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HALLUCINOGENS THE FACTS

Hallucinogens, also known as ‘psychedelic’ drugs, are drugs that change the way a person perceives the world. Hallucinogens affect all the senses and cause hallucinations-seeing or hearing things that do not exist or are distorted. A person's thinking, sense of time and emotions can also be altered.

There are many different kinds of hallucinogens. Some occur naturally, in trees, vines, seeds, fungi and leaves, while others are manufactured in laboratories. Hallucinogens include LSD, ‘magic mushrooms’, mescaline, PCP (phencyclidine).

Naturally occurring hallucinogens have been used since ancient times by various cultures throughout the world, particularly by the indigenous peoples of North and South America, for their mystical and spiritual associations.

Hallucinogens became very fashionable in the United States and Europe in the 1960s, when many young people were pursuing greater personal freedom and questioning old values and ideas.

TYPES OF HALLUCINOGENS

LSD ('acid' or 'trips') is one of the most commonly used hallucinogens . It was invented in 1938 and explored as a treatment for some mental illnesses. During the 1960s, LSD became the drug of choice of the ‘hippy’ culture. Since then its use has declined, but there is some recent evidence of increased popularity.

In its pure state, LSD is a white, odourless powder. It usually comes in the form of a liquid or as tablets or capsules, squares of gelatine or blotting paper. LSD is swallowed, sniffed, injected or smoked. It is very potent, with small amounts causing strong effects. For easier handling, LSD is often diluted with another substance, such as sugar, or soaked onto sheets of blotting paper.

PCP (‘angel dust’): As well as effects similar to LSD, the effects of PCP include euphoria and numbness. Heavy use can cause PCP psychosis, with aggression, paranoia and violent or suicidal behaviour.

Ecstasy (MDMA): Ecstasy is like both amphetamines and hallucinogens in chemical structure and effect. It is usually swallowed, but sometimes is also injected. Ecstasy can have hallucinogenic properties when used in high quantities.

Magic mushrooms (or ‘golden top’ mushrooms): They have the active ingredient psilocybin. They can be eaten fresh, cooked or brewed into a 'tea'. Small quantities cause relaxation and slight changes in mood, but larger quantities can cause stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, shivering, a numbing of the mouth and dizziness. People can mistake poisonous mushrooms for those containing psilocybin. Certain kinds of these poisonous mushrooms can cause death or permanent liver damage within hours of ingestion. A number of other mushrooms and plants that grow in Australia have hallucinogenic properties but also have dangerous, toxic side effects when sufficient qualities are used to give the psychedelic effect. These include datura (the belladonna plant) and fly agaric mushrooms.

Cannabis (marijuana): In small quantities, cannabis is a depressant drug that slows down the body's systems. Very strong cannabis preparations or larger quantities of cannabis can cause mild hallucinogenic effects. These can lead to anxiety or panic in the user.

EFFECTS

The effects of any drug (including hallucinogens) vary from person to person. It depends on many factors, including the person’s size, weight and health, how much and how the drug is taken, whether the person is used to taking it , whether other drugs are taken, whether use is combined with drinking alcohol, the environment in which the drug is taken; for example, whether the person is alone or with others, such as at a party.

More than with any other drug, the effects of hallucinogens vary greatly from person to person, and from occasion to occasion. It is hard to know how the hallucinogenic experience, or ‘tripping’, will affect the person.

Days, weeks or even years after using the drug, some people have a repeat experience of the effects (flashbacks). The user may see intense colours and other hallucinations. Flashbacks can be sparked by the use of other drugs, or by stress, fatigue or physical exercise. The flashback experience can range from being pleasant to producing severe feelings of anxiety. They are usually visual and last for a minute or two.

Hallucinogens affect your brain. Hallucinogens alter how the brain perceives time, reality, and the environment around you. They also affect the way you move, react to situations, think, hear, and see. This may make you think that you're hearing voices, seeing images, and feeling things that don't exist.

Hallucinogens affect your heart. The use of hallucinogens leads to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Hallucinogens can put you in a coma. They can also cause heart and lung failure. Hallucinogens affect your well-being. The use of hallucinogens may change the way you feel emotionally. They may cause you to feel confused, suspicious, and disoriented. Use of PCP may interfere with hormones related to normal growth as well as with the learning process.1

Hallucinogens affect your self-control. The impact of hallucinogens varies from time to time, so there is no way to know how much self-control you might maintain. They can cause you to mix up your speech, lose control of your muscles, make meaningless movements, and do aggressive or violent things.

 

PREGNANCY

The use of hallucinogens seems to be linked to an increased risk of miscarriage. There may also be a higher incidence of birth defects among babies born to women using hallucinogens.

HALLUCINOGENS AND DRIVING

It is illegal to drive while under the influence of any drug, including hallucinogens. Breaking this law carries penalties including disqualification from driving, fines and/or imprisonment.

It is also extremely dangerous to drive after using hallucinogens.

Perception of space and time is distorted and the user may 'see' things that will cause erratic driving. The combination of drugs and alcohol can make driving significantly more dangerous.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

A number of drug treatment options are available . Some treatment options include counselling and withdrawal (detoxification) and. Residential programs are available.

 

STREET NAMES:

LSD, Acid, Blotter, Magic Mushrooms, Shrooms, PCP, Angel Dust, Boat, Ozone, Wack, E,

X and XTC.

If you know someone who uses hallucinogens, urge him or her to get help. If you're using them-stop! The longer you ignore the real facts, the more chances you take with your life.

 

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IN THE NEWS

 In a Times article it was reported that 1 out of 10 people, in the age group 20 to 35, are addicted to some type of drug or alcohol. Drug and alcohol abuse is seeing a rapid growth in the US and in Canada.

 

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  Detroit, Chicago,    L.A. New York, Montreal, Quebec, Vancouver and Seattle just to name a few are losing the war on drug and alcohol abuse. ---

  There are more and more people looking and finding help on the internet. DRUG FREE AT LAST is one of the most effective web sites . It's purpose is to help families and addicts alike find the right rehab program and faculty. DRUG FREE AT LAST has helped hundreds of people find peace of mind and help during those trying times.

 

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