Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bleeding Brain?

I was listening to Frank O. Pinion, a local radio show, the other day. They got on the subject of drugs. They started talking about the different effects different drugs produced. Everything they’d read about psychedelics described faces melting.

Peon asked, “Why would anyone want to experience that?”

Frank said if he even tried it, he’d love it and wouldn’t be able to control himself. It struck me as an unusually honest remark.

Someone called in to tell Frank all hallucinogens work by making your brain bleed. The cast of the show all took this for granted as fact.

I was amazed by the statement and decided to research the subject. There is no evidence that drugs cause the brain to bleed, let alone bleeding is the reason drugs work.

-------Hallucinations and other effects of hallucinogens are however very complicated experiences. They are not simply a part of a cause and effect system in the brain, where hallucinogenic drugs act on serotonin and cause hallucinations. Instead, hallucinogenic drugs act initially on the serotonin system, which sends into motion a pattern of complex action potentials and activity. Other neurotransmitters may be involved in these activities as well. The effects that inputs and outputs have on each other in this system as well as the pattern of action potentials mediated by hallucinogenic drugs help to cause many of the complex changes that allow hallucinations to happen. (B.L. Jacobs, "How Hallucinogenic Drugs Work")

Why would someone bother to call in to a radio show with misinformation? Why would the cast of the show take it for granted the caller was telling the truth? Did the caller hear this information somewhere or was he deliberately supporting an agenda with lies?

It strikes me that we’ve all become pretty gullible and shouldn’t take anything we hear for granted. Just because we’re surrounded with information we shouldn’t accept anything as fact without research.

I would love it if FactCheck and PolitiFact followed every statement our politicians make through the corporate media. Unfortunately, I’ve seen FactCheck called liberal for calling a conservative to task for spreading misinformation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I heard the same conversation as you on the Large Morning Show in the Afternoon. I had the same feelings as you. I was surprised by Frank's candid statement and I didn't believe the guy saying that bleeding on the brain caused hallucinations. When we vigorously disagree, it's nice to know we also have some common ground.