People are experimenting with 'digital drugs' provided through sound
By: April Carson
Humans have an inborn ability to come up with new methods for taking drugs. This usually entails smelling, snorting, licking, munching, or even injecting various chemicals. However, in this digital age, people are now turning to sound as a means of getting high.
There are websites that offer audio files purportedly containing "digital drugs." These are sounds that are said to produce psychoactive effects when listened to. Some of the more popular ones include binaural beats and isochronic tones.
Researchers have looked at a novel approach to change brains that uses digital sounds to feed inconsistent frequencies into each ear. Some individuals claim they can drop out, enhance memory, and reduce pain while listening to these 'binaural beats'.
In order to figure out what kind of crossover exists between the use of more traditional psychoactive drugs and the use of binaural beats, a team of Australian and British researchers examined the 2021 Global Drug Survey, which included responses from over 30,000 individuals from 22 nations.
Around 5 percent of those quizzed in a recent study had experimented with binaural beats at least once in the previous year. Just over one in ten of these individuals were doing it for recreational purposes alone.
Almost all of the participants were between the ages of 16 and 30, had experimented with drugs prohibited by law, such as MDMA or marijuana, and were from the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Poland.
Their goals for using binaural beats were as various as their reasons for attempting it. Some hoped to improve their focus, creativity, or productivity. Others wanted to relieve stress or anxiety, get better sleep, or achieve a meditative state.
The study also asked participants about their perceived positive and negative effects of using binaural beats. The most commonly reported benefit was increased focus, followed by relief from stress and anxiety.
"It's quite new; we just don't know much about the use of binaural beats as digital drugs," says Monica Barratt, a social scientist from RMIT University in Australia, co-authoring the study.
This poll demonstrates that it's happening not just in the United States. We'd heard stories about it, but this was the first time we asked individuals how, why, and when they used them formally."
The phenomenon of binaural beats has been around for a long time, appearing in literature as far back as the mid-nineteenth century. Binaural beats are also becoming increasingly popular among artists because they are so simple to produce and share online.
Binaural beats are said to have an influence on the brain because of their use in neurofeedback, which utilizes different low-frequency tones to send information into each ear.
Your brain will interpret a 400 hertz tone in one ear and a 440 hertz tone in the other as a single, droning buzz of 40 Hz positioned somewhere within your skull if you listen to them alternately.
This meaning involves more than just our peripheral auditory mechanisms; it requires the use of a sophisticated combination of brainstem equipment buried deep within our skulls, which causes neurons all over the world to synchronize into wave forms associated with calm.
According to this theory, yes. While there are some research that call for further study of binaural beats as a method of treating acute anxiety, others argue for the benefits of binaural beat therapy – at least when it comes to changing emotions and minds – remain unproven.
There are plenty of experimenters who are interested in giving binaural beats a try, regardless of scientific skepticism. Which includes attempting to re-create a psychedelic experience for 12% of those who listen to them lately.
"Some binaural beats users were looking for a high," says Barrat. "Like ingestible substances, some binaural beat users were seeking for a high."
The study debunked any assertions that listening to mind-altering music might lead to substance abuse in the future. Most of those seeking a shift in perspective were already abusing other illicit substances, if anything.
Furthermore, there were a variety of additional reasons why individuals were looking into utilizing a binaural soundscape, according to Barratt.
Many people regarded them as a source of assistance, such as for sleep therapy or pain alleviation," she adds. "Others use them to achieve a more spiritual or creative state of mind."
Whether "digital drugs" create more buzz than actual substances is a question for future researchers to investigate. For the time being, the data provide us with a solid foundation for monitoring individuals who self-medicate or seek pleasure in other ways.
This study was published in Drug and Alcohol Review.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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