Chem Drugs


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General Chemistry II presentation on MDMA and psychedelic substances

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Chem Drugs

  1. 1. A VERY Brief Overview of The World of Psychedelic Substances (and MDMA) My name was here.
  2. 2. Definitions • Drug: Any substance that has a physiological effect on the body • Psychedelics- psychoactive drugs that work by altering cognition and perception – Part of a wider class of psychoactive drugs called hallucinogens • Includes structurally unrelated drugs such as dissociatives (Ketamine, PCP, DXM, MXE)
  3. 3. How many drugs do you use daily? • • • • • • Caffeine? Alcohol? Tobacco? Prescription medications? Sugar? OTC medications? • Nearly 100% of Americans use drugs – So why does being a “drug user” carry so much stigma in our society? (Ahem … outdated, nonsense drug laws)
  4. 4. Harm Caused by Various Drugs • Legal prescription pills killed more Americas than all illicit drugs combined in both 2012 and 2013 • Marijuana, LSD, and Psilocybin have a total death count of ZERO. In the history of time.
  5. 5. CBD Molecule Marijuana THC Molecule • Common name of the cured flowers of the Cannabis plant • The entire plant contains the psychoactive molecules, however it is concentrated in the flowers – Contains at least 483 known compounds – Consists mainly of tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids • CBD, CBN, THCV, etc. • THC is nonpolar and does not disassociate in water – The reason lipids must be used for making edible cannabis products • The only known naturally occurring substance that is a psychedelic, stimulant, and depressant • Once known as “a gateway drug”, studies have shown that alcohol is the actual gateway drug
  6. 6. Endocannabinoid System • Made up of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors – Involved in a variety of physiological processes • Appetite, painsensation, mood, memory • Naturally produced cannabinoids used up when long term stress occurs – Mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabis • In layman’s terms, if you didn’t already have cannabinoids and their receptors as part of your anatomy, marijuana would not have any effects • Several compounds in cannabis have been shown to have significant medical benefits – To avoid possible hazards from smoking, users can also vaporize or consume marijuana orally
  7. 7. The Molecules and their Beneficial Effects
  8. 8. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide • Chemical Formula: C20H25N3O • Low melting point: 176°F (80°C) • LSD is extremely sensitive to UV light, heat, moisture, • No known toxic dose and oxygen – No overdoses, not even at 50,000 times the normal dose • Threshold effects felt with at little as 20 micrograms , common dose being between 50-150 micrograms. • Commonly sold on paper blotters, can also be dropped onto candies and into drinks • Real LSD has absolutely no taste, though some repeat users report sensing a faint chemical aura – Depends on individual brain chemistry, possible byproducts, blotter ink – Very difficult subject to study on the wide scale because people vary greatly, neurologically
  9. 9. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide • LSD is a semi synthetic compound first synthesized by Albert Hofmann in 1938 – Derived from a grain fungus typically found on rye • Psychedelic effects weren’t discovered until April 16, 1943 – Three days later, Hofmann purposely ingested LSD: the first acid trip • Experiences vary greatly by user – “Trips” tend to last 7-12 hours – Common effects include, but are not limited to: • Mental/physical stimulation, increased creative thinking, mood lift, sensory enhancement (taste, smell, etc), closed- and open-eye visuals (trails, color shifts, brightening), life-changing spiritual experiences, therapeutic psychological reflection, feeling of connectedness to the universe, blurring of boundaries between self and other, yawning, looping thoughts, pupil dilation, change in perception of time, etc… • Numerous scientists, engineers, artists, musicians, etc. have developed their best work on or influenced by LSD – Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA while on LSD • New clinical LSD experiments in humans started in 2009 for the first time in 35 years… (FINALLY)
  10. 10. And the survey says… • Psychedelic users are less prone to developing mental illnesses, including psychosis, anxiety and mood disorders, etc. • Psychedelic drugs are shown to have almost zero addiction rates and are physiologically not addictive. • LSD and Psilocybin are extremely efficient at treating alcoholism and anxiety disorders • The most dangerous part about these drugs is their legal status • “I think that in human evolution it has never been as necessary to have this substance LSD ... It is just a tool to turn us into what we are supposed to be.” – Albert Hofmann
  11. 11. I can’t seem to find Molly… • Tons of misinformation and propaganda, especially in media • “Molly” is not a drug, but a name given to a range of substances including but not limited to; MDA, MDMA, methylone, mephedrone (often a combination) – Also referred to as ecstasy – Commonly includes cutting agents such as baking soda, ketamine, methamphetamine, etc. • Media likes to attack molly and report on deaths from overdoses – Which substance? Say molly, meaning which molecule? • Where’s the science??? – Other factors? • Dehydration, alcohol/other substances used, heat, lack of rest
  12. 12. MDMA • • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine or 3,4 Methylene-dioxy-Nmethylamphetamine Not a psychedelic, instead an entactogenic (empathogenic) of the phenethylamine and amphetamine classes – Common median dose ranges between 75-100 milligrams – Common effects include: extreme mood lift, euphoria, willingness to communicate, increase in energy, decreased fear and anxiety, feelings of comfort, belonging, and closeness to others, feelings of empathy and forgiveness, appreciation of music, increased awareness of senses, life-changing spiritual experiences, intense urge to hug and kiss people, decreased pain perception, yawning, dilated pupils, etc… • Originally discovered in 1913, MDMA rediscovered by Alexander Shulgin in the late 70’s who suggested it’s use in psychology – MDMA has shown significant promise in not only treating but also curing many anxiety disorders including OCD, PTSD, SAD, etc. • Biochemical effects include serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine release – • How MDMA causes psychoactive effects is not yet understood Possibly neurotoxic at frequent, high doses, but still highly debated – To prevent adverse effects, users should be well rested, in good health, well hydrated, and dose no more frequently than once every 4 weeks
  13. 13. Common “Mollies” MDA MDMA MDPV Methylone
  14. 14. Other Chemicals • Ketamine- a dissociative, has been shown to be an instant and lasting antidepressant for people with severe major depressive disorder • Psilocybin- Naturally occurring psychedelic found in many types of mushrooms – Lethal only if you consume your own body weight (No overdose deaths, ever) – Studies suggest cavemen were using psilocybin and other psychedelic plants for thousands of years • “Best explained by the common experience of these patterns as geometric hallucinations during altered states of consciousness induced by shamanic ritual practices” • Research Chemicals/ RCs – Chemists constantly coming out with new versions • Adding fluorine groups to existing illegal substances is common and deadly – ONE OF MOST COMMON CAUSES OF DEATH IN IGNORANT/ NEW DRUG USERS – Usually completely unresearched, potentially toxic at miniscule doses – Sold to unsuspecting buyers as “Acid” • Commonly sold are variations of 25i-NBOMe (4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxy-N-(2methoxybenzyl)phenethylamine) – Unlike LSD, NBOMe is bitter and causes the mouth to go numb
  15. 15. Common Misconceptions • Myth: All drug users are addicts – Much research supports quite the opposite, most drug users are recreational/ social users – Not all alcohol drinkers are alcoholics, don’t assume • Myth: All addicts are nonfunctioning – Many people live with an addiction and function rather well (caffeine addiction counts) • Myth: You can identify a substance by it’s : color, taste, smell, state (powder/ crystal) – ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! • Myth: The drug laws make complete sense and are there to keep us safe – No science in drug laws (Marijuana, LSD are schedule I, meaning they are as toxic and addictive as heroin and PCP…???) – Not only stealing the lives of innocent drug users by both prison and accidental death due to misinformation, but also delaying significant research, keeping drug cartels in business, and making overdoses more common – Most lethal drugs? Prescription pills and cigarettes (both very legal and advertised!) • • • Cigarettes- at least 443,000 deaths, Prescription pills- at least 100,000 deaths (US only) Illicit drug overdoses account for about 15,000 deaths per year
  16. 16. Better Informed than Dead • Erowid • Reddit/r/drugs • Vice- Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia • – Test kits contain several reagents which all change different colors depending on the chemical(s) present • • • • Marquis (formaldehyde and concentrated sulfuric acid) Mecke (selenious acid and concentrated sulfuric acid) Mandelin (ammonium metavanadate and concentrated sulfuric acid) Simon (sodium nitroprusside, sodium carbonate and acetaldehyde) – Until the archaic drug laws are changed, test kits are the only 100% way to know what you are taking If in doubt, TEST IT. If no test kit is available, don’t risk it. Don’t be a statistic, it is possible to be a responsible drug user!
  17. 17. her Dead Hero
  18. 18. Proof • • • • hp • •