We’re the generation of instant gratification. We need pleasure and stimulation now, fuck the consequences. The last time we took a ‘drugs are bad’ message seriously was when Harold the Healthy Giraffe came to our schools in year 6. Do you have any idea how a talking giraffe could deal with being stuck in a truck all day, being forced to preach the dangers of alcohol, smoking and drugs?
That’s why he was always so chipper.
Let’s be honest, you’re probably going to ignore any health messages from this article. But hey, at least you can impress your gacked friends with your incredible knowledge of dopamine levels.
With that in mind, I got in touch with an anonymous medical professional who wants to go by the incredibly awesome pseudonym of “Freddy Vista”. Freddy gave us the run down on exactly what happens inside your body during a night of 24-hour festivities.
By this stage you’ve had a few pre drinks. You’re on your way to your club or venue of choice. As soon as the unsmiling bouncer lets you through the door, the club environment immediately starts to impact on your personal biology. According to Freddy; “both loud music and lights have a general stimulatory effect on the body, activating the sympathetic nervous system and increasing heart rate and blood pressure.”
As the night continues it won’t be long until one of your friends, like a drug obsessed blood hound, seeks out the unsavoury character in the corner who’s offering all manner of chemical perversions.
With the gear sorted and preparatory sticks of gum in hand you settle in for about 20 minutes of pretending to be cool as you wait for something to happen. Meanwhile 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) is dancing its merry jig through your body until it reaches your brain. While camping out in your most vital of organs, old mate molly increases the activity of three neurotransmitters – serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. This surge of adrenaline through your body is what causes you to starting chewing your own cheek off. The overload of serotonin activates your iris sphincter (actually a thing) and iris dilator to give you the classic dilated pupils, crazy eyed look. You now look as cooked as your brain feels.
Pretty soon you’ll be grooving along to whatever top 40s mash up the resident DJ has in store for you. This is because the adrenaline released by the pills you’ve just popped also redirects blood to your muscles and effectively primes your body for action. Get ready to throw your sickest shapes because there’s almost nothing you can do to stop the need to boogie.
A few hours later you probably haven’t stopped moving, you’re drenched in sweat and you come to the realisation that this is the most exercise that you’ve done in weeks. Unfortunately, you’re probably not going to wake up the next morning with a set of rippling abs. According to Dr Freddy, “A night of intense partying likely does more harm than good in a cardiovascular sense. Stimulant use can cause put strain on the heart, while drinking is not conducive to aerobic fitness.”
As the night wears on, the combination of loud music, flashing lights, and stimulant drugs coursing through your system are enough to keep you kicking long after you would have normally fallen asleep under the DJ decks.
Sleep deprivation by loud music and light displays are literally a torture technique used by the CIA. And we do it for fun. Generally, according to Freddy, “the effects of sleep deprivation became fairly apparent after being awake for 18 hours or so.” Measurable changes include you having trouble remembering stuff, staying alert and reacting to things at a normal speed. This, combined with your decreased motor skills from the shots of tequila that somebody thought would be a good idea, basically means that you’re more likely to accidentally punch the girl you’re chatting up instead of brushing the hair from her face.
If you’re lucky, and you don’t physically assault her, the decreased inhibitions from the cocktail of stimulants and depressants coursing through your body may just make you palatable enough for some unlucky lass to consider coming home with you. Well-done champ.
As the sun begins to poke its head above the horizon, bathing you denizens of the night in its cruelly bright light, you and your new ladylove grab an Uber and triumphantly head to your future love nest.
Alas, my Casanova of the dance floor, your troubles may not be over yet. The fact that alcohol simultaneously made this rendezvous possible and made it highly unlikely that you’ll be able to finish the job is nothing short of nature’s cruellest joke. Top this off with the fact that sleep deprivation also leads to a reduced libido and you’re more likely to end the night stifling yawns as you furiously flail at your stubbornly unresponsive junk. However, according to our resident psychiatrist “ecstasy often increases affection and desire for physical contact, while simultaneously reducing inhibitions and judgment. It may also cause delayed ejaculation in men.”
That’s something that you never learnt while listening to some washed up musician sing a song about the dangers of drugs. They’re far more likely to not ruin your root.
So, the night was a success. You say your awkward goodbyes, apologise profusely to your unsatisfied conquest and go on your merry way. You’re ready to eat some greasy food and fall asleep. However, Harold the Healthy Giraffe isn’t finished with you yet… If your crazy nights out become regularity they could have some pretty nasty long-term consequences. ‘The effects of sleep deprivation can occur even with mildly reduced regular sleep which is anything less that 6 hours per night. Long term sleep deprivation causes a higher susceptibility to infections, significantly increased rates of mental illness, chronically reduced libido, diabetes and obesity.”
Moral of the story is that your body probably hates you. Its revenge is to slowly turn us all into chronically depressed, obese, diabetics who never get laid and always have a runny nose.
Well played body. Well played.