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What is Hallucinogen?

A hallucinogen is a psychoactive agent which can


cause hallucinations, perception anomalies, and other substantial subjective
changes in thoughts, emotion, andconsciousness.The common types of
hallucinogens are psychedelics, dissociatives, or deliriants. By
contrast, Stimulants, Opioids, and other psychoactive drugs are not explicitly
hallucinogens because a 'hallucination' is visual terminology. The psychoactivity of
opioids is devoid of visual anomalies, though the 'numbing' can be considered
dissociation from pain. Hallucinations are not an uncommon symptom
of amphetamine psychosis, but as they are not a primary effect of the drugs
themselves, amphetamines are not considered hallucinogens. While stimulants do
not induce hallucinations without abuse, the nature of stimulant psychosis is not
unlike delirium.

Thesis statement:
Hallucinogen is not life threatening but it can ruin your life and your future. This
aims to present the components of hallucinogen and the danger it brings.

Components of Hallucinogen
`LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)
It is the most popular or commonly used as Hallucinogen and considered as the typical for hallucinations.
LSD is the most effective of its kind. Its mental effects were discovered by Swiss Chemist Abert
Hoffman on 1943 when a small amount of ergot was accidentally ingested. LSDs action is complex and
as yet not fully known. It cause the pupils to expand and increases in pulse rate, blood pressure and
temperature. Acting on the brain, LSD can cause sensory distortions, vivid hallucinations. Emotional and
subjective response may depends on the user and can include difficulty in concentration, loss of identity,
feelings of unreality, seemingly magical insights, depression, anxiety and sometimes panic and terror.
Even in small doses, it can cause measurable effects. At present, LSD has no proven and accepted medical
uses and its completely illegal. It is a clear, white, odorless, water soluble material with a slightly bitter
taste. First, it is produced in crystalline form, and sold in the streets as tablets, capsules or in liquid form.
When it is still in crystal form, it will be crushed to powder and mixed with binding agents to produce
tablets known as microdots or thin squares of gelatin called window panes; or more commonly, it is

dissolved, diluted and applied to paper called blotter acid, sheets of paper soaked in LSD, and perforated
in inch square dosage units. Each squares are equivalent to one dose. The accurate mechanism by
which LSD alters is still unclear. Evidence from lab experiment suggests that LSD act on certain groups
of serotonin receptors and thats effect are most prominent in two brain regions; the Cerebral Cortex and
the Locus Coeruleus. A small dose of this drug can send a person to a 10 hour trip into a world of
beatific serenity and shimmering insight, sometimes to frenzy and terror. In either case the person who
has taken this remarkable drug never sees life quite the same again. A trancelike, slow-motion state
envelops most people on LSD trip, although in their own minds their thoughts seems to race with
fantastic speed and clarity. They will stare at the most trivial objects for minutes at a time, transfixed by
suddenly beauty and significance they find there.

Amphetamine
Amphetamines are a type of drugs that are strong stimulants of central nervous system. Raising the heart
pulse and the blood pressure. It is formed in a tablet or capsule, It increases alertness and reduce hunger.
This are used for treating depression and sleep order called narcolepsy. They have also been prescribed
for hyperactivity, but this has caused controversy. This drug is sold under such trade names as
Benzedrine, Dexedrine and Methedrine, among others. It was first made in 1887, but used in medical in
1920s. Amphetamine was found in increasing non medical use as pep pills or uppers for staying
awake. They also gained popularity as recreational drugs. Its abuse became increasingly serious problem
after the early 1950s as the drug began to be injected intravenously. Amphetamine-Heroin mixture called
speed balls after Cocaine-Heroin mixtures, gave rise to the name for speed for injections of
Amphetamine alone. Abusing this drug cause extreme irritability, paranoid delusions, and hallucinations,
during which an individual is prone to violence, the abuser is likely to experience profound depression
and thoughts of suicide during periods of withdrawal. Abusing this is very dangerous and can cause death
for persons with high blood pressure or cardiac problems, and for athletes overtaking their hearts, because
the drug masks their fatigue. Modern use of Amphetamine abuse include ecstasy, a combination of
methamphetamine with a psychedelic drug, and a smokable form of crystalline methamphetamine called
ice. Amphetamine dilates the small sacs of the lungs, providing relief to patients with breathing
disorders. Amphetamines have stimulating effects opposite to the effects of depressants
such as alcohol, narcotics and barbiturates. They raise the blood pressure by causing the body to release
eninephrine, postpone the need for sleep, and can reverse, partially and temporarily, theeffects of fatigue.
Amphetamines enhance mental alertness and the ability to concentrate, andalso cause wakefulness, eupho
ria, and talkativeness.

Ketamine
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic developed in 1963 to replace PCP. Ketamine is currently used in
human anesthesia and veterinary medicine. Much of the ketamine sold on the street has been illicitly
diverted from veterinarians offices. Although it is manufactured as an injectable liquid, in illicit use
ketamine is generally evaporated to form a powder that is snorted or compressed into pills. Ketamine is
odorless, tasteless and induces amnesia. Because of these properties, the drug is sometimes added in

beverages of unsuspecting victims and used in commission of sexual assaults referred as drug rape.
Ketamine is also ingested by large numbers of people at so-called raves. Ketamines chemical structure
and mechanism of action are similar to those PCP, and its effects are similar, but ketamine is much less
potent than PCP, with effects of much shorter duration. Users report sensation ranging from pleasant
feeling of floating to being separated from their bodies. Some ketamine experiences involve a terrifying
feeling of almost complete sensory detachment that is likened to a near death experience. These
experiences, similar to a bad trip on LSD, are called k-hole.

PCP (Phencyclidine)
PCP is a intravenous surgical anesthetic and a dissociative drug. PCP is normally a white crystalline
powder. It is a veterinary anesthetic that became a popular drug of abuse in the 1970s Under the street
names Angel dust phencyclidine is snorted or smoked to produce High. Sometimes it can be dissolved
in water or alcohol dyes. In the late 1960s PCP in form of pill become a majorly abused drug. The surge
in illicit pill use rapidly receded as users became dissatisfied with the long delay between taking the drug
and feeling its effect and because of the unpredictable and often violent behavior associated with its use.
In 1970s powdered pcp known as ozone, rocket fuel, love boat, hog, embalming fluid, angel dust or
superweed-became popular. A powdered form of the drug can be sprinkled on marijuana, tobacco or
parsley. And then smoked, and onset of effect is rapid, users sometimes ingest PCP by snorting the
powder. PCPs effect are typically felt within minutes of ingestion and last for several hours with some
users reporting the drugs effect lasting for days. The effects of PCP are unpredictable: One drug taking
episode may produce feelings of detachment from reality, including distortion of space, time and body
image. Another may produce hallucinations, panic and fear. Some users report feelings of invulnerability
and exaggerated strength. It can cause violence and suicide.

DXM (Dextromorphon)
Dextromorphon (sometimes called robo) is a cough suppressing ingredient in a variety of over the counter
cold and cough medications. The most common source of abused Dextromorphon is the Extra-stregth
cough syrup, which typically contains 3 milligrams of the drug per millimeter of syrup. At the doses
recommended for treating coughs (1/6 to 1/3 ounce of medications, containing 15 mg to 30 mg
Dextromorphon) , the drug is safe and effective as much higher doses (4 or more ounces) Dextromorphon
produces dissociatives effects similar to those of pcp and ketamine.
The effects vary with dose, and Dextromorphon users describe a set of distinct dose-dependent plateaus
ranging from a mild stimulant effect with distorted visual perceptions at low doses of approximately 2
ounces to a sense of complete dissociation from ones body at doses of 10 ounces or more. The effects
typically last for 6 hours over the counter medications that contains dxm often contains antihistamine and
decongestant ingredients as well and high doses of these mixture can seriously increase risk of dxm
abuse.

What is the reason why do people take hallucinogen drugs


For centuries, hallucinogens have been used in many different cultures for a wide variety of reasons.
Often they have been used in religious rituals or spiritual pursuits, to produce mystical "visions" or simply
to induce detachment from reality. Writers, poets and artists have used hallucinogens and other drugs
through the decades to find inspiration or to spark creativity. In more recent years, hallucinogenic and
dissociative drugs have been used for more mundane purposes - social or recreational use just for "fun."
People also use hallucinogens to deal with stress, or to try to achieve what they believe is an enlightened
state of mind. Many users take hallucinogenic drugs simply to escape their troubles lives or to relieve
boredom. People who are mentally ill will try hallucinogens simply to alter their state of mind. When you
have someone who in a "normal" state is not strongly based in reality and then begins taking trips into a
world of hallucinations, it can be a dangerous situation, psychologically. Hallucinogens by definition
cause users to have extreme distortions of their perceptioin of reality. They have experiences that look,
feel and seem very real, but it fact are only in their minds. In other words, they completely escape reality.
On the other hand, there are some who think using hallucinogens could be therapeutic for some. Although
presently not approved for such use, some hallucinogenic drugs have been scientifically tested to see if
they might have therapeutic effects on patients suffering from conditions related to perceptual distortions,
such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and dementia. More recently,
people report using hallucinogenic drugs for more social or recreational purposes, including to have fun,
help them deal with stress, or enable them to enter into what they perceive as a more enlightened sense of
thinking or being. Hallucinogens have also been investigated as therapeutic agents to treat diseases
associated with perceptual distortions, such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar
disorder, and dementia. Anecdotal reports and small studies have suggested that ayahuasca may be a
potential treatment for substance use disorders and other mental health issues, but no large-scale research
has verified its efficacy (Barbosa, 2012). Many surveys have indicated that young people whose friends
use illegal substances are more prone themselves to become users than are members of non-drug crowd.
Some teenagers are influenced by older brother and sisters and even by parents who regularly use
hallucinogens for years. Researchers have investigated other possible reasons why young people use
illicit substances. Studies have suggested that individuals with behavioral and emotional problems are
more likely than others to use hallucinogens regularly. Personal circumstances- A dark home life, a
broken relationship- can also play a role.

What are the effects of hallucinogen in brain?


Hallucinnogenic Drugs alter a person's perceptions of reality and may cause hallucinations and
other alterations of the senses. Drugs classified as hallucinogens include: LSD (lysergic acid
diethylamide), 2, 5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetime(DOM), N,N-dimeth yltrptamine(DMT), psilocin,
and mescaline. There are two aspects of these drugs that classify then as hallucinogens. They all
have common side effects, including distortion of sensory perception, and other psychic and
somatic effects. These drugs also exhibit cross-tolerance. This means that a user of hallucinogenic
drugs develops a higher tolerance to hallucinogens, the more they are used and the shorter the
time span is between the last usage.
Hallucinogenic drugs have been used throughout history for a number of reasons. They have been
used as medicinal agents as well as having served religious purposes. Hallucinogens such as
mescaline have been used in Native American ritual ceremonies. There was extensive usage of
hallucinogens in the 60's and 70's as part of the counter- culture hippie movement. During the
"acid tests" of this era, hallucinogenic drugs were used for mind exploration (B.L. Jacobs, "How
Hallucinogenic Drugs Work").
Hallucinogenic drugs cause both physical and psychological effects on humans. The physical
effects of these drugs include: dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, increased heart rate
and blood pressure, appetite loss, sleeplessness, tremors, headaches, nausea, sweating, heart
palpitations, blurring of vision, memory loss, trembling, and itching. A user of hallucinogenic drugs
will also experience a number of psychological alterations in the brain. These drugs may cause
hallucinations and illusions as well, as the amplification of sense, and the alterations of thinking
and self-awareness. It is quite possible to have a bad reaction to hallucinogenic drugs. This is
referred to as a "bad trip" and may cause panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control.
The long-term effects of these drugs can be quite dangerous. These long-term effects may
include: flashbacks, mood swings, impaired thinking, unexpected outbursts of violence and
eventually possibly depression that may lead to death or suicide.
Quite a lot of interest concerning hallucinogens has been generated by neurobiologists and other
scientists. The effects that hallucinogenic drugs have on the brain are quite complicated and very
interesting. Many users of hallucinogenic drugs have experienced whole personality changes which
raises questions about the relationship between brain and behavior. Scientists are also curious as
to how total alterations of the senses can occur as the result of hallucinogen usage. Many people
that have used hallucinogens claim to have "seen sounds" or "heard colors". Scientists ask questions
such as: How can a person under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs see things that aren't there?
or How do flashbacks work? Another aspect of hallucinogenic drugs that interests scientists is that
they are psychomimetic meaning that they mimic certain aspects of psychosis. Through the use of
hallucinogenic drugs, one can induce temporary symptoms of psychosis.

As a result of the great interest in hallucinogens, many years of research have been done to try
and determine exactly how the brain is affected by these drugs. Scientists have tried to determine
if there is a specific site in the brain where hallucinogens act. This has been difficult to
determine. Scientists still are unable to answer all questions about hallucinogenic drugs. However
they have been able to determine certain areas of the brain that these drugs do act upon.
Early on in the reasearch on hallucinogens, it was determined that hallucinogenic drugs
structurally resemble serotonin (5-HT) Serotonin is found in specific neurons in the brain that
mediate chemical neurotransmission in the brain. Neurons containing serotonin can be found in
the brain stem section of the brain. Axons of serotonergic neurons project to almost every part of
the brain, affecting and communicating with all sections of the brain. Serotonin also acts at many
receptor areas of neurons. Because hallucinogenic drugs are structurally similar to serotonin, it
was theorized that hallucinogenic drugs may act upon serotonergic neurons (B.L. Jacobs, "How
Hallucinogenic Drugs Work").
Scientists began to carefully study the serotonin system and found out that hallucinogens do in
fact have some kind of effect on serotonin. Hallucinogenic drugs cause an increase in the level of
brain serotonin, but they inhibit the rapid firing of neurons containing serotonin. This is a negative
feedback system in which as the serotonin level rises, the activity of serotonergic neurons
decreases. It was originally theorized that this effect of hallucinogenic drugs directly caused sense
alteration and hallucinations. Several observations however have shown this theory not to be true.
These observations include the following: Low doses of LSD effect behavior, but do not depress
firing of serotonergic neurons, The behavioral effects of LSD outlast the alteration of the firing of
the serotonergic neurons, Repeated dosage of LSD results in a decrease of behavioral changes, but
still effects neuron firing, Other hallucinogens do not affect serotonergic neurons, When serotonin
levels are depleted, the effectiveness of LSD is not eliminated (Ian Leicht, "Postulated Mechanisms
of LSD").
It has now been determined that the effects of hallucinogenic drugs are actually caused by the
effects that hallucinogenic drugs have on the post-synaptic activity of serotonergic neurons.
Hallucinogenic drugs directly affect the serotonin receptors (specifically the serotonin receptor
subtype, 5-HT2), which is what eventually results in a complex pattern of action potentials and
activity. This was proven by the fact that the depletion of serotonin levels in animals does not
result in a decrease of behavioral effects caused by hallucinogenic drugs (B.L. Jacobs, "How
Hallucinogenic Drugs Work").

Importance of the study


This will benefit the following:
Users: Users often see, hear, feel, taste and smell things that aren't there. The experience is sometimes
described as a dream-like state. With the help of this research and study, It will help the users to know the
effects of hallucinogens in their body and how will it affect their physical and mental being. This will help

them to realize that hallucinogen is a drug that affects many parts of our body including our brain that can
surely destroy the way they (users) think.

Non-users: