The drugs, also known as Binaural Beats, has the power to change the brain wave patterns and alter the state of consciousness just as it is done by narcotic drugs, said Information Security and Social Media Expert Dr. Mohammad Alaa Hussain Al-Hamami. He urged Bahrainis and residents to be more careful while on the Internet.
Interior Ministry in its latest edition of the monthly publication Al Amn stated that it was already seen as a threat regionally. “A relatively new phenomenon, it is however seen by authorities in the region and beyond as ‘severely addictive’ and as ‘dangerous as narcotics,” Al Amn stated. Interior Minister Lt General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa himself had made a reference to the threat of digital drugs during the Bahrain Information security forum held recently.
Saudi Arabia has also been alert to its danger. Recently, Arab News, a Saudi-based newspaper reported that Saudi’s National Commission for Drug Control, the Directorate General for Drug Control and the Communication Authority are exploring measures to prevent the arrival of these ‘sound drugs’. “The commission also commissioned consultants to study the possibility of this new drug being accessible in the Kingdom, and officials have confirmed that no cases have yet been recorded,” Arab News reported.
“The goal of digital drugs is to control the electrical impulses and encourage the listener’s brain to synchronize its brain waves with the binaural beats. This synchronization, which is achieved by selecting binaural tones within a particular frequency level, is called Frequency Following Response (FFR) and is part of a concept called entrainment. According to our regular experiment in daily life the kind of music that we hear could affect us and play with our feelings and thinking, so we could be happy or sad and even get pleasure. But digital drugs are quite a different thing; they are trying to affect the listener’s brain directly,” he added.
According to a BBC report, the story of digital drugs starts in 2010. “Three students at Mustang High School just outside Oklahoma City were hauled into the principal’s office recently after appearing to be intoxicated at school. The students confessed that they had been “i-dosing” - that is, they claimed to be high after listening through headphones to sounds they had downloaded from the internet. Local authorities were so concerned by this behavior that they sent a letter to parents cautioning them about this bizarre new practice,” BBC reported.
“The Internet is an open environment and usually could be used for good or bad things. Unfortunately, digital drugs are audio files and this makes them easy to be spread over the Internet. The purpose to creating it is to get money even in an illegal way and abuse people especially teenagers and kids. According to the website www.i-doserexposed.com, digital drugs are Mp3 of ambient music or sounds that are enhanced with a specifically targeted binaural beat tone frequency. This frequency is meant to replicate the cycles of particular brainwaves.’” Al-Hamami explained.
He said that Bahraini citizens as well as residents need to take precautions against this threat. “The real problem is you could get digital drugs from anywhere even from YouTube! The first sample will be free as usual and you should pay when you need to get more. Our duty as Information security experts is to make the Internet a safe environment as possible and suitable for all kinds of users especially for kids and teenagers. Digital drugs are becoming a serious threat now,” he warned.
* Daily Tribune News. Tuesday, April 28, 2015.