Several times a week, someone logs onto Erowid and writes about getting high. They've just eaten some weed and experienced "extreme amplified worry," for instance, or downed an insane cocktail of hallucinogens and discovered that god loves fractals. It's probably the most comprehensive database of drug experiences out there, and right now, it could use some money.

Erowid's founders run an annual public support drive to raise funds to run the site, which hosts upwards of 20,000 user-submitted experience journals. So far this year, they've received money from 699 contributors, and they hope to top last year's 923-donor pull by the end of the month.

People who publish on Erowid tend to write with extreme detail and candidness. Take this excerpt from the aforementioned "god loves fractals" post, published earlier this month:

As the effects of the DMT seem to subside, I elect to smoke a rather substantial portion of 5FUR144, and my friend smokes the last of his marijuana. He also takes a very small amount of 5FUR144.

At this point things get crazy.

My visuals immediately go into hyperdrive. The tracers come back 7 or 8 times stronger. The edges around my friend are warping along the edges of his face, flowing along his bone and muscle structure. The traces are constantly changing color, and consist of 3-4 layers in constant movement that look much like something from apocolypto, or Maori tattoos. His hair is warping and twisting, he looks very intense, with this sort of psychedelic warpaint superimposed over him.

Looking around the room, things seem to be resembling 'mayan' or 'incan' art. I am not a religious person. I used to be a hard-line atheist, and prior to this experience I would describe myself as agnostic - open to the idea of a higher power, but absolutely opposed to any organized religious interpretation of what that power is. I've always viewed chemicals as chemicals. Mescaline was just another drug. At this point, the imagery I'm seeing my carpet get warped into, is so strikingly similar to ancient runes and designs from that region of the world I begin to have my doubts. My friend looks like some sort of ancient warrior, and the plant behind him is warping into amazing designs, that at the time seemed to be very mathematically designed.

An ancient warrior! That is to say, Erowid's data is valuable not only for its quantity, but for being more personal and interpretive than anything you'd find from a source like NIDA or a university research paper. If you're feeling generous, pony up here.

[Image via Wikipedia]