The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs has expressed recent concern over binaural audio doses, a new digital drugs craze that has hit YouTube and other Internet file sharing websites. Binaural beats are seemingly harmless audio sounds that are designed to induce states of relaxation or excitement. The new versions of these audio tracks actually try to mimic the effects of illicit drugs. The government fears that teens, using these free audio downloads to get high, might experience the effects as a gateway drug.
Parents have also been understandably alarmed by the titles of some of the “doses,” namely marijuana, cocaine, heroin, opium, and alcohol. Although there may be some mild, temporary mind-altering effects of the programs, there is no known addictive potential. Although these types of audio programs may be cause for some genuine parental concern about their use leading to an increased risk of curiosity about illicit drugs, I believe that the real concern is the underlying reason behind the seemingly unquenchable desire to seek altered states of consciousness.
This type of escapism serves to temporarily alienate oneself from one’s feelings. The ongoing avoidance of feelings (particularly through drugs) robs oneself of the valuable, directional information which feelings can afford. For example, most people believe that they desire more money. However, money is simply a means to an end. What people likely truly desire is not the money, but the freedom, convenience, opportunity, security, and fun that money affords. All of these desires are genuine, heartfelt emotional states.
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