Chapter 10

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Transcript Chapter 10

Drugs and Our Society
Part 10
They are among the oldest known group of
drugs used for their ability to alter human
perception and mood
- they are mood altering drugs
Naturally occurring hallucinogens have been
found in plants and fungi for centuries
- many used in shamanistic religious practices
- in recent years, a number of synthetic have
been produced
- some much more potent than the naturally
Hallucinogens, cont
The biochemical / the pharmacological / and
the physiological basis for hallucinogen
activity is not well understood
- even the name for the class of drugs is not
-since hallucinogens do not always produce
- in non-toxic doses, these substances do
produce changes in perception / thoughts /
and mood
4. Physiological effects:
Hallucinogens, cont
- include elevated heart rate / increased blood
pressure / dilated pupils
Sensory effects:
- include perceptional distortions that vary
with dose, setting, and mood
Psychic effects:
- include disorder of thought associate with
time and space
- time may appear to stand still
- where forms and colors seem to change
- or they take on a new significance
Hallucinogens, cont
These experiences can be either pleasurable
or extremely frightening
- effects of hallucinogens are unpredictable
each time they are used
8. Weeks and months after some hallucinogens
have been taken
- the user may experience ‘flashbacks’
- fragmentary recurrences of certain aspects
of the drug taking experience without taking
the drug again
9. Flashbacks are unpredictable
Hallucinogens, cont
- more likely to occur during times of
- occur more frequently in younger people
- with older more experienced users the
episodes diminish and become less intense
The 1960s were the time of ‘psychedelic’
drug use
- LSD / peyote / PCP were considered drugs
of the educated user
- hallucinogens continued to increase in use
throughout the 70’s
Hallucinogens, cont
Prominent people of the time espoused the
use of hallucinogens
- music of the 60’s also talked of hallucinogen
use and called it ‘psychedelic rock’
- rock stars / movie stars used the drug to
expand their minds
- they said it brought out the brilliance of their
music or their acting
- some highly educated people began using
hallucinogens (such as Timothy Leary and
Hallucinogens, cont
The 1990s has shown a resurgence in the use
of hallucinogens and this is cause for concern
- by 2000, 1 out of every 6 college students
(14.8%) reported some use of hallucinogens
during their lifetime
- hallucinogenic mushrooms / LSD / MDMA
are also popular among junior and senior
high school students who use hallucinogens
Dangers are involved in hallucinogen use
- it has shown neuronal damage in animals
- and they are neurotoxic to humans
Hallucinogens, cont
- neurotoxic means poisonous to nerves and
nerve tissue
Neuronal damage from hallucinogens impacts
the serotonergic neurons and can result in:
- becoming neurotic / sleep /mood / anxiety
disturbances / memory deficits / attention
problems elevated impulsiveness
- and they can last for up to 2 years after use
- but the most common danger is impaired
judgment leading to accidents and injuries
Hallucinogens, cont
From the beginning of time we have sought
ways to alter our consciousness
- through trial and error, we identified certain
plants that have mind-altering properties
- we have over 6,000 different types of plants
that are capable of altering consciousness
- today, we have 150 plants that are used for
hallucinogenic purposes
Scientific interest increased after WWII
- Germany did research with mind-altering
drugs on its own soldiers and war prisoners
Hallucinogens, cont
Today, the availability of mind-altering drugs
is vast
- we have government projects on-going that
are used in espionage and law enforcement
- there are hints that they being used under
Homeland Security to protect from terrorism
Terminology can also be confusing
- hallucinogen refers to drugs that have the
potential to produce hallucinations
- chemicals that alter thoughts / feelings /
Hallucinogens, cont
- and perceptions
- many result in hallucinations only when
taken in large quantities
Origin of hallucinogens
- almost all are derived from plants
- with 2 exceptions: LSD and MDMA
- both are produced synthetically
These drugs are consumed for their psychic
effects, not physical effects
- people took them to escape everyday life
- or to commune with a higher order
Hallucinogens, cont
- psychic powers / sacred powers / medicinal
powers were attributed to these drugs
- they change awareness of reality
- they alter perceptions of time
- perceptions of spirituality
- perceptions of the universe
It helped people transcend boundaries of time
and space
- human research took place before the 1960s
- psychiatric hospitals / government agencies
/ and private clinics
D-lysergic acid diethylamide
The most potent hallucinogenic substance
known to man
- cocaine and heroin measured in milligrams
(thousandths of a gram)
- doses of LSD are measured in micrograms
(millionths of a gram)
- microgram = 1 millionth of a gram
LSD is 100 times more potent than psilocybin
and psilocin
- it is 400 times more potent than mescaline
LSD, cont
To produce a hallucinogenic effect in humans
- a dose of 25 micrograms is generally
- today, the DEA considers 50 micrograms the
- anywhere from 20 to 80 micrograms is used
LSD is a Schedule I drug, meeting the three
criteria necessary
- high potential for abuse
- no currently accepted medical use
- lacks accepted safety for use in treatment
LSD, cont
It was developed in 1938 at the Sandoz Lab in
- it was synthesized from an ergot on fungus that
grows on rye
- ergot is a disease of cereal crops
It sold as a new drug to stimulate circulation and
respiration, and to stop bleeding in the uterine muscle
- no benefits were identified and after 5 years it was
put on the shelf
In 1943, Albert Hoffman accidentally ingested the
- a few days later, he took .25 mgs in water
- a new interest in treatment for schizophrenia arose
LSD, cont
- days later, Hoffman took .25 mgs of LSD in water
- there became a new interest in the treatment for
- it has a structural relationship to a chemical that is
present in the brain
In 1949, it reached the United States and was used
to treat psychosis
- LSD is water soluble / odorless / colorless / and
- in the late 1960s, Congress prohibited both its use
and sale
LSD, cont
It produces profound effects on perception
and mood
- tolerance develops quickly
- cannot experience the effects of LSD if
taken within the past 3 or 4 days
- a cross-tolerance can also occur with LSD
and other hallucinogens
It is consumed orally and absorbed through
the gastrointestinal tract
- it is metabolized by the liver and quickly
LSD, cont
1960s: it came in the form or cube or tablet
today: microdots or diluted drops
it is placed on blotter paper where it can be
licked or sucked (blotter acid)
it is also found in candies, such as Sweet
also transported in food coloring bottles
LSD Effects
Effects begin within the hour (anywhere from
30 to 90 minutes after ingestion)
- behavioral effects last 6 to 8 hours
- LSD has a half-life of only 3 hours, so the
effects last longer than the drug is active
- it is detectable in urine 72 hours after
- no fatal overdoses are documented, but
people have died due to their behavior on
- not from pharmacological effects
LSD Effects, cont
It operates on the neurotransmitter serotonin
- serotonin plays a role in sensory perception
and mood
- synesthesia occurs, which is a blending of
the senses
- a person hears or tastes colors
- a person can see sounds
Depersonalization and disorientation are other
- a user may conjure up repressed memories
- body image may be distorted
LSD Effects, cont
- feelings of becoming one with the floor
- or whatever one is sitting on or lying on
- person may have a psychotic reaction that
lasts weeks or months
- others may have a mystical or religious
experience or encounter
The LSD trip has 3 distinct phases
- the 1st phase lasts 1 to 2 hours and can
include euphoria and crying or laughing
- the 2nd phase lasts 2 to 3 hours and has
LSD Effects, cont
visual illusions where hallucinations appear
- the 3rd phase lasts 3 to 4 hours and has a
distortion of time / ego disintegration /
mood swings / and occasionally panic and
- another phenomenon associated with LSD
- a person re-experiences effects days, weeks
and even months after last using LSD
- no consensus on how often they occur
- one report: 15% of users experience
Flashbacks, cont
- for others, flashbacks are unlikely
Cause has not been determined conclusively
- may be precipitated by stress or fatigue
- another study said it may occur in persons
who use antidepressant drugs
- flashbacks tend to be brief
- but frequency and duration of flashbacks
are unpredictable
A hallucinogen Aztecs used for religious rituals
- comes from the Lophophora williamsil
cactus (low-pho-phora)
It is a small, spineless cactus that is found in
Mexico and southwestern United States
- it measures about 3 inches in diameter
- Mescaline is the psychoactive agent and
was named after the Mescalero Apaches
- users dry the crown of the cactus, suck it
and swallow
- or they can mix it with water and chew it
Peyote, cont
The chemical sensation (norepinephrine)
causes excitation and increased motor activity
- dried cactus is known as a “mescal button”
- they have a foul odor / rancorous taste /
and are difficult to ingest
Users initially experience nausea / vomiting /
and diarrhea
- this often deters further use
- small doses produce euphoria
- larger doses generate hallucinations which
involve intense colors / taste / and feelings
Peyote, cont
Compared to LSD, peyote is less intense but
more manageable
- peyote intoxication consists of 2 phases
- contentment and sensitivity
- first is a great calm
- then a muscular sluggishness
- there is a shift from external stimuli to an
introspection and meditation
Medical use
Peyote, cont
- treats patients with angina pectoris (chest
- respiratory stimulant for pneumonia patients
- researchers also see promising results for
Peyote takes effect within 30 to 90 minutes
- stays in the body for about 10 hours
- hallucinations last only 2 hours
- eliminated from the body primarily in urine
Physiological effects
Peyote, cont
- dilated pupils / rise in body temperature /
increase in blood pressure and heart rate
- death from use have not been documented
- but a person could die from behaviors while
on the drug
Mescaline is similar to LSD
- tolerance forms quickly
- physical dependence does not occur
- but there is a cross-tolerance between LSD
and mescaline
Peyote, cont
Synthetic mescaline is produced
- it is made into liquid form / capsules / tablet
- it is more palatable than the natural form
- synthesizing mescaline is difficult
- that sold on the street is frequently another
drug, such as LSD
In the early 1800s, Apache’s / Kiowa / and
Comanche's chewed the mescal buttons
- incorporated them into religious rituals
Native American Church
Peyote, cont
- until 1990, peyote use is legal in the US for
spiritual reasons
- it was considered a sacrament
- recreational and social use was not allowed
US Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3
- individual states could forbid peyote use for
religious purposes
- protection of religious freedom under the
First Amendment no longer extended to
sacramental use of peyote
Peyote, cont
Justice Antonin Scalia (1990):
“We have never held that an individual’s
religious beliefs excuse him from compliance
with an otherwise valid law prohibiting
conduct that the State is free to regulate.”
- 28 states still allow the use of peyote in
Native American rituals
but vary in how it is regulated
since 1994, Native American tribes are
trying to control use of non-members
This is a drug making a resurgence in the US
- called “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms”
Aztecs called psilocybin ‘teonanacatl’
- which means “God’s Flesh”
- it was spiritually significant to the Aztecs
- Spaniards stopped the use after controlling
the natives
Several species contain psilocybin
- they grow in parts of the US / Mexico / and
Psilocybin, cont
- in 1958, Albert Hoffman isolated the
psychoactive ingredient
- early 1960s, use began to increase primarily
among college students
- use waned after awhile when LSD became
more prominent
It is chemically similar to LSD
- but the effects last a shorter time and are
not as intense
- it can be consumed orally
Psilocybin, cont
- in the form of dried mushrooms
- drinking a beverage containing the plant
- ground up and added to foods
- but can also be found in tablet form
After ingestion, stomach enzymes converts it
to psilocin
- a more potent psychedelic than mescaline
- but it is less toxic
- and like peyote, it has an unpleasant taste
As with LSD and peyote, no fatal overdoses
Psilocybin, cont
- at least no fatal overdoses are recorded
- a person can die from ingesting other types
of mushrooms
- it is easy to mistake a poisonous one from
In small doses, (4 mgs) it brings feelings of
euphoria and relaxation
- higher doses distort perception of both time
and space
- user is distracted more easily and is open to
Psilocybin, cont
- it interferes with the ability to concentrate
- hallucinations are produced, both visual and
Physiological effects:
- similar to other psychoactive drugs
- dilates the pupils / raises body temperature
/ pulse rate / blood pressure
- involuntary movement of arms and legs, and
muscle relaxation may follow use
Psychological effects:
- produces an array of emotional responses
Psilocybin, cont
- ranges from uncontrolled laughter to
- experience hallucinations within 30 minutes
- last from 3 to 8 hours
There is no current medical use
- researching its impact on schizophrenia
- psilocybin may reduce the effects of alcohol
when they are taken at the same time
Anticholinergic Hallucinogens
These drugs belong to the same family as the
- they have a long history involving sorcery
and witchcraft
- they have been used as medicines / poisons
/ and beauty aids
- besides producing hallucinations
- they are highly toxic in large doses
In the 1970s, they were found in many overthe-counter drugs
- Sominex / Contac / Travel-eze / Endotussin
Anticholinergic, cont
- since the 1980s, anticholinergic drugs have
been removed from OTC medications
- “beautiful lady” in Italian
- also known as “deadly nightshade”
- bluish black soft berry containing ‘atropine’
- it gives a person the feeling of flying
- used in witches brews / satanic rituals
- associated with witches and broomsticks
- irregular heartbeat and drowsiness follow
Anticholinergic, cont
- it has potent hallucinogenic properties
- symptoms appear in 30 to 60 minutes but it
can be extremely toxic
- a dozen berries can be fatal (1/10th of gram)
- the root is most poisonous
Locoweed / Jimsonweed (Datura)
- used by North and Central American Indians
- cause disorientation / delirium / and visual
- symptoms appear within 30 to 60 minutes
Anticholinergic, cont
- after ingesting or smoking
- effects may last up between 24 to 48 hours
- toxic effects can be severe, leading to coma
or even death
Nutmeg / Mace
- come from the Myristica tree
- chemically similar to mescaline
- can induce visual / auditory hallucinations
if consumed in large quantities
- nutmeg is from the seeds of the tree
Anticholinergic, cont
mace is from the fruit of the tree
usually chewed or snuffed with tobacco
1 or 21 teaspoons consumed
takes effect in 2 to 5 hours
not taken because of unpleasant effects
nausea / headaches / vomiting / sensory
- followed by extremely noxious hangover
Anticholinergic, cont
Phencyclidine (PCP)
- it is sometimes classified as a hallucinogen
- is capable of producing hallucinations
- differs from those produced by LSD
- developed in the 1950s / used as a surgical
- still used as a veterinary anesthetic outside
of the United States
- production became illegal here in 1978, but it
is still used in other countries
Phencyclidine, cont
Classification is complicated
- can generate anesthetic / hallucinogenic /
stimulating / or depressing effects
- depending on the dosage and method of
- it has been described as a “dissociative
- meaning the person feels separated from
Early use:
- angel dust / dust / rocket fuel / trank /
Phencyclidine, cont
distributed on the West Coast in early 1960s
in San Francisco it was popular, but resulted
in bizarre and violent behavior
as an anesthetic, patients remain awake and
unable to recall the surgery experience
no adverse effects to circulation / heart rate
/ or respiration
discontinued in 1965 because of undesirable
agitation / delirium / disorientation
Phencyclidine, cont
- when the effects wear off, the user becomes
unmanageable / confused / disassociated
with surroundings
Street use:
- distributed in tablet or capsule form
- also injected / snorted / smoked
- mixed with tobacco or marijuana
- absorption is rapid / effects are experienced
- last from a few minutes to an hour
Phencyclidine, cont
- acute effects last 4 to 6 hours
- result in agitation / delirium / disorientation
- confusion can last from 8 to 24 hours
- no tolerance or physical dependence results
- no physical withdrawal symptoms
Illegal use
- alternate to LSD because of low cost
- mixed with marijuana (killed joint / sherm)
- use has declined
- but it is still popular in San Francisco
Phencyclidine, cont
Street reputation
- making users violent / incredibly strong
- police / hospital workers wary of users
- average size people breaking handcuffs
- simultaneously wrestling several officers
- being shot several times / continue to fight
- small dose: relaxation / warmth / euphoria
/ numbness / interferes with concentration
/ distorts body image / depersonalization
Phencyclidine, cont
increased usage: confusion / nystagmus /
poor concentration / agitation / impaired
reaction time
high doses: mood swings / blank staring /
repetitive actions / muscular rigidity / can
produce psychotic effects similar to
schizophrenia / paranoia / physical
aggression / inability to eat or sleep