As many of you know, I experimented with lots of different substances in my youth. It was all fun and games until I got hooked on a drug of choice for some years. I was only able to kick the habit when I finally realized that I do not need drugs to be happy or cool or whatever.
Drugs, however, could be occasional tools for altering our states of consciousness and for expanding our perspective. But when it becomes a need, like the case with addictive drugs, this is when one should rethink their life’s priorities.
Now years later, the psychonaut in me can still look back at some of those times and have a chuckle. Let me share with you the following collection of Funny Drug-Related Stories.
1- “ODing” on Weed
When I was 19 I went to L.A for summer courses in UCLA. I brought a glass bong back with me to Egypt, which was something totally new for many people there. One day, I was home alone with my cousin and a couple of my sister’s male friends and I fired it up.
My cousin wasn’t a legitimate smoker and he only took a hit from the bong, and another two hits from a joint a little later. That was it.
As I was playing Nintendo, I could see the dude moving around the house in an unnatural way. Then about 20 minutes through, he came to me, saying that he doesn’t feel well. He was holding his heart which was beating faster than normal. I calmed him down and got him a 7-Up to drink. When he still wasn’t fine I offered him milk.
Nothing seemed to work, though, and he began panicking. I, one the other hand, was not worried at all. I knew he took three puffs of weed. The bong was a killer, yes. The seedless stuff (bango) we got in Egypt in mid-90s was also a killer. But again, those were three puffs. I actually had to keep myself from laughing.
Not knowing what to do, my cousin decided to call his friends and invite them over to come ‘help’. Then he laid on the floor holding his heart, telling me that I need to take him to the hospital. When I said that we can’t tell them that he only took three hits, he opened the house door and just lay on the floor and said: OK, you’re not going to take me, I will die here.
Maybe 30 minutes later and his friends arrived — four guys, if I correctly recall. As soon as they saw him, they looked at me and asked where is the stuff. I took them in and offered the bong. One of them smoked, the others kind of freaked out and didn’t. Again, the concept of the bong was completely new, so seeing what happened to the guy made them reluctant to go near it. Let alone at that experimental age no one was really into drugs yet.
About an hour and a half through, he came back to his mind. He told me that if I’ll ever smoke again he would tell my dad. Ha.
This was 20 years ago, that’s two decades. Oh well, I still feel young.
2- Waking Up Standing Up
Almost 10 years later, I had already been doing much harder drugs. One night, I wake up to find myself standing in front of the elevator of my building, right outside my apartment, with the door closed. I had absolutely no idea what I am doing there; if I’m coming back from somewhere, or going somewhere, or what. Zero clue. Fortunately, I had the house key in my pocket and was able to get in and carry on ‘dosing’.
It’s true that now this is funny. But when you think about it, it’s also kind of bone-chilling to be in such zombified states of unconsciousness.
3- The Rivotril and Parkinol Week
There is a Parkinson’s Disease drug called Parkinol (Trihexyphenidyl HCl), which is an antiparkinsonian agent of the antimuscarinic class. I was told by a doctor that some of its ingredients are extracted from Sakarana (Hyoscyamus muticus).
In Egypt, Parkinol is a cheap synthetic atropine-like anticholinergic drug that has a street name of ‘Sarasir’ in Arabic, meaning ‘Roaches’. That is because users usually see black moving spots which look like insects.
Outside of Egypt, the street names for Trihexyphenidyl include its trade name Artane and Courage, Octane, Sexy Trihexy, T Rex, and Tri-Sexual.
One of the times when I was 19 and my parents were away, a friend and I took some Rivotril (Clonazepam). There was a shortage of roofies (Rohypnol) — in the 80s and 90s they were recreational drugs in Egypt, and not used to date rape — and the guy gave me those instead. We had never tried them before and thought why not.
Once at my place, we began by taking a few pills and drinking beer. At some point, there was tequila, too. I think I called a few friends to come spend the day with us at the pool of the hotel.
Now the trick with the Rivo is that the high stays till next day. So if you happen to take again the next day, you end up by getting notoriously confused. Our ‘party’ lasted for either four or five days, during which I remember once waking up and driving to university, only to find that it’s a Saturday and the building is closed. Total zonk.
By the second or third day, I woke up to find a girl I do not know coming into my bedroom. I look around and find my buddy sleeping on his extra bed. Who’s this?, I asked him.
Apparently, it was a group of girls we met on the pool and I proceeded to have sex with one of them. Now on the following day she was there to wake me up to go to the pool again. Yeah.
At the end of those four hazy days we decided to take Parkinol as a finale.
Similar to Sakarana, the effects include talking to people who aren’t there, seeing ants or black dots and imaginary smoke, not being able to light cigarettes, rolling imaginary joints, confounding confusion, in addition to the antimuscarinic effects — blurred vision (diplopia), insane dehydration, urinary retention, and gastro-intestinal disturbances.
At some point during the trip, we found ourselves sitting in the living room in front of the TV.
A bit later, my younger sister came out. Some blabbing that I obviously can’t remember and then I told her to go to bed... because it’s late. The thing is, it was about 7 am and she was going to school. She repeated that a few times, but I couldn’t register and kept telling her to go to bed.
Sitting next to me, my friend was like: “It’s OK, you don’t have to sleep, you can sit with us for a while.”
The girl sat down and he asked her: “So how’s everything?
Nothing,” she responded.
“Nothing? OK then go to sleep.”
Note that we were not being funny or playing some kind of sketch as we usually did. We were damn serious. In fact, we were so serious that we were later informed that the TV we were watching was an empty channel. Just blank white noise! Not only that, but the sun was about to come up, and we had no idea if it was a sunrise or a sunset. We tried, but we just couldn’t figure it out. Uhu.
That’s how Not There you are with these things. You are indeed OUT, but not the fun, stimulating OUT which psychedelics offer.
Poor li’l sister, she saw so much. Actually during this same week, I once entered her room in the middle of the night, holding a lighter and a BB gun. When she opened her eyes, I asked her where my parents were. She said they were away. And I was like: Ah, so they are not in their room now. That means I can go down. OK, bye. And I left her room. I also probably left the house, too. But until today we have no idea where I could have gone at 3 am in such a state.
She truly did see so darn much.
My friends and I were once zonked on roofies. It was Ramadan and we went out to have ‘Sohour,’ which is the late night dinner during this month.
Apparently we were so out that night. I was repeatedly putting tea bags in glasses of cold water on the table, thinking it’s my tea cup. I also vaguely remember calling the waiters and by the time they come closer I would forget why I called them. It was a real mess.
The food was eventually served and that was when one of my buddies suddenly passed out and his face fell in his plate right onto the escalopes panées (schnitzel). He was sitting next to me when it happened and I was able to ‘wake’ him up. He had some kind of mild epilepsy, and the pharmaceuticals we used to do back in these days would sometimes trigger those fits, especially with high doses.
The guy was fine and we carried on with that bizarre night. Since then, the word we use when referring to him passing out is ‘Scaloppinos’. For quite a while, I kept using the word to refer to many other things.
5- Cops’ Version of Cocaine
During my mid-20s, my younger cousin and I went to Nuweiba in Sinai for a few days. One day, we left our camp and headed to Ras Abu Galum. We parked the car by the Blue Hole and began walking. That’s the only way you can get to that magical place, or on camels.
Once there, we went and spoke to an older Bedouin. I first asked him about weed. He showed us some commercial, touristic stuff, which we refused to take. He then took us at the back of the hut and revealed a huge bag filled to the brim with marijuana. We picked what in Cairo would be considered worth 100 L.E and were asked for only 20 L.E.
Once done with the weed, we still wanted to experiment with whatever else we could find. I could tell that the Bedouin looked high, so I didn’t hesitate to ask him about other stuff. He said usually there is heroin, which we already knew, but not at the moment. The guy was almost nodding while talking to us, so I didn’t really believe him. However, he said he has something called ‘Khoshkhash,’ or the poppy plant itself. It looked like crushed herb and it should be drank with tea; according to him, that would get us high.
We got some Khoshkhash and were excited to try something new. After a few hours in Abu Galum, we walked back to the Blue Hole, then got into our car and headed to Nuweiba. In one of the check points, they looked inside our ashtrays and found half a joint of hash we had totally forgotten about. So they took us inside the station.
The officer was about my age, possibly a couple of years older, and was quite calm. He told us that if we give him whatever we may be hiding, he’ll let us go. If, however, we said we have nothing on us and he searches and finds, then we’re in a lot of trouble.
Looking at the man’s face and listening to his words made me sense some sincerity. I didn’t think much and put my hand in my shorts and got the bag out. At the same time I signaled to my cousin to do the same with the bag he’s carrying in his own balls or socks.
Now the officer had a bag of weed and another of that unusual substance right in front of him on the desk.
“You smoke weed? No, I’m disappointed. When I found the hash in the car I thought you guys are better than that.”
Due to the shitty quality of Egyptian weed beginning the late 90s, many switched to hash, and since then weed smoking had been regarded as a less cleaner high.
He then inspected the ‘Khoshkhash’ bag and asked us what it was.
I began playing the role of the inexperienced kid who paid money for some bad weed and some other touristic scam. I said the man who sold us the stuff told us it’s a drug that you put in your tea.
“Did you buy this from Soliman?” He asked.
The dealer was pretty well-known there. We actually knew his name before heading to the area, which later made us think if he was the one who turned us in. But we doubted it, since it was us who forgot that half a joint in the ashtray; without this, we would have probably been fine.
The officer clearly had no idea what this odd-looking substance was. He took the bag out and disappeared for a bit, probably asking the other policemen.
Then he came back, looking all witty: “Do you know what that is?
“This is cocaine!”
“Uhmm...NO,” we both said at the same time, then looked at each other and smiled. I mean, we knew pretty well what cocaine was. He was either told this by one of his subordinates and he doesn’t actually know that cocaine is a white powder, or he was trying to trick us. Either way, another 15 minutes at the station and he let us go.
We thanked him and headed on our own way. Though for a few moments I thought about turning around and asking him for our stuff. Whether it was going to get us high or not, I was really curious about that new substance. Oh well.
For years afterwards, “This is cocaine” in Arabic became a funny meme between my cousin and I which we would repeat while mimicking the officer’s voice.
Check Funny Drug-Related Stories 2 for more hilarity.
Funny Drug-Related Stories 2
Funny Hotel-Related Stories
Surviving the Madness of Sakarana — Hyoscyamus muticus
Opiated Then Hatin' It
The LSD Experiments of the 1950s and 60s [Videos & Documentaries]
Out-of-Body Experience and Ego Death on a “Heroic Dose” of Mushrooms
Placebo Effect & The LSD Prank
The Egyptian Man Who Kept a Piece of Hash in His Stomach for Four Years