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Hallucinogens (Psychedelics) Chapter 12


Hallucinogens (Psychedelics) Chapter 12 Naturally Occurring Anticholinergic Hallucinogens Anticholinergic Hallucinogens They can cause drowsiness and conditions ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Hallucinogens (Psychedelics) Chapter 12

  • Hallucinogens(Psychedelics)Chapter 12

  • Hallucinogens are substances that alter sensory
    processing in the brain, causing perceptual
    disturbances, changes in thought processing, and
  • Depersonalization is an anomaly of the mechanism
    by which an individual has self-awareness. It is
    a feeling of watching oneself act, while having
    no control over a situation. Sufferers feel they
    have changed, and the world has become less real,
    vague, dreamlike, or lacking in significance. It
    can be a disturbing experience, since many feel
    that, indeed, they are living in a "dream". 1
  • Sometimes described as causing a spiritual-like
  • 1Source http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depersonaliz

History of Hallucinogens
  • Have been used for centuries for religious
  • There are many indications that medicine men,
    priests, and other mystics have use herbs and
    drugs that caused experiences that are know today
    as hallucinations.
  • Abuse of hallucinogens became a problem in the
    United States in the 1960s

History of Hallucinogens
  • The Native American Church
  • Because the hallucinogen mescaline plays a
    central role in ceremonies of Native Americans,
    Congress passed legislation allowing its use for
    religious ceremonies.
  • The American Indian Religious Act (1978)was an
    attempt by Congress to allow the Native American
    Church access to Peyote due to constitutional
    guarantees of religious freedom. The 1994
    amendment clarified that the peyote was only to
    be used for religious ceremonies

History of Hallucinogens
  • Timothy Leary and the League of Spiritual
  • Tim Leary, after being fired from Harvard in 1963
    undertook a constitutional strategy intended to
    retain legitimate access to LSD (Lysergic acid
    diethylamide). He began a religion called the
    League of Spiritual Discovery. LSD was the
    Sacrament. The orientation manual was called The
    Psychedelic Experience (textbook online). In
    1969, Federal authorities sentenced Leary to 20
    years imprisonment (he was released in 1976)

The Nature of Hallucinogens(see Signs and
Symptoms of Hallucinogens, p.354)
  • Many drugs can exert hallucinogenic effects
  • Traditional hallucinogens (LSD-types)
  • Phenylethylamines (Ecstasy, amphetamines)
  • Anticholinergic agents (Jimsonweed and other
    natural products)
  • Cocaine
  • Steroids

Nature of Hallucinogens
  • Because of the nature of hallucinogens they can
    produce varied responses. Hallucinogens have been
    described as
  • Psychedelic
  • Psychotogenic Inducing psychosis
  • Psychotomimetic pertaining to, characterized
    by, or producing symptoms similar to those of a

Nature of Hallucinogens
The features of Hallucinogens that distinguish
them from other drug groups are their ability to
alter perception, thought, and feeling in such a
manner that does not normally occur except in
dreams or during experiences of extreme religious
Sensory and Psychological Effects of Hallucinogens
  • Typical users will experience several stages of
    sensory experiences (some or all of below)
  • Heightened, exaggerated senses
  • Loss of control
  • Self-reflection
  • Loss of identity and a sense of cosmic merging

Sensory and Psychological Effects of Hallucinogens
  • Altered senses
  • Heightened Colors, Object distortions, Change in
    the sense of time and distance
  • Synesthesia a cross-over phenomenon between the
    senses. Sound develops visual dimensions, and
    visual objects develop sound dimensions (ex. See
    sounds and Hear Colors).

Sensory and Psychological Effects of Hallucinogens
  • Loss of control
  • The LSD user cannot determine if the trip will
    be pleasant or a bad trip with recollections of
    hidden fears and suppressed anxieties can
    precipitate neurotic or psychotic responses.
  • Bad Trips can include feelings of panic,
    confusion, fear, helplessness, and total lack of

Sensory and Psychological Effects of Hallucinogens
  • Loss of control
  • Flashbacks Recurrences of the frightening
    experiences (Bad trips) can occur at a later
    time, even though LSD has not been taken again.
    These occurrences are called flashbacks.

Sensory and Psychological Effects of Hallucinogens
  • Self Reflection
  • One becomes aware of thoughts and feelings that
    are hidden beneath the surface of consciousness
    (ie. forgotten or repressed feelings).
  • It is possible that the effects of LSD may be
    used treat emotional problems such as depression
    in cancer patients, obsessive-compulsive
    disorders, and end-of-life anxiety. However, the
    unpredictability of human response to these drugs
    creates a challenge for therapeutic use.

Sensory and Psychological Effects of Hallucinogens
  • Loss of identity and a sense of cosmic merging
  • A mystical-spiritual aspect of the drug
    experience. The Hallucination gives one the
    experience of blending with the surroundings and
    being in totality with the universe.
  • The loss of identity and personal boundaries
    caused by the hallucinations is not necessarily a
    pleasant experience for these individuals with
    rigid highly organized personalities. The
    experience can cause panic and anxiety, even

Traditional Hallucinogens LSD and Other Types
of Agents (possible mechanisms of LSD activity)
  • LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
  • Similar to ergot alkaloids (see also ergotism),
    synthesized by experimentation with ergot
    compounds. Albert Hoffman created slight chemical
    modifications to lysergic acid creating LSD.
  • LSD induced psychosis and was initially studied
    to investigate the symptoms of schizophrenia.
    Interest in the use of LSD declined as it became
    generally accepted that LSD effects differed from
    natural psychosis.
  • LSD has been tried in psychotherapy in treatment
    of alcoholism, paranoia, schizophrenia.

Traditional Hallucinogens LSD Types of Agents
  • Physical properties of LSD
  • Synthesis of LSD requires about one week, and
    requires the skills of a trained chemist
  • In pure form colorless, odorless, tasteless
  • Comes in several forms Tiny tablets microdots,
    capsules, thin squares of gelatin window panes,
    and applied to paper as blotter acid and cut up
    into 0.25 inch squares
  • .One gram of LSD can provide
  • 10,000 individual doses

Traditional Hallucinogens LSD Types of Agents
  • Physiological Effects LSD is very potent (20-30
  • LSD is particularly concentrated in the brain at
    the hypothalamus and limbic system, and the
    auditory and visual reflex centers.
  • The Limbic system undergoes an electric storm
    of activity which may correlate with the
    synesthesia reported by the user.
  • Physical signs (sympathetic) include increase in
    body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and
    hyperhidrosis, with concomitant dilation of the
    pupils. (30-90 min. activation)

Traditional HallucinogensLSD Types of Agents
  • Physiological effects continued
  • Parasympathetic nervous system (increase in
    salivation and nausea).
  • Individuals do not become physically dependent,
    but psychological dependency can occur.
  • Tolerance develops very quickly and to repeated
    doses because of a change in sensitivity of the
    target cells in the brain rather than a change in
    the metabolism of LSD

Traditional Hallucinogens LSD Types of Agents
  • LSD Behavioral effects
  • Creativity and insight Perhaps it is just the
    belief that one is more creative or less
    restricted by normal boundaries.
  • Adverse psychedelic effects there is no typical
    response to LSD. The experience varies as a
    function of the users set and setting. User may
    freakout on a bad trip.
  • Perceptual effects -

Traditional Hallucinogens LSD Types of Agents
  • LSD Behavioral effects (continued)
  • Perceptual effects LSD alters both visual and
    auditory perception. In some cases, LSD alters
    perceptions to the extent that people feel
    (believe) that they can walk on water or fly
    through the air.
  • The user may experience flashbacks that are
    pleasant or unpleasant. There are three
    categories of unpleasant flashbacks 1) Body trip
    recurrence of an unpleasant physical sensation
    2) Mind trip distressing thought or emotion,
    and 3) Altered Visual Perception the most
    frequent type of recurrence consisting of seeing
    dots, flashes, trails of light, halos, motion in
    the peripheral field, and other sensations.

Traditional Hallucinogens LSD Types of Agents
  • LSD Behavioral effects (continued)
  • Flashbacks are disturbing because they come
    unexpectedly most subside within weeks or
    months after taking LSD, and the duration is
    usually a few minutes to several hours.
  • The precise mechanism of flashbacks is unknown
    possible because of the altercation on the brain
    via neurotransmitters effected by LSD use.
  • Treatment of flashbacks includes reassurance that
    the condition will go away and the use of
    sedatives to treat anxiety and panic associated
    with the recurrent flashbacks

Other LSD Types of Agents
  • Mescaline (Peyote)
  • Mescaline is the most active drug in peyote it
    induces intensified perception of colors and
  • Effects include dilation of the pupils, increase
    in body temperature, anxiety, visual
    hallucinations, alteration of body image,
    vomiting, muscular relaxation.
  • The last effect is a type of hallucination in
    which parts of the body may disappear or be
    distorted. They may have a two people
    experience within themselves
  • Users report that they lose all sense of time
  • Like LSD, users may experience synesthesia

Other LSD Types of Agents
  • Mescaline (Peyote)
  • Within 30-120 minutes, mescaline reaches a
    maximum concentration in the brain.
  • Effects may last 9-10 hours, hallucinations up to
    two hours, depending on the dosage.
  • Like LSD, mescaline probably exerts much of its
    hallucinogenic effects by altering serotonin
  • (Scene from Young Guns)

Other LSD Types of Agents(continued)
  • Psilocybin
  • Principle source is the Psilocybe mexicana
  • It was first used by natives of Central America
    more than 200 years ago
  • The active ingredient of the Psilocybe mexicana
    mushroom was extracted by Albert Hoffman in 1958.
  • Hallucinogenic effects similar to LSD.
  • Cross-tolerance among psilocybin, LSD, and
    mescaline, suggesting they have similar
    mechanisms of action
  • Stimulates autonomic nervous system, dilates the
    pupils, increases body temperature.

Other LSD Types of Agents(continued)
  • Psilocybin (cont)
  • The effects of caused by psilocybin vary by
    dosage. Up to four mg cause a pleasant
    experience, relaxation, and some body sensation.
    Higher doses may cause perceptual and body image
    changes, accompanied by hallucinations.
  • It may be possible that psilocybin can be used to
    treat depression, but the possible adverse
    affects include mental problems and induce the
    first stages of schizophrenia-like psychosis.
  • Like other hallucinogens, psilocybin apparently
    causes no apparent dependence

Tryptamines (class of drugs)
  • Tryptamines
  • a. These compounds resemble the serotonin
    molecule and exist naturally in herbs, fungi,
    animals, and even in minute amounts in the human
  • b. Most of these compounds are abused for their
    hallucinogenic/psychedelic actions and are
    classified as Schedule I drugs
  • Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
  • Foxy
  • Nutmeg

Other LSD Types of Agents (continued)
  • Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
  • A short-acting hallucinogen found in seeds of
    trees native to the West Indies and parts of
    South America, and prepared synthetically.
  • Trace amounts are found naturally in the human
  • It is inhaled and is similar in action to
  • Its effects occur rapidly and last less than one
  • Like other hallucinogens, DMT does not cause
    physical dependence

Other LSD Types of Agents(continued)
  • Foxy
  • Relatively new hallucinogen (scheduled cat 1 by
    DEA, 2004).
  • Lower doses euphoria.
  • Higher doses similar to LSD causing
    hallucinations and psychedelic experiences
  • Nutmeg
  • Myristica oil responsible for physical effects.
    Myristica blocks the release of serotonin from
    neurons in the brain.
  • The exterior covering of the nutmeg seed also
    contains the hallucinogenic compound of
  • High doses can be quite intoxicating.
  • Often causes unpleasant trips (rapid heartbeat,
    dry mouth, thirst, agitation, apprehension, and
    feelings of impending doom effects may last up
    to 12 hours, with a sense of unreality for days)

Phenylethylamine Hallucinogens
  • The phenylethylamine drugs are chemically related
    to amphetamines.
  • They have varying degrees of hallucinogenic and
    CNS stimulant effects.
  • LSD-like predominantly release serotonin
    dominated by their hallucinogenic action.
  • Cocaine-like predominantly release dopamine
    dominated by their stimulant effects.

Phenylethylamine Hallucinogens (continued)
  • Dimethoxymethylamphetamine (DOM or STP)
  • A powerful hallucinogen that works like mescaline
    and LSD and like other hallucinogens not
    considered to be particularly addicting
  • Effects of this drug include substantial
    perceptual changes such as blurred vision,
    multiple images, vibration of objects, visual
    hallucinations, distorted shapes, enhancement of
    details, slowed passage of time, increased sexual
    drive and pleasure, and increased contrasts. It
    may also cause (pupil) dilation and a rise in
    systolic blood pressure.1
  • 1Source http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethoxyme

Phenylethylamine Hallucinogens (continued)
  • Designer amphetamines (review information from
    Chapter 10)
  • 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)
  • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine(MDMA, Ecstasy)
  • Include drugs such as MDA and MDMA (Ecstasy),
    which enhance the sense of touch these drugs are
    sometimes referred to as entactogens.
  • These drugs are popular and typically used by
    young adults because of their combination of
    entactogenic and stimulant effects. The use of
    these drugs is often associated with raves and
    dance clubs.

Phenylethylamine Hallucinogens (continued)
  • Designer amphetamines (review information from
    Chapter 10)
  • 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)
  • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine(MDMA, Ecstasy)
  • There is some debate as to their ability to cause
    addiction and dependence. It is likely that MDMA
    is significantly less addicting than potent
    psycho-stimulants such as methamphetamine and
    cocaine due to its preferential ability to
    activate serotonin over dopamine systems.

Anticholinergic Hallucinogens
  • The anticholinergic hallucinogens include
    naturally occurring alkaloid substances that are
    present in plants and herbs.
  • The potato family of plants contains most of
    these mind-altering drugs.
  • Three potent anticholingergic compounds in these
  • Scopolamine
  • Hyoscyamine
  • Atropine

Naturally Occurring Anticholinergic Hallucinogens
  • Anticholinergic Hallucinogens
  • They can cause drowsiness and conditions similar
    to psychosis.
  • 1. Atropa Belladonna The Deadly Nightshade Plant
  • 2. Mandragora Officinarum The Mandrake
  • 3. Hyoscyamus Niger Henbane
  • 4. Datura Stramonium Jimsonweed

Naturally Occurring Anticholinergic Hallucinogens
  • Anticholinergic Hallucinogens (cont)
  • Atropa Belladonna The Deadly Nightshade Plant
  • The name of the genus, Atropa, is the origin of
    the name atropine.
  • Atropos One of the three fates in Greek
    mythology, whose duty it was to cut off life when
    the time came
  • Bella Donna beautiful woman atropa placed in
    the eyes cause pupil dilation

Naturally Occurring Anticholinergic Hallucinogens
  • Anticholinergic Hallucinogens (cont)
  • 2. Mandragora Officinarum The Mandrake
  • Contains several active psychedelic alkaloids
    hyoscyamine, scopolamine, atropine, and
  • In ancient medicine was used to treat nervous
    disorders, and relieve pain

Naturally Occurring Anticholinergic Hallucinogens
  • Anticholinergic Hallucinogens (cont)
  • 3. Hyoscyamus Niger Henbane
  • A plant that contains both hyoscyamine and
  • It was frequently used to cause sleep, although
    producing hallucinations and included in witches
  • It was historically used in combination with
    other plants, such as mandrake, deadly
    nightshade, as an anaesthetic potion, as well as
    for its psychoactive properties in "magic
    brews."These psychoactive properties include
    visual hallucinations and a sensation of flight.
  • Source http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyoscyamus_n

Naturally Occurring Anticholinergic Hallucinogens
  • Anticholinergic Hallucinogens (cont)
  • 4. Datura Stramonium Jimsonweed
  • The principal active drug in this group is
    scopolamine, and also contains atropine.
  • Historically used as a hallucinogen by many
  • Jimsonweed grows freely and is sometimes used in
    stews. Jimsonweed produces many bad side
    effects in addition to hallucinations including
    confusion, dilated pupils, and tachycardia.

Other Hallucinogens
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Considered by many experts as the most dangerous
    of the hallucinogens although it has a host of
    other effects as well.
  • It was developed as an intravenous anesthetic but
    was found to have serious adverse side effects.

Other Hallucinogens (continued)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) physiological effects
  • Hallucinogenic effects, stimulation, depression,
    anesthesia, analgesia
  • Large doses can cause coma, convulsions, and
  • PCP psychological effects
  • Feelings of strength, power, invulnerability,
    perceptual distortions, paranoia, violence, and
    psychoses and users appear like schizophrenics

Other Hallucinogens (continued)
  • Ketamine (general anesthetic PCP-like)
  • It is used as a general anesthetic for
    veterinarian procedures
  • Considered a club drug with effects similar to
    PCP but more rapid and less potent
  • Dextromethorphan (cough suppressant)
  • High doses cause PCP-like effects
  • An active ingredient in many OTC cough
    medications, but when consumed in high doses it
    can cause hallucinogenic effects including
    symptoms such as confusion, numbness, and
  • Abuse is generally by teenagers and may be
    referred to as roboing. Recreational use of
    cough medicine by high school seniors in 2010 was

Other Hallucinogens (continued)
  • Salvia divinorum
  • Comes from a Mexican herb
  • Can cause intense hallucinations and short-term
    memory loss
  • Outlawed in some, but not all states
  • Some studies suggest that the ingredient
    salvinorum may be useful in the treatment of
    chronic pain and some mental disorders.
  • End of Presentation
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