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Drugs-Forum Staff Interview with NeuroChi

By Phungushead, Feb 14, 2015 | Updated: Mar 5, 2015 | | |
  1. Phungushead


    Member since 2007
    Staff member since 2010

    This is the eighth of a series of interviews with members of the Drugs-Forum Staff.

    You can find a listing of all of them here:
    Exclusive Staff Interviews - Your Questions Answered!

    Stay tuned, new ones will be posted regularly!

    View attachment 42623 Alfa asked...

    View attachment 42637 How did you find Drugs-Forum?/How did you arrive at DF?


    I wish I remembered - it was in 2007 and at the time and likely looking for general drug information on the internet. I was using weed and mushrooms mostly at the time, but year by year from that point forward I broadened my horizons trying more flavors of drugs and looking up their effects and doses beforehand. DF was by far the best source of undiluted information and cohesive posts from people that really knew their shit.

    View attachment 42636 Phungushead asked...

    View attachment 42637 How long have you been a staff member?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    I started moderating in 2010 and took a hiatus for about 1.5 years, until last October. I had to step back from moderation (and activity at DF in general) due to the development of a drug addiction to heroin. Once resolved, I realized my interest in disseminating true drug information and developing the Drugs Wiki hadn't withered, so I messaged Alfa asking to join the staff team once again.

    View attachment 42635 Nosferatus asked...

    View attachment 42637 How exactly did you become a staff member?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    Shampoo first reached out to me, asking if I wouldn't mind helping clean up the Cannabis forums. From there, Alfa asked if I was interested in moderating the About DF forums, having spent most of my time welcoming new members, flushing out the nuances such as bugs, and offering feedback on suggestions for new functionality. At some point in time I asked about moderating the Drugs Wiki, and Alfa appointed me to that position then.

    View attachment 42635 Nosferatus and - View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 How much of your time do you generally spend on moderating duties?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    It varies a lot, some weeks I'm hardly online at all, other weeks I'm online a couple hours each day.

    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 Does becoming a Mod involve changing your DF posting style at all?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    It requires you to keep your head about the discussions taking place, realizing that your posts can have a heavier weight then others. This is particularly true in forums like About DF where members are looking for help navigating the site or their accounts.

    View attachment 42636 Phungushead asked...

    View attachment 42637 What is your favorite part about being a member of DF staff?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    The annual Christmas party at Alfa's house - he makes a killer Chai Kratom tea. If you're ever in Amsterdam during the season, make sure you drop by. You should see Phungushead's dance moves too, after he's had a few pints.

    View attachment 42636 Phungushead asked...

    View attachment 42637 What is the hardest part about being a staff member?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    Separating moderating from regular posting. I find if I'm not careful I start to half-ass both, switching between posting my own opinions and statements to reporting threads and other staff tasks. When I'm looking for info myself, I don't necessarily ignore staff duties so much as just focus on what I'm trying to find. But for the most part I've had to hybridize both positions and I find it slows me down.

    View attachment 42629 GeographyGeography asked...

    View attachment 42637 Was DF more rewarding at the beginning as you began to rise through the ranks, at the very beginning, or is it best now when you are as respected as 'true resources beyond repute'?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    When I first came to DF, I was taking a little more than I was giving in return. Now I try to give as much as I can, taking proportionally little for myself. I spend most of my time managing the slow but steady development of the Drugs Wiki, knowing that it is becoming a very valuable resource for the future. Adding valuable content to the Drugs Wiki is the best way I can give back to DF.

    View attachment 42631 Joe-(5-HTP) asked...

    View attachment 42637 How many times per day are you in danger of losing your temper?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:


    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 What are some of the funniest most embarrassing thing to happen to while you had your Mod hat on?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    Joe-(5-HTP) once had a temper tantrum, and the staff had a great laugh about it. Some of us connected via skype, sat around with each our own delectable treat (I opted for milk and cookies) and watched it unfold, in real time. I think I have a video somewhere I'll try to upload.

    View attachment 42636 Phungushead asked...

    View attachment 42637 How long do you see yourself sticking with DF, whether as staff or a regular poster?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    This time around, probably forever.

    View attachment 42633 Name goes here asked...

    View attachment 42637 What drugs do you use?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    I don't really use drugs any more, apart from Alcohol and very occasionally cannabis. I'll use armodafinil and/or caffeine if I've got a busy day or a lot of work to do. This may change in the future, but I'll have to be careful as I move forward to not slip into the realm of addictive, reactive drug use. I've found I exist on a continuum, having formerly been a drug addict I'm now far less dependent on substances in general but I'm still not completely free from delusions, and cravings. Being completely free would be akin to being enlightened in my mind. I've learned to use other strategies, practices, activities to cope with feelings or emotional states I don't enjoy, that work far more effectively and beneficially in the long run.

    View attachment 42632 LuLu81 asked...

    View attachment 42637 If you could choose only 1 drug to be legalized, what would it be?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    Cannabis aside (because it is being legalized) I think Psilocybe Mushrooms pose even less threat and have even more potential benefits. Prior to use, the individual should be properly informed as to what to expect and how to go about the trip, and also at least 18 years old.

    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    By nature, do people consider you an outgoing person or a reserved one?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    I used to be debilitated by shyness, but I've worked on it over the years and become much more outgoing. I'd say I'm more outgoing than most now, often the first to strike up a conversation. To my continuous surprise, 10 out of 10 people respond indifferently or positively - no one has responded negatively yet.

    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 What angers you, and what makes you laugh? R-E-A-L-L-Y laugh?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    Nothing angers me any more, I've learned to let things slide off of my psyche as if my brain was buttered. In fact, applying butter to the body makes one more slippery. And faster. I really like butter. Actually when I wake up and someone's put the butter in the fridge, that really pisses me off. Every try to spread cold butter on warm toast? That'll ruin my day.

    View attachment 42634 Nickelass asked...

    View attachment 42637 PC or Mac? And why?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    My first laptop is a PC, and I bought it in 2008, and I'm still using it.

    View attachment 42630 hookedonhelping asked...

    View attachment 42637 If Alfa was a Muppet, which one would he be?!

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    I know what a Muppet is (it's a puppet on that TV show right?) but I don't know them by name or appearance. Sorry.

    View attachment 42626 Beenthere2Hippie asked...

    View attachment 42637 What repetitive mistake that DF-ers make regularly irritates you the most?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    With the advent of the millennium, more and more kids are being rewarded for their effort rather than the result of their effort. Through elementary and high school, parents are often shielding and praising their perfect little snowflakes from the big bad world. This generates a sense of entitlement and an idea of perpetual innocence; that one can do no wrong. This manifests on DF as people who cannot open their mind and see that someone is trying to help, looking for a particular answer that coincidences with their beliefs rather than reading the answers provided and reconciling them with their own experience. Unfortunately these people don't stick around long enough to become better educated. This is the mistake that newbie's make.

    The mistake that long time members make is continuing to post for hours on end or otherwise when they're burned out, irritated, or both. Or being too quick to respond, without first calculating the potential result a post will make. I've made these mistakes as well. Naturally there is going to be a loss of communication over an open, internet forum, and one can only be so diligent in formulating a response. But we're ultimately dealing with real people, with real lives, and some in real pain. I know the struggle of a drug addict, and I know I could not have come out of it alone, and when someone comes looking for help, they deserve every ounce of respect we can provide.

    View attachment 42595 Dankitydankness and- View attachment 42596 -perro-salchicha614 asked...

    View attachment 42637
    Do mods get to meet Alfa in person?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    Of course, there's the preliminary résumé and cover letter but if accepted one has to go for the interview. Back in my day the cost of the flight was split 50/50 between applicant and DF, but this may have changed now because the site is more in need of funds than ever before. You get to stay over on his pullout couch though, which is just marginally less comfortable than your average 3-star hotel single bed. I think he still does the canna-cakes and poppy seed tea for breakfast too.. someone of the newer mods can attest to the honing of his cooking skills over the years.

    View attachment 42623 Alfa asked...

    View attachment 42637 How would you like to see DF developing?

    View attachment 42758 NeuroChi:

    I would like to see the Drugs Wiki continue to develop, new articles to get written and old ones improved. We're working on finalizing the details for the Reputation Bounties forum, to hopefully offer incentive to members looking to increase in rank on DF. If you're knowledgeable about any one substance, or have a keen interest in research and writing, send me a message to get involved.

    Thank you man, for your dedication and commitment to the site over the years. As well as for your friendship and kindness [noparse]:)[/noparse]

    All Interviews:


  1. Joe-(5-HTP)
    If that was the space numpty chat incident.. I assure you as always I too was thoroughly enjoying the situation. I assume that's what you're talking about because I remember Alfa mentioning that the staff was too busy laughing to deal with the situation.

    I mean.. unless the reason for your occasional leniency regarding my rule breaking depends on thinking of me as a childish egomaniac who has tantrums rather than the cold blooded sociopath that I really am.. In that case this was just a joke! lol! funny guy remember!

    mwahaha fooled them again!

    If you have a video of the chat honestly that would be awesome to read. I think we have a group we upload that sort of thing in. You could write it in there, for posterity's sake. Not that your interview won't be more popular or anything.. err.. oops. I vageuly remember I came up with some really good material in that confrontation, I'm sure it's worth sharing.

  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    I enjoyed the hell out of this interview. You were equally honest and amusing. Congratulations also on maneuvering your way back to sobriety--and to us here on DF. I for one look forward to your many successful years ahead with you as the Wiki master.

    Oh. And I'll make sure that if I ever have you to dinner that the butter is left at room temperature beforehand. Is it a deal?
  3. NeuroChi
    Oh! I didn't even remember that one. Man there have been so many, I can't remember what the one I was referencing was about. I think yo must have undergone a psychedelic crisis, because it wasn't making much sense.

    If I do find the video I'll consider uploading it, but I am still wondering, what might be in it for me?

    Thanks BT2H, and yes, that's a deal!
  4. NeuroChi
    If anyone has other questions regarding any topics I touched on above or any others that spring to mind, feel free to post and I'll address the ones I want to, and some of the ones I don't.
  5. Beenthere2Hippie
    Okay, one more related group of questions then since you have been nicer than nice: What final events, circumstance or epiphany gave you the courage needed to stop using heroin (without getting too personal)? And what was/are the most challenging aspects of staying sober day to day since?

    Lastly, in the vain, what for you makes the whole effort worth the doing and the vigilance of maintaining sobriety? Thanks ahead for answering, as I believe addicted members trying to change their lives could benefit from such insight from a mod who has been where many of them are now. Again, thanks for sharing your perspective.
  6. NeuroChi
    My sister saw that my life was getting out of control, and my health was rapidly deteriorating. I was using heroin, cocaine, and other drugs intravenously at time time, daily. I had already dropped out of school, was somehow still holding down a job, maxing out credit cards, on a very rapid downward spiral. She gave me an ultimatum: I have to tell my parents that I'm struggling, or else she will. In doing so, she saved my life.

    That initiated my path of recovery, moving home, getting clean, finding an addictions counselor, NA/AA meetings, rehab, and then slowly beginning to volunteer my time in the community, engage in the community, exercise, make new friends, start a new life in a new city.

    There were relapses that happened, first after a few weeks, then every few months, until finally I OD'd shooting up in a parked car in a lot early January 2013. Luckily it was a warm night - I lost consciousness, woke up 19 hours later (I counted afterward) extremely confused, with blurred vision, unable to hear very well or move my neck/upper body. I knew something was really wrong, so I called 911, couldn't hear what the operator was saying, and shortly passed out again.

    Probably a few minutes later I'm awake with a police officer knocking on the car door. I opened it, and with the help of the paramedics, got into the ambulance. During that time heroin was found on me, and I was later arrested at the hospital. I underwent hemodialysis every second day because my kidneys had failed, and my liver wasn't working properly, and spent 9 days there.

    It took another month for the rhabdomyolysis that set in due to the renal failure to resolve itself, and it took 2 years on the diversion program until the charges were eventually withdrawn. I still have a clean criminal record because my lawyer convinced the crown that I was getting my life in order, which indeed I was.

    Not sure if you missed it in my original interview, but I'm not 100% sober today. I'm using about 1% as many drugs as I was way back when, but I still drink occasionally, some weed rarely, and am not completely closed to enjoying psychedelics some time in the not-so-near but not-quite-distant future.

    Being honest with myself is the most difficult part of sobriety, or in my case, maintain a controlled level of drug use. When I do use drugs recreationally, I have to be very careful that I'm not doing so to cope with a feeling I don't like, be it lack of confidence, self-esteem, loneliness, sadness, frustration, or other. If I'm going to, I try to make sure its because I'm loving a social life in a social world with other people, looking to enjoy life and what it has to offer.

    I believe many drugs can be used, and not abused, if the use is a conscious action, rather than a reaction.

    If by maintaining sobriety you mean maintaining a controlled and moderated use of far less addictive drugs, then there really isn't too much effort involved. I didn't elaborate the specifics that solidified my recovery, but I found a community of people and an activity I enjoy that brings me support, encouragement, and love - these are the elements I was missing in my life that led to my drug use. Once I filled that empty feeling inside with positive energy from inspiring people, the rest was easy.

    Drug use isn't a problem, its one solution to a problem. Once I fixed the problem, I didn't need to use drugs to solve it, because they're the worst possible solution anyway.

    All that said, it's likely I will struggle with addiction again in the future. I don't think anyone is completely free of the phenomenon, I now believe that it should be classified as a spectrum disorder (see how I describe being on a continuum above), with each person falling someone on a spectrum of their liability to using drugs (or anything enjoyable) to cope with something they don't like. We all experience feelings or situations we don't like in life, that's part of how. To the degree that we react to cover up or instantly ameliorate these feelings is the degree were are dependent on that drug or behavior to get through life.

    In this model, people start out anywhere from 1 (highly unlikely to use a drug/behavior) to 10 (highly likely or currently using a drug/behavior) and certain situations or life circumstances shift them left or right on the spectrum.

    Someone might be at a 2 or 3, not very like to use a drug/behavior to cope, but if they get stressed out they get bumped up to a 4. They still might not use, but if another person starts out at a 6 or 7 and gets moved up to an 8 by a similar stressful life event, they'll use. Everyone has their own threshold, and everyone has their own coping strategies, the only differences between us is the strategies are either wholesome or unwholesome and we start out at a different point on the spectrum based on our genetic makeup and early life upbringing.

    I certainly have felt shifts along this spectrum. When I was using daily, I was at a 10. After my last relapse and getting involved in the community and practice I mentioned before, I was a 1. Today I probably sit closer to a 3, relying to a slight degree on alcohol a couple times a month when I give into the temptation to "just unwind", and also being careful with my use of wakefulness promoting agents like modafinil when I need to get work done but also not falling into a pattern of daily dependency. In short, I'm doing much better than I was when I was shooting heroin, but I'm not doing as well as I was when I was indeed 100% sober, in my initial "true" recovery. But I am quite confident that if I stay honest with myself, and continue in this way, things will not progress to worse but I'll be able to sustain the level of controlled use that works for me, in my lifestyle, today.
  7. NeuroChi
    I just realized my post makes it seem like I'm calling all humans addicts, so I must clarify. The spectrum I described means that many people exist at a 1, not likely to use drugs to cope and therefore not addicts.

    Once we begin to use drugs (synonymous with any addictive behavior) to cope, we move along the spectrum, to becoming more and more dependent. The disease of addiction develops when we reach a point where we no longer have control over our use, are compelled to continue to use, and experience withdrawal when not using (the 3 elements of addiction). This is a 10, and doesn't happen in all cases, in fact, most people probably hover between 2 and 8 for their entire lives, with the average people I know living at around a 4 or 5 (by my honest assessment of their behavior).
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