In English, the word 'drug' means medicine. A drug is defined as any substance that makes a change in the physiology or psychology of an organism, when ingested. The term 'drug' is therefore very broad, although in Dutch it usually evokes the connotation of illegal substances, narcotics or otherwise.
Natural psychoactive substances are everywhere
Nevertheless, it is safe to say that the majority of the Dutch population uses 'drugs' on a daily basis. A cup of coffee contains the substance caffeine and, although natural and legal, brings change to our physiology by giving us more energy and better focus, for example.
Psychoactive drugs are used to alter our state of consciousness and have been used this way for thousands of years. Consider cannabis, the oldest cultivated crop on earth, which is deeply intertwined with religion and culture in Asia and elsewhere.
Sirius only sells natural smart drugs
At Sirius, you can go for natural psychoactive substances, from herbs to Magic Truffles and Magic Mushrooms. You can also go here for everything you need to grow your own weed. That way you are even closer to the natural source.
Sirius also has a whole range of capsules with plant extracts, vitamins and amino acids. The effects of these capsules cannot be compared to the intensity of many synthetic drugs, but for many (ex) drug users they are a grateful alternative at parties and at home. No unwanted side effects like serotonin deficiency, overheating, coma or even death.
By working on harm reduction (through testing and open debate) and informing people, young and old, about drugs, we hope to create a world in which people are increasingly aware of the effects and possible dangers of (synthetic) drugs, without this being a taboo. And to offer natural alternatives for users who like to experiment.
The popularity of synthetic drugs in the Netherlands
The chance that you have had (indirect) contact with a synthetic drug in your life is very high. If you live in the Netherlands you are pretty much at the source of synthetic drug production. For many years the Netherlands has been considered one of the largest producers of illegal synthetic drugs, including Ecstasy and speed. Nowadays, the enforcement is getting stricter and numerous drug labs are cleared, with huge amounts of drugs and arresting people. However, the big drug lords generally remain invisible. The dirty work is done by others, with large amounts of chemical waste being dumped into nature.
The manufactured drugs find their way through the illegal circuit to the rest of the world. Huge sums of money are made from this.
Drug testing in the Netherlands for harm reduction
In the Netherlands there are special testing facilities where you can have your drugs tested for impurities. This way, users are informed about the possible harmful additives to their impure drugs. This is very often the case. By now, there are plenty of stories where users unknowingly took a totally different drug, with all the consequences.
Drug testing also creates a clearer picture of the tainted drug circuit. In 2019, an average of 71% of cocaine samples consisted of cocaine. The rest were other additives, often certain drugs such as levamisol. This was a drug once used against cancer and has not been used since 2004, except still as a worming agent in animals.
A simple way to find out quickly and cheaply if your drugs are safe is to test them with the special EZ-Test kits, for sale at Sirius. This way you can test MDMA, Ecstasy pills, cocaine and THC.
Do you ever use synthetic drugs?
Synthetic drugs are popular in the Netherlands, but also in the rest of the world. At many a party or festival you will come across people who are under the influence of one or the other. In this case alcohol is not mentioned, although it is the most commonly used drug in nightlife. The fact that it is a legal substance does not make it any less harmful to health than other (illegal) substances, but this aside.
Many of these drugs were originally developed by science as medicines, meant to treat certain diseases or as painkillers. Some of these synthetic drugs have been around for some time.
The history of cocaine
For example, cocaine has been around since 1859! The drug that is so popular in nightlife today was completely legal at the time and was used to help people with a morphine addiction. Cocaine was also used as a local anesthetic, for example in dental surgery. Later cocaine was a popular 'medicine' among writers, artists and thinkers including the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.
Later cocaine was added as an ingredient to the well-known soft drink Coca Cola (hence the name).
There are several ways in which cocaine is used. It all starts with the coca plant (Erythroxylon coca), which grows in parts of South America. Most of the cocaine export is from Columbia. The coca leaves go through a process of extracting the active ingredients. This is done with kerosene (aviation gasoline), a dangerous and damaging process for nature. The pure, white powder (salt) is then obtained, which can be snorted or further processed into base coke. This is the smokable variant of cocaine and is also known as crack.
XTC: the party drug
A drug that is very popular in young people's explorations is 'ecstasy'. According to various sources, ecstasy (commonly known as XTC, Molly, M, or X) is one of the most popular drugs in the Netherlands. The active ingredient of the ecstasy pill is the synthetic drug MDMA (3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Alongside cannabis and, of course, alcohol, ecstasy has a permanent place in nightlife.
Ecstasy is a pill whose main ingredient is MDMA. This substance belongs to the amphetamines family, which also includes cocaine and speed. However, MDMA behaves differently from 'normal' amphetamines. The effects of ecstasy include a warm, energetic and infatuated feeling. There is also a greater need to communicate with others and certain boundaries fall away, making contact easier. It is possible to dance for hours to music, in a state of intoxication or trance.
Ketamine (Ket, Keta)
Another drug that is gaining popularity is ketamine. The drug is known as anesthesia or 'horse anesthetic'. Nowadays, ketamine is coming into focus not only as a nightlife drug, but also as a new antidepressant. Studies show that the short-term effects of ketamine can help people with severe depression. Meanwhile, legal 'ketamine clinics' exist, treating people for suicide attempts, OCD and depression.
Ketamine is also well known in nightlife. Some common names are ket or keta. At low doses ketamine acts as a sedative, at higher doses the effects are described as dissociative, with the central nervous system almost completely separated from the body. The advantage of this in surgery is that the patient is unaware of the painful procedure he or she is undergoing. Among recreational users, the search is on for the right dosage, where one enters the so-called K-hole: this state is often described as very pleasant, where hallucinations occur and the body is numb. A very high dose will cause the user to fall into a coma and this can obviously have very dangerous consequences, especially when ketamine is combined with other drugs.
Psychedelic drugs such as LSD
Magic mushrooms give a psychedelic trip, which is obtained naturally: you eat a mushroom, without the intervention of a chemical transformation in a laboratory. This 'gift from Mother Nature' has been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years. Meanwhile, many clinical studies are taking place that research the therapeutic effects of these psychedelic substances.
LSD is a synthetic drug, with its natural source being ergot, a fungus that grows on grain and was already known in its natural form in the Middle Ages. In the 1950s, LSD was synthesized by Albert Hofmann and since then the substance has come a long way and caused major changes within society. The War On Drugs and its associated hippie movement are making a deep impact on our society today.
What are designer drugs?
Designer drugs are 'new' synthetic drugs that are (initially) marketed legally. They usually imitate illegal drugs such as MDMA. For young people, designer drugs are generally relatively easy to obtain; they are sold online as research chemicals, substances intended for research in laboratories. However, these 'studies' are often done in bedrooms, by young drug users.
An example of such a designer drug is 3-MMC. 3-MMC works very similarly to the neurotransmitter dopamine, causing a strong feeling of well-being. The drug made a big fuss in the media because of its strong effects and high risk of dangerous use.
Discover what Mother Nature has to offer
We started our smartshop formula in 1995 to offer legal, safe and natural alternatives to dangerous illegal synthetic drugs, accompanied by as much expert product information, safe usage advice and education as possible; all in the means of enabling safe experimentation and above all harm reduction.
We are therefore happy to advise you on 100% natural alternatives to designer drugs, which you can enjoy safely without the dangerous side-effects. In many cases these natural highs even contribute to your health.
We are confident that you have come to the right place for safe products that make your life a bit more fun.
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