This seems like a ridiculous question. But websites are targeting your children with so-called digital drugs. These are audio files designed to induce drug-like effects.
All your child needs is a music player and headphones.
Understanding binaural beats
There are different slang terms for digital drugs. They’re often called “idozers” or “idosers.” All rely on the concept of binaural beats.
It is incorrect to call binaural beats music. They’re really ambient sounds designed to affect your brain waves.
For binaural beats to work, you must use headphones. Different sounds are played in each ear. The sounds combine in your brain to create a new frequency. This frequency corresponds to brain wave frequencies.
There are different brain wave frequencies. These frequencies are related to different states like relaxation and alertness.
Digital drugs supposedly synchronize your brain waves with the sound. Hence, they allegedly alter your mental state.
Binaural beats create a beating sound. Other noises may be included with binaural beats. This is intended to mask their unpleasant sound.
Different types of digital drugs
Some sites provide binaural beats that have innocuous effects. For example, some claim to help you develop extrasensory powers like telepathy and psychokinesis.
Other sites offer therapeutic binaural beats. They help you relax or meditate. Some allegedly help you overcome addiction or anxiety. Others purport to help you lose weight or eliminate gray hair.
However, most sites are more sinister. They sell audio files (“doses”) that supposedly mimic the effects of alcohol and marijuana.
But it doesn’t end there. You’ll find doses that purportedly mimic the effects of LSD, crack, heroin and other hard drugs. There are also doses of a sexual nature. I even found ones that supposedly simulate heaven and hell.
Do digital drugs work?
Many are skeptical about the effects of digital drugs. Few scientific studies have been conducted on binaural beats. However, a Duke University study suggests that they can affect mood and motor performance.
Dr. Nicholas Theodore, a brain surgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, said there is no real evidence that idosers work. But he noted that musical preference is indicative of emotional vulnerability. Trying idosers could indicate a willingness to experiment with drugs and other dangerous behavior.
Theodore added that idosers are another reason to monitor kids’ Internet usage. And, he said, kids need frank talks with their parents about correct choices.
“I suspect this ‘Pied Piper’ phenomenon will pass rapidly and quietly,” he said.
Online, many people have posted their experiences with digital drugs. They tout the effectiveness of binaural beats.
Or, go to YouTube. You’ll see videos of teens experimenting with digital drugs. You can decide for yourself if binaural beats induce drug-like effects.
Companies that sell digital drugs take both sides of the argument. They say that the doses are extremely powerful. Some are recommended only for experienced users.
But they often hedge their bets. Some users may be immune to binaural beats, they say. They also say the situation must be right to feel the effects.
Should you worry about digital drugs?
Companies that sell digital drugs claim they’re safe. Supposedly, they won’t affect your physical health.
Let’s think about this for a moment. The sites claim binaural beats cause the same effects as illegal drugs. These drugs impair coordination and can cause hallucinations. They’ve caused countless fatal accidents, like traffic collisions.
If binaural beats work as promised, they are not safe. They could also create a placebo effect. The expectation elicits the response. Again, this is unsafe.
At the very least, digital drugs promote drug use. Some sites say binaural beats can be used with illegal drugs.
The sites also look favorably on the effects of illegal drugs. So, talk to your children. Make sure they understand the dangers of this culture. It could be a small jump from digital drugs to the real thing.
Binaural beats may influence functions of the brain besides those related to hearing. This phenomenon is called frequency following response. The concept is that if one receives a stimulus with a frequency in the range of brain waves, the predominant brain wave frequency is said to be likely to move towards the frequency of the stimulus (a process called entrainment). In addition, binaural beats have been credibly documented to entrain brainwave rhythms, according to the frequency following response, at various sites in the brain.
The stimulus does not have to be aural; it can also be visual or a combination of aural and visual. (One such example would be Dreamachine.) However, using alpha frequencies with such stimuli can trigger photosensitive epilepsy.
When the perceived beat frequency corresponds to the delta, theta, alpha, beta, or gamma range of brainwave frequencies, the brainwaves entrain to or move towards the beat frequency. For example, if a 315 Hz sine wave is played into the right ear and a 325 Hz one into the left ear, the brain is entrained towards the beat frequency (10 Hz, in the alpha range). Since alpha range is associated with relaxation, this has a relaxing effect or if in the beta range, more alertness. An experiment with binaural sound stimulation using beat frequencies in the Beta range on some participants and Delta/Theta range in other participants, found better vigilance performance and mood in those on the awake alert state of Beta range stimulation.
Binaural beat stimulation has been used fairly extensively to induce a variety of states of consciousness, there has been some work done in regards to the effects of these stimuli on relaxation, focus, attention, and states of consciousness. Studies have shown that with repeated training to close frequency sounds that a plastic reorganization of the brain.
Another claimed effect of binaural sound is to mimic the effects of alcohol and marijuana, and illegal drugs such as LSD, crack, heroin and other hard drugs. The purported effects of such “digital drugs” is impaired coordination and hallucinations.