Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Visine for Cocaine Users
If you're unfamiliar with the legend of Visine, it goes something like this:
Initially designed by Johnson and Johnson to relieve ocular discomfort for seasonal allergy sufferers, the makers of Visine quickly realized they had unexpectedly tapped into a lucrative fringe market - marijuana smokers. Students all over the world were getting hip to the fact that a couple of drops after a spliff helped to eliminate red eye, thereby allowing them to occupy classrooms while stoned without any of the crippling paranoia that would normally harsh their mellow. This feat of stealth was crucial for the day time marijuana enthusiast and pretty soon any hippie worth his dreads was carrying a pocket sized bottle of Visine along with his stash at all times.
Instead of rejecting this unexpected consumer base for pious reasons, Johnson and Johnson embraced the free market captialist ethos and decided to roll with their good fortune, coining the not so subtle between-the-lines slogan "It gets the red out!". To this day they have never publicly admitted that they're selling a product that caters to the lifestyle choices of recreational drug users, but that's basically what they've been doing for decades behind a wink and a nudge marketing campaign.
Fast forward to today and there's a new product that has unintentionally been gaining in popularity amongst recreational drug enthusiasts, this time cocaine users. The Neil-Med sinus rinse was designed to do exactly what its name implies - rinse out your sinuses. Its inventors most likely envisioned it being used by allergy sufferers with chronic sinus congestion or people wanting to fight sinus infections, but lately an underground market has emerged consisting of people wanting to wash out unwanted coke residue lingering in their sinuses after a hard night of lining it up at the club.
While this is still a nascent phenomenon in club and drug culture it's quite possible that the Neil-Med sinus rinse might become to coke users what Visine is to pot heads. To get a better idea of why this is happening and where it's headed I spoke to a friend of mine who swears by the sinus rinse to ask why he views it as an essential piece of kit for a hard night out at the club
Platform: So let's start at the beginning - why bother washing out your sinuses at the end of the night? What's in it for you?
Craig (not his real name): Well it's not going to make you less high, or mask your high or anything like that. It's mostly for the next day and to get a good nights sleep. Washing out your sinuses after a night of binging helps clean out any residue you might have sitting in your sinuses that will cause discomfort to your nasal membranes, irritation and stuff like that. You feel a lot less stepped on the next day after using the sinus rinse; or at least that's been my experience. Before I used to wake up sometimes and there would be blood on my pillow or I'd blow my nose and it would be all blood. Now I wake up and I feel less congested in my head and there's less nasal discomfort and never any blood.
PF: Isn't it a pain in the ass to go through the process of rinsing your sinuses at the end of the night?
Cr: Not really. It takes maybe five minutes of your time. Cost to benefit it's totally worth it.
PF: Don't you think it's kind of hypocritical that you'd be out doing coke and then worrying about preserving your health at the end of the night? Aren't drugs supposed to be about getting fucking trashed and not caring about what happens to you?
Cr: Yeah totally if you're Pete Doherty. But he's gonna be dead in 10 years anyway. I for one give a fuck about living a productive second half of my life. People like to have this idea of what someone who uses coke is like because it suits the black and white stereotypes we perpetuate in society. I'd like to believe that the majority of drug users aren't these 'live fast and die young' caricatures that you see in movies and media, cause that'd be really sad. I'm not getting high on the weekend cause my uncle tried to fuck me when I was a kid and I'm trying to escape some kind of pain. I'm just having a good time, taking it for what it's worth and when it's not working for me anymore I'll stop like you did*. I'm definitely not excessive about it and if I can minimize the damage or discomfort I'm causing myself then why not?
(*Author's note: I used to work in nightclubs between the years of 2001-2004 and I was doing coke off and on at that time. After having a few bad experiences toward the end of that period I decided to give it up and haven't touched it since. Today if I'm gonna roll it's either MDMA or mushrooms and nothing else)
PF: Is there any science to back up the fact that you believe rinsing out your sinuses after partying is beneficial?
Cr: None that I'm aware of. It's all just my opinion. I recommend people try it and if you don't like it then who gives a fuck, you're out about $15 and you can still use the bottle when you're legitimately sick. There are a few people I know who are also doing it and they seem to think it does something for them too so take that for what it's worth. Even if it's just psychological, who cares? I feel better mentally at the end of the day.
PF: What's the process like? Is it painful?
Cr: Not really. It feels unusual but snorting a line isn't exactly a natural process either. You get over it. It's crucial to use the saline solution mix that comes with it in the little packets. That's what really sets it off.
PF: Do you think this has the potential to be like 'Visine' for coke users?
Cr: You're not using it to cover up the high so no. That's a terrible analogy. Unless you mean about the money, people buying it for drug related reasons...then yeah, I guess it kinda might be.