How Drugs Affect The Brain and Perception of Self: 15 Self Portraits by Intoxicated Artist

How Drugs Affect The Brain and Perception of Self: 15 Self Portraits by Intoxicated Artist

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Drugs, the avenue to altered states of consciousness since ancient times. Though usage of drugs for recreation became an epidemic in modern times, the ancient cultures always warned about their usage and laid clear cut guidelines for people who wants to use them. That’s the safest way!

The mechanism of action for each type of drug is different. Some induce hallucinations and some open the doors of perception into other dimensions. If the person who is taking the drugs is not trained under an adept it is easy to mess up with one’s one apparatus of perception. In other words, one might become insane over the time – can’t tell what is a hallucination and what is a heightened perception. That’s an unwanted state to be in.

Bryan Lewis Saunders’s experiences are fitting examples of what I want to say here. He wanted to have different experiences and so reached out to drugs. Since he is an artist, he depicted the changes in his perception by drawing self-portraits while under the influence of the drugs. The difference is self-explanatory. Different drugs made him perceive himself in different ways. Now be mindful that there are no good or bad drugs. Everything will have an effect on your brain and it is not always good.

On his website, he writes, “After experiencing drastic changes in my environment, I looked for other experiences that might profoundly affect my perception of self. So I devised another experiment where everyday I took a different drug or intoxicant and drew myself under the influence. Within weeks, I became lethargic and suffered mild brain damage that fortunately wasn’t irreparable. I am still conducting this experiment but over greater lapses of time and I only take drugs that are given to me.”

Now look at 15 of his drugged self portraits.

1. Abilify/Xanax/Ativan   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-0



2. 10 mg Ambien   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-1



3. Ativan/Haloperidol   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-2



4. Valium IV   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-3



5. 4 Butalbitals   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-4



6. Butane Honey Oil   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-5



7. 20mg Cyclobenzaprine   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-6



8. Hash   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-7



9. 7.5mg Hydrocodone/7.5mg Oxycodone/3mg Xanax   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-8



10. 10 mg Lortab   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-9



11. Marijuana (G13)   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-10



12. Psilocybin Mushrooms (2 caps onset)   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-11



13. 4mg Risperdol   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-12



14. Ritilin   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-13



15. Salvia Divinorum   artist-takes-drugs-and-takes-self-portraits-14



That’s cool. You might want to try that but recall what Bryan said, “his brain got damaged after taking the drugs”. Your brain is more important that that drugged experience.
Image Credits: Bryan Lewis Saunders
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