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Mind-Altering Drugs Larry Scheffler Lincoln High School 1.

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1 Mind-Altering Drugs Larry Scheffler Lincoln High School 1

2 Mind-Altering Drugs Mind-altering drugs or hallucinogens as they are often called affect the brain in such a way as to alter perception of reality Four different kinds of hallucinogenic drugs include LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), Psilocybin and Psilocin Mescaline, Cannabis (marijuana & its active ingredient THC). 2

3 Indole Ring Structure The indole ring (or a modification of it) is the basic structure present in almost all hallucinogens including: LSD Psilocybin Psilocin Mescaline (Lacks the complete ring.) The indole structure Mescaline – a partial indole structure 3

4 A Neuron Synapse Neurotransmitter chemicals such as serotonin transmit electrical impulses Hallucinogenic drugs affect the transmission of neural impulses particularly in the brain. 4

5 LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)  Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) was discovered in 1938 by a Swiss scientist named Albert Hoffman.  Hoffman tested some on himself, not knowing the limits of a safe dosage.  It was thought that the mind- altering properties of LSD could be used with medicinal purposes in the treatment of psychological disorders. 5

6 LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)  The discovery resulted from an investigation of partially synthetic amides of Lysergic acid.  LSD itself does not occur naturally but is derived from ergot, a fungus that grows on wheat  LSD was synthesized with the intention of obtaining an analeptic  Methergine developed as a result of LSD research is used to stop hemorrhages. 6

7 LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) Note the similarities of the LSD structure to the neurotransmitters: serotonin and L-Dopamine. Each structure has an indole ring 7

8 LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) LSD is thought to disrupt the way that serotonin is used by the brain Small doses, as little as mg will produce a noticeable effect. 8

9 Immediate Effects of LSD  The immediate effects usually last about 12 hours  Symptoms include restlessness, dizziness, and alterations in vision and audio perceptions and hallucinations.  Time becomes meaningless  Feeling is often described as flying.  In some cases despair and suicidal thoughts. 9

10 Longer Term Effects of LSD  Highly addictive.  Long-term mental health problems after using LSD are common.  Bad trips can be triggered.  Depression leading to suicide is a long- term effect of using LSD, and addiction.  Users may re-experience early memories, even pre-birth memories or flashbacks.  Originally used in psychotherapy but discontinued because of it may lead to psychosis in susceptible patients. 10

11 Mescaline 11

12 MESCALINE (Peyote)  Mescaline is found in a small, spineless cactus (known botanically as Lophophora williams ii) which grows in the deserts of Mexico and the American Southwest.  When the crown is sliced off and dried, it forms a hard, brownish disc known as a "button," which is chewed for its hallucinogenic properties. 12

13 MESCALINE (Peyote)  Mescaline is of the oldest hallucinogens known  Peyote buttons were chewed for religious purposes in Mexico centuries before the Conquistadors even knew Mexico existed.  Early tales of peyote rituals among the Aztec and Toltec Indians date ceremonial use back some 3,000 years.  1560 Spanish explorers described the effects on Mexican Indians as having “terrible visions that lasted for 2-3 days” 13

14 MESCALINE (Peyote) The Spaniards quickly outlawed "peyotism," which they linked with cannibalism and witchcraft, and enacted the first set of anti-drug laws in the Western Hemisphere, all aimed at wiping out Indian use of the plant. During the American Civil War, peyote use began spreading north from Mexico on a large scale. 11 states have enacted laws to ban religious use of peyote. Federal courts have affirmed the right to sacramental use by Native American religious use A 1990 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, affirmed the right of states to control ritual peyote use 14

15 MESCALINE (Peyote) Peyote was also believed to be a god-powerful medicine, capable of giving sight to the blind and healing incurable diseases. Peyote was also believed to be a god-powerful medicine, capable of giving sight to the blind and healing incurable diseases. 15

16 MESCALINE (Peyote) The chemical structure of mescaline contains three ether groups and a partial indole ring 16

17 MESCALINE (Peyote)  Peyote contains more than fifty psychoactive ingredients  The most powerful of which is mescaline (3,4,5- trimethoxyphenethylamine) 17 The hallucinogenic effects of the mescaline related compounds is believed to be related to the similarities of their structures to amphetamine.

18 Effects of MESCALINE (Peyote)  Mescaline triggers increased heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure and dilation of the pupils.  Normal coordination and reflexes are reduced, and the skin may feel dry and itchy.  Peak effects hit 2-3 hours after ingestion, and run their course in about 12 hours. 18

19 Effects of MESCALINE (Peyote) Other effects can include :  Rapid changes in mood  Feelings of empathy and kinship  Distortions in perception  Exasperates conditions of anxiety and depression 19

20 Psilocybin and Psilocin 20

21 PSILOCYBIN  Certain types of naturally occurring mushrooms contain hallucinogenic chemicals known as psilocybin and psilocin.  Psilocybin and Psilocin are found in the liberty cap mushroom (Psilocybe semilanceata (Magic Mushroom)  Dried mushrooms contain about 0.4 % psilocybin and trace amounts of psilocin. 21

22 PSILOCYBIN & PSILOCIN  Psilocybin and psilocin belong to the tryptamine family and their effect is similar to the natural neurotransmitter serotonin,  Psilocybin and psilocin are both alkaloids which means they are nitrogenous substances that appear in nature.. 22

23 Structure of PSILOCYBIN 23 The structure of Psilocybin has an indole structure shown In the diagram at the right.

24 Structure of PSILOCIN 24 The structure of Psilocin has an indole structure shown In the diagram at the right. The hydroxy phosphate structure is replaced with a hydroxyl group

25 Effects of Psilocybin and Psilocin  Within 30 minutes of taking small amounts (i.e. 1-2 grams) of mushroom, there is nausea, sweating, feeling hot and shaky, heart racing, lightheadedness, or anxiety.  A relaxed feeling and a sharpening of senses sometimes follow  With larger amounts (2-14 grams) they may experience time distortion, euphoria, seeing brilliant colors, flashing lights and even shapes and images. 25

26 Long Term Effects of Psilocybin and Psilocin  Long term effects unknown  Danger of mushroom poisoning by inability to distinguish from poisonous varieties  Poisoning occurs when there is excessive vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, chest pain, pounding and racing heart, fear, anxiety, paranoia, and seizures. 26

27 27 MARIJUANA (cannabis)

28 Marijuana is a drug made from the stems, flowering tops, leaves and seeds of the hemp plant (cannabis sativa). 28

29 MARIJUANA (cannabis)  The active ingredient in Marijuana is a compound called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  Structurally THC contains multiple carbon rings, with several methyl groups attached, and –OH group on a benzene ring, as well as a five carbon chain. 29

30 MARIJUANA (cannabis) 30 The concentration of THC is the determines the potency and effects of the drug.

31 Other Cannabinoids 31 Other hallucinogenic compounds found in marijuana

32 MARIJUANA (cannabis)  Generally marijuana has a THC content of 1-3% with specialized breeding making contents of slightly higher possible.  Hashish, made from the resin of the hemp plant is much more potent with concentrations between 10 to 15%.  The THC content of any of the products of the hemp plant depends greatly on the environment in which the plant is grown. 32

33 Effects of Cannabis/THC Effects of Cannabis/THC  Feelings of relaxation  Enhanced visual and auditory perceptions  Confusion and emotional distress  Has been used to relieve pain in some terminally ill patients 33

34 Long term effects  Lethagy and apathy  Lowering of fertility  Decreased mental capacity  Gateway drug  Potential for abuse  Illegal activities associated with Marijuana 34

35 1.Addictive properties are not entirely known. 2.Some experts believe that marijuana is less addictive than alcohol or nicotine, both of which are legal. 3.Risk of long term brain damage is not entirely known 35 Long Term Use

36 1.It is known that THC affects and influences the activity of cells at specific sites called cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells in the brain. 2.Some areas of the brain have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none. 3.Many cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement. Impact of THC on the Brain 36

37 Legalization of Marijuana Arguments in Favor 1.Marijuana is available medically to many terminally ill patients as well as for some other conditions, 2.Legalization would allow police to focus there efforts on more important matters 3.also taxes on marijuana would possibly generate large amounts of revenue 37

38 Legalization of Marijuana Arguments Against 1.Increased costs to society: especially from cancer and heart disease from smoking 2.Increased danger from people driving under the influence, 3.Marijuana abuse would increase 4.Marijuana’s status as a gateway drug would lead to increased addiction to more dangerous drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin 38

39 “Can a thorough understanding of the use and chemical composition of these drugs lead to the discovery of new pharmaceutical tools for psychiatric treatment or experimentation?” “Hallucinogens must be classed as a toxic. They induce unmistakable intoxications. In a broad sense they are narcotics.” 39

40 “In all things there is a poison, and there is nothing without a poison. It depends only upon the dose whether something is poisonous or not.” -- Paracelsus -16 th Century 40


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