Here’s something that probably won’t surprise you: music and drugs have a lot in common. While they’re obviously different on a surface level, these two indulgences could have similar effects on the human brain.
When you either listen to music or do certain types of drugs, your body and brain release a sensation of immediate pleasure. When you mix the two, the functions of your brain and the culture around you inform each other of things to give you a unique and euphoric experience.
The Connection Between Drugs & Music
Long story short: the brain responds to drugs and music in a similar way. When you consume each of these things, your brain is loaded up with serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin and dopamine are released when you’re treating yourself: having sex, eating junk food, listening to your favorite song, using a certain drug, etc. When these chemicals are released, you’re likely to feel an overwhelming joy and contentment. Your energy levels will increase and your sensory perception will sharpen. This is why drugs and music go so hand-in-hand. And when they come together, they create a strong reaction.
Why Does Music Sound Better on Drugs?
Drugs and music both release serotonin, yes; but their similarities don’t end there. They don’t only bring out the same type of energy and emotion, but they thrive off of each other.
You may have heard that certain genres of music pair well with types of drugs. There’s a reason for this. Psychedelic drugs, for example, activate a certain part of the brain that makes you feel like you’ve never seen or heard certain things before. So if you use a psychedelic and listen to your favorite song, you might experience it in a brand new way.
Certain drugs give you the ability to focus on the present; not the past, not what you have to get done tomorrow, but what you’re doing in that very moment. This offers you the opportunity to really concentrate on music in a way you wouldn’t normally be able to. You can purely focus on the rhythm and words without external distractions getting in your way, which can enhance the listening experience.
Connections Between Genres & Types of Drugs
You may have heard some of the associations between specific genres and types of drugs. Here are just a few kinds of music genres and drugs that have been consumed together for decades:
- EDM/House & ecstasy/acid
- Hard rock & LSD
- Punk & speed
- Mushrooms & psychedelia
- Reggae & weed
These genres and drugs are commonly connected because of the responses they trigger. For example, people want to dance when they use MDMA; and EDM music caters to this. Styles of music match the effects of certain drugs, which therefore can make the music sound better.
Party With Precautions
While a majority of the drugs that people take when they listen to music (like MDMA) are not addictive, they should still be used with caution. If planning to use recreational drugs in a public setting such as a concert, be sure to surround yourself with people you trust. And, of course, drink lots of water.
If you’re interested in the connection between drugs and music, contact our team of substance abuse and mental health professionals by calling 267.719.8689.