Drugs:Fact and Fiction/Hallucinogens
Hallucinogens are drugs that alter sensory input to the brain. This creates an altered sense of reality, as well as a change in emotions and thought patterns. Hallucinogens can connect the three forms of the psyche, delivering thoughts and feelings that would normally remain only subconscious.
- 1 Psychedelics
- 2 Dissociatives
- 3 Deliriants
Psychedelics are distinguished from the other two subclasses by their lack of addicting qualities, and the remarkable experiences one often has under their influences. Most (but not all) psychedelics are non-toxic and have a very high LD50. This means that the user would have to ingest or take very large amounts of the drug, many times that of a recreational dose, in order to kill themselves. The experiences, however, can sometimes be extremely overwhelming, driving users to seek emergency assistance. It is strongly recommended that there be a sober sitter to watch over users, especially first-timers.
Most psychedelics work by interacting with serotonin and serotonin receptors in the brain. Effects include increased breathing and heartrate, dilated pupils, dehydration, increased color perception, a state of empathetic well-being (feeling as if though one is at peace with everyone and everything), and visual distortion: things may appear to move, shapes appear on textures and exhibit a kaleidoscope-like effect, lighting dramatically changes for no apparent reason.
Despite their non-toxicity, many psychedelics are known for the nausea, and in some cases vomiting, that they may cause.
Primary psychedelics include Indoles (Tryptamines, Lysergamides, Ibogoids) and certain Phenethylamines.
The proceeding 4 drugs all have a 5-Methoxy N,N analogue that effectively increases the potency of the drug
- Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and chemically similar drugs
- Dipropyltryptamine (DPT), and chemically similar drugs
- Diisopropyltryptamine (DiPT), and chemically similar drugs
- Alpha-methyltryptamine (AMT), and chemically similar drugs
There are literally thousands of possible Methyltryptamines, but their effects are usually very similar to the four above.
- Ibogaine (Also used to treat severe opiate addiction)
- Mescaline, the primary active drug in psychedelic cacti
- The 2C Drug Class, a collection of numerous synthetic drugs created by Alexander Shulgin
- 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine (DOM, STP), similar to LSD in effects, with a much longer duration)
- 2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromoamphetamine (DOB), similar to 2C class drugs
- 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI), similar to 2C class drugs
- Bromo-DragonFLY, possibly the most potent hallucinogen alongside LSD
Secondary Psychedelics mix the effects of Stimulants and Hallucinogens. They tend to lack the intense visual effects that most other psychedelics have, and instead replace it with a more empathic feeling of well-being and happiness.
These drugs cause the brain to release excess amounts of seretonin, and can cause hangovers where the user feels depressed and fatigued the day after use. This can lead to a strong psychological addiction. It is strongly recommended that users allow their bodies to recover for several weeks between uses.
- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy)
- Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), similar to MDMA, though less potent and with more visual effects
Cannabinoids are a unique class of drugs. Although subclassed as a psychedelic, cannabinoids exhibit features of all three classes of drugs. Cannabinoids are created naturally by the body and regulate a large number of body functions. It is because of this that they have several medical uses, from pain relief, to appetite stimulation, to anti-nauseants.
Several synthetic and extremely potent cannabinoids exist, and are now documented for killing brain cells and stopping neuron growth.
Dissociatives are a subclass of hallucinogens that work by blocking or altering sensory perception (Including senses that are perceived by the unconscious mind), creating a feeling of disconnection and depersonalization from one's body and reality, but also leading to some uncomfortable side effects. Many dissociatives are strong depressants as well, and large doses can slow down the heart or breathing to the point of death. Generally they are not physically addicting, but can be habit forming if used repeatedly in a short time span. Because of this, it is recommended that users give their body at least a week between uses to heal.
The experience on most dissociatives is described as being dream-like. Like with Psychedelics, a mixing of the senses can lead users to believe they can see sounds, or taste textures. However, hallucinations are uncommon, but can be achieved in dark areas.
Primary dissociatives are NMDA antagonists.
- Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide/Polistirex (DXM), found in most OTC cough suppressants, most popularly, Robitussin
- Phenylcyclohexylpiperidine (PCP, Angel Dust), a drug rumoured to cause violent actions in normally non-aggressive individuals
- Ibogaine, also a Psychedelic
- Tiletamine, a non-recreational tranquilizer
Kappa Opioid Receptor Agonists
- Salvinorin-A, and lesser C (Salvia divinorum), the most potent naturally occurring substance known to man (potency referring to the minute amount needed to reach an effect).
The following 3 substances are found in the Amanita muscaria species of mushroom. Although they are not all dissociative, the combination of all three of them is considered to be.
- Muscimol, GABA-A agonist
- Ibotenic acid, NDMA agonist
- Muscarine, Deliriant
Deliriants are very similar to dissociatives, and are considered to be true hallucinogens because the visuals they produce are hard or impossible to tell apart from reality. Users under their effects will often have full intellectual conversations with people who aren't actually there. They will also find it hard to tell the difference between aspects of reality. Some people may see their own reflection and believe it is another person copying their actions. Users often retain awareness of their physical surroundings, but are consciously impaired. Almost all deliriants are toxic enough that only a small amount differentiates a recreational dose from a deadly dose.
The natural reference for deliriants is described as being similar to sleepwalking in a nightmare.
Deliriants are either Tropane based or Antihistamine based.
The first three tropanes are naturally occurring in various plants, including Deadly Nightshade, and the more commonly known Datura (Jimson Weed)
- Atropine #
- Scopolamine #
- Hyoscyamine #
The final tropane is the only Deliriant that is considered non-toxic
Antihistaminics can produce delirious effects at several times the clinical dosage. The side effects are considered unpleasant by many, and considerable overdosage can lead to coma or death.