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HALLUCINOGEN While many drugs speed up or depress the central nervous system there is aclass of drugs that distorts how we feel hear see smell taste and think Calledhallucinogens because users often hallucinate or experience nonexistent sensations thesedrugs are also known as psychedelic or mind-bending drugs Some hallucinogens come fromnatural sources others are made in laboratories Examples of natural hallucinogens aremescaline psilocybin DMT and marijuanaMescaline which has been used by American Indians in religious ceremonies comes from thepeyote cactus Psilocybin also used by the Indians and believed to have supernaturalpowers is found in about 20 varieties of mushrooms Once ingested psilocybin isconverted to psilocin which is responsible for the drugs hallucinogenic sensations DMTdimethyltryptamine is a short-acting hallucinogen found in the seeds of certain WestIndian and South American plants In the form of snuff called cohoba it has been used inreligious ceremonies in Haiti Marijuana is a plant belonging to the hemp family Theactive principle responsible for the drugs effects is tetrahydrocannabinol THCobtained from the amber-colored resin of the flowering tops and leaves of the plantHashish is also made from this resinOf all drugs synthetic and natural the most powerful is LSD or lysergic aciddiethylamide Twenty micrograms an almost infinitesimal amount is sufficient to producea hallucinogenic effect just 3 pounds 14 kilograms could induce a reaction in all theinhabitants of New York City and London This extraordinary potency makes LSD especiallydangerous since it is usually impossible to determine how much is contained in dosesoffered by drug dealersLSD is chemically derived from ergot a parasitic fungus that grows on rye and othergrains An odorless colorless and tasteless substance LSD is sold on the street intablets capsules and sometimes liquid form It is usually taken by mouth but can beinjected Often LSD is placed on a blotter or other absorbent paper and marked into smallsquares each representing one doseSynthetic hallucinogens with effects resembling those of LSD include DETdiethyltryptamine a synthetic compound similar to DMT and DOM25-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine a
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