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Chapter 14

PS268 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Argyreia Nervosa, Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder, Psilocybe Semilanceata

Course Code
Bruce Mc Kay

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Drugs and Behaviour Chapter 14
Animism and Religion
o Animism belief that animals, plants, rocks, streams…etc derive characteristics from spirit within object
o If plant contains spirit, then eating it will transfer spirit to person eating it
o Plants and their psychoactive effects important reasons for spiritual and religious traditions in many
societies across the world
Terminology and Types
o 1924 Lewis Lewin Classified psychoactive drugs as Phantastica
Drugs that create a world of fantasy
o 1960s psychedelic = “mind viewing” drugs
o Psychotomimetic drugs = produces hallucinations and altered sense of reality, can be referred to as
Implies that it produces dangerous effects and form of mental disorder
o Entheogen substances thought to create spiritual or religious experiences
o Entactogen produce a touching within, enhance feelings of empathy
o Hallucinogens produce hallucinations
o Altering perceptions while allowing person to remain with present world
Aware of fantasy and real world
o More pure hallucinogenic effects, and little danger of dying of OD
o Based off chemical structure, two types, indole and catechol
o Indole Hallucinogens
Indole chemical structure found in serotonin and LSD
D-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)
Most potent and notorious, brought attention to hallucinogens in 1960
Originally synthesized from ergot alkaloids from ergot funcus
LSD Discovery and Early Research
o 1938 Albert Hoffman synthesized LSD
o 1943 first effects recorded
Took .25mg 5-8x normal dose
o 0.05mg usually effective, some can use 0.03mg
o LSD widely used as adjunct to psychotherapy
Because dreams represent subconscious thoughts
LSD took over as modern truth serum
o Two potential treatments with LSD
Might be good treatment for alcohol dependence
Allow people with terminal cancer to achieve greater understanding
of their mortality
o Most of the research conducted on animals to understand neural level
mechanism of action
Secret Army/CIA Research with LSD
o US army did research into hallucinogen use
o Frank Olson committed suicide November 28,1953 after being exposed to
o Wanted to use psychedelics for warfare and prisoner interrogation
o CIA and Canadian government collaborated to fund mind control/behaviour
modification research
Project MK-Ultra
Investigated LSD effects on inmates and psychiatric
patients, without their consent

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Drugs and Behaviour Chapter 14
Claims that the research wasn’t about mind control, but about
extracting information
Recreational Use of LSD
o 1960 Timothy Leary used magic mushrooms
Tested it on Harvard grad students
Leary claimed that experimenter should use drug along with subject
Calls scientific value of research into question
Fired from his position in 1963
o 1966 Leary started League of Spiritual Discovery
LSD as sacrament
o Promise of new sensations, potent aphrodisiac effects, kinship with friendly
peer group spread drug rapidly
o 1967/1968 drug use peaked
Started to taper off
“bad trips”, prolonged psychotic reactions, possible
chromosome damage, self injuries and flashbacks
o 1980 Leary talked about how to use drugs without abuse
o Concerns about long term effects restricted use/sale
Punishable by law in 1962
LSD Pharmacology
o Odourless, colourless, tasteless
o Very potent little LSD to produce effects
o Never definitely linked to one human OD death
o Gastrointestinal absorption is rapid
o Half of LSD metabolized every 3 hours
Metabolized in liver and excreted
o Tolerance develops rapidly
Recovery also rapid, so weekly use is possible
o Cross-tolerance has been shown
o No physical dependence has been indentified
o Sympathomimetic agent
Dilated pupils, elevated temperature and blood pressure, increased
o LSD works by acting at serotonin receptors
o Most of the effects can be blocked by drugs that act as serotonin-receptor
o LSD acts as ether agonist or antagonist at different receptors
The LSD Experience
o Most important effect is modification of perception, visual images
o Low doses described as illusions or perceptual distortions
o Some images can be seen with eyes open or closed, therefore they’re not
One stage form-constants
Shapes are combined with intense colours and brightness
Another stage complex images
Landscapes, faces or objects combined with form
o Altered sense of time
o Changes in perception of body

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Drugs and Behaviour Chapter 14
o Alterations of auditory input
o Synaesthesia mixing of senses
Sounds appear as visual images
Images alter with rhythm of music
o Altered perception combined with enhanced emotionality
May be related to arousal of sympathetic branch of autonomic
nervous system
May interpret image as exceptionally beautiful because of
intense emotion
May also induce intense fear or sadness
o Each trip differs
May last 6-9 hours
o Initial effects
Individual may feel dizzy or hot/cold, dry mouth
o After 1 hour
Intoxication in full bloom
Depersonalization detached from body
Body distortions
Loss of self-awareness and control of behaviour
o Two types of reactions
Excitement/feeling of grandiose and feel like uncovering
secrets of universe
Adverse Reactions
o No possibility of determining true incidence of adverse reactions to LSD
No way to know amount or purity
o Adverse reactions to street drugs due to many factors
Panic Reactions
o Can develop during drug-induced experience
o Can cause people to not want to take drug again
o Recurrence of symptoms weeks/months after
o Frequency and duration quite variable and unpredictable
Diminishes in frequency and intensity if individual stops using drugs
o Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder
Geometric hallucinations, false perceptions of movements, flashes
of colour, intensified colour, trails from moving objects…etc
Beliefs about LSD
o Creativity
Increase creativity or release creativity that inhibitions keep bottled
Psilocybin made remote mental associations more available which
might enhance creativity
Less ability to focus on task
o Therapy
Belief that it can treat alcohol dependence
LSD produced slightly better results early, results similar after 6
Reduced pain and depression of patients with terminal cancer
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