Illustration for article titled Getting stoned on cobra bites is totally not advisable

Well, McGruff the Crime Dog never warned you about this. Two bizarre case studies involving men with herpetological substance abuse problems come to us from an outpatient facility in Ranchi, India. The first is about a one Mr. PKD, who recruited snake charmers to get his unusual fix:

[The] patient learned of the intoxicating effects of snake venom through some of his friends and, as reasoned by the patient, he decided to try it in order "to experience the kick the other substances now lacked." With the help of the nomadic snake charmers common in India, the patient subjected himself twice to the snake bite over his left forearm over a period of 15 days. There was no local tissue injury at the site of the bite apart from the bite marks. The patient described a feeling of dizziness and blurred vision followed by a heightened arousal and sense of well-being lasting a few hours; a more intense state of arousal than he would experience with pentazocine injections. The patient was not able to identify the snakes used but was apprehensive about the risks involved in the process.


The second fellow, a Mr. SKG, turned to cobra nips for his anti-drug:

A month prior to contacting our center, the patient learned of the use of snake bite as a means of getting high. Presenting to a location in an urban slum where this service was readily available, he subjected himself to being bitten once on his left foot by a small Indian cobra (Naja naja). The patient described the experience as a blackout associated with a sense of well-being, lethargy, and sleepiness. He slept overnight at the same place and awoke the next morning without any residual effect.


Please, please don't get loaded on cobra venom, unless you happen to be the kind of derring-doer who considers mako shark bites an advanced form of shiatsu. You can read the full report [Katshu, Mohammad Zia Ul Haq , Dubey, Indu , Khess, C. R. J. and Sarkhel, Sujit (2011) 'Snake Bite as a Novel Form of Substance Abuse: Personality Profiles and Cultural Perspectives', Substance Abuse, 32:1, 43 - 46] here.

[Spotted on Mind Hacks; image via Lost Shore]

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