In a house sits a man with no mind. Heart beating, lungs wheezing, mouth agape, and eyes wide open. He is not someone who has a condition; his condition is something chooses, something that is the result of a hallucinogen. Compared to the 60 s and 70 s today’s society is able to get stronger forms of hallucinogens. Stronger hallucinogens mean stronger effects. Hallucinogens take a toll on the body and the mind that a person would never think about. That’s how they got the name hallucinogen. The word “hallucinate” comes from Latin words meaning, “to wander in the mind.” A hallucination is a mental state in which a person sees, hears, tastes, smells, or feels something that is not present. The effects are overwhelmingly harmful. Hallucinogen, what is a hallucinogen? A hallucinogen is a drug that distorts how one feels, hears, sees, smells, tastes, and thinks. Other names for hallucinogens are psychedelic and mind-bending drugs. Some come from natural sources and others are made in laboratories. Some examples of natural hallucinogens are mescaline, Psilocybin, and DMT. Psilocybin comes from certain mushrooms.
It is sold in tablet or capsule form so people can swallow it. The mushrooms themselves, fresh or dried, may be eaten. DMT is another psychedelic drug that acts like LSD. Its effects begin almost immediately and last for 30-60 minutes. Mescaline comes from the peyote cactus and although it is not as strong as LSD, its effects are similar. Mescaline is usually smoked or swallowed in the form of capsules or tablets. (Hallucinogen 1). Some drugs originated from the American Indians. Mesculine and Psilocybin are two examples. Mesculine was used by the Indians in religious ceremonies. Psilocybin is a drug Indians believed to have supernatural powers. It is found in approximately twenty different kinds of mushrooms. Once the drug is ingested, it then turns into silicon, which is responsible for the hallucinogen (Faron 46). Out of all of the hallucinogens LSD, (lysergic acid diethylamide) is the most powerful. LSD was discovered in 1938 and is one of the most potent mood-changing chemicals. It is odorless, colorless, and tasteless.
LSD is sold on the street in tablets, capsules, or occasionally in liquid form. It is usually taken by mouth but sometimes is injected. Often it is added to absorbent paper, such as blotter paper, and divided into small decorated squares, with each square representing one dose. Short term effects from LSD are dilated pupils, raised body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite and sleep, dry mouth, and tremors. A flashback is a scary and dangerous long-term effect of LSD. Flashbacks can occur days, weeks, months, and even years after the hallucination. The drug is especially dangerous because it is almost impossible to find out what is contained in a dose of LSD (Hallucinogen 3). LSD-25 is a pure form of LSD, not laced with additives; laced or adulterated with other chemicals is potentially very harmful. Street drugs can be mixed with a wide range of undesirable additives such as Amphetamines or Speed. Only pharmacologically pure LSD-25 will guarantee a risk-free session with healthy individuals.
Research has not been able to find any lasting negative biological effect from ingesting regular doses of LSD-25 and, contrary to hysterical press coverage, LSD-25 is a remarkably safe substance. The effects of hallucinogens vary on how they affect a person’s body, depending an the amount taken, the user’s mood, personality, expectations, and surroundings. A hallucinogen can not cause a physical addiction, but users can develop a tolerances, so increasing amounts must be taken to receive the same effect. Every drug has its own risk. For example, a hallucinogen such as marijuana has been found to contain over four hundred separate substances.
The substances are then broken down into even more chemicals (“Hallucinogens”26). The most potent chemicals are attracted to, and accumulate in the fatty tissues, including the brain and reproductive organs. Some studies prove that frequent marijuana users may experience impaired short-term memory, learning abilities, and reproductive problems. Others say the use may contribute to the damage of the immune system, increases strain on the heart, delayed puberty, and chromosome damage. The effects do not happen to everyone. Some users do not face problems to those extents, but there are problems that many receive after using a lot of drugs. Heightened awareness of colors and patterns together with a slowed perception of time and distorted body image are some problems chronic drug users experience. Sensations may seem to “crossover,” which gives a person a sense of “hearing” colors and “seeing” sounds. Some users may slip into a dreamlike state, which to them they might think it is okay to step out in front of an oncoming car. Hallucinogens can also leave the user in an emotional or confused state.
Some might not know where they are. They might think they are in one place but they are not. If a person tries to help a user, it is not always so easy because the user feels that he or she is fine and can do things for themselves. If they do not succeed in what they are trying to do they get very emotional. The effects are sometimes called “trips” (Long 1-3). It is a misconception for those to believe that they can’t be affected by drugs, and those who think that nothing bad will ever happen to them. It happens to everyone, even famous people. Many famous people have died, been in trouble with the law, or had some other kind of accident concerning drug-related incidents. Not only do people die from drugs, but they also get put in jail. An estimated 2,000 people, otherwise known as “deadheads’ are in prison today.
Why? For possession of drugs at Grateful Dead concerts. Grateful Dead concerts became easy targets for law-enforcement authorities to make drug busts. Undercover officers dressed in the usual clothing that most would wear to a concert to make the bust. They arrived dresses in tie-dye shirts, bandannas, and jeans (Deadheads 1-4). It is almost impossible to die from hallucinogens, but hallucinogen users can lose control of their mind and body. Many bands in the past have suffered from use of drugs. The Doors suffered major problems from many different kinds of drugs, not only hallucinogens, although they played a significant role. Jim Morrison, the lead singer eventually died from a drug overdose along with Jerry Garcia, Janice Joplin, and many others. Janice Joplin was a very popular rock singer in the 60 s. She drank heavily; as a result of the addiction to drugs, she died. She used to drink at least a bottle of Southern Comfort and took many hallucinogens before performing on stage at concerts.
She would always go out on stage drunk, or high, sometimes not knowing exactly what she was doing. She was a wonderful singer and admired by many, and had her career set. She had many fans all over the world who went to watch her in concert. All of that was ruined because of illegal drugs. Drugs have also been tested on animals, although they reveal little information about mental alterations caused by LSD. A mouse shows motor disturbances and causes in licking behavior. The cat, showed symptoms like bristling of hair and salivation. The cat just stared into the air instead of chasing the mouse. When given the drug, dogs did not chase cats, that was unusual. Fish showed unusual swimming behaviors, and when they were given food, they couldnt concentrate or focus on the food particles.
Spiders showed poor web building skills. Even though hallucinogens can pose a threat to health when used indiscriminately, they also have therapeutic uses in medicine when administrated under controlled circumstances. A synthetic form of THC, the active principle in marijuana, has been approved for prescription use. It is used by people who suffer from severe nausea that sometimes accompanies cancer chemotherapy. LSD was once used to treat people with certain mental disorders, but it is not used anymore because of harmful effects (Long, strange trip backs 4). The effects of hallucinogens are overwhelming harmful. . Hallucinogens take a toll on the body and the mind that a person would never think about People should think long and hard before using a hallucinogen, stronger hallucinogens today mean stronger effects of wondering in the mind.
Works Cited “Hallucinogens.” World Book Encyclopedia. 1996,ed. Faron, Louis.C. “Religion and Folklore.” 46-47. Long, strange trip backs. Http://www.. 16 December 1999. Hallucinogen. Http://www.optonline.com/comptons/ceo/02068_A.html. 15 February 2000. Deadheads face hard time in LSD crackdown. . 16 December 1999. LSD is Animal Experiments and Biological Research. Http://www.psykedelbok.se/LSD_My_Problem_child/chapter2.html. 25 February 2000.