HALLUCINOGENS- Also called psychedelics or psychomimetics- Classic synthetic hallucinogens - LSD - Some “designer” amphetamines (i.e. MDA, MDMA)- Classic natural hallucinogens - Psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”) - Mescaline- Schedule I Drugs based on the FDA classification system- Salvia - most powerful natural hallucinogen. Legal. Grows throughout the Americas, including the US. In mint family.
WHAT IS LSD?- LSD is the most commonly used synthetic hallucinogen.- LSD is a white or clear, odorless, water-soluble crystal that can be crushed into a powder and dissolved.- The most common form of LSD is as a liquid that has been transferred onto a small paper square known as “blotter”- Experiences on LSD are known as “trips” lasting from 6-12 hours.- Can be dried on gelatin sheets, put into capsules or on sugar cubes, or laced with other drugs.
DISCOVERY - Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist, synthesized it in 1938 while searching for pharmacologically active derivatives of lysergic acid & accidentally discovered its dramatic psychological effects in 1943. - 1947 Sandoz introduced LSD as a psychedelic drug - 1949 Brought to the United States for testing and research - Molecular structure activates serotonin 2a receptor - Chemical structure is similar to serotonin and fits almost like a key into the serotonin, stimulating its activity in prefrontal cort - Perception, emotion, and appetite - Computations that help us interpret reality
EXPERIMENTAL PHASE- 1950s - several hundred articles and a handful of books were written about the drug and its effects.- It was thought that LSD could help cure behavioral problems like schizophrenia, alcoholism and such. A 1955 LSD experiment at- Over 40,000 patients were prescribed with the Emory University drugs and even some doctors took the drug tries to mimic the symptoms of themselves in order to gain a deeper schizophrenia. understanding of the schizophrenic.
THE “PSYCHEDELIC MOVEMENT”- 1960s – “LSD is more important than Harvard” - Timothy Leary Ph.D – kicked out and became “leader” of movement- Use spread to recreational and spiritual purposes.- With the rise of rock n’ roll and the counterculture/hippie movement, LSD use continued heavily into the 70s.- Many artists say they have been inspired by the drug, or simply taken it – Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia.- It was legal until 1966.
CURRENT USERegained popularity in 1990s due to: Easy availability, cheap, alleged mind-expanding properties, and attractive paper designs, outdoor music festivals, “pill culture” rave culture, EDM LSD users in the United States tend to be white males aged 12-24 years Emergency department (ED) from LSD is uncommon - often involve multidrug use, including MDMA and others. 13% of 16-23 year olds used LSD in 2002, with MDMA a close second (National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002).
LSD TRIP- 1st hour of trip – anxiety, tingling feelings, nausea, colors appear brighter- 3rd hour – peak - Extreme visual, open and closed eyes, hallucinations. Vivid colors and seeing things that are not there.- Epiphanies or internal revelations.- Can go from periods of giddiness, to extreme insight.- Can become extremely paranoid, especially when put in a situation with people who are not tripping.
SENSORY AND PSYCHOLOGICALEFFECTS 100-200 MICROGRAMSSensory alterations (visual, auditory, taste, olfactory, kinaesthetic) Illusion Pseudo-hallucination Intensiﬁcation of color perception Metamorphosis-like change in objects and faces Intense (kaleidoscopic or scenic) visual imagery with transforming contentAlterations of affectivity Intensiﬁcation of emotional experience: euphoria, dysphoria, anxiety, mood swingsAlterations of thinking Less abstract and more imaginative thought Broader and unusual association Attention span shortened
SENSORY AND PSYCHOLOGICALEFFECTS 100-200 MICROGRAMSAlterations of body perceptions Change in body image Unusual inner perception of bodily processes Metamorphic alteration of body contoursMemory changes Reexperiencing signiﬁcant biographical memoriesHypermnesia – exceptionally exact vivid memoryAge-regressionMystical-type experiences
SHORT-TERM RISKS- The most common dangers of LSD result from bad trips, including terrifying thoughts and feelings, despair, fear of losing control, and fear of death.- These problems are especially common and severe in people with underlying mental problems like severe depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disease.- Problems that might occur include: Extreme changes in behavior and mood; person may sit or recline in a trance- like state Chills, irregular breathing, sweating, trembling hands Changes in sense of light, hearing, touch, smell, and time Nausea, especially in the first two hours Increase in blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar Fatigue the next day
RARE LONG-TERM RISKS- Can cause unpredictable long-lasting adverse neuropsychiatric effects, relatively long-lasting psychoses, severe depression or schizophrenia-like syndromes, especially in heavy or long-term users or in people with an underlying mental illness.- Some of the long-term problems associated with chronic or heavy LSD use are: A person can experience rapidly changing feelings, immediately and long after use. Chronic use may cause persistent problems, depression, violent behavior, anxiety or a distorted perception of time. Large doses may cause convulsions, coma, heart/lung failure or ruptured blood vessels in the brain.
PSYCHEDELIC DRUGS FOR YOURHEALTH? Click for Video - 2006 – LSD was used to treat cluster headache sufferers and provided promising results - 2012 - LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated with Life- Threatening Illness (paper in review)
PSYCHEDELIC HARM REDUCTION 4 Basic Principles for guiding a person under the influence of LSD 1. Create a safe space 2. Sit with the person; do not guide them 3. Talk through the experience with them, not down 4. Remember that a difficult experience is not the same as a bad experience 8 Minute Video: (optional)
HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO USAS SOCIAL WORKERS?- Biopsychosocial-spiritual client-centered framework – peer into client’s experience with LSD and possible effects it may have taken on life trajectory.- May indicate other drug use/experimentation.- Psychoeducation to adolescents regarding effects of use (applies to all drugs)- Continuing education and research