Digital drugs may invite total skepticism, but the Saudi government is taking them extremely seriously. Arab Newsreports that three government agencies have come together to combat the use of digital drugs, with some researchers advising that "binaural beats" can be addictive and dangerous.
So far, digital drugs have hit neighbouring countries, including Lebanon, but no cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia thus far. The National Commission for Drug Control, the Directorate General for Drug Control, and the Communications Authority don't want to see digital drugs addling their citizens and have been discussing preventative measures.
The intention of digital drugs is to get you high by listening to carefully designed sound tones. We've been checking some out this afternoon and maybe we're not "working with our drugs" properly and giving them the best shot, but absolutely nothing is happening. It sounds like the type of music often performed by bearded men with a PhD at sparsely attended shows in badly lit art galleries, not the catalyst for a wild, meditative experience.
See if anything works for you, below is the digital drug that we've been trying to trip on.
The practice of consuming digital drugs is known as "i-dosing", with a company called i-Doser at the forefront of the manufacture process. I-Doser employs a team of sound technicians to create various different digital drugs with the intention of invoking varying user experiences and charge between $3 and $5 for a dose.
Saudi Arabia is taking a typically hard stance on any potential dangers of digital drugs. The country has some of the harshest drug laws in the world, with the sale of narcotics almost always resulting in the death penalty.
Abdullah Al-Sharif, secretary-general of the National Commission for Drug Control, told Arab News: “The three parties have held urgent meetings to study this type of drug" and expressed a desire to "curb the spread of this scourge". Binaural beats have been around in the West for a while, but with mixed reports on whether or not you can catch a legitimate buzz.
However, Al-Sharif clearly believes in the strength of digital drugs and is doing everything within his power to prevent his country becoming an addled mess zombified by sound.