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Hallucinogens – Understanding Addiction

Animism is the belief that plants, animals, rocks, streams, puddles and more have characteristics from a spirit contained within the object. Plants that can alter perception when eaten are said to do this by transferring the spirit of the plant to the person who is eating it.
• Phantastica drugs are able to alter the users’ perceptions while being able to not detach from the real world, they are hallucinogenic and they do not produce acute physiological toxicity.
• Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) is the most potent and notorious hallucinogen.
• LSD was originally synthesized from fungus that when ingested made people sick.
• In 1938 Dr. Albert Hoffmann synthesized LSD for its chemical similarity to a known stimulant, nikethamide.
• Not until 1943, was Dr. Hoffmann aware of the biochemical psychiatry when he accidentally absorbed some LSD through the skin of his fingers and got a small reaction. He experimented with a larger dose and had a much different experience.
• In 1953 biochemical and animal behavior research was done with LSD.
• Scientific study of hallucinogens declined in the 1970’s.
• The CIA and military did many studies using LSD. In 1953 the suicide of Frank Olson brought it into the news. The military had been studying mind-bending drugs as weapons as well as other uses of LSD. In doing so the military broke many ethical codes by not letting the person know they were in an experiment or not letting them out.
• Recreational use of LSD came to the forefront with Timothy Leary and Dr. Aldous
Photograph taken between Summer-Fall 1989, in ...

• Leary performed experiments on Harvard graduate students in true scientific studies.
• This changed when Leary started to use LSD with the students and had no physician present when the drug was administered. His studies ended without scientific value.
• The League for Spiritual Discovery was founded in 1966 by Leary with LSD as a sacrament.
• Hallucinogen use increased during the mid-1960’s.
• Its main effects are described as new sensations, aphrodisiac effects, feelings of kinship with a peer group, as well as other hallucinogen feelings.
• Usage peaked in 1967 and 1968.
• With more news of bad trips, “flashbacks” and self-injurious behavior usage tapered off.
• LSD is odorless, colorless, tasteless and potent.
• LSD is quickly absorbed in the GI tract. Most take LSD orally.
• Typical symptoms of taking LSD are dilated pupils, elevated temperatures and blood pressure as well as an increase in salivation.
• A tolerance develops rapidly but physical dependence is not seen.
• The LSD experience is based on the modification of perception and particularly visual images. Even at low doses illusions and distortions appear when in fact, the object is present but distorted by colors and brightness.
• Depictured in movies and writings, synesthesia is what LSD is known for.
• Autonomic response happens within the first 20 minutes of taking LSD.
• Adverse reactions include panic reactions and flashbacks.
• Flashbacks are reactions that happen weeks or months after an individual has taken LSD.
• Beliefs about LSD include that they make the user more creative and that they have therapeutic uses.
• Psilocybin is the active agent in many of the mushrooms in Mexico that have hallucinogenic effects.
• Seeds of Morning Glory plants have several active alkaloids that are about one-tenth as active as LSD.
• Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds have higher levels of lysergic acid than Morning Glory seeds.
• Catechol hallucinogens are the second group of phantastica next to indole types.
• Peyote is a spineless, carrot-shaped cactus that for the most part is subterranean. Mescaline is the active chemical in peyote.
• Amphetamine Derivatives is a large group of synthetic hallucinogens.
• DOM 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methyl-amphetamine called STP in the 1960’s and 70’s. Only 1/13th as potent as LSD.
• MDMA or Ecstasy differs from most other hallucinogens because it can promote empathy. The other big difference is that studies have shown that MDMA can cause brain damage. Currently in the category of “club drug”.
• Deliriants produce mental confusion and a loss of touch with reality.
• PCP was looked at as a good analgesic but it did not produce good muscle relaxation or sleep. With more research PCP was linked to angry and uncooperative reactions. Recreational use of PCP was seen as a “garbage” drug. Sometimes it was sprinkled onto oregano and sold to unsuspecting youngsters as marijuana. In this way it is called angle dust.
• Ketamine is chemically similar to PCP, producing a mixture of stimulant and depressive effects. It currently is in the category of “club drug”.
• Atropine was used as a poison. Belladonna uses the extract of atropine to dilate the pupils. The sensation of flying is also reported by belladonna users.
• Mandrake contains all three alkaloids. Its ties go back to Genesis in the Bible.
• Henbane is the poison used to kill Hamlet.
• Datura contains all three alkaloids. It is associated with Buddha in the Chinese culture.
• Synthetic Anticholinergics were once used to treat Parkinson’s disease and are still used to treatPseudoparkinsonism produced by antipsychotic drugs.
• Amanita Muscari is a mushroom that is also called “fly agaric”.

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