Updated: Mar 13

“When one man said, then, that reason was present—as in animals, so throughout nature—as the cause of order and of all arrangement, he seemed like a sober man in contrast with the random talk of his predecessors.”

-Aristotle, Metaphysics (c. 360 BC)

"By interacting with neural mechanisms regulating metabolic activity and heat exchange between the brain and the rest of the body, neuroactive drugs either increase or decrease brain temperatures both within (35-39°C) and exceeding the range of physiological fluctuations."

-Kiyatkin (2012)

Drugs altering brain temperature to the upside is probably why we describe them and the experience of them as hot, fluid, disorderly, bright, red, fast, high-pitched, elevated, spiky, expansive and outward as in “California sunshine,” “sloshed,” “juiced,” “wavey,” “idiocy oil,” “plastered,” “following the cloud,” “jet fuel,” “liquid X,” “acid,” “stewed,” “it’s all a blur,” “drunk as a boiled owl,” “blow,” “spun out,” “crack,” “crackhead,” “crackhouse,” “get tossed,” “get tipsy,” “the spins,” “ripped,” “wasted,” “smashed,” “trashed,” “bombed,” “get lit,” “lit up,” “reds,” “speed,” “run drugs,” “buzzed,” “screeching drunk,” “wet your whistle” (fluid—high-pitch—drug use), “drunk as a fiddler” (high-pitch—drug use), “drunk as a piper” (high-pitch—drug use), “upper,” “high,” “high as a kite,” “spiked,” “hair of the dog,” “out of it,” “spun out,” “tripping out” and “in orbit.” We also relate length and drug use, as in “strung out.”

Marijuana use descriptions are often an exception, making reference to “pot” (in), and being “stoned” (solid). Some drugs probably tend to cool the brain and others tend to heat it up. Downers might cool it down, making it more orderly and static on small scales and uppers might heat it up, making it more disorderly and dynamic. Antidepressants might heat it up and depressants might cool it down. It seems likely that sleep medications and anesthetics tend to cool the brain.

The physical state of life

Works cited

Kiyatkin, Eugene A. “The Hidden Side of Drug Action: Brain Temperature Changes Induced by Neuroactive Drugs.” Psychopharmacology, vol. 225, no. 4, 2012, pp. 765–780., doi:10.1007/s00213-012-2957-9.

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