The meaning of Altered States brings to mind a drug familiarization lecture I once attended, presented by a DEA Agent. To gauge our beginning level of knowledge, he asked a few questions of the group. One was, “What is a narcotic?” Several answers were shouted out, all met with a short explanation of why they were wrong. The best was by one who opined that a narcotic was something that “altered one’s level of consciousness”. The answer here was, “No. I can do that with a Louisville Slugger!” (a baseball bat for the unfamiliar).
As a pre-teenager I saw an article in Life magazine on Heroin addicts in New York City. A quote in that article has always affected any desire to engage in drug experimentation. Under a photo of a woman, severely decimated by her self-admitted drug use was her admonishment that, “Heroin is so good don’t try it, even once.” I was, from then on, wary of trying any of those drugs that so famously are associated with the 1960’s. Including even the softer drugs like Marijuana which I may or may not tried and if I did I may or may not have inhaled!
By the time drugs were becoming common place I was married and busy with other things. I was aware of, and you might say exposed to, the drug culture via a few friends and relatives some of whom were able to handle it and others whose indulgence ruined their lives, in a couple cases even ending them. For that I am both happy and thankful I avoided any of those troubles whether by choice or mere happenstance.
Thankfully, I never read any such warning relating to alcohol usage. So, whenever I need to change my attitude or otherwise alter my current state it is wine time! And that, thankfully, can be at anytime because, as they say, it is 4:00 p.m. somewhere!
Sounds like there were always more cautions than incentives around drug use for you. Not necessarily a bad thing. Although you have left us wondering with your laugh-out-loud line about whether you did or did not try marijuana and whether you did or did not inhale! Thanks for sharing this.