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Harm Reduction Resources / Re: Clandestine chemistry and mental health
« Last post by loft on April 14, 2022, 06:37:42 AM »
Thank you for starting this discussion S&H.

I couldn't agree more with what has been already been said.
The struggles are real, so they say. Paranoia is definitely a thing, and I'm on board with xdragon's supression tactic.

If I'd be aware of how much this hobby could truly destroy my life... I'd probably not be here and I wouldn't be in the lab. Let's just hope that things stay civil.

Times change, and if you're really into chemistry (and the timing is right), chances are chemistry will become your profession at some point (not in a drugs selling way, but in an academic/industrial legal way). It's comforting to know that I'll always be able to prepare a drug I'm interested in if I want to, but being surrounded by chemistry all day at work and doing exactly what I would do in my private lab (but just with legal targets) also reduced my desire to do home chemistry.

There will probably be a point in every clandestine chemists life, when you almost get caught. In this moment, you might rethink the hobby and decide that it's not worth the fun and excitement to go to prison and loose years of your life. All the suppression can't help at this point. (Now I see how this topic really will not have a positive feel to it.) It might be important to point out that this realization usually doesn't last long. Unless you act immediately, it's very likely that you'll fall back into your supressive safe zone.

I can also agree with timescales comment on carrying this burden alone. Talking about problems usually helps but at least IRL, this option is most often not existent. There are very few, very close people in my life who know about my hobby - but just the legal side, doing SM-like innocent experiments from time to time.
Harm Reduction Resources / Re: Clandestine chemistry and mental health
« Last post by AustralisAlchemy on April 14, 2022, 04:30:47 AM »
I'm always here to listen to rants in DMs, or if someone just needs to talk.
My inbox is always open to anyone also.

It is incredibly difficult, and no one ever said how hard it would actually be to be a 'clandestine chemist'. I have always maintained a certain base level of paranoia, but this hobby has greatly increased it. Is that a bad thing? I have no doubt I am on a spiritual journey in regards to chemistry. Money never interested me, power never interested me, but the workings of our physical reality greatly interest me. I am not a violent criminal, and I am not a greedy criminal, but I am still considered a criminal because of my desire for knowledge. It is my belief that there should be no barriers to educating ones self. Regulations? Licenses? I get it, I can understand the reasons behind them, but I won't allow them to hold me back from learning things. This entire journey, the whole path, it is one great learning lesson. While I get paranoid whenever I hear a knock at the door, or see an undercover police car near my house, I wouldn't trade it for ignorance. Who knows where this path will lead me? Prison? Dead? Employed? It has opened many doors I did not ever consider even existed, and I've only just started my experience. I believe that if you are a grounded person, interested in the pursuit of knowledge, this hobby can take you beyond the stars  ;)
Harm Reduction Resources / Re: Clandestine chemistry and mental health
« Last post by Kasey Jones on April 14, 2022, 02:18:53 AM »
I got involved in this hobby initially because I couldn't find any real mdma.  I spent about a year collecting all the items of Methyl Man's write up and secured real sassafras oil off the auction site, right before it became super scarce.  I was lucky to find this forum and I am so grateful to Moriarty, Cerium, Roid rage and Spice for all their input throughout the years.  When you first succeed in making your own X it's an incredible feeling.  You have successfully jumped ahead in the supply chain and you feel powerful.  You want to tell everyone "look what I made!" But doing so is like handing a loaded pistol to someone.  It's extremely hard to do this hobby because you have to keep it so secret. It eats you up.  The nature of mdma can make you trust the wrong people. And once one person knows, 5 people know.  I'm lucky that I was in my early 40s when I started as I would have told too many idiots in my 20s and got knocked for the rest of my life:(  Eventually, if you're smart, you realize that the price of doing this hobby is telling no one you know IRL and vent on here with your bee brothers.  The chemistry is great on here, but having a place to discuss the side issues is priceless. 
Harm Reduction Resources / Re: Clandestine chemistry and mental health
« Last post by timescale7017 on April 12, 2022, 11:47:03 PM »
Thank you Sawdust and everyone for addressing this. It can be a heavy burden to carry and much of the time it has to be carried alone. I can say personally that I've struggled at times between the extremes of seeing my work as a glorious challenge of personal improvement and as a silly and immature waste of time and money. In reality, it's probably a bit of both.

I've come to the realization that it's nearly time for me to hang up the coat for at least a good few years, and focus on actual academic research. Maybe grow some shrooms if I need a hobby  ;)
Harm Reduction Resources / Re: Clandestine chemistry and mental health
« Last post by jacolives on April 12, 2022, 10:28:47 PM »
Yeah the sad truth of it is if you’re really into this “hobby”, it’s a smart idea to have money put aside for a lawyer.. and many contingency plans in place.  Wouldn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with your local and federal criminal codes too.

To the topic at hand.. this is like the elephant in the room to me.  There’s a few members I talk with one an one, and at this juncture I probably send more messages regarding this very topic than I do about chemistry itself.

Setting things up so you can be comfortable is really a must.  If you’re going to have a fully functional lab lying around, it’s best if it’s sitting in a state that if the wrong visitors come knocking, you don’t have a prison sentence waiting inside.  This is easier said than done of course, but strict adherence to this is really crucial.

Also one of the best strategies for maintaining sanity is simply to give myself permission and plan to take breaks.  The lab can stay in place really - if it’s maintained , ‘properly’ labelled and everything illegal is gone.  Leave it for a while.  When the itch return (and it will), wait longer, set a date maybe a couple months out, plan the time off work, do some research and planning - acquire reagents as safely as possible (and secure them somewhere else), then when the time comes do all the work in a week or so… then return everything to its proper state of ‘harmless home chemist playing with inorganic salts’ ala sciencemadness.

Seems like a lot of us have secondary issues (well maybe not secondary), I’m talking about addiction.  Believe it or not I’m actually a fully committed and participating member of a well known 12 step program and have been for years.  There is a bit of a murky gray area here for things, me personally .. look I’m a REAL addict.  All the brain power in the world isn’t enough for me to beat what happens in my brain when I use amphetamine, methamphetamine, or any opiate… psychedelics not really the same story so I draw a line there.  But who am I do be experimenting with novel stimulants (new to me at least) knowing what I know about myself and having experienced what I’ve experienced?  I go back and forth about the issue in my head quite a bit but the real truth is, it’s not for me.  Would take me to a bad place, and when I get out of control I end up in prison.  Period.  I’m not going back. Not fucking doing it.  It’s not worth it it’s just NOT.

My heart goes out to everyone who is currently active, best wishes and in spirit I’m with you, but it’s recently been impressed upon me that to get back into it without 100% setting things up to be as safe as possible, just isn’t something I’m willing to do.  Though hopefully when the time is right… well you know.

At the end of the day, large private property in the middle of nowhere really is the best way to go for security and for sanity. At least the weather in my hemisphere is getting a little better for that kind of endeavor..

I’m rambling but, yeah, hang in there guys.  Shits stressful as fuck.  A few years back I lost something like 40 lbs in 3 months, stone cold sober, doing ‘work’, from the stress (I don’t eat when I’m stressed) alone.
Harm Reduction Resources / Re: Clandestine chemistry and mental health
« Last post by spice on April 12, 2022, 10:16:30 PM »
Also, Shulgin has described a phenomenon known as 'inflation'

Shulgin wrote in his notebook: "Tell NO ONE about this drug so that it can never be identified and there can be no moves made to destroy it… Persisting in scientific publication in all peripheral areas as subterfuge, diversion. Keep all progressive work in my appendices. Code them 'SH'—too informative." It was "too informative" because Shulgin believes ALEPH-1 is the "essence of power", he told journalist Hamilton Morris in his last interview. He published anyway. It sounds awful: "It gives an interesting example of some thought processes associated with psychedelic intoxication, ego-inflation, and what might be thought of as bits of mania," he wrote in PIHKAL

Our psyches are a bit fragile, in whatever-their-current-state....sure, you can recover from nearly any trauma, but you are subtly altered every time....and, at least in my case, the former state cannot truly be returned to....everyone is different.

Harm Reduction Resources / Re: Clandestine chemistry and mental health
« Last post by spice on April 12, 2022, 09:31:13 PM »
Great posts and topic. Definitely under-discussed.

I remember way wayyy back in the mid 90s when I was just starting out, probably the first year of the hives existence, there was a guy, still remember him, went by the name of Arthur Bach. He had fallen under the spell of clandestine chemistry, and fallen hard. We talked a good bit, and he was apparently setting up for a business, not just personal use....well he got caught somehow and got out on bail/bond and he re-visited the board and posted his cautionary tale. I clearly remember his shock at how much trouble he was in and that he had a family, etc....they were offering him like 20 years to plea to a lesser charge....he was really broken up, saying things like " nobody ever talks about this part of it "......and
" I wish I'd never found this site "......I heard thru the grapevine that he went up the river but never heard of him, or from him again....then it happened to me.

It basically retired me, and I never really have been quite the same since. (My wife would say that's a good thing) I'm not the fearless outlaw I was back then, I don't have years to give them to prove a point....there is a lot of loss involved when they get you. It affects other people and that's sometimes easy to lose track of when you are caught up in the thrill of the game.
  I recovered, but I am changed, hindsight is, as they say, 20/20.....I'm not a particularly paranoid person but it surely can put the fear in you.

I hope you all are careful and never have to learn it firsthand.

The take-away:  Be secretive, don't get careless. Don't get cocky.
Harm Reduction Resources / Re: Clandestine chemistry and mental health
« Last post by xdragon on April 12, 2022, 09:11:45 PM »
Thanks for this post Sawdust, you are a great chemist, and a great person.

It's not exactly a healthy coping mechanism, but my brain just suppresses most of the risks associated with clandestine chemistry. And I'm of the sheepish belief I'm doing the right thing - I'm just making and tasting psychoactives to explore the interaction of a beautiful structure with my mind, I don't share and I certainly do not sell and will never ever. If I'd be aware of how much this hobby could truly destroy my life... I'd probably not be here and I wouldn't be in the lab. Let's just hope that things stay civil.

I'm always here to listen to rants in DMs, or if someone just needs to talk.

Dito. Feel free to reach out yourself (or anyone else) :)
Harm Reduction Resources / Clandestine chemistry and mental health
« Last post by Sawdust and Honey on April 12, 2022, 08:37:52 PM »
Yeah, the title is self explanatory.

Whether destined for self-exploration, trade or sale clandestine chemistry is a huge burden on one's mental health.
That is potentiated by insufficiently safe conditions (which applies to 95% of our community) and the intrinsic illegal nature of our research. I myself thought I was tough considering my previous experiences. Even though I never sold any drug to anyone ever, constantly taking the risk each and every time doing any labwork, ordering any reagent or having any, even the most minor accident is one of the most devastating experiences in one's mental health. Any of these issues can and will be potentiated by paranoic tendencies, if one suffers from them. I'm not even mentioning the potential for abuse of drugs - luckily that didn't catch up to me.

Anyone is welcome to post any input regarding their view on mental health in our community and I'm always here to listen to rants in DMs, or if someone just needs to talk. It's a difficult hobby to be consistently active in and I have to admit I feel proud whenever we're able to overcome that difficulty and work on an interesting project.

Man, whatever I said this post will never have a positive feel to it :-\.
News / Re: Increasing oil price = petrochemical price hike = shit
« Last post by carli on March 22, 2022, 02:57:06 PM »
How many ponies do you have to squeeze until you get a liter of xylene?

Depends - saponyfied ones give better yields :D

Supply chain: german fertilizer producers cut production due to high gas prices.
Greenhouse growers (veggies and kitchen-weeds) the same: high fertilizer and heating costs.
Aluminum- and even egg-producers the same...

edit: sunflower- and rapeseed oil, flour, noodles and many canned goods sold out ...

Will leave a msg, if we need candy bombers (pony-powered please!) again. :D
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