A Columbia University professor of psychology and neuroscience says he snorts heroin not only as a subject of study – but to feel ‘refreshed’ and ‘prepared to face another day’.
Dr Carl Hart, 54, studies the effects of recreational psychoactive drugs on humans and claims it’s not addictive after one or a couple of hits.
The married father-of-three details his drug use in his new book ‘Drug Use for Grown-ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear’.
In his book, he says the use of heroin can be “as rational as my alcohol use”.
“Like vacation, sex and the arts, heroin is one of the tools that I use to maintain my work-life balance.”
The professor first tried heroin six of seven years ago with a friend.
After doing that “short, thin line,” he said he felt a “dreamy light sedation, free of stress”.
He says he has snorted small amounts of heroin for as many as 10 days in a row and enjoys it even when he experiences mild withdrawal symptoms 12 to 16 hours after the last dose.
Dr Hart believes many fears surrounding drug use is a direct result of racism.
“When we think about cocaine, for example, we banned it for irrational reasons, for reasons of American racism,” he told GQ in an interview.
“Same thing with opioids. We paired these drugs with the behaviour we didn’t like, and that behaviour that we exaggerated, like crime, like black men being with white women.
“We don’t think of these drugs in rational terms. We think of these particular drugs as producing unique effects and it’s just not true.
“What I’m trying to do is to have a conversation, or to get people to think about the drugs from a rational, reasonable perspective. Like, cocaine does not produce superhuman strength, heroin does not cause you to be addicted after one or even a couple of hits. And it doesn’t take over your life.”
The psychology professor also admitted he has taken other drugs, including meth and MDMA.
He describes taking MDMA as an “intense feeling of pleasure, gratitude and energy”.
“When I’m rolling, I just want to breathe deeply and enjoy it. The simple act of breathing can be extremely pleasurable.”
Dr Hart even found pleasure in taking a dangerous drug known as bath salts, a synthetic cathinone often sold as MDMA because it looks similar.
In his analysis, he described it as “unequivocally wonderful”.
Bath salts, or cathinones, are typically more potent than MDMA. According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, cathinones have the same euphoric onset as MDMA, but the effects wear off far more rapidly.
As a result, people will often take another dose which is when they get into trouble. The stimulant can lead to anxiety, paranoia, gastric distress, seizures or respiratory failure.