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My revelation in the psychiatrist's room

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Amphetamine in the Bodleian
Redmond O'Hanlon Writer
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Amphetamine, what a wonderful, wonderful thing. Marvellous. If you just take it, half a five-milligram pill in the morning to the Bodleian, say, half in the afternoon. Bang! You can't speak in the evening, but then you don't need to, if you've been married a bit. Magnificent. Really wonderful. It just does everything it's meant to do. Raises your intelligence, raises your capacity for interest, and as long as it's not mixed... mixed with barbiturate, you're just wonderfully involved. Interesting.

[Q] Amphetamine, this is?

Yes, dexamphetamine. Dexedrine, it used to be called.

[Q] And does it really do all these things, or does it? Is it, you know, more the illusion of it?

No, it really does all these things. But I now understand that it does all those things if you are a chronic depressive. If you're perfectly alright and normal and should be alive, probably a very bad thing to take.

British author Redmond O’Hanlon writes about his journeys into some of the wildest places in the world. His travels have taken him into the jungles of the Congo and the Amazon, he has faced some of the toughest tribes alive today, and has sailed in the hurricane season on a trawler in the North Atlantic. In all of this, he explores the extremes of human existence with passion, wit and erudition.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: Bodleian Library

Duration: 1 minute, 9 seconds

Date story recorded: July - September 2008

Date story went live: 11 August 2009