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HALLUCINOGEN While many drugs speed up or depress the central nervous system there is a class of drugs that distorts how we feel hear see smell taste and think Called hallucinogens because users often hallucinate or experience nonexistent sensations these drugs are also known as psychedelic or mind-bending drugs Some hallucinogens come from natural sources others are made in laboratories Examples of natural hallucinogens are mescaline psilocybin DMT and marijuana Mescaline which has been used by American Indians in religious ceremonies comes from the peyote cactus Psilocybin also used by the Indians and believed to have supernatural powers is found in about 20 varieties of mushrooms Once ingested psilocybin is converted to psilocin which is responsible for the drugs hallucinogenic sensations DMT dimethyltryptamine is a short-acting hallucinogen found in the seeds of certain West Indian and South American plants In the form of snuff called cohoba it has been used in religious ceremonies in Haiti Marijuana is a plant belonging to the hemp family The active principle responsible for the drugs effects is tetrahydrocannabinol THC obtained from the amber-colored resin of the flowering tops and leaves of the plant Hashish is also made from this resin Of all drugs synthetic and natural the most powerful is LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide Twenty micrograms an almost infinitesimal amount is sufficient to produce a hallucinogenic effect just 3 pounds 14 kilograms could induce a reaction in all the inhabitants of New York City and London This extraordinary potency makes LSD especially dangerous since it is usually impossible to determine how much is contained in doses offered by drug dealers LSD is chemically derived from ergot a parasitic fungus that grows on rye and other grains An odorless colorless and tasteless substance LSD is sold on the street in tablets capsules and sometimes liquid form It is usually taken by mouth but can be injected Often LSD is placed on a blotter or other absorbent paper and
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