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i-Dosing: ‘Digital drug’ craze sparks safety alert

A disturbing new trend has seen teenagers using "digital drugs".

So-called i-Dosing sees users listening to audio files which are claimed to induce drug-like effects.

The "doses" consist of extended binaural tones that are claimed to synchronise with brainwaves to create a simulated mood or experience. Videos have appeared on YouTube showing young people reacting badly to the experience.

Online suppliers of the MP3 files or "dose dealers" offer "quick-hits" for $3.95 (€3), while the range extends to so-called "premium" i-Doses for $199.

Top-of-the-range digital downloads on include Gate of Hades, which comes with the description "expect nightmares, near-death experiences, and strong onset of fear". While the description of Hand of God reads: "It isn’t meant for public consumption because it is considered just too powerful. It’s like the Holy One reaches from the sky, as you lay with closed eyes, and shows you the universe, everything, infinity." Other top sellers include files named Marijuana, Ecstasy, Trip and LSD.

Websites suggest that users listen to the audio files through high-quality headphones for the full effect. They claim they are a safe and legal way to get high but there are concerns that they could lead to illegal drug use.

One YouTube video of a young female nicknamed ‘shexreallyxloves’ shows her calmly lying on her bed with headphones on, before violently ripping them off and curling into a ball.

Her comment reads: "Me trying out Gates of Hades on i-Doser. This is my first experience, my mind was wandering most the time and I couldn’t focus but near the end it messed me up n freaked me out bad."

Another clip features a blindfolded young man clutching at his legs while listening to headphones. His comment reads: "the couch was wet from all the sweat afterwards".

The perceived problem of digital drugs has prompted a school in Oklahoma to send out warning letters to parents.

Meghan Edwards, a student at Mustang High School, described a friend’s experience to News9: "I heard it was like some weird demons and stuff through an iPod and he was like freaking out."

"People do need to be concerned about it. It’s not just something that should be overlooked," said Shelbi Reed, Mustang High School graduate.

"We had never come across anything like this and anything that is going to cause these physiological effects in a student, that causes us concern," said Shannon Rigsby, Mustang Public Schools communication officer.

Mark Woodward of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics told News9: "Kids are going to flock to these sites and it could lead them other places. So that’s why we want parents to be aware of what sites their kids are visiting and not just dismiss this as something harmless on the computer. Parents need to be aware."

Source: Dean Murray, The Irish Examiner, 29/07/2010


Posted by Andy on 07/29 at 08:27 AM in
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(5) Comments


#1. Posted by Tim Bingham on July 29, 2010

The evidence that is being reported to back up the above article is anecdotal. Dr Brian Fligor, director of diagnostic audiology at the Boston Children’s Hospital, thinks the idea of digital drugs is as far-fetched as the plot of a horror film.

“To my knowledge there is no science that backs it up,”
The sounds available at i-dosing websites are called binaural beats. When listened to on headphones, they present one sound to one ear and a subtly different sound to the other ear.

But when heard together, the human brain hears something different from the original sounds.

“It’s just kind of messing with your perception of the sound,” Dr Fligor says.

I find it amazing that one school in America is reporting this and no other instances have been reported. How can this be scientific. However I do find it amusing that the website in question has now received free advertising on an international scale. This is bound to increase the curiosity of young people

#2. Posted by Andrew Norton on July 29, 2010

This is the most stupid thing I have ever read on this website! lets ban comfortable beds for sending me off into a trippy dream I had last night.

#3. Posted by Tim Bingham on July 30, 2010

@Andrew can not be blamed for this article they are only highlighting what’s in the press.

#4. Posted by Ringing Ears Treatment on August 05, 2010

An analysis done on the dangers of iDosing has shown that while the practice itself is mostly harmless, there’s a chance of it leading to more harmful addictions.

#5. Posted by Tim Bingham on August 09, 2010

@Ringing Ears it would be useful for all of us if you could quote the research, as this will help inform the debate





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