fact correct and that they misunderstood the issue. While the New England Journal of Medicine declined to publish our response to this article (somewhat unheard of for an article which directly criticized our work)...you can read our response at:

http://www.erowid.org/general/mentions/2001_nejm_response.shtml


The fact is, most recreational drugs are dangerous, and have the power to kill.
Clearly this is true...as it is of most prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and recreational activities. Risks need to be studied and carefully considered before engaging in any activity.


What needs to be considered is that nearly any misinformation could potentially lead to a fatality.
I am all in favor of careful editing and attention to providing accurate information about these topics. It's what I spend 10-14 hours a day working on. I believe in it passionately.

But it's not a black and white issue. The truth can also lead to fatalities. Does that mean we shouldn't tell the truth? I don't believe that there was any misinformation presented that led to the situation described above. Syrian rue potentiates the effects of 5-MeO-DMT. To the best of my knowledge, this is true. What people will choose to do with that information is anyone's guess. Some people will avoid the combination like the plague. Some might decide that it's a great combination to try before a party on a Friday night.

We provided warnings about the combination. But this individual decided to do it anyway. We don't know whether he read the warnings. We don't know what pages he read. We don't know why he decided it was a combination he wanted to try. And we don't know why he had the reaction he did. There is no way we can make people read everything. An individual could jump in to a positive experience report, read a few lines and go away without choosing to read the 10-20 other relevant pages on the topic.


It would be a terrible shame, if because of misinformation, websites with information about illegal drugs, became illegal themselves.
We welcome corrections, criticisms, and feedback. If you find information on Erowid that you believe to be incorrect, please let us know.

peace,
fire
 

poisoned candy

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I agree that the accuracy of online drug information is crucial. But what is the so-called "misinformation" that supposedly led to this person's death? If anything, the general impression I've gotten reading Erowid's information on tryptamines+MAOI combinations is that they are very risky, and the dosages very uncertain. And this guy goes ahead taking a massive dose of what is probably the most powerful psychoactive, PLUS an MAOI! If he had indeed been to erowid, he would know that this combination (and especially at this dosage) poses extreme risks, and for whatever reason he choose to take that risk. So I agree completely with Fire's responce. The way the article implies that inacurrate information on the web led to this individual's overdose is, in itself, misinformation.
 

Shimmer.Fade

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^^..I do not think he died, but he had a pretty awful reaction. It seems to me that took way to much 5-meo-dmt on its own (not to mention syrian rue). Erowid has differing viewpoints, so yes, to some they are going to be wrong and to some right. IDK, sounds like his fault to me. I have never, ever read anything (on erowid or elsewhere) saying that 30mg 5-meo-dmt/syrian rue is a good/safe/intelligent idea.
 

Hessel R.K.

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yea 5-meO-dmt is knocking people out all the time. Isn't there a report in Thikal about someone's heart stopping and they only lived because someone did CPR on them?
 

rm-rf

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So these doctors think its better to limit our freedom - better to hide knowledge and information from the public, to restrict access to information and to create a moralistic case out of the seeking of knowledge that is related to psychoactive substances, better that than to allow conscious and sentient beings to make decisions for themselves? People have a right to take what chances they may deem worth taking to persue their own psychonautical endevors. ALAS, WE STILL LIVE IN A PURITANICAL SOCIETY.

If someone is foolish enough to take action on medical information without first having earned a degree in medical studies, that is their own plight, and should not be suffered universally by all whom would seek such information. Perhaps our younger generations of users are not able to fully make responsible decisions about what goes into their bodies, but perhaps then we as a nation should concentrate on restoring family values and parental controls as home, before we go burning books and restricting access to information like a Nazi regime.

We are individual human beings on this earth, and the restriction of any knowledge, whatever it may be, is a crime gainst humanity. We are not an autonomous collective that needs to be controlled by some sort of governing body "parental unit," nor are we prepared to de-evolve the acomplishments of modern world societies back into a feudal system of absolute control. Human beings around the globe are waking up, and are ready to rule themselves. We loose whatever advancements we have gained in the last 1000 years with the simple surrender of our dignity and God given rights, and it all starts with something as simple as this.


This is completely beside the point, but there was a period of time where I believed that one could die from a DMT, or other powerful psychedelic experience. This death did not occur from any sort of toxic contraindication nor physical stress, but spirutual. I had some sort of deep, unacknowledged belief that one could die simply from the utter shock of such a powerful, and trancendental experience, as though one had seen God.
 

yougene

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Re: Re: [14] Misinformation by Anonymous

fire said:

This article pointed out a single piece of supposed "misinformation" on Erowid (Erowid contained approximately 13,000 documents at the time). We believe that the specific piece of information they claimed was wrong was in fact correct and that they misunderstood the issue. While the New England Journal of Medicine declined to publish our response to this article (somewhat unheard of for an article which directly criticized our work)...you can read our response at:

http://www.erowid.org/general/mentions/2001_nejm_response.shtml
How hypocritical, does this journal really care about spreading truth? Seems like it's more concerned with preserving it's own percieved integrity.
 

rm-rf

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heh I read NEJM, JAMA, and JACI all the time, when i have to clean up my boss' office...usually an entire year's worth of each are laying about on the floor. JAMA is especially bad for criticizing certain medical aspects of the drug war, including an issue condemning Shulgin's TIHKAL, and PhIKAL, and of course organizations on the web such as errowid or the lycaeum.
 

blase deviant

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Oh fuck more, more RCs becoming illegal. Why do governments have to be annoying fucks?

I JUST WANNA TRIP!
 

BilZ0r

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As the guy who wrote the top essay, just to reply to Fire; -When I was warning about the problems of misinformation, I was trying more to caution people on bluelight, not really you erowid-guys.

...Cause I don't really know about everyone else, but I know at times I've let my ego get infront of my better judgement and posted things on bluelight that I don't KNOW for certain, or things I'm just geussing no one can prove me wrong on... It's a bad thing, and I was just trying to remind people of the potential gravity of the situation... remind myself.
 

MrM

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If you want a drugs information website full of seriously dangerous misinformation, you can't do much better than talk to frank an official British government website that contains such dangerous inaccuracies as;

They're sold as white powder or tiny 5mg pills. Most people take several at a time and effects can last from 4-8 hours. They're often taken with E as a 'party pack'. The more you take the more intense and uncontrollable the experience. Normally swallowed, they can also be snorted or smoked.
about 2cb

2cb link


Now it is obvious to anyone who knows anything about the illegal sale of drugs in general, and 2cb in specific, that the idea that all 2cb pills are 5mgs has got to be wrong. Dangerously wrong if people accept it as fact when they have pills of a higher dosage since 2cb is pretty dosage responsive.

It seems to me that erowid is vastly preferable to this.

:p
 

Jimmy the Gun

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from erowid

Smoked 5-MeO-DMT Dosages
Threshold 1 - 2 mg
Light 2 - 5 mg
Common 5 - 10 mg
Strong 10 - 20 mg


Onset : 0 - 30 seconds
Peak : 1 - 15 minutes
Duration : 30 minutes
After Effects : 1 hour





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insufflated 5-MeO-DMT Dosages
Threshold 3 - 5 mg
Light 5 - 10 mg
Common 8 - 15 mg
Strong 10 - 25 mg


way to go dude in dorm room. i hope you damaged your reproductive organs because i can do with out you in the gene pool.
 

Jimmy the Gun

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^umm, that's like, your opinion :)
 

FUTURAmike

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WOOD: What a fucking great post.
FIRE: It is an honor to post in the same thread as you have, and off topic though it may be, I would like to thank you on behalf of myself and everyone else who uses erowid. So much centralized information on the subject is invaluable. I commend and respect you for what you have done and continue to do for the drug community. Thank you very much.
TEH BILZ: Great read sir, top notch.
 
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