A group of young people is getting their brains covered up for the first time with an eye towards creating a documentary about their experience.
The teens are in the midst of a yearlong project, Teenage Gang of Youth, and it’s the brain-related story they’re most excited about.
They’re also looking to make a documentary for the BBC about the brain injury suffered by some of the participants, and a podcast about it.
But it’s not all positive news for the brain.
They’ve been warned that their story may not be viewed as “normal,” which can make it difficult to convince people of its benefits.
“If you look at it, it’s more about a person’s mental health and how they’re feeling at the time, rather than their physical condition,” said Andrew Brown, a psychologist at the University of Southampton who researches the impact of drugs on the brain, in an interview with VICE News.
Brown said the group’s goal is to highlight the importance of understanding the brain and how it works, so they can better understand the mental health issues they’re dealing with.
“It’s all about understanding what the brain is doing in relation to the mind,” Brown said.
“We want to understand how we can change it, so that we can prevent future problems.”
The teens’ project began in late August.
They have been using drugs since the age of 15, when they started to experiment with the effects of a new, potent psychedelic.
At that point, they had no idea what drugs were.
And their brain was still developing, with a number of changes in its structure, function, and even the way it responds to stimuli.
After a year of trying new substances, they found they were having more problems with depression and anxiety, and feeling hopeless.
“You go to a club, and you’re drinking a lot, and your mind’s still thinking, ‘Why am I doing this?'” said 19-year-old Josh, who used to be a member of the local rugby club and now works at a coffee shop.
“And then you go to the gym and you get angry, and the gym just feels like a dark place.”
Josh’s mother, Kristy, said that the drugs had changed her son’s personality.
“He didn’t really have any of the problems you would expect of a teenager, and he was a bit more confident and more positive,” she said.
“I think it was just the way the drugs were affecting him that made him really, really miserable.”
For the most part, the teens have tried to keep it under wraps.
They are not allowed to share details of the project with the media, and have told their parents that they will be releasing a statement when they are finished with it.
Josh’s family and friends have started the Teenage Girls Collective, a group that is encouraging them to share their stories.
“We’ve seen the effect these drugs have had on our kids, and we’re doing our best to give back,” said 16-year, Hannah.
“A lot of the girls have felt very, very depressed and anxious.”
“When they’ve been doing drugs, it feels like they’ve gone mad.
They become more aggressive.
They do this weird thing, and they don’t know what to do.”
Hannah has also been researching her own brain injuries.
She said that she felt the effects firsthand after taking MDMA, a drug with similar effects to the ones on her son.
“They’re making me feel really sad, and I don’t feel anything,” she told VICE News, describing how the effects felt like they were taking on the form of her own thoughts.
“It was like I was in a dream.
It was really weird.”
Josh said he also felt a need to share his experience, and hopes to get the word out.
“This project is about the impact drugs have on people’s lives and how to change them,” he said.
Hannah said she is concerned about what her friends and family members will think about her involvement in the project.
“My mum’s been very supportive,” she explained.
“She knows how my brain is changing.
She’s been really supportive.”
Teenage Gang Of Youth is a collaborative project between the UK’s leading academic neuroscience group, NeuroImage, and London’s South Bank Brain Centre.
The group aims to “identify and understand the biological mechanisms underlying how the brain works, including through a detailed examination of brain connectivity,” according to the group website.
“The project’s aim is to create a database of brain maps, known as networks, that will allow scientists to understand the brain’s function and impact in relation both to the brain itself and the environment,” it says.