HAMILTON MORRIS writes on VICE:
Hey. Did any of you read this paper on the role of G9a in cocaine-induced dendritic spine plasticity? No? OK, well did you at least read this summary of the findings in Time? Still no? Fine. The gist is that repeated coke use suppresses a protein called G9a, which slows the growth of dendritic spines in your neurons, which, as Time puts it, “can reflect learning, but in the case of addiction may involve learning to connect a place or person with the desire for more drugs.”
If you read that and thought, “Wait a second, is this a potentially beneficial effect of cocaine on your brain that they’re trying to spin as a danger?” then yes you are right. Potentially. There is a well established connection between number of dendritic spines and intelligence as measured by IQ (retarded children have long misshapen dendrites which are unevenly dispersed), but it really has to do with what pathways that extra dendritic power is being used to reinforce. In the case of “bad drugs,” the article just arbitrarily assumes that it would be “the desire for more drugs.”
I have always thought what you do on drugs is as important as the drugs themselves, eg people who take LSD and teach themselves to type in a day versus people who stare at a wall in silence, reenforcing the “the stare at a wall in silence” pathway in their limbic system. This is something i think might contribute to permanently “acid burned” people–these are usually the people who are/were least likely to stimulate themselves intellectually while under the influence of a psychedelic. I have no direct evidence for this obviously. Right now it’s just a thought that makes me feel better about using 2C-D to study astronomy for months.
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