For thousands of years people have spoke of all types of visions. Whether the visions were from religious groups, Indian tribes, or self proclaimed prophets; all types of people have seen things. This was more than likely occurring with the help of different types of hallucinogens. Hallucinogens have been around since the beginning of time. Some mushrooms, cactus flowers, and even different types of mold are all able to produce hallucinogenic effects. However, it was only within the last century that man actually started to produce his own. LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide-25, is a relatively new substance in society. All known effects show LSD, or acid, as the harmful drug most people know it as. There are people who believe
“Psychoactive substances exert their their effects by modifying biochemical or physiological processes in the brain.” Psychedelics are taken out of context to be for recreational use only, when they can be taken to enhance spiritual journeys.
The way it works is that a chemical in the mushrooms called psilocybin interacts with the serotonin receptors in you brain and gives you a sensory overload. This means you will experience seeing saturated colors and patterns. Your brain can be considered to be hyper-connected, with different regions communicating with each other that they otherwise wouldn’t. The connections aren’t random but are actually organized and stable. The connections return back to normal once the drugs wear off.
Throughout history a multitude of human populations have been using and abusing a number of psychoactive drugs. These drugs can include very common substances such as caffeine to the more deadly but arguably just as addictive heroine. Further on the list of psychoactive drugs include those of the psychedelic variety. These would include the chemicals such as d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), peyote and psilocybin among others. All of which have hallucinogenic properties that tend to blur the line between fantasy and reality. How dangerous are these chemicals, and what are the consequences of sustained long term use? Due to the controversial nature of the use of psychedelic drugs in a medical setting, the study of short and long term effects
The psychedelic effects of d-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25 (LSD) were discovered by Dr. Albert Hoffman by accident in 1938. In the 1950s and 1960s, LSD was used by psychiatrists for analytic psychotherapy. It was thought that the administration of LSD could aid the patient in releasing repressed material. It was also suggested that psychiatrists themselves might develop more insight into the pathology of a diseased mind through self experimentation. 1,2 During the late 60s, LSD became popular as a recreational drug. While it has been suggested that recreational use of the drug has dropped, a recent report on CNN claimed that 4.4% of 8th graders have tried it. LSD is considered to be one of, if not the, most
Hallucinogens alters moods and distorts perception, and thoughts. Ecstasy is a stimulate as well a hallucinogen. Ecstasy increases dopamine and serotonin. It creates a sense of euphoria, increases blood pressure, cause dehydration, it also damages neurotransmitters that creates serotonin. LSD also has an damaging impact on serotonin neurotransmitters. It also changes your perception and sensation.
Since the 20th century, many medical professionals and researchers have been attempting to utilize psychedelic drugs in psychological illnesses treatments. In many testing cases, these psychedelic drugs were having hallucination effects on the patients. For examples, psychedelic drugs such as LSD and methoxamine are capable of changing a person’s moods, feelings, or even behaviors in either positive or negative ways. However, after decades of restriction on psychedelic drugs in 1960s, hallucinogens have been researched constantly in order to find a proper ways to utilize them in medicine. In other words, medical experts have been testing these drugs occasionally on patients, raising questions about medical ethics as a result. For instance, various patients reported to experience drug addiction, violent or suicidal thoughts, and physical syndromes such as coma, seizures, or loss of muscular coordination. Therefore, not only the testing of psychedelic drugs causes ethical debates, but the use of these drugs in general also questions whether they should be used in medicine at all.
In extreme cases, convulsions, comas, and heart/lung failure have been reported. The more insidious effects of hallucinogens are found not in their potential for physical impairment, but in that of their psychological danger. The hallucinations, or something that is seen, heard, smelt, felt, or tasted without really existing, that accompany this genre of substances are strong, vivid, and can last for up to 12 hours. Hallucinogen users’ brains are altered in such a way that they are unable to separate reality and the effects of their trip. This can cause severe anxiety, intense mood swings, impaired time perception and the sense that objects around you are distorted. In addition, those under the influence experience a God Complex, described as a feeling that a person is superior to their peers, and able to accomplish the impossible. At least 4.6 million emergency room visits per year worldwide can be accredited to the dangerous actions taken by users of the psychedelic drug that can include fighting, jumping out of windows, and running across roads with the assumption that they are invincible and stronger than their physical limitations (drugabuse.gov).
Psychedelic mushrooms are rumored to have a long and holy background, which dates back to 9000 B.C in North African indigenous cultures. Rock paintings, statues and manuscripts depict what some historians believe to be magic mushrooms. This idea is highly controversial, as other historians claim that none of the evidence found is definitive, and that people are seeing what they want to see. Westerners began to eat magic mushrooms during the 1950s; throughout the 1960s and 1970s, hallucinogenic drugs became widely popular and psychedelic mushroom use became inextricably tied to the “hippie” movement.
LSD has many effects on the body and the mind for example “An hour later Stanley thought he had gone insane. His head was filled with terrifying visions and his body seemed to tumble through time and space. Then his mind snapped and sent him into a frenzy of rage. "They told me the next day that I broke down the door and ran down the hall screaming," Stanley recalled” (Linda Hunt).
Psychedelics have become so common in America that 8% of high school seniors report having used LSD [Nation 1]. LSD is also known as “acid,” is a chemical compound lysergic acid diethylamide. The effects range from an altered state of reality to strong visual hallucinations. LSD first became popular in the 1960’s, seemingly overnight. Because it was such a new drug, it remained legal until 1966 [Riser]. Many thought of acid as a spiritual aid, and used it to meditate. It was often compared to the drugs peyote and mescaline that were used in Native American religious ceremonies [Riser]. During this time period there were social reforms taking place all over the country.
Aldous Huxley takes us on a journey explaining the some truths about altered mind states and the drugs involved. It talks about psychedelic drugs, which basically alter our thinking patterns and make us view ideas and concepts from an unconventional angle. Its a good read which i'd recommend especially if you're interested in surreal mind states and also deep reflection about the mind. It also has a very useful appendix; which I found quite informative. Some people take drugs for recreational purposes, some for work reasons e.g a musician. You can relate to why some of these drugs are used or abused and the book gives you an unbiased review in a way. Its fair judgement comes from the fact that the author himself used a mind - state altering
Throughout human history people have sought experiences that somehow transcend every day life. Some sort of wisdom that might progress their knowledge of self and of the world that they live in. For some reason they believed that the tangible world just could not be all there is to life. Some believed in a greater force that controlled them, some believed of invisible beings that influenced their lives, some of an actual other world that paralleled their own. Many of these people also believed that it was possible to catch a glimpse of these forces, beings, or worlds through a variety of means that propel individuals into altered states of consciousness. These techniques include