Trips – Hallucinogens
Hallucinogens are substances that induce alterations in perception of space, time and place. They can be found in both nature (cacti, vines and mushrooms) as in man-made synthetic substances, such as LSD and 2C-B.As long as man has existed, ritual use of these substances has been documented, often for magic and religious purposes. Since the 60s, drug info has been widely spread among the counter-culture.
- They are also called ‘psychedelics’, which means ‘mind manifesting’.
- A ‘trip’ will amplify existing emotions and alter perception of time and space. These alterations in perception can cause hallucinations, seeing things that are not there, but for the user they are real.
- This amplifying effect can be very strong, and cause a good feeling to develop to ecstasy. Fear can lead to panic. One cannot predict how these emotions will develop and feel like.
- The effects can come back years later, this is called a ‘flashback’.
- The physical effects are minimal, although nausea and vomiting are common.
- The effect and duration of the trip are determined by the kind of substance, the dosage and the initial mood of the user. Also bodyweight and the time between meals affect the trip.
- Some trips can last for more than 24 hours, whereas others can wear off in 6 hours. Examples of synthetic psychedelics are 2C-B, LSD, 2-CT-7, 2-CT-2, DOB, DOI, 2C-I.Please visit www.erowid.org for more information on these substances.
- Occasionally, hallucinogens are passed off as Ecstasy.Luckily, most Test Kits will screen for these substances.
- These substances can bear risks for those who are emotionally unstable, depressed, anxious or a propensity toward psychosis. They can induce psychosis or panic attacks. Motor skills are reduced so don’t drive or operate machinery on these substances.
- Most hallucinogens are illegal and possesion may lead to prosecution and sentencing.
GHB – ‘Liquid E’ – Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate
GHB’ stands for Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate, sometimes it is referred to as ‘Liquid Ecstasy’ but it has nothing to do with MDMA (Ecstasy). It was originally developed as a anastaesia for surgery but because of its side effects it is no longer in use. GHB comes as a salty tasting liquid or powder. It has a bad reputation as a date-rape drug since it is easily mixed in a drink and administered to women.
- The effects come on fast and, unlike alcohol, cannot be controlled or paced.
- Regular, daily use of GHB can cause physical dependency with harsh withdrawal symptoms.
- GHB is illegal and possession can result in long prison terms.
- Some people dye their GHB blue with food coloring in order to distinguish it from regular water.
PMA – Para Methoxy Amphetamine
PMA is paramethoxyamphetamine. It is a hallucinogenic stimulant that some people experimented with in the 70s, it never became a popular recreational drug because of its high toxicity. It is one of the most dangerous and toxic hallucinogens known. Because it is less risky and easier to make and than MDMA , it is often sold as ‘Ecstasy’.
What does it do?
- At lower doses (less that 50mg, depending on body weight) PMA produces an increase in energy, minor visual hallucinations, and a mild euphoric state.
- At slightly higher doses it (suddenly) increases heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature to dangerously high levels that can lead to convulsions, coma and death.
- A person who has ingested a high enough dose of PMA has difficulty breathing, develops muscle spasms and nausea, and starts vomiting.
- The initial effects of a low dose of PMA might feel a little bit like MDMA, but PMA takes more than half an hour longer to come on.
- This may cause some people to take another pill thinking that they got “weak Ecstasy.” By this time the person may have taken a lethal dose.
What do the PMA tablets look like?
- So far all of the PMA tablets sold on the ecstasy market around the world have been white or tan Mistsubishi tablets.
- They have a diameter of 7 or 7.5 mm, and are thicker than most pills. Pills tested around the world that match this size and description have always contained PMA, so if you come across an exact match (size, color and logo), it most likely contains PMA, not MDMA.
- However, it is possible that a new, different batch of PMA tablets will show up sometime that look different.
- You can identify PMA with our EZ Test Mandelin.
Ketamine – Special K
Ketamine belongs to a class of drugs called “dissociative anaesthetics,” which separate perception from sensation. Other drugs in this category include PCP, DXM and nitrous oxide (laughing gas)Ketamine hydrochloride (“Special K” or “K”) was originally created for use as an anaesthetic. It is still used by veterinarians.
- The effect of Ketamine varies with dosage, method of administration, person and the situation in which it is used.
- Most users report a ‘trippy effect’, which means that it alters perception of reality and dimensions such as time, place, space and body.
- It also affects the ability to move. Staggering and a floating feeling are common, just as nausea and dizziness.
- It can be a quite disrupting experience which is not enjoyed by everyone!
- A bad trip can be very freightening and most unpleasant. It is quite difficult to determine dosage so beware of overdosing.
- Another side effects is that it blocks the pain receptors in the body, which may cause injuries or worse.
- Low doses of Ketamine can increase heart-rate, at higher doses it depresses consciousness and breathing and is extremely dangerous to combine with downers like alcohol, Valium or GHB.
- Frequent use can cause disruptions in consciousness and lead to neuroses or other mental disorders.
- Ketamine can cause a tremendous psychological dependence.
- The dissociation from one’s consciousness experienced with ketamine can be highly seductive to some people, and there are many cases of ketamine addiction.
- Ketamine is illegal and possession can result in long prison terms.
DXM – Dextromethorphan
DXM is dextromethorphan. It is a legal cough suppressant found in many over-the-counter cough syrups. In high doses it acts as a “dissociative anaesthetic” like ketamine or PCP. It is often sold as ‘Ecstasy’ because it is easily obtained. Because it is metabolized by the same enzyme in the liver a combination of MDMA and DXM can be very dangerous!
What DZM does:
- A high dose will cause users to feel very spacey and “out of it”. It impairs motor control and causes robot-like movements. It can also produce audio and visual hallucinations, and can sometimes cause nausea and itchy skin. Some people use DXM recreationally. When they do, they nearly always do it at home, in bed or on their couch.
- DXM is definitely not a dance drug, and getting scammed with a DXM tablet when you are expecting ecstasy (xtc) is no fun at all.
- It can also be quite dangerous. High doses of DXM have contributed to numerous cases of rave-related heatstroke.
- It is even more dangerous to combined DXM with real Ecstasy. Both drugs are metabolized through the same liver enzyme, CYP-2D6 (pronounced “sip-two-dee-six), which means that if you combine them together your liver will not be able to break them down as efficiently as it should. This can lead to significantly heightened effects from the DXM, and a much greater chance of suffering a heatstroke reaction.
- Taking breaks from dancing, and staying hydrated are always the best ways to reduce the risk of heatstroke at a rave. If you think you may have accidentally consumed a pill containing DXM, however, you should probably not dance at all, and should stay in a cool environment. Have some friends watch out for you, and chill out for the evening.
- Remember, your chances of heatstroke are greater if you have consumed DXM, and greatest if you have consumed both MDMA and DXM together.
Meth Amphetamine – Speed
‘Speed‘ is slang for meth-or dex-amphetamine. It is also known as : ice, crank, rocket fuel, gak, meth, glass, benzedrine, dexedrine, crystal and Yaba. It was one of the first phenethylamine type drugs developed. In the past it was mostly used as an appetite and sleep suppressant.
- It produces alertness, confidence and raises levels of energy and stamina.
- It reduces appetite and lessens the desire and ability to sleep.
- Regular use can produce a need to increase the dose to get the same effect, and can lead to physical dependence on the drug.
- Speed can produce a powerful craving for more of the drug.
- Long-term use can result in serious mental and physical problems.
- The ‘comedown’ off speed can make you feel tired, lethargic and depressed. This may tempt users to take more, and can lead to dependency.
- Speed users that inject the substance are at higher HIV and hepatitis risk through unsafe sex and needle sharing.
- Although rare, speed can cause seizures, heart attacks, strokes, and death from overdose.
- Many users become physically run down, which leaves them susceptible to a wide range of illnesses.
- Extended use of speed can cause psychosis. The user may think that everybody is out to get them, or that they are being followed or watched.
- Mixing speed with other drugs, particularly other stimulants, can increase the risk of adverse reactions.
- Speed is illegal. Possession can result in long prison terms.
This is often called the original designer drug because of its synonymous relationship with rave culture in the early 90s. Clubbers took ecstasy to stay awake and dance for hours. The effects take about half an hour to kick in and tend to last between 3 to 6 hours, followed by a gradual comedown.
- An E gives people an energy buzz that makes them feel alert and alive.
- Ecstasy makes people feel in tune with their surroundings – sounds and colours are more intense.
- Users often feel great love for the people they’re with and the strangers around them. On its own, it’s not a drug that makes people violent.
- Lots of people feel chatty on E. (These chats don’t always make sense to people who aren’t on an E).
- It’s possible to build up tolerance to E, which means people take more to get the same buzz. You may also develop a psychological dependence (the desire to keep on using even in spite of potential harm).
- There’s some uncertainty about the long term side effects of Es. But evidence suggests it may cause damage to the brain causing long term problems – like depression, personality change and memory loss.
- Ecstasy is a Class A drug – illegal to have, give away or sell. Possession can get you up to seven years in jail. Supplying someone else, including your friends, can get you life and an unlimited fine.
- Pure Ecstasy is a white crystalline powder known to chemists as MDMA.
- Ecstasy sold on the street is usually in tablet form although it’s getting more common to see it sold as powder. Es come in all sorts of colours and some of them have pictures or logos stamped into them.
- They’re usually swallowed although some people do smoke or snort them. People have been known to take another E when they haven’t initially felt the expected ‘high’. The danger then is that both Es kick in and you’ve a double dose to deal with.
- A big problem with Es is that they’re rarely pure. They can be cut with amphetamines (like speed), caffeine and other substances because it’s cheaper to produce.
- Some of the new man-made drugs like PMA and 4-MTA can be passed off as E’s. Their effects can be very different or they may take longer to kick-in with a risk of the user double-dosing to compensate (risking double the side effects).
- Physical side effects can develop that include: dilated pupils, a tingling feeling, tightening of the jaw muscles, raised body temperature and the heart beats faster.
- Short-term effects of use can include anxiety, panic attacks, confused episodes and paranoid or psychotic states.
- There’s no way of telling what’s in an E until you’ve swallowed it. So, there may be negative side effects from other ingredients in the tablet.
- E’s can make users feel a bit down after use.
- There’ve been over 200 ecstasy-related deaths in the UK since 1996. Ecstasy use is the cause of death in many of the cases but there have been some involving other substances sold as Ecstasy e.g. PMA.
- Ecstasy affects the body’s temperature control. Dancing for long periods in a hot atmosphere increases the chances of overheating and dehydration. Take regular breaks from the dance floor to cool down.
- And watch out for your mates – sometimes they mightn’t realise they’re in danger of overheating or getting dehydrated.
- Be careful with fluids though, as drinking too much can also be dangerous or even fatal. Ecstasy can cause the body to release a hormone which prevents the production of urine. Drink too quickly and it interferes with your body’s salt balance, which can be as deadly as not drinking enough water. Reduce the risks by sipping no more than a pint of water or non-alcoholic fluid every hour.
- Using Ecstasy has been linked to liver, kidney and heart problems. Anyone using too much can become paranoid and depressed.
- Some long-term users report getting colds, flu and sore throats more often. This may be attributed to staying awake for 24 hours, which puts your immune system under pressure.
- There’s research to suggest that the exhaustion and dehydration associated with Ecstasy can activate urine infections like cystitis in women.
- Anyone with a heart condition, blood pressure problems, epilepsy or asthma can have a very dangerous reaction to the drug.
No compelling evidence exists that taking a single c.125mg dose of MDMA a few times or so a year is likely to cause any long-term harm to the user’s mental or physical health. Nevertheless, even pharmaceutical-grade MDMA taken at moderate doses in optimal conditions is not a wholly benign drug. The problem isn’t (just) the toxic adulterants used by dance-floor pharmacologists or the botched syntheses of bathtub chemists.
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