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Psychedelic drugs

September 25, 2014

Psychedelic drugs function by distorting the drug user’s sense of reality. This can happen by producing sensations, including images and sounds that do not exist. For some, this experience is pleasurable, though others may find it disturbing, and it is hard to know what type of reaction a person will have on hallucinogens. 

While WSN does not endorse the use of these drugs, if you choose to use a psychedelic drug, you should always take precautions. Make sure that you are in a safe and welcoming environment and are in a good mental place. Hallucinogens can intensify any negative or anxious feelings. Furthermore, be with a friend who is sober. They can calm you down or call for help if necessary.

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD/Acid)

What the drug is | The drug is made from ergot, which is a grain fungus that grows on rye. LSD is ingested in a liquid form, either on food or on a blotter piece of paper.

Common dosage | The threshold is 25 micrograms, with a common dosage being 50 to 150 micrograms.

Legality | Schedule I substance meaning it has been deemed to have a high potential for abuse and has no legitimate medical use in treatment. Punishable for five to 40 years in prison for first offense of trafficking less than 10 grams and 10 years to life for second offense.

Health risks | While under the influence, the user is at risk of making poor decisions and hurting himself or others. The drug can also cause panic, as well as long term depression or anxiety as a result of a “bad trip.”

N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)

What the drug is | Comes from two plants in the Amazon, Anadenanthera or Yopo. It is smoked or ingested orally or, less commonly, it is inhaled or injected. When smoked, the bowl is often padded with marijuana to make the DMT easier to smoke.

Common dosage | 20 to 40 mg when smoked.

Legality | Schedule I substance.

Health risks | Increased blood pressure and pulse rate, sense of overwhelming fear due to loss of sense of “reality,” overly intense experiences, hard on the lungs.

Psilocybin (a compound found in “Shrooms”)

What the drug is | A fungus ingested and converted to psilocin in the stomach, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to the brain.

Common dosage | 1 to 2.5 grams.

Legality | Schedule I substance, and distribution without a DEA license can lead to 20 years in prison for a first offense.

Health risks | Vomiting and not being able to stop vomiting. Some people will also experience more severe anxiety, frightening images and paranoia.

Courtesy of Students for Sensible Drug Policy

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Sept. 25 print edition. Email Bryna Shuman at [email protected]

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