What do you do for fun? Watch movies? Head to CrossFit? Sip wine with friends? Whichever activity pushes your buttons, we're willing to bet it doesn't involve being stung by a scorpion. But that's not the case for a group of people who use scorpions as narcotics. Particularly in parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, some people are turning to scorpions to get painfully high. As host Lauren Vogelbaum explains in the accompanying BrainStuff video, there aren't any statistics on how prevalent the practice is, but narcotics experts report it's not a rarity. For a cost of 70 to 200 rupees, or $1 to $3 in U.S. currency, a dealer will place a scorpion in a person's hand and bat it with a stick until it imparts venom with its tail. Others opt to smoke the scorpion, which involves burning it alive over coals while inhaling the venomous smoke. Still others will dry a dead scorpion in sunlight, mix its remains with hashish and tobacco, and either roll it like a cigarette or place it in a small pipe. Why go to all the trouble? For starters, scorpions are a cheap high that can last anywhere from 10 hours to three days. The high is said to be so powerful that it outstrips heroin and provides a euphoric, floating feeling bolstered by the ability to remain completely alert. The downside — and it's a pretty big one — is that the person spends the first six or so hours in pain while their body adjusts to the toxins. Oh, and it's possible to experience short- and long-term memory loss, sleeping and appetite disorders, a constant state of delusions or death.
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