Providing straightforward information pertaining to drugs, drug use & drug policy. The Grey Pages promotes drug-related literacy and advocates a system of viable and tolerant drug policies. This is my personal collection of commentaries, essays, tid-bits, and other such writings on everything ranging from drug use, drug policy and drug-myths, to drug-science, addiction, human behavior, and the workings of the human brain. I started this blog with a particular focus on opioids, and over the past year have found my interest gravitate toward the intriguing, ever-changing world of designer intoxicants (i.e. "research chemicals" or "designer drugs").

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Articulating The Experience

This is a revision of the earlier entry: "The Experience; A Taste For The Unfamiliar"

Subjective effect refers to the drug effects which are consciously felt and perceived by the user. Mu opioidergic drugs all produce a similar set of subjective effects, first and foremost being a state of analgesia, contentment, and euphoria. Other more pronounced effects include a physical sense of warmth, itching, slight facial flushing, slowed or shallow breathing, muscle relaxation, pyrexia (increased body temp) and increased energy or sedation. Most unpleasant or undesired effects such as constipation and miosis are not considered "subjective" effects, but are usually considered side effects. The extent to which euphoria and other subjective effects occur will vary between opioids, and everyone has their own personal preference as to which effects are most significant to them.

Below is a series of first hand accounts of various narcotics, from various narcotic users. I have taken most accounts from internet sources such as Opiophile, Blulight, and Erowid.org.

Heroin Experience

A surge of almost tickle-like pleasure starts in the abdomen or midsection, which spreads outward, becoming a strong tingling warmth felt engulfing the periphery - all accompanied by a profound sense of joy, happiness, contentment of the mind. This initial wave of pleasure known as the "rush", and lingers for five or so minutes at most - followed by one or more hours of a euphoric dreamlike state of contentment and relaxation, which may progress into intermittent vivd waking dreams and nodding in and out of a pseudo-somnolent state - This period which follows the rush is collectively known as the high or glow. The duration of this phase depends on which particular opioid is used, but generally lasts 1 to 3 hours. (Heroin)

As I was undoing the tourniquet I felt a cold tension in my throat which gave me the urge to cough. At about the same time I felt a pleasurable warm tension in the back of my neck that took the urge to cough away. About a second later the dope reached my brain and my eyes closed on their own accord. Like a bomb going off inside my head a feeling of pure ecstasy more pleasurable than anything I had ever felt, orgasm included, spread from my head and down my spine, into my torso and down through my legs. I put my head down and rested it on my knees. Sitting on the toilet in my mother's bathroom I felt my first rush and only then did I truly realize that I really was missing out by only snorting dope. (first time injecting - baltimore heroin)

The rush was clean, powerful, and lasted a long time. The kind of rush that knocks the wind out of one's lungs and takes effect so quickly they will have a needle in their arm for hours before they're conscious enough to remove it. (Quality Heroin)

Once I register (I know when the blood rushes into the syringe), I carefully push the dope in and then...ahh.relief....My eyes don't roll back in my head, I don't pass out or lie down like they show in all the movies; in fact, I look completely normal, even as I’m reaching the peak of my high. No one would know if I didn't want to let them know. The rush, when I have enough stuff at once, is still fantastic after all these years, though. A surge of heat through my body followed by intense tingling - sometimes semi painful tingling that lets me know it's good stuff. My problems go away and any pain I may have been experiencing is immediately gone. But I don't have some dramatic nod-out or pass out - that's one of the biggest myths. (NYC Heroin)

Morphine Experience

Approximately 10 minutes post consumption euphoria began to engulf the upper half of my lungs and abdomen. There was a dry and itchy feeling which disappeared when I focused on the warm sensations induced by the caps. Anyone who has experienced the pleasuring grip of strong opioids. I realized the resulting disassociation from ordinary experiences which can cloud pain and suffering; both mental and physical.

The glow and relaxation derived from this dribble of opiate bliss is dwarfed by the physical impact. Six hours of nirvana later it seems finally over. Emotions and sensation are intensified for several hours before evaporating into compassion and pseudo-satisfaction. Opiates are deceiving and dangerous but worth the time if consumed in an intelligent manner. (User report of a homemade morphine product)

Buprenorphine Experience

"I felt a mild tingly feeling, but nothing like the rush of shooting heroin or oxyontin....15 minutes later I had the most glorious mild opiate high I had ever experienced. Not only was that pleasing but I felt all the anxiety and depression of my work and life stresses lifted. I didn't feel the powerful nod, or extreme euphoria of heroin or morphine. Instead, this high was honest and pleasent lasting for hours." (Source: Erowid Buprenorphine Vault: Drug User)

"...it has a unique anti-depressive effect that I love. This drug is more refined than other opiates. Essentially, a kinder gentler opiate. My entire body was ache free, great for the days after tough workouts. My eyes were pinned, and my face very relaxed, almost looking goofy." (Buprenorphine User)

" It usually starts to creep up on me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half later. But when it does, the feeling is similar to all the other opiates (i.e. Feeling a great weight being lifted off my shoulders, relaxation, warmness/tingling, pain relief, disassociation). The only difference coming up I've noticed is that there isn't as much of a rush as the others, just much longer lasting. Also it can give me sort of a 'speedy' feeling, a need to get something accomplished.. " (Buprenorphine User)

"'This is great' I thought. An hour later I was full-on dope high. Like a shot of junk. I have a very high tolerance for opiates and never nod-off but with this stuff I swear if I had given in to the substance I could have nodded off at any time. " (Buprenorphine User)

"went home as quick as I could and slid a pill under my tongue. Within 40 minutes my withdraw symptoms were completely gone and I was in such a great mood! I had so much energy BUT this sure did and does feel like being high on a nice dose of vicodin." (Buprenorphine User)

Fentanyl Experience

After about 6 hours' time, I was in full Fentanyl bliss, and itching like hell to boot. My body had grown numb, and I could think of nothing but a feeling of being tremendously Okay, more Okay than I'd ever felt in my entire life. It begs the question why the feeling a drug gives could be the most pleasant I've ever felt in my life, particularly having had so far a rather nice experience in life. (Transdermal Fentanyl)

I don't notice its effects until after a long while, which begin quite subtly and eventually take me over. Long after I take the patch off, the drug remains, still distributing itself into my blood. Even if I take it off four hours before I go to sleep, I might not be able to get any rest, and I'll probably be high the day after. (Transdermal Fentanyl)

Hydromorphone Experience

"Looking back, the time after that first rush is alot like a heroin high, doped up feeling, slowed breathing/heart rate, contracted pupils, feeling 'itchy' all over, and generally feeling no pain, cares, or worries at all. But that RUSH, I get a pretty good rush from a nice shot of heroin, but nothing but an overdose shot could give me anything even close to this. I also remember that temperature stopped bothering me, so I sat out on the porch to smoke a cigarette and enjoy the night time... with no shirt on, in the winter. But I didn't care, hell I was flying." (IV Hydromorphone User)

"I could already feel the overwhelming "rush" (as I now learned) half way threw the shot, I pushed her home....WOW. I had to take a few deep breaths and relax, it was so intense, never felt like this before. Now even though the rush is gone, got a nice high, and I am enjoying it more then oxycodone." (IV Hydromorphone User)

"..I register dark red and push down the plunger. Just 15 seconds afterwards, I can feel something starting in my chest. At first you're not sure exactly what the feeling is, but you damn sure know SOMETHING is coming. The only way I can describe the feeling is that all your muscles tighten quickly and then immediately become completely relaxed. The feeling starts in your chest and moves throughout your whole body in a matter of seconds. The rush lasts about a minute and can only be described as heaven on earth.. I am left with a warm feeling throughout my body and a euphoria that comes in waves, especially when closing and opening the eyes (nodding). The high is similar to oxycodone, but is not nearly as sedating and hydromorphone is more euphoric in my opinion." (IV Hydromorphone User)

"I began to feel this rush, this sensation traveling all throughout my body. I welcomed this warm, pleasant sensation to reach every part of my body, relieving all tension, pain, and stress that were present beforehand. I was very pleased with this dosage, and I had wanted to voice it, however I was in just too much bliss to do so. I constantly thought to myself during this that I was peaking, only to be submerged even deeper into the opiate ocean." (Intranasal Hydromorphone User)

"Not but 3 seconds later did I get the most intense rush that took my whole body by storm. Initially, it's like every muscle in my body contracted, starting with my throat and quickly spreading to the rest of me, and then released and became completely relaxed. The 'rush' I call this lasts only 5-10 seconds or so but I find it to be the single most pleasurable drug effect I've ever felt. After the initial rush, a warm wave of pleasure took over my whole being; the day's aches and worries gone in a flash." (IV Hydromorphone User)

Oxymorphone Experience

"It took about 1 hour for the effects to truly peak, and were 5 hours of complete bliss. It was much stronger than any white heroin I've had and much more deep. I paced around the room nervously it became overwhelming at times, occasionally waking my friend who went in and out of the land of nod, most likely because of the booze. I soon became very relaxed and my body was in pure exctasy, warm and fuzzy with a feeling I like to call 'Comfortably Numb', meaning in a perfect state of tranquillity." (Intranasal Oxymorphone User)

"Although Opana is similiar to the typical opiate high, it is very different. It does not cause the drowsiness, or cloud the mind as much. It is just a pure sense of euphoria. But when doing too much, it caused me to get moody, sometimes somewhat angry, but not extremely aggressive to where I wanted to fight. When doing Opana at a typical dose, the initial onset comes with a relaxing, warmth coming over the body and mind that makes me just want to lay back and go 'ahhh'. Then the lasting high is just a pure sense of happiness, euphoria, a sense of floating, a huge boost of self confidence, loss of inhibitions, and just an overall sense that everything in the world is good. " (Intranasal Oxymorphone User)

"..It made me feel very calm and happy, and like anything that could happen would be fine with me... It was almost impossible to get any sleep, I kept waking up. But while I was awake I did feel a constant euphoria, which I did enjoy. And my back pains completely went away. I almost felt like my spine was liquid, which is an amazing feeling to anyone with back pains. I still felt like I would be capable to do any normal activity, and I still felt like I could function. " (Oral Oxymorphone User)

"It took about 20 min to hit me due to the fact that this specific pill gels up to prevent injection. It dripped down in one solid clump and hit me hard. It felt like I had done 60 mg of oxycontin. it was a particularly warm evening and I was uncontrollably sweating and pale as a ghost, but felt great." (Intranasal Oxymorphone User)

"When IV’ed the rush is more of a warm, beautiful specter overpowering me from behind and before the needle is empty she has wrapped me in love, peace, and, happiness, but by the time I catch my breath (literally) she is gone to leave me wanting… Bitch" (IV Oxymorphone User)

"But for some reason the high I get from oxymorphone is a little different from oxycontin. The high feels more 'clean'. There was no nausea, nodding off, zoning out, or any other negative side affects I get with oxycontin. The only negative side affect I really got from doing oxymorphone was I was incredibaly itchy. Seriously the itchyness I get from oxymorphone was 5 times worse than I get with any other opiate. But it felt so good to itch my arms, legs, my head and my back." (Intranasal Oxymorphone User)

"The high is much more euphoric than any other opiates I've done. The come up is very intense and within 10 minutes of snorting it I begin peaking. There is a rushing sensation in the back of my head and I enjoy and appreciate everything and everyone around me. I have trouble doing anything but sitting motionless with my eyes closed. This is how I usually enjoy my high as the more relaxed I become the more I feel the drug sweeping me away. The euphoria is comparable to sex at high doses although that euphoria quickly drops once you start moving. " (Intranasal Oxymorphone User)

"So I found myself in my bathroom after working up the whole 10 mg pill in an 80cc shot and BANG I felt a rush similar to dilaudid only more intense. The only way to describe it is a warm, bone crushing, and euphoric feeling. I instantly fell in love with the semisynthetic opioid. I quickly found myself needing to fix every six to eight hours and in that respect is very similar to heroin." (IV Oxymorphone User)

Hydrocodone Experience

"I immediately took two tablets (see dosage above) and within 45 minutes I experienced complete relief from my depression. I felt a mild euphoria, and, even more powerfully, relief that the horrible pain was gone – totally! Suddenly the desire to die to end the pain was gone. I could live after all! The “dead” or missing part of my soul felt returned in full and I was able to feel positive emotion that totally evades me in my day-to-day life." (Hydrocodone User)

Other Opioid Experience

Now I am peaked, there is feelings of itchiness on my scalp, euphoria, mild drowsiness, increased sweating on the forehead , again the calm and warmth sensations have increased. The effects are similar to codeine, but the initial dizziness that I get when taking codeine is virtually absent. All stresses of the day seem to diminish. (Dextropropoxyphene 160mg)

Upon injection, I felt a nice wave of euphoria, similar to heroin, but much milder. There was no nausea or dizziness, just a nice, comfortable feeling. After the initial rush, I threw on some music and laid on the couch. I felt very relaxed and cozy. Everything felt A-OK. I felt wrapped in a warm opiate blanket. This feeling lasted for a few hours. (Dextropropoxyphene - Intravenous Injection)

Some time ago, I documented some of my own experiences from earlier in my use:


The first time I ever experienced injected oxycodone, I was expecting significantly different effects from those of the morphine class with which I have prior experience injecting. However, any subjective differences, to me were unapparent, and if they were present, were extremely subtle. Upon entering my veins, the rush kicks in like clockwork at 8 to 10 seconds (about the time I have the tourniquet fully untied from my arm) at which point I usually either gently fall to my knees, or fall back in whatever chair I'm in. An 80 mg shot packs quite the rush. The warmth rapidly begins at the base of the spine and spreads throughout every inch of my body. I feel a slight pressure in both my face, as well as the gut (high concentrations of peripheral mu receptors are located within the intestinal walls) The rush gradually evolves, and the opiate state engulfs me as if it were a warm blanket, or bubble. All my fears, worries, and pain no longer bother me, and may seem irrelevant; I have complete confidence in myself to work out everything of significance, and take on an optimistic view of the world. My judgement and thought process is NOT impaired; Unlike the effects of alcohol, I am at the top of my game. My thoughts are coherent and realistic, only my primarily negative view of life in general has become extremely positive. Empathizing with others comes easy, and my naturally compassionate nature becomes even more so. This euphoric state lasts me 3 to 4 hours, and gradually recedes, sometimes unnoticeably.

Take morphine or oxycodone and multiply it by 2 or 3 in initial intensity (assuming it's good dope). The rush punches extra hard and is essentially similar to plain morphine, as they ARE the same drug once having crossed the blood brain barrier.. Once the plunger is all the way down, I take the needle out and untie the tourniquet, which takes me a few seconds; by the time that tourniquet is off my arm, or sometimes a few seconds after, the junk hits me like a train. The warmth as well as the flushing and histamine release; all intense, more so than morphine or oxy. Heroin's strength in particular gives me a GREAT pressure in the head and eyes (as well as the typical gut warmth/pressure). If it's good dope, it commonly makes my eyes slightly lose focus, at least my peripheral view. This is about the time I look in the mirror and realize my pupils are nearly non existent; literally like pinpoints - For those who don't know, that's a GOOD thing. It means your central nervous system (brain and spinal region) are basking in morphine and 6-MAM molecules. In other words, the dope did it's job ;) I believe I've pretty much described the rush. Like always, the rush develops into a euphoric state of well being. The effect of heroin in particular is often considered more euphoric than morphine to a degree; and I must agree with that; heroin has a unique metabolite of it's own that is believed to bind to a sub set of mu receptor which may explain it's unique euphoric effect. If the shot was big enough, I may start to nod out 2 to 3 hours in; though this is completely optional, I COULD just go out and do something, watch television, read, depending what I want. I still have my clear head.


SOLID opioid all around. 10 out of 10 (for IV use) . This drug was designed particularly for injected use. Where heroin is a warm wave washing over me, hydromorphone is an intensely warm punch in the gut and radiating outwards throughout the body, and cleansing the soul of every feeling of distress and pain. 8 to 10 second onset as usual, and it literally hits me with a fucking BANG; starting with intense stomach warmth and progressing to engulf the rest of me with a warmth and flushing. The rush is strong enough that the respiratory depressant effect becomes apparent; I feel a pressure in the chest and breathing becomes slightly shallow and labored, but only slightly. Not to the point of discomfort or unease. This effect could however, catch a naiive user off guard or very well present danger. Therefore, hydromorphone is not a narcotic for the inexperienced. There is little itching (histamine release) compared with morphine and heroin. Eyelids feel a slight pressure as well as the cheeks; pupils go pin-point instantly after the injection; and if the shot was administered while in withdrawal, I am restored to a well-state within half of a minute. The blissful state following the rush is not as sleep inducing as heroin, yet not as stimulating (speedy) as oxycodone. Best way to describe it to the inexperienced: Imagine the effect you feel from Vicodin, multiply it by 4, with an INSTANT onset and much more punch. Hydromorphone is one of the less commonly encountered opioids and is PRIZED by junkies for it's amazing rush. Hydromorphone is more euphoric than morphine, and at least AS euphoric as heroin, in my opinion; BUT The short half life makes for a very short duration of action, as the state of well being recedes within 2 to 3 hours; or less depending on individual metabolism.
The 'Rush' in particular is highly sought out by addicts, and the perpetual chase is a major factor in the demise of some of the worlds greatest junkies.

A rush is essentially produced when mu receptors go from a state of vacant non activity, to a state of full activation VIA binding of {insert opioid}. The quicker that change takes place, the greater the rush. The principle behind intravenous use is the fact it is the one of the quickest and THE mosteffective route to the brain. Injection of morphine takes 8 to 10 seconds for full effect, whereas consuming morphine orally takes 15 to 30 minutes for the effects to even BEGIN, not to mention an hour or more to reach peak plasma levels. Therefore, the rapid brain penetration that Injecting offers gives the rush.

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