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Altered States of Consciousness

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1 Altered States of Consciousness

2 Sleep and Dreams In 1959, New York disc jockey Peter Tripp stayed awake for 200 hours to raise money for charity. After about 50 hours, he started having mild hallucinations, seeing cobwebs in his shoes when there were none there and thinking that specs of dirt on the ground were actually bugs.

3 Sleep and Dreams After 100 hours had gone by, he became delirious and saw a doctor’s tweed suit as a tangled mess of furry worms. Here, Peter Tripp is shown yawning at 48 hours. 2 hours prior to the onset of hallucinations.

4 Sleep and Dreams At roughly 120 hours, he needed to be given stimulants in order to keep him awake. At 150 hours, Peter was disoriented, not knowing who or where he was, and he became paranoid – he backed against a wall, letting no one pass behind him.

5 Sleep and Dreams Finally, by 200 hours, his hallucinations had taken a sinister turn. Peter began to think that the doctor attempting to examine him was an undertaker coming to bury him. He was put to sleep by medical examiners and slept for 13 hours straight. Upon waking up, he asked for the morning paper as if nothing had happened.

6 Sleep and Dreams So, how important is sleep to humans?
Sleep is VITAL to mental health! As Peter Tripp found out, if a person is deprived of sleep, he or she will begin to have psychological symptoms. Most people think of sleep as a state of unconsciousness, punctuated by brief periods of dreaming. This is only partially correct. Sleep is a state of altered consciousness, characterized by certain patterns of brain activity and inactivity.

7 Sleep and Dreams What is consciousness?
Consciousness: Is a state of awareness, including a person’s feelings, sensations, ideas, and perceptions. When we discuss altered states of consciousness, we mean people can have different levels of awareness.

8 Sleep and Dreams There are many different levels of consciousness!
For example; People who are fully aware with their attention focused on something are conscious of that something. A person who is not completely aware is in a different level of consciousness – an altered state of consciousness Sleep IS an altered state of consciousness!

9 Freud’s Levels of Consciousness
Sigmund Freud identified three levels of Consciousness. In his approach to consciousness, he claimed that preconscious ideas are not in your awareness now, but that you are able to recall them with some effort. Unconscious ideas are hidden and unretrievable.


11 Why Do We Sleep We are not sure why people sleep.
Sleep is characterized by unresponsiveness to the environment and usually limited physical mobility. There are many different theories as to why we sleep: Re-Charge? Conserve Energy? Clear our minds of useless information? …To dream?

12 The Stages of Sleep As you begin to fall asleep…
Your body temperature decreases. Your pulse rate slowly drops. Your breathing becomes slow and even. Gradually, your eyes close and your brain begins to record alpha waves on the EEG. These waves are associated with the absence of concentrated thought and relaxation.

13 The Stages of Sleep Your body may slowly begin to twitch.
Your eyes may begin to roll. Brief visual images may begin to flash across your mind…Although your eyelids are shut! All of this is happening as you enter Stage One sleep, the lightest level of sleep.

14 The Stages of Sleep Early Stages – “Stage I Sleep”
Your pulse slows a bit more and your muscles relax. Your breathing becomes uneven and your brain waves grow irregular. If you were awaken during this stage, you would report that you were “just drifting off” for a bit. This phase lasts for up to 10 minutes.

15 The Stages of Sleep Early Stages – “Stage II Sleep”
Your eyes roll slowly from side to side. Your brain waves quickly grow and fall from lows to highs and back again. Lasts roughly 30 minutes

16 Stage 3 Early Stages – “Stage III Sleep” Your brain SLOWS down
Also called rejuvenating sleep (stages 3 &4) Large amplitude waves begin to sweep through your brain every few seconds. Lasts roughly 10 minutes.

17 The Stages of Sleep Later Stages – “Stage IV Sleep”
This stage is the deepest sleep of all. It is VERY difficult to wake a sleeper during this stage. Large, regular waves move through your brain occurring more than 50% of the time. If you are awakened by a large noise or movement, you will most likely feel disoriented. Talking, Sleep-Walking, and Bed Wetting, all which occur in this stage – leave no trace on your memory. In Stage 4, something very odd also begins to happen…

18 The Stages of Sleep Later Stages – “Stage IV Sleep”
…Your eyes begin to move rapidly. You have entered a more rapid type of sleep characterized by rapid eye movement. This is called REM sleep.

19 The Stages of Sleep Later Stages – “REM Sleep”
REM Sleep: A stage of sleep characterized by rapid eye movements, a high level of brain activity, a deep relaxation of the muscles, and dreaming. During REM sleep: Your Pulse rate and breathing become irregular, and the levels of adrenal and sexual hormones in your blood rise – as if you were in the middle of an intensely emotional experience. Often your face or hand muscles twitch…and the muscles in your arms and your legs actually become paralyzed.

20 The Stages of Sleep Later Stages – “REM Sleep”
If you were to “sharply” wake up during this sleep, you could awake to find your body partially paralyzed…Or you could be dripping in sweat and have no idea why. REM lasts for about minutes. After this period of time is over, you slowly go backwards through stages 4 – 1 until you awake.

21 Play “Sleep: Brain Functions” (11:12) Module #14 from The Brain: Teaching Modules (2nd edition).

22 How Much Sleep Do We Need?
Humans spend approximately one-third of their lives in sleep! The amount of sleep that you need to properly function varies greatly from person to person and time to time. Infants = 16, High School = 10, College = 8

23 How Much Sleep Do We Need?
Have you ever noticed that there are certain times of the day when you feel more alert and certain times when you feel more tired? People seem to have an internal biological clock that regulates the sleep – wakefulness cycle. Blood pressure, heart rate, appetite, , secretion of hormones and digestive enzymes, sensory sharpness, and elimination processes all follow what is called your “circadian rhythm.”

24 How Much Sleep Do We Need?
So…What is the Circadian Rhythm? Circadian Rhythm: The rhythm of activity and inactivity lasting approximately one day. Circadian Rhythms do not control our sleep cycles; the environment and 24 hour day control our sleep cycles. For example: when you travel from New York to Moscow, your body is on a different time clock when you reach Moscow. You feel tired and disoriented.

25 Are we getting enough sleep?
Mondays after a change in daylight savings

26 Are YOU getting enough sleep?
Sleep deprivation survey

27 Dreams We call the mental activity that takes place during sleep “dreaming.” Everybody dreams, although most people are able to recall only a few, if any, of their dreams. Sleep researchers make a point of waking study participants at regular intervals in order to study their dreams.

28 Dreams Your first few dreams are usually composed of vague thoughts left over from the days activities. Example; you may report that you were watching television in your dreams. As the night wears on, dreams become longer and more vivid and dramatic, especially dreams that take place during REM sleep. Because the amounts of time spent in REM sleep increase during the night, the last dream is likely to be the longest, and the one people remember when they wake up. However, most people can barely remember more than 15 minutes of a dream.

29 The Content of Dreams Actually…Dreams are usually very boring and mundane. The majority of dreams feature you sitting and watching whatever is going on around you. Occasionally though, you dream about something in an active sense. In other words, you are an active participant in your dream. These dreams are usually aggressive in nature and involve some form of strenuous recreational activity.

30 Dream Interpretation Dream interpretations have been discovered dating back to 5000 BC. Sigmund Freud believed that no matter how mundane, dreams contained clues to thoughts the dreamer is afraid to acknowledge while awake. Though many people are very skeptical about the idea of dreams portraying reality, Freud’s theories of subconscious desires and hopes still maintain today.

31 Freud’s Dream Interpretation

32 A Few other Theories on Dreaming
Information Processing or Reverse Learning Facilitates memory forming, “making sense” of the day and “tying up loose ends” Physiological Function Helps us grow and develop our brains Activation Synthesis Dreams are the mind’s attempt to make sense of random neural firing in the sleeping brain Cognitive Development Survival Theory-dreams give us info we need to survive

33 Sleep Disorders Sometimes we may have problems falling asleep or have problems during sleep. These “sleep disorders” can interfere with your quality of life, personal health, and even endanger public safety.

34 Sleep Disorders Insomnia: The failure to get enough sleep at night in order to feel rested the next day. This is usually a prolonged period of time. Insomnia can be caused by anxiety, depression, nervousness, alcohol, and drug use.

35 Sleep Disorders Sleep Apnea: A sleep disorder in which a person has trouble breathing while asleep. Can be characterized by hundreds of brief periods of snoring throughout the night. A blocking of the breathing passages actually causes the snoring; during this time the victim is in fact choking – the flow of the air to the lungs stops. The episode ends when low levels of oxygen or high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood trigger breathing reflexes.

36 Sleep Disorders Narcolepsy: A condition characterized by suddenly falling asleep or feeling extremely sleepy during the day. Other symptoms include; unusual sleep and dream patterns, such as dreamlike hallucinations or of temporary paralysis. People with narcolepsy can have sleep attacks throughout the day. These sleep attacks are accompanied by brief periods of REM sleep.

37 Sleep Disorders Nightmares and Night Terrors!
Nightmares: Unpleasant dreams… Occur during the sleep phase of REM. A nightmare can often frighten the sleeper, who will usually wake with a vivid “movie” like memory of the dream.

38 Nightmare

39 Sleep Disorders Night Terrors: Sleep disruptions that occur during Stage IV of sleep, involving screaming, panic, or confusion. A night terror may last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. They involve screaming, sweating, confusion, and a rapid heart rate. The subject may suddenly awake from sleep or have a persistent fear that occurs at night. Subjects usually have no memory of night terrors.

40 Sleep Disorders Sleepwalking: Walking or carrying out daily behaviors while asleep. During this disorder, you are partly but not fully awake. You will have no memory of doing this. Sleepwalking is commonly associated with children, although some adults retain this ability. This disorder has been linked to stress, fatigue, and the use of sedative medicines in adults.

41 Sleepwalking/talking
Sleepwalking may be inherited. It is usually harmless, however, it may become dangerous if sleepwalkers fall or otherwise injure themselves. Sleepwalkers movement is often clumsy and unstable. Sleep talking is a common sleep disruption. Most people talk in their sleep much more often than they realize, only they do not remember it because it occurs during REM.

42 Hypnosis, Biofeedback, and Meditation

43 Hypnosis Victor Rausch entered a hypnotic trance by focusing on Chopin’s Lush Nocturne in E-Flat, as it was played in the movie “the Eddy Duchin Story”. Rausch visualized scenes from the movie and wrapped his mind in appealing thoughts. Rausch’s blood pressure and pulse remained steady for 75 minutes. During this 75 minutes, Rausch was undergoing a gallbladder operation! He had refused the anesthetic, and during the surgery, he swears he felt no pain – Just a little “tugging.” He even talked and joked with the surgical team during the procedure. After the surgery, he stood up and walked down the hall, riding the elevator to his hospital room.

44 Hypnosis Surgery without anesthesia may sound like a trick, but such operations have been performed by hypnotizing the patient. Although hypnosis still conjures up images of a circus magician saying, “you are getting sleepy, very sleepy…,” researchers are learning more about this mind-body connection. Doctors and therapists use hypnosis to help people quit smoking, lose weight, manage stress, overcome phobias, and diminish pain.

45 Hypnosis So what exactly is hypnosis?
Hypnosis: A state of consciousness resulting from a narrowed focus of attention and characterized by heightened suggestibility. Hmmm, how does it work? Well, at all times certain thoughts and sensations are filtered out of our awareness. For Example; as you read this sentence, you were probably not aware of the position of your feet until I called attention to that. By mentioning the position of your feet, your attention has not shifted to your feet – an area of the body that seconds before was outside of your consciousness Hypnosis shifts our perceptions in the same way.

46 Hypnosis Hypnosis does not put a participant to sleep, as many people may believe. A hypnotic trance is quite different from sleep. In fact, participants become highly receptive and responsive to certain internal and external stimuli. They are able to focus their attention on one tiny aspect of reality and ignore all other inputs.

47 Hypnosis How is it done? The hypnotist induces a trance by slowly persuading a participant to relax and to lose interest in external distractions. Whether this takes a few minutes or much longer depends on the purpose of the hypnosis, the method of induction, and the participant’s past experiences with hypnosis. In an environment of trust, a participant with a rich imagination can become susceptible to hypnotic suggestions.

48 Hypnosis The participant is not under the hypnotist’s control but can be convinced to do things that he or she may not want to do. The person is simply cooperating with the hypnotist. He or she is not acting outside of their control.

49 Theories of Hypnosis Psychologists do not agree about the nature of hypnosis. Some psychologists argue that hypnosis is in no way an altered state of consciousness, but simply suggestibility. According to these psychologists, if people are just given instructions and told to try their hardest, they will be able to do anything that hypnotized people can do. Others believe that there is a special hypnotic state that all people may be susceptible to. In other words, a separate, altered state of consciousness. What do you think?

50 Uses of Hypnosis Hypnotists can suggest things for their participants to remember or forget when the trance is over. This is known as a Posthypnotic Suggestion! Posthypnotic Suggestion: A suggestion made during hypnosis that influences the participants behavior afterward. For example; a hypnotist can suppress memory by suggesting that after the person is awakened, she or he will be unable to hear the word “psychology.” When she or he comes out of the trance, the participant may report that some people around them are speaking strangely. The participant is not fully aware that that part of their consciousness has been blocked.

51 Biofeedback Biofeedback: The process of learning to control bodily states with the help of machines monitoring the states to be controlled. Biofeedback has been used to teach people to control a wide variety of physiological responses, including brain waves, heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, and sweat gland activity. The basic principle of biofeedback is simple: Feedback makes learning possible.

52 Biofeedback Biofeedback uses machines to tell people about very subtle, moment-to-moment changes in the body. People can then experiment with different thoughts and feelings while they watch how each one affects their bodies. In time, people can learn to change their physiological processes.

53 Biofeedback

54 Meditation What is meditation?
Meditation: The focusing of attention to clear one’s mind and produce relaxation. Meditation has been practiced in various parts of the world for thousands of years.

55 Approaches to Meditation
There are 3 major approaches to meditation! Transcendental Meditation involves the repetition of a “mantra,” usually a Sanskrit phrase. The participant sits with eyes closed and meditates for minutes twice a day.

56 Approaches to Meditation
Mindfulness Meditation was developed from a Buddhist tradition. This form of meditation focuses on the present moment. For example; the participant may move his or her focus through the body from the tips of their toes to the top of their head, while paying particular attention to areas that cause pain.

57 Approaches to Meditation
Breath Meditation is a concentration on ones own respiration – the process of inhaling and exhaling. A mandala may be used to focus one’s attention during meditation. Researchers generally agree that most people can benefit from the sort of systemic relaxation that meditation provides. Meditation has been found to help people lower blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration rate.

58 Drugs and Consciousness

59 Party Time?

60 Drugs and Consciousness
OK, here we go… Psychoactive Drugs: Chemicals that affect the nervous system and result in altered states of consciousness. These drugs interact with the central nervous system to alter a person’s mood, perception, and behavior. These drugs range from stimulants like caffeine in coffee and in cola drinks to depressants like alcohol to powerful hallucinogens like marijuana, mushrooms, and LSD!

61 How do Drugs Work? Much like hormones, drugs are carried by the blood and taken up in target tissues in various parts of the body. Drugs are introduced to the body through a variety of routes that eventually bring the drugs into contact with capillaries. From there, drugs are gradually absorbed into your blood stream. Then drug molecules act as neurotransmitters and hook onto the ends of nerve cells (neurons) and then send out their chemical messages.

62 How Do Drugs Work? For Example; alcohol molecules may tell a nerve cell not to fire. As more and more cells cease firing, the alcohol user becomes slower and may eventually lose consciousness. Another Example; LSD molecules may cause circuits in different areas of the brain to start firing together instead of separately. This is what causes hallucinations. So…What do individual drugs do?

63 Marijuana And in case you are confused: grass, pot, weed, chronic, bud, dope, ganja, herb, homegrown, indo, hydro, shake, Mary Jane… Used as an intoxicant among Eastern cultures, marijuana is legally and morally acceptable in some societies, where as alcohol is not. The sale and possession of marijuana is against the law in most of the United States. Before 1960, marijuana use in the United States was common only among members of certain subcultures. Marijuana use increased through the 60’s and 70’s, but then suffered a significant decline.

64 Marijuana So what is marijuana?
Marijuana: The dried leaves and flowers of Indian hemp (Cannabis sativa) that produce an altered state of consciousness when smoked or ingested. The active ingredient in marijuana is a complex molecule called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which occurs naturally in the common weed Cannabis sativa (hemp.) Marijuana can be either smoked or eaten to produce certain effects.

65 Marijuana Effects? The effects of marijuana vary somewhat from person to person and also seem to depend on the setting in which the drug is taken and the user’s past experience. These effects can be both pleasant and unpleasant. In general, though, many marijuana users report most sensory experiences seem greatly augmented – music sounds fuller, colors look brighter, smells are stronger, foods have stronger flavors, and other experiences are more intense than usual. Users may feel elated, the world may seem somehow more meaningful, and even the most ordinary events may take on extraordinary significance.

66 Marijuana If kids smoked marijuana…
Marijuana is not a physically addictive drug, as heroin is, but people may become psychologically addicted or dependent on the drug. Marijuana can also instill or heighten a variety of unpleasant experiences. If a person is frightened, unhappy, or depressed to begin with, the chances are good that taking the drug will blow the negative feelings out of proportion so that the user’s world, at least temporarily, becomes very upsetting. Cases have been reported in which marijuana appears to have helped bring on psychological disturbances in people who are already unstable before they used it. If kids smoked marijuana…

67 Marijuana Facts Studies suggest that marijuana use is more damaging to the lungs than cigarette use. While cigarettes have been proven to be more prone to cause cancer and other physical ailments for a variety of reasons, studies have shown that marijuana can be deadly in a different way. Marijuana users hold marijuana smoke, tar, carbon monoxide, and other chemicals in their lungs for 20 to 40 seconds, creating the deadly potential for extreme damage to the lining of the lungs.

68 Marijuana Facts Marijuana also disrupts memory formation, making it difficult to carry out mental and physical tasks. Research has also shown that adults who are habitually using marijuana scored lower than equal – IQ nonusers on a 12th grade academic achievement test. Wonder how he’ll do on an IQ test…

69 Hallucinations What are hallucinations?
Hallucinations: Perceptions that have no direct external cause. These can be such things as seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or feeling things that do not exist. Hypnosis, meditation, certain drugs, withdrawal from a drug to which one has become addicted, and psychological breakdown may produce hallucinations.

70 Hallucinations Hallucinations can also occur under “normal” conditions. People can hallucinate if deprived of sleep, during periods of high emotion, concentration, or even fatigue.

71 Hallucinogens Psilocybin aka “shrooms”
Hallucinogens: Drugs that often produce hallucinations. Hallucinogens can be found in plants that grow throughout the world. They have been used for their effects on consciousness since the earliest parts of human history. These drugs are so called psychedelics because they create a loss of contact with reality. These drugs can also create a false body image and cause loss of self, dreamlike fantasies, and hallucinations. Psilocybin aka “shrooms”

72 Hallucinogens The best known, most extensively studied, and most potent hallucinogen is LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide). LSD: A potent psychedelic drug that produces distortions of perception and thought. Other names for LSD: Acid, Dots, Blotter, Mellow Yellow. In fact, LSD is one of the most powerful drugs there are.

73 Hallucinogens LSD is a synthetic substance.
A dose of a few millionths of a gram has a noticeable effect; an average dose of 100 to 300 micrograms produces an experiential state, called a “trip,” that lasts from 6 to 14 hours. To control such small doses, the producers of LSD usually dissolve the drug into small pieces of paper called “stamps” or small sugar cubes called “dots.”

74 Here We Go…

75 L S D…Trippin’ During an LSD trip, a person can experience any number of perceptions, often quite intense and rapidly changing. The person’s expectations, beliefs, mood, and the circumstances under which he or she took the “acid” can effect the experience, sometimes making it terrifying. Perceptual hallucinations are very common with the use of LSD. Users may experience hallucinatory progressions in which simple geometric forms evolve into surrealistic impossibilities.

76 British Soldier LSD Test

77 L S D “Trip” L S D

78 Opiates Opiates, usually called narcotics, include opium, morphine, and heroin. Opiates produce: Analgesia, or pain reduction. Euphoria, which is sometimes described as a pleasurable state somewhere between wake and sleep. Constipation.

79 Opiates Regular use of opiates can and usually does, lead to physical addiction. An overdose of opiates will result in the loss of control of breathing – The user will then die from total respiratory failure.

80 Opiates - Heroin Heroin. “Smack,” “H,” “Skag,” “Junk.”
Heroin abuse is associated with serious health conditions, including fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, collapsed veins, and, particularly in users who inject the drug, infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

81 Opiates - Heroin The short-term effects of heroin abuse appear soon after a single dose and disappear in a few hours. After an injection of heroin, the user reports feeling a surge of euphoria ("rush") accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, a dry mouth, and heavy extremities. Following this initial euphoria, the user goes "on the nod," an alternately wakeful and drowsy state. Mental functioning becomes clouded due to the depression of the central nervous system.

82 Opiates - Heroin Long-term effects of heroin appear after repeated use for some period of time. Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, cellulitis, and liver disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the poor health condition of the abuser, as well as from heroin’s depressing effects on respiration.

83 Opiates - Heroin With regular heroin use, tolerance develops.
This means the abuser must use more heroin to achieve the same intensity of effect. As higher doses are used over time, physical dependence and addiction develop. With physical dependence, the body has adapted to the presence of the drug and withdrawal symptoms may occur if use is reduced or stopped.

84 Opiates - Heroin Withdrawal, which in regular abusers may occur as early as a few hours after the last administration, produces drug craving, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea and vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps ("cold turkey"), kicking movements ("kicking the habit"), and other symptoms. Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose and subside after about a week. Sudden withdrawal by heavily dependent users who are in poor health is occasionally fatal, although heroin withdrawal is considered less dangerous than alcohol or barbiturate withdrawal.

85 Weak Stomach? Afraid of Needles? Look Away!
This has to be extremely painful!

86 The lighter side…

87 Alcohol The most widely used and abused mind-altering substance in the United States is…Alcohol! The consumption of alcohol is encouraged by advertisements and by social expectations and traditions. The immediate effect of alcohol is a general loosening of inhibitions. Despite its seeming stimulant effect, alcohol is actually a depressant that serves to inhibit the brain’s normal functions.

88 Alcohol When people drink, they often act without the social constraint of self-control they normally apply to their behavior. The effects of using alcohol depend on the amount and frequency of drinking and the drinker’s body weight. As the amount consumed increases within a specific time, the drinker’s ability to function diminishes.

89 Alcohol The more a person drinks, their speech becomes slurred, they get blurred vision, and impaired judgment and memory. Permanent brain and liver damage and a change in personality can result from prolonged heavy use of alcohol.


91 What does alcohol do to your brain?

92 Because You Have Asked… “The Green Fairy!”
What is… …and why is it illegal in the U.S?

93 Absinthe Absinthe is a liquor made with wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). Absinthe is a deep green drink with a very bitter taste. Absinthe was very popular with 19th century intellectuals, poets and artists like Oscar Wilde and Vincent Van Gogh. Besides having a very high alcohol content (120 to 160 proof), Absinthe was also said to induce a dreamlike state, enhance creativity and facilitate artistic expression.

94 Absinthe What is the active ingredient in Absinthe?
One of the constituents of wormwood, thujone is considered the culprit of Absinthe's "added effect". Naturally occurring in many plants and flowers, thujone is found in large amounts in wormwood. A-thujone has a structure very similar to THC (tetrahyrdacannaboid). This similarity has lead some to believe that the two substances work similarly upon the brain.

95 Absinthe New research indicates, however that thujone blocks GABA-A receptors in the brain which inhibit the firing of brain cells, once these receptors are blocked, the brain is free to fire at will. This is why despite the very high alcohol content, Absinthe drinkers report being clear headed, even after consuming amounts of alcohol that would usually put them into a stupor. The bulk, however of Absinthe's effects is caused by the very high alcohol content.

96 Absinthe Is Absinthe safe?
The thujone content of all commercial Absinthes is low enough to cause no harm to the human body. Homemade Absinthe however can be potentially fatal. Be aware that although the thujone content of Absinthe may not be harmful, its high alcoholic content can be.

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