Mescaline: Mental effects
Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 5:28 pm
Most of what is known about the effects of hallucinogens is known from the widespread use and study of LSD during the 1960s and 1970s. According to NIDA, LSD is the most widely used drug of all the psychedelics and its affects are seen as typical of all drugs in this class. The way LSD works applies to other hallucinogens such as mescaline, psilocybin, and ibogaine.
Hallucinogens chemically affect the user’s brain. Psychedelic drugs like mescaline have an emotional and sensory impact on the user. The user experiences rapid mood swings — feeling happy one minute and instantly fearful and paranoid in the next. This emotional up and down can be so rapid that the user may experience several emotions at the same time or in rapid-fire fashion one after the other.
Users report a heightened awareness and intensity of color, sound, smells, and taste. Sometimes these sensations can appear mixed up and users report “hearing colors” or “seeing sounds.” This blending of the sensual experience is a neurological phenomenon known as synesthesia.
The psychedelic drug-induced state of an hallucinogen is called a “trip.” Trips can be good or bad. Many people say that under the influence of a hallucinogen, they feel very happy and interpret the experience as mentally stimulating or even enlightening in a spiritual sense. Some people say the experience helps them to better understand themselves, which is why throughout history the interest in using psychedelics as a therapeutic aid waxes and wanes in clinical interest.
However, the bad trips can be as equally terrifying as the good trips are stimulating. When a person has a bad trip, the individual often compares it to the most frightening nightmare. Often, those having a bad trip will be anxious, feel they are going insane, experience profound depression, and think they may be dying. Bad trips are also accompanied by a feeling of being out of control.