Hallucinogens are a diverse group of drugs that cause hallucinations — profound distortions in a person’s perceptions of reality — and alter a person’s awareness of their surroundings as well as their own thoughts and feelings. They are commonly split into two categories: classic hallucinogens (such as LSD and Psilocybin) and dissociative drugs (such as PCP). Both types of hallucinogens can cause hallucinations although they are associated with more with classic versions of the drugs. People often report rapid, intense emotional swings and feeling sensations that seem real but are not with both types. [Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services]
Some hallucinogens are extracted from plants or mushrooms, and some are synthetic (human-made). Research suggests that classic hallucinogens work at least partially by temporarily disrupting communication between brain chemical systems throughout the brain and spinal cord that regulate mood, sensory perception and muscle control.. Some hallucinogens interfere with the action of the brain chemical serotonin, which regulates: mood, sleep, hunger, body temperature and sexual behavior,
Historically, hallucinogenic plants have been used for religious rituals to induce states of detachment from reality and precipitate “visions” thought to provide mystical insight or enable contact with a spirit world or “higher power.” 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.
Among the parts of the body and brain affected by hallucinogens are: 1) the central nervous system: the brain and spinal cord; 2) cerebral cortex: The region of the brain responsible for cognitive functions including reasoning, mood, and perception of stimuli.
See Separate Articles: TYPES OF HALLUCINOGENS factsanddetails.com ; LSD: HISTORY, EFFECTS, CULTURE AND IMPORTANT PEOPLE factsanddetails.com ; PSILOCYBIN: MAGIC MUSHROOMS, EFFECTS AND HISTORY OF ITS USE factsanddetails.com ; AYAHUASCA AND DMT: HISTORY, USE, CHEMISTRY AND EXPERIENCES factsanddetails.com ; PSYCHEDELIC TOAD VENOM (5-MeO-DMT, BUFO): USERS, SESSIONS AND EXPERIENCES factsanddetails.com
How Hallucinogens Work
Classic hallucinogens are thought to produce their perception-altering effects by acting on neural circuits in the brain that use the neurotransmitter serotonin (Passie, 2008; Nichols, 2004; Schindler, 2012; Lee, 2012). Specifically, some of their most prominent effects occur in the prefrontal cortex — an area involved in mood, cognition, and perception — as well as other regions important in regulating arousal and physiological responses to stress and panic. [Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, February 2015]
Among the brain receptors and chemicals affected by hallucinogens are: 1) Neurotransmitter: A chemical compound that acts as a messenger to carry signals from one nerve cell to another. 2) Serotonin: A neurotransmitter involved in a broad range of effects on perception, movement, and emotions. Serotonin and its receptors are the targets of most hallucinogens. 3) Glutamate: An excitatory neurotransmitter found throughout the brain that influences the reward system and is involved in learning and memory, among other functions. 4) Kappa opioid receptor: A receptor on nerve cells that is activated by certain opioid-like compounds produced in the body. These receptors differ from those activated by the more commonly known opioids, such as heroin and morphine. 5) NMDA receptors: N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, a type of glutamate receptor that is important for learning and memory; it is the target of drugs such as PCP and ketamine.
According to a 2020 article in Frontiers in Psychiatry: Classical hallucinogens are psychoactive substances that are believed to mediate their effects mainly through an agonist activity in the serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2A). Experimental studies have previously shown that the use of 5-HT2A antagonists attenuate the main effects of these substances, both in rats and human subjects. Other receptors which may contribute to the effects of these agents are the serotonin 2C and 1A receptors, as well as other effects in the dopaminergic and noradrenergic system. Likewise, these are potent regulators of transcription factors, which could mediate a potential mechanism of action in the synaptic structure with greater persistence of their effects over time. [Source: “Therapeutic Use of LSD in Psychiatry: A Systematic Review of Randomized-Controlled Clinical Trials” by Juan José Fuentes, Francina Fonseca, Matilde Elices, Magí Farré and Marta Torrens,nstitut de Neuropsiquiatria i Addiccions, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain,Frontiers in Psychiatry, January 21, 2020, frontiersin.org ]
Short-Term Effects Effects of Hallucinogens
Classic hallucinogens can cause users to see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but do not exist. The effects generally begin within 20 to 90 minutes and can last as long as 12 hours in some cases (LSD) or as short as 15 minutes in others (synthetic DMT). Hallucinogen users refer to the experiences brought on by these drugs as "trips." If the experience is unpleasant, users sometimes call it a "bad trip." [Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services]
Hallucinations refer to seeing, hearing, touching, or smelling things in a distorted way or perceiving things that do not exist Along with hallucinations, other short-term general effects include: 1) increased heart rate; 2) intensified feelings and sensory experiences (such as seeing brighter colors and hearing sharper sounds); 3) changes in sense of time (for example, the feeling that time is passing by slowly); and 4) mixed senses (“seeing” sounds or “hearing” colors)
Among the other effects that may occur are: 1) nausea and stomach pains; 2) increased blood pressure, breathing rate, or body temperature; 3) loss of appetite; 4) dry mouth; 5) sleep problems; 6) spiritual experiences; 7) feelings of relaxation; 8) uncoordinated movements; 9) excessive sweating; 10) panic; 11) paranoia — extreme and unreasonable distrust of others; 12) psychosis — disordered thinking detached from reality; and 13 ) bizarre behaviors
Experiences are often unpredictable and may vary with the amount ingested and the user’s personality, mood, expectations, and surroundings. The effects of hallucinogens like LSD can be described as drug-induced psychosis — distortion or disorganization of a person’s capacity to recognize reality, think rationally, or communicate with others. On some trips, users experience sensations that are enjoyable and mentally stimulating and that produce a sense of heightened understanding. Bad trips, however, include terrifying thoughts and nightmarish feelings of anxiety and despair that include fears of losing control, insanity, or death.
Long-Term Effects of Hallucinogens
Two long-term effects have been associated with use of classic hallucinogens, although these effects are rare. 1) Persistent Psychosis — a series of continuing mental problems, including: visual disturbances, disorganized thinking, paranoia and mood changes.
Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) — better known as flashbacks — refers recurrences of certain drug experiences, such as hallucinations or other visual disturbances (such as seeing halos or trails attached to moving objects). These flashbacks often happen without warning and may occur within a few days or more than a year after drug use. These symptoms are sometimes mistaken for other disorders, such as stroke or a brain tumor. Flashbacks may occur spontaneously and repeatedly. When the latter happens, the later flashbacks are often less intense than the initial ones.
Both persistent psychosis and HPPD are rare, but are unpredictable and may occur more often than previously thought, Sometimes both conditions occur together. The exact causes are not known, There is no established treatment for HPPD. Some antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs can be prescribed to help improve mood and treat psychoses, however. Psychotherapy may also help patients cope with fear or confusion associated with visual disturbances or other consequences of long-term LSD use. More research on the causes, incidence, and long-term effects of both disorders is being conducted.
The long-term residual psychological and cognitive effects of peyote remain poorly understood. LSD users quickly develop a high degree of tolerance to the drug’s effects, such that repeated use requires increasingly larger doses to produce similar effects. Use of hallucinogenic drugs also produces tolerance to other drugs in this class, including psilocybin and peyote. Use of classic hallucinogens does not, however, produce tolerance to drugs that do not act directly on the same brain cell receptors. In other words, there is no cross-tolerance to drugs that act on other neurotransmitter systems, such as marijuana, amphetamines, or PCP, among others. Furthermore, tolerance for hallucinogenic drugs is short-lived — it is lost if the user stops taking the drugs for several days — and physical withdrawal symptoms are not typically experienced when chronic use is stopped.
Dangers and Benefits of Hallucinogens
Because hallucinogens distort the way a user perceives time, motion, colors, sounds, and self, these drugs can disrupt a person’s ability to think, act and communicate rationally, or even to recognize reality, sometimes resulting in bizarre or dangerous behavior. Hallucinogens cause emotions to swing wildly and real-world sensations to appear unreal, sometimes frightening. In addition to their short-term effects on perception and mood, hallucinogenic drugs are associated with psychotic-like episodes that can occur long after a person has taken the drug.
Overdoses depends on the drug. An overdose occurs when a person uses enough of a drug to produce serious adverse effects, life-threatening symptoms, or death. Most classic hallucinogens may produce extremely unpleasant experiences at high doses, although the effects are not necessarily life-threatening. However, serious medical emergencies and several fatalities have been reported from 251-NBOMe. [Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services]
Perhaps the greatest danger is a serious harm because of the profound alteration of perception and mood these drugs can cause. Users might do things they would never do in real life, like jump out of a window or off a roof, for instance, or they may experience profound suicidal feelings and act on them. With all drugs there is also a risk of accidental poisoning from contaminants or other substances mixed with the drug.
Users of psilocybin also run the risk of accidentally consuming poisonous mushrooms that look like psilocybin. Taking poisonous mushrooms can result in severe illness or possible death. There is evidence that certain hallucinogens can be addictive, and that people can develop a tolerance to them.
Hallucinogens have been investigated as therapeutic agents to treat diseases associated with depression and 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).
The use of hallucinogenic drugs among U.S. high school students, in general, has remained relatively low in recent years. However, the introduction of new hallucinogenic drugs is of particular concern.
Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 2.6 percent (or about 7.1 million people) reported using hallucinogens in the past 12 months. Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 0.1 percent (or about 372,000 people) had a hallucinogen use disorder in the past 12 months. [Source: 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health]
An estimated 1.0 percent of 8th graders, 2.2 percent of 10th graders, and 4.1 percent of 12th graders reported using any hallucinogen in the past 12 months.
An estimated 0.7 percent of 8th graders, 1.5 percent of 10th graders, and 2.5 percent of 12th graders reported using LSD in the past 12 months.
An estimated 0.8 percent of 8th graders, 1.5 percent of 10th graders, and 2.9 percent of 12th graders reported using hallucinogens other than LSD in the past 12 months.
The San Francisco-based chemist Sasha Shulgin (1925–2014), a former employee at Dow, is credited with popularizing many drugs, including STP and MDMA (ecstasy). In 1978 he published the first scientific papers recommending MDMA’s use in therapy and later said it had a panacea quality that "could be all things to all people." [Source: The Independent]
Later he gave instructions on how to make the drug in a book called “Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved” . Cowritten with his wife Anne, the book contained recipes for 300 mind-altering drugs. It sold 21,000 copies and made Shulgin an enemy and of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. A few years later Shulgin published a sequel called “Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved” . In this book he described how to make STP, sometimes called as “tripstacy”
Shulgin’s first psychedelic experience was with mescaline. "I first explored mescaline in the late '50s ... Three-hundred-fifty to 400 milligrams. I learned there was a great deal inside me," he said Shulgin developed a very profitable pesticide for Dow — Zectran — and gave lectures to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents about drugs. He personally tested hundreds of drugs, mainly analogues of various phenethylamines (family containing MDMA and mescaline) and tryptamines (family containing DMT and psilocin).
In the early 2000s, when he was well into 70s, Shulgin was still experimenting with new psychoactive drugs, often on himself and his wife and their friends. The Independent described one experiments he did with a drug extracted from a Mexican cactus that left him so full of fear he was afraid to move and left his wife afraid she was going to be killed by a contemptuous moon. Of the 12 friends who took the drug, six felt a pleasant high and six became violently ill.
Timothy Leary (1920 – 1996) was an American psychologist and writer known for his strong advocacy of LSD and other psychedelic drugs. While Allen Ginsberg called him "a hero of American consciousness", Tom Robbins praised him as a "brave neuronaut” and John Lennon invited him to sing “Give Peace a Chance in Toronto, President Richard Nixon described him as "the most dangerous man in America".During the 1960s and 1970s, Leary was arrested 36 times worldwide and many have dismissed him as a publicity seekers. [Source: Wikipedia]
Leary was a clinical psychologist at Harvard University. He worked on the Harvard Psilocybin Project from 1960 to 1962 and tested the therapeutic effects of LSD and psilocybin, which were still legal in the United States at the time, in the Concord Prison Experiment and the Marsh Chapel Experiment. The scientific legitimacy and ethics of his research were questioned by other Harvard faculty because he took psychedelics along with research subjects and pressured students to join in. However, the claim that Leary pressured unwilling students was denied by one of Leary's students, Robert Thurman. Leary and his colleague, Richard Alpert (who later became known as Ram Dass), were fired from Harvard University in 1963. This incident helped bring media attention to psychedelics.
Leary believed that LSD demonstrated potential for therapeutic use in psychiatry. He used LSD himself and developed a philosophy of mind expansion based on using LSD to seek and personal truth. After leaving Harvard, Leary continued to publicly promote the use of psychedelic drugs and became a well-known counterculture figure in the 1960s. He popularized the catchphrases "turn on, tune in, drop out" and "think for yourself and question authority". He lectured on transhumanist concepts of space migration, intelligence increase, and life extension and sometimes billws himself as a "performing philosopher". His amazing life included an escape from prison, with the help of the Weathermen terrorist group, and a stay with the Black Panthers in Algeria.
Did Hallucinogens Help Create Religion?
Giorgio Santorini, ethnobotanist and psychedelics researcher, wrote: “The use of vegetable hallucinogens by humans for religious purposes is very ancient, probably even older than its use for healing, magic or teaching purposes. The profound alterations in one’s state of consciousness brought about by the use of a hallucinogen has served as a founding axis for religious systems, and in the development of established religions throughout the history of humanity.”
Richard J. Miller wrote in The Atlantic: The notion that hallucinogenic drugs played a significant part in the development of religion has been extensively discussed, particularly since the middle of the twentieth century. Various ideas of this type have been collected into what has become known as the entheogen theory. The word entheogen is a neologism coined in 1979 by a group of ethnobotanists (those that study the relationship between people and plants). The literal meaning of entheogen is "that which causes God to be within an individual" and might be considered as a more accurate and academic term for popular terms such as hallucinogen or psychedelic drug. By the term entheogen we understand the use of psychoactive substances for religious or spiritual reasons rather than for purely recreational purposes. [Source: Richard J. Miller, The Atlantic, December 28, 2013]
“It may be easy for some to accept the idea that entheogenic substances played a role in the genesis of religion. However, when we move from generalities to specifics we are on less firm ground. There has been a great deal of speculation concerning the actual identity of drugs used for religious purposes in the ancient world. For example, what is the true identity of the drug soma used by the gods in the ancient Hindu Vedas? Or the identity of nepenthe, the "drug of forgetfulness" mentioned in The Odyssey? Although it is impossible to answer such questions in a definitive scientific sense, one can speculate about the various possibilities.
Native Americans Made Art While on Hallucinogens
A study published in 2020 described evidence of a hallucinogenic plant found at Pinwheel Cave, California, where ancient indigenous people produced a pinwheel paintings, suggesting that the painters where high on the hallucinogenic plant when they made the painting and art art is likely a representation of the plant. USA Today reported: “The study concluded that Native Americans, likely of the Chumash tribe, consumed the hallucinogenic plant Datura wrightii hundreds of years ago at the rock art site. “This is a world first, said study lead author David W. Robinson, an archaeologist at the University of Central Lancashire in the U.K.: "There is evidence of hallucinogens being depicted in rock art, and evidence of hallucinogenic plants growing at rock art sites, but to my knowledge, no clear evidence of the actual preparation and consumption of a hallucinogen at a rock art site has been reported anywhere in the world." [Source: Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, November 27, 2020]
“Robinson and his co-authors analyzed fibrous bundles called quids, which were found in the ceiling of the cave, located south of Bakersfield. Because a pinwheel-like design painted on the cave resembles the sacred perennial flower Datura wrightii, which was used by Native Californians to induce trance states, the scientists explored whether the quids might have contained that flower.
“Three-dimensional analysis of the quids suggested that they had been chewed, potentially inside the cave and under the paintings, according to the study. Further analysis revealed the presence of hallucinogenic compounds in the quids, and scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the fibers in the quids came from Datura. “Because the art represents Datura, the art was most likely made when the quids were used," Robinson told USA TODAY.
“The exact date when the painting was made cannot be determined, he said. "We don't know precisely when the art was painted. To do so would require taking a sample from the artwork which would destroy some of it, and even then we wouldn't know for sure if it would produce a date, so we have not attempted that."
“According to Robinson, "the evidence at Pinwheel Cave shows that the hallucinogens were taken in a group context and that the art communicated the ecology of the plant behind the trance rather than the images seen during the trance. “Rather than being private retreats of male shamans to the exclusion of everyone else, the rock art site is a deeply meaningful place of inclusivity for the entire community," he said.
Therapeutic Uses of Hallucinogens
Paul Tullis wrote in Nature: A number of respected universities have launched clinical trials using illicit psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as molly or ecstasy) to treat mental-health disorders, generally with the close guidance of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. The idea has been around for decades — or centuries in some cultures — but the momentum has picked up drastically over the past few years as investors and scientists have begun to champion the approach again. [Source: Paul Tullis, Nature, January 27 2021]
Once dismissed as the dangerous dalliances of the counterculture, these drugs are gaining mainstream acceptance. Several states and cities in the United States are in the process of legalizing or decriminalizing psilocybin for therapeutic or recreational purposes. And respected institutions such as Imperial; Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; the University of California, Berkeley; and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City have opened centres devoted to studying psychedelics. Several small studies suggest the drugs can be safely administered and might have benefits for people with intractable depression and other psychological problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One clinical trial involving MDMA has recently ended, with results expected to be published soon. Regulators will then be considering whether to make the treatment available with a prescription.
Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy could provide needed options for debilitating mental-health disorders including PTSD, major depressive disorder, alcohol-use disorder, anorexia nervosa and more that kill thousands every year in the United States, and cost billions worldwide in lost productivity. But the strategies represent a new frontier for regulators. “This is unexplored ground as far as a formally evaluated intervention for a psychiatric disorder,” says Walter Dunn, a psychiatrist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who sometimes advises the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on psychiatric drugs. Most drugs that treat depression and anxiety can be picked up at a neighbourhood pharmacy. These new approaches, by contrast, use a powerful substance in a therapeutic setting under the close watch of a trained psychotherapist, and regulators and treatment providers will need to grapple with how to implement that safely.
The current wave of interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelics is something of a renaissance. In the 1950s and 1960s, scientists published more than 1,000 articles on using psychedelics as a psychiatric treatment; the drugs were tested on around 40,000 people in total4. Then, as recreational use of the drugs spread, they were banned and the FDA constricted supplies for research. Only recently have neuroscientists and psychopharmacologists such as Robin Carhart-Harris at Imperial College London had the technology to start unpicking how they work in the brain. That has given them some insights as to how these compounds might help in psychiatric disease.
Researchers started exploring the biological effects of psychedelics in the late 1990s, using neuroimaging techniques such as positron emission tomography5 before and after volunteers used the drugs, or in conjunction with antagonists that dampen some of their effects. The studies show similarities in how brains respond to psychedelics such as psilocybin and LSD, as well as to N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), the active ingredient in ayahuasca, and to mescaline, a psychedelic compound derived from the peyote cactus. They all act on receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood. Serotonin is also the target of the predominant class of psychiatric drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. It is now thought that these antidepressants work not by flooding the brain with the neurotransmitter, as was initially assumed, but by stimulating neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to forge new neuronal connections. There is some evidence that psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin, enhance neuroplasticity in animals, and limited evidence suggests that the same might happen in human brains. Clinical studies also suggest that the biological effects work best in concert with human guidance.
“People get locked into disorders like depression because they develop this system of thinking which is efficient, but wrong,” says David Nutt, a psychopharmacologist at Imperial College London and an outspoken supporter of evidence-based reforms to government policies concerning illegal drugs. Psychiatry has a term for such thinking: rumination. The idea behind psychedelic therapy is that the receptive state that the drug confers opens the door to fresh ideas about how to think about the past and future, which the therapist can reinforce. “There is a growing evidence base to the principle that this is very much about a synergy between drug-induced hyper-plasticity and therapeutic support,” says Carhart-Harris, who trained with Nutt.
The drugs “activate a therapeutic, dreamlike state, intensifying sensory perception, and memories pop up like little films”, says Franz Vollenweider, a psychiatrist and neurochemist at the University Hospital of Psychiatry in Zurich, Switzerland, and one of the pioneers of the modern era of psychedelic research. He thinks that this receptive state of mind provides an opportunity to help people escape from rigid patterns of thought, not unlike Rutter’s automatic circuit.
Popularity of Hallucinogens in the U.S.
Alex Kuczynski wrote in Town & Country: “In Southampton, soccer moms drop their kids off at school after taking their thrice-weekly microdose of psilocybin mushrooms, then meet for oat milk lattes. In Sun Valley, private retreats dedicated to tripping on MDMA or the Amazonian elixir ayahuasca are becoming almost as common as backyard barbecues. (Just don’t bring the kids.) In Silicon Valley, tech entrepreneurs and financiers turned psychonauts believe that taking small doses of LSD, in either liquid or tab form, helps with creativity and productivity in the workforce. Even rightwing internet investor Peter Thiel has put a formidable stake in Compass Pathways, a publicly traded psychedelic medicine company. [Source: Alex Kuczynski, Town & Country, January 20, 2022]
“ Microdosing psilocybin is being promoted as a method for healing trauma and treating depression and addiction, and there’s a recognition that Silicon Valley is placing big financial bets on psychedelic drugs, which lends the movement credibility. Whereas psychedelics were once the symbol of a radical generational counterculture led by Timothy Leary and Jim Morrison, these drugs (LSD, psilocybin, ibogaine, MDMA) are now practically a mainstay among the class of people who 40 years ago would have clutched their pearls and invoked Nancy Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Carrie Nation. Today America’s intelligentsia is in the grip of a hallucinogenic fever dream, where it’s normal to walk into a house in the Hamptons or Malibu and have the hostess, pearls swinging around her neck (perhaps the same ones her mother was wearing 40 years ago) offer you something that half a decade ago you never would have thought of ingesting. After all, recreational marijuana is legal in 18 states plus the District of Columbia.
“The shift came in 2018, when Michael Pollan published “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence”. Here was a guy I had met a few times in the New York Times newsroom (I was a reporter there); he would occasionally come in to see the food editors, a shambling, middle-aged intellectual white guy from Long Island who had taught at Harvard and Berkeley, who wrote mostly about food and the value of vegetarianism. And now, instead of admonishing us to “eat food, not too much, mostly plants,” he had written a book and he was preaching a new gospel: Try psychedelic drugs. I did. And now I think maybe we all should.
“In Los Angeles, Tamer El-Shakhs, a marijuana entrepreneur, told me that dozens, if not hundreds, of ceremonies featuring ayahuasca, psilocybin, ibogaine, MDMA, and Bufo take place in Southern California every weekend. Dr. Lea Lis, a New York psychiatrist, told me psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine are now available in more medicinal, controllable formats, and that is the appeal. “We’re not seeing the 1960s paradigm, with people overdosing on acid.” The old trope was a hippie freaked out on too much acid who jumped off a roof. “Now we’re seeing clinical studies and careful doses, and that gives people a sense of greater safety.” (Coincidentally, we spoke on the phone while she was at a convention for MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a nonprofit organization that promotes awareness and acceptance of the use of psychedelics and marijuana in place of or along with more traditional psychotherapeutic treatments.)
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration)
Text Sources: 1) “Buzzed, the Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy” by Cynthia Kuhn, Ph.D., Scott Swartzwelder Ph.D., Wilkie Wilson Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center (W.W. Norton, New York, 2003); 2) National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 3) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and 4) National Geographic, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wikipedia, The Independent, Times of London, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, , Lonely Planet Guides, and various books and other publications.
Last updated April 2022