In the early 1990s, I worked with a guy who said, “When I retire, I’m going to have a front porch with a couple of huge amps, my electric guitar, play Jimi Hendrix, and do a lot of hallucinogens.”
But I recall he drank a lot of coffee. And researchers at Durham University in the U.K. announced yesterday in the journal, Personality and Individual Differences, that high caffeine consumption could be linked to a greater tendency to hallucinate.
People with a higher caffeine intake, from sources such as coffee, tea and caffeinated energy drinks, are more likely to report hallucinatory experiences such as hearing voices and seeing things that are not there, according to the Durham University study.
‘High caffeine users’ – those who consumed more than the equivalent of seven cups of instant coffee a day – were three times more likely to have heard a person’s voice when there was no one there compared with ‘low caffeine users’ who consumed less than the equivalent of one cup of instant coffee a day.
In the study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Medical Research Council, 200 students were asked about their typical intake of caffeine containing products, such as coffee, tea and energy drinks as well as chocolate bars and caffeine tablets. Their proneness to hallucinatory experiences, and their stress levels, were also assessed. Seeing things that were not there, hearing voices, and sensing the presence of dead people were amongst the experiences reported by some of the participants.
Maybe people who do a lot of acid or ‘shrooms drink a lot of coffee and eat a bunch of chocolate.