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MPs seeking probe into 'digital drugs'.

MPS are looking into claims that teenagers are getting high on "digital drugs" being downloaded on their computers or smartphones.

Digital drugs, also called binaural beats, are sounds that are thought to be capable of changing brain wave patterns and inducing an altered state of consciousness similar to that effected by taking drugs or achieving a deep state of meditation.

A number of complaints have been received by MPs that teenagers and young children have been downloading binaural beats to induce a state of ecstasy.

This has prompted a group of MPs to call for meetings with officials from the Interior Ministry and the Health Ministry to further understand the seriousness of "i-dosing", which has allegedly re-emerged among the younger generations, and come up with solutions to tackle the issue.

Parliament second vice-chairman Ali Al Zayed warned parents to monitor their children's online activities in an attempt to stamp out the allegedly popular trend.

According to a number of international reports, tests and studies on i-dosing are inconclusive and have never shown similar effects as marijuana, cocaine, opium and peyote.

However, some studies such as the 'Get High Now: Without Drugs by James Nestor' indicate that binaural beats did in fact facilitate actual feelings of meditative calm with periods of overt sexiness and overall clear-headedness, which can be part of drug experiences.

"Online dealers selling 'digital drugs' are now in large numbers and offer a free trial so that those listening to the tunes start to get addicted and buy different beats that react as normal drugs and give the same feeling," said Mr Al Zayed.

"The situation is alarming and it is not like people are addicted to violent video games or mature content - it is actually something more dangerous because these drug-like materials are entering our homes without any control.

"We don't even know where they come from, it is all in the form of links and can be bought with PS4 or Xbox credit that parents give their children to purchase online games or for updates."

He explained that the phenomenon of i-dosing first surfaced in early 2009 but quickly faded - adding that its re-emergence was more dangerous because of technological advances and children's easy access to online platforms.

"We don't know what is really going with this i-dosing situation, so the Interior and Health ministries need to give us an insight on what's going on," he said.

"We don't want to ignore this and in a month from now we find our society infected with this plague."

Binaural beats occur when two tones with slightly different frequencies are played together.

Without headphones, the slight difference in the two frequencies is perceived by the listener as a single tone that wavers slightly. With headphones, however, the two tones are isolated and the listener hears each frequency clearly in a different ear.

To the listener, this difference is perceived as rhythmic beats inside the head, but the brain processes rhythmic stimulus as electrical impulses.

The goal of digital drugs is to purposely control the electrical impulses and encourage the listener's brain to synchronise its brain waves with the binaural beats.

mohammed@gdn.com.bh

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Apr 6, 2019
Words:547
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