Club Drugs and Hallucinogens

The term club drugs comes from the association of several drugs with use in dance clubs or all night dance parties (“raves”). Popular club drugs are methamphetamine (see earlier section, “Amphetamine-Related Disorders”), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD; “acid”), 3,4-methylene-dioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; “Ecstasy” or “X”), gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB; “liquid X”), ketamine (“special K”), Rohypnol (“roofies”), and dextromethorphan (“DMX”) (). Emergency department visits due to MDMA and GHB use increased dramatically starting in the late 1990s. In the United States in 2002, emergency department visits for MDMA-related disorders numbered 4,026 and for GHB-related disorders numbered 3,330. Hallucinogenic drugs include LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, and synthetic derivatives such as 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA). The popularity of hallucinogens began to wane in the mid-1970s, but a modest resurgence in use occurred in the early 1990s, particularly among youth. MDMA (“Ecstasy”) MDMA, called “Ecstasy,” was promoted in the 1960s and 1970s as a “mood drug” without the distracting perceptual changes of other hallucinogens. MDMA is usually taken orally but can be taken in-tranasally (snorted). The purity of the drug in tablets Read more […]

Types of Drug Dependence

The WHO expert committee has recognized that different groups of drugs produce different types of dependence and that the type should be specified. The currently accepted types, the main classes of drugs involved and the clinical characteristics of the dependence are shown in Table Dependence types currently recognized and their clinical features. Apart from noting the great variety of types that are now recognized, the majority of classes can be ignored for the purpose of the present paper and attention can be concentrated on the groups of ethanol and barbiturate/sedative. There are still divergent opinions on whether they should be grouped together, for both show psychological and physical dependence with virtually identical withdrawal reactions, or whether they should be separated. In favour of their being put into a single group is the extensive cross tolerance that can occur among drugs with similar actions, regardless of chemical structure, and the partial effectiveness of one group in ameliorating the withdrawal effects of the other. Thus, for example, severe ethanol withdrawal reactions can be prevented by barbiturates, phenothiazines, benzodiazepines, chloral hydrate and paraldehyde. Conversely ethanol Read more […]

A Strange Class of Drugs

Hallucinogens are drugs that, when ingested, trigger a variety of strange and unpredictable sensations and experiences. Normally, such bizarre perceptions are experienced only in dreams, during periods of extreme emotional and physical stress, or as part of severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Psychoactive Chemicals There are dozens of different types of hallucinogens, some of which are produced naturally by plants and some of which are synthesized in laboratories or other facilities. There are many different hallucinogens used today, but the best known are mescaline and psilocybin, which come from plants, and LSD, ecstasy, and ketamine, which are manufactured in laboratories. What these drugs have in common is an ability to alter the functioning of the brain in such a way as to either modify the user’s perceptions or create entirely artificial perceptions. Users of hallucinogens experience a range of odd sensations, from mild distortions of information affecting the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch to highly animated and dramatic sensory distortions — the hallucinations that give this class of drugs its name. Altered Perceptions Typically, users of hallucinogens characterize these sensations Read more […]

Hallucinogens: Addiction

Although most neurologists and pharmacologists report few lasting adverse physical effects from hallucinogen use, one concern among those who formulate the government’s drug policies is whether hallucinogens might be addictive. Of the scientific studies that have focused on this aspect of hallucinogens, none has concluded that they are addictive. This means that their prolonged use does not create a physiological craving or dependency based on changes in a user’s body chemistry. In addition, unlike drugs known to be addictive, there do not appear to be any physiological withdrawal symptoms or cravings when use of hallucinogens is terminated. Furthermore, unlike users of addictive drugs, users of hallucinogens typically do not have the urge to take their drugs many times a day. In fact, hallucinogenic experiences tend to be exhausting, and users report needing time to rest and recover following a trip. The use of hallucinogens more often than once a week is extremely rare; the majority of regular users report using them once a month or a few sporadic times in the course of a year. One of the reasons given for this low frequency of use is the long duration of a hallucinogen trip, which often lasts many hours. The Read more […]

Hallucinogens: Risks

Being nonaddictive does not mean hallucinogens are risk-free, however. Although the probability of death from the effects of a hallucinogen itself is low in comparison to narcotics such as heroin, health-care professionals warn that using hallucinogens can still have serious health consequences. There are no known deaths among humans because of brain, heart, or pulmonary failure that can be directly attributed to an overdose of any hallucinogen (although laboratory animals administered high doses of LSD have died from respiratory arrest). However, even though studies indicate that low doses of hallucinogens produce no long-lasting effects, high doses of hallucinogens have been known to cause severe psychotic breakdowns requiring long periods of psychiatric treatment. The danger of hallucinogens lies not in their toxicity but, rather, in the unpredictability of their psychological effects. For example, users have been known to wander down streets without knowing who they are or where they have been, or have walked in freezing weather without proper clothing, unaware that they were suffering from frostbite. Episodes of fatal consequences of hallucinogen use, mostly attributed to LSD, have been recorded. Pedestrians Read more […]

The Entheogen Experience

Regardless of the setting or purpose of the ceremony, the effects of mescaline and psilocybin are very similar. About half an hour after ingesting the buttons or mushrooms, the first effects are felt. There are often strong physical effects, including difficulty breathing, accelerated heart rate, muscle tension (especially in the face and neck muscles), and often nausea and vomiting due to the unpleasant taste of the raw substances. Many users blend the entheogens with fruit juice or some type of food to mask the bitterness. As the psychoactive ingredients take effect, there is a feeling of intoxication and shifting consciousness with minor perceptual changes. Users describe a sense of confidence and feelings of inner tranquillity. As their heart rates accelerate, they experience a heightened awareness of their surroundings and their senses become more acute. Stories of sensory acuity include experiencing more intense colors, sighting apparent halos around objects, and visualizing geometric patterns. Music, which is considered by users an important part of the experience, is described as being more intense than usual and induces in the listeners a soothing trancelike state. Spatial relationships and time can also Read more […]

Rethinking the Classification of Hallucinogens

One such proponent of reclassifying hallucinogens is Richard B. Karel, a writer who has researched the problems of drug law enforcement. He believes that law enforcement agencies should focus on apprehending users of drugs associated with violent crime rather than pursuing users of hallucinogens. To that end, Karel recommends that hallucinogens should not be considered as dangerous drugs and believes that “Psychedelics, including the naturally occurring plant drugs such as psilocybin and peyote, as well as synthetics such as LSD and MDMA [ecstasy], would be regulated quite differently from all other drug categories.” The idea that hallucinogens are not as great a threat to the American public as addictive drugs is hardly new. The issue was taken up in the early 1980s by the Drug Abuse Council, which commented in the introduction to its report that its board of directors “perceived a pressing need for independent analyses of public drug policies and programs… and that the effectiveness of law enforcement and treatment strategies was often overstated.” The Drug Abuse Council made seven general observations, one of which focused on the need to recognize that, although hallucinogens are widely used, they do not Read more […]

Drug Info: Therapeutic use. Treatment. Mental and Physiological Effects. Rehab.

Entries are arranged alphabetically and follow a standardized format that allows to easily find information, and also facilitates comparisons of different drugs. Rubrics include: • Official names, Street names: This section lists the alternate names for a substance, including brand names, generic names, and chemical names for drugs, as well as common “street” names for drugs and other substances. • Drug classification: This section lists the type of drug and its classification and schedule by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, if applicable. • Key terms: This is a mini-glossary of terms in the entry that may be unfamiliar to students. • Overview: Historical background is included here, including the drug’s origin, development, and introduction to society. The current impact of the drug is discussed. • Chemical/organic composition: This section includes discussion on the various compositions of the drug, if it is found in pure or altered forms, and whether or not it is often mixed with other substances or drugs. • Ingestion methods: Availability of the drug or substance in different forms, for example, pill or powder, is discussed. • Therapeutic use: This section describes Read more […]

2C-B (Nexus): Therapeutic use, Treatment. 2C-B (Nexus) rehab.

2C-B (Nexus): Composition, Therapeutic use, Usage trends. Treatment and rehabilitation. 2C-B (Nexus) effects. Reactions with other drugs.

Salvia Divinorum: History notes

Salvia Divinorum: Composition, Therapeutic use, Usage trends. Treatment and rehabilitation. Salvia Divinorum effects. Reactions with other drugs.