Hallucinogens Essay

This essay has a total of 1521 words and 9 pages.

Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens or psychedelics are mind-altering drugs, which affect the mind's
perceptions, causing bizarre, unpredictable behavior, and severe, sensory disturbances
that may place users at risk of serious injuries or death. Hallucinogens powerfully affect
the brain, distorting the way our five senses work and changes our impressions of time and
space. People who use these drugs a lot may have a hard time concentrating, communicating,
or telling the difference between reality and illusion. Hallucinogens cause people to
experience - you guessed it - hallucinations, imagined experiences that seem real. The
word "hallucinate" comes from Latin words meaning, "to wander in the mind."

Your brain controls all of your perceptions; the way you see, hear, smell, taste, and
feel. Chemical messengers transmit information from nerve cell to nerve cell in the body
and the brain. Your nerve cells are called neurons, and their chemical messengers are
called neurotransmitters. Chemicals like hallucinogens can disrupt this communication
system, and the results are changes in the way you sense the world around you. There's
still a lot that scientists don't know about the effects of Hallucinogens on the brain
though.

Some hallucinogens occur naturally in trees, vines, seeds, fungi and leaves. Others are
made in laboratories by mixing different chemical substances. LSD or acid is one of the
most common, well-known hallucinogens. Psilocin or Psilocybin mushrooms, Mescaline or
Peyote, MDMA, Bufotenine, Morning Glory seeds, Jimson weed, PCP and DMT are less common
psychedelics with effects similar to LSD. PCP and Ketamine are drugs with hallucinogenic
properties. Some drugs, such as cannabis, can cause hallucinogen-like effects when used in
high doses or in certain ways. Using hallucinogens is often called tripping. In its pure
form LSD is a white, odorless powder. This pure form is very strong, so LSD is usually
mixed with other things to make the dose large enough to take. LSD comes in the form as
liquids, tablets, capsules or squares of gelatin or blotting paper. LSD use can have many
effects. These may include sleeplessness, trembling, and raised heart rate, and blood
pressure. LSD users may feel several emotions at once (including extreme terror), and
their senses may seem to get crossed, giving the feeling of hearing colors and seeing
sounds. Even a tiny speck of LSD can trigger these effects. Many LSD users have
flashbacks; sudden repetitions of their LSD experiences, days or months after they stop
using the drug. LSD has a slight bitter taste. "Blotter acid," which is absorbent paper
soaked in LSD and sold as squares, can be bought for $4 to $5 for a trip that lasts three
to 12 hours. Other slang terms for LSD include Microdot, White Lightning, Blue Heaven,
Windowpane, and Sugar Cubes. LSD is a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance with severe
penalties for possession and use. Mescaline is a hallucinogen that comes from the Peyote
cactus. Mescaline is ingested. Morning Glory seeds are occasionally brewed into a tea or
eaten for the hallucinogenic effects. There have been some reports of teens drinking
"gordo juice," a combination of Morning Glory seeds and fruit juice to counteract the
bitter taste of the seeds. The seeds can cause convulsions, gangrene, and adverse
psychological effects. Jimson weed (Angel's Trumpet) is a wild, poisonous weed that
produces hallucinations and has caused deaths among users. DMT is another psychedelic drug
that acts like LSD. PCP can be found as a pure white, crystal-like powder, tablet,
capsule, or bitter tasting, clear liquid that is consumed orally, injected, sniffed, or
smoked. PCP is often combined with marijuana and tobacco products. PCP effects are very
unpredictable. For example, it may make some people hallucinate and become aggressive,
while others may become drowsy and passive. PCP is often mixed with marijuana and tobacco
products by dipping it in PCP-laced embalming fluid and then smoked. Some slang terms for
PCP include Angel Dust, Crystal, Jet Fuel, and Cyclone. Ketamine is closely related to PCP
and was also used in the past as a surgical anesthetic. Currently, Ketamine is used in
veterinary medicine. On the club scene, Ketamine can be found in liquid form or as a white
powder that is snorted or smoked with marijuana or tobacco products. MDMA or ecstasy and
MDA cause many things by allterting the role in so many things, such as mood, sleep, and
control of heart rate. Psilocybin or magic mushrooms is the hallucinogenic chemical that
occurs in some mushrooms. In its pure form, Psilocybin is also a white powder, but it is
usually sold as dried mushrooms or in substances made from mushrooms. Psilocybin is from
the same chemical family as LSD so their effects are similar. Some people eat poisonous
mushrooms thinking that they are the mushrooms that contain Psilocybin. This can be very
dangerous as some poisonous mushrooms can cause death or permanent liver damage.

The effects of hallucinogens begin within half an hour of taking the drug, are strongest
in three to five hours, and last for up to 12 hours. They can include: seeing, hearing,
touching or smelling things in a distorted way or that don't exist, colors become very
bright, sounds become sharper, mixing of the senses (you hear colors or see sounds),
changed sense of time (minutes can seem as slow as hours), space becomes distorted;
strange bodily sensations (as though you are floating or that you are becoming part of
another object), changed and intense thoughts, and emotional swings. Effects on your body
may include that: your muscles twitch, you feel weak, you feel numb, your pupils get
bigger, you shake, you feel sick or vomit, your heart beats faster, your blood pressure
rises, you breathe faster and deeper than normal, and your coordination is poor. Sometimes
the effects of hallucinogens are negative. This is called a bad trip, and it is common
among first time users. Effects of a bad trip can include: extreme anxiety or fear,
frightening hallucinations like spiders crawling on the skin, panic, leading to taking
risks (running across a busy street), feelings of going mad, paranoia, suicide or
violence. If someone you know is having a bad trip, they need to be reassured and
comforted until the effects of the drug wear off. This can take many hours and may not
disappear altogether for some days.

There are few known long-term effects from hallucinogens. However, flashbacks times when
you feel the effects of the drug again, can happen days, weeks or even years after taking
the drug. Flashbacks can include visual hallucinations and other effects. They can happen
without warning, last for a minute or two and can be disturbing. Flashbacks may be
triggered by using other drugs or by stress, tiredness or physical exercise. Regular users
are more likely to experience flashbacks than people who only use the drug from time to
time. Users of hallucinogens have been known to be driven into permanent insanity by these
experiences. There are three types of flashbacks: emotional, somatic, and perceptual. The
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