Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The kids are alright

Forget about the 'obesity timebomb' that threatens to turns the world's kids into listless, corpulent slugs. There's another healthcare crisis looming on the horizon - a mass outbreak of peptic ulcers amongst the Daily Mail's constantly agitated readership.

That's right folks, it's time for another flick through the pages of everyone's favourite anger rag to see what's causing Middle England's intestines to spontaneously erode. And this week's bone of contention is with a new craze that's getting kids hooked on a new 'legal high'.

With mephedrone and naphyrone already banned, and MDAI expected to follow, young people are seeking out alternative ways to cut loose and elevate their consciousness. Neither of which are concepts likely to appeal to the Daily Mail or its apoplectic readers.

So it's with a suitably sombre tone that Daniel Bates reports on the i-Dosing craze, in which young people listen to "repetitive drone-like music" in order to "change their brains in the same way as real-life narcotics." Forget coke or heroin, if you really want to enter an altered state, all it takes is a couple of Basshunter tracks.

According to Bates, YouTube is awash with tracks that "mimic different sensations you can feel by taking drugs such as Ecstasy or smoking cannabis." The thing is, kids have always been prone to suggestion wherever 'drugs' are involved. Most fourteen-year olds only need half a can of Top Deck shandy to start carrying on like George Best in Wogan's green room.

Of course, this wouldn't be a Daily Mail feature without a bunch of ill-informed speculation and conjecture. So Bates uses the fact that the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs has issued a warning about i-Dosing, to confirm the scale of the threat.

Perhaps someone should have pointed out that taking scientific advice from Oklahoma is like asking Peaches Geldof about meritocracies. After all, this is the state that filed a resolution last year to oppose the teaching of evolution.

Nonetheless, Bates forges ahead with his terrifying tale of tracks with "imposing names such as ‘Gates of Hades’ or ‘Hand of God’ which are ten minutes long" and often "resemble cheap synthesizers being played very fast." Terrifying stuff indeed.

It doesn't seem to matter that Dr Helane Wahbeh, a Clinician Researcher with the Oregon Health and Science University is on hand to point out that the whole concept of i-Dosing is utter nonsense. Bates would rather side with the unnamed 'researchers' who suggest that the placebo effect is enough if users really want to feel it.

But that's also how stories like this work - it's not about the veracity of the concept, it's about the desire to believe.

No comments:

Post a Comment