A hallucinogen is a psychoactive agent which can cause hallucinations, perceptual anomalies, other substantial subjective changes in thoughts and consciousness. The common types of hallucinogens are psychedelics and deliriants. Although hallucinations are a common symptom of amphetamine psychosis, amphetamines are not considered hallucinogens, as they are not a primary effect of the drugs themselves. While hallucinations can occur when abusing stimulants, the nature of stimulant psychosis is not unlike delirium. A debate persists on criteria which would differentiate a substance which is'psychedelic' from one'hallucinogenic'. Sir Thomas Browne in 1646 coined the term'hallucination' from the Latin word "alucinari" meaning "to wander in the mind"; the term'psychedelic' is derived from the Ancient Greek words psychē and dēloun, or "mind-revealing".'A hallucinogen' and'a psychedelic' may refer to the same substance.'Hallucinations' and'psychedelia' may both refer to the same aspects of subjective experience in a given instance.
The term psychedelia carries an added reference to psychedelic substance culture, and'psychedelics' are considered by many to be the'traditional' or'classical hallucinogens' including DMT, Psilocybin, LSD.'A hallucinogen' in this sense broadly refers to any substance which causes changes in perception or hallucinations, while psychedelics carry a positive connotation of general perceptual enhancement. In contrast to Hollister's original criteria, adverse effects may predominate with some hallucinogens with this application of the term; the word psychedelic was coined to express the idea of a drug that makes manifest a hidden but real aspect of the mind. It is applied to any drug with perception-altering effects such as LSD and other ergotamine derivatives, DMT and other tryptamines including the alkaloids of Psilocybe spp. mescaline and other phenethylamines. The term "psychedelic" is applied somewhat interchangeably with "psychotomimetic" and "hallucinogen", The classical hallucinogens are considered to be the representative psychedelics and LSD is considered the prototypical psychedelic.
In order to refer to the LSD-like psychedelics, scientific authors have used the term "classical hallucinogen" in the sense defined by Glennon: "The classical hallucinogens are agents that meet Hollister's original definition, but are agents that: bind at 5-HT2 serotonin receptors, are recognized by animals trained to discriminate 1--2-aminopropane from vehicle. Otherwise, when the term "psychedelic" is used to refer only to the LSD-like psychedelics, authors explicitly point that they intend "psychedelic" to be understood according to this more restrictive interpretation. One explanatory model for the experiences provoked by psychedelics is the "reducing valve" concept, first articulated in Aldous Huxley's book The Doors of Perception. In this view, the drugs disable the brain's "filtering" ability to selectively prevent certain perceptions, emotions and thoughts from reaching the conscious mind; this effect has been described as mind expanding, or consciousness expanding, for the drug "expands" the realm of experience available to conscious awareness.
While possessing a unique mechanism of action, cannabis or marijuana has been regarded alongside the classic psychedelics. A designer drug is a structural or functional analog of a controlled substance, designed to mimic the pharmacological effects of the original drug while at the same time avoid being classified as illegal and/or avoid detection in standard drug tests. Many designer drugs and research chemicals are hallucinogenic in nature, such as those in the 2C and 25-NB families. Dissociatives produce analgesia and catalepsy at anesthetic doses, they produce a sense of detachment from the surrounding environment, hence "the state has been designated as dissociative anesthesia since the patient seems disassociated from his environment." Dissociative symptoms include the disruption or compartmentalization of "...the integrated functions of consciousness, identity or perception."p. 523 Dissociation of sensory input can cause derealization, the perception of the outside world as being dream-like or unreal.
Other dissociative experiences include depersonalization, which includes feeling detached from one's body. Simeon offered "...common descriptions of depersonalisation experiences: watching oneself from a distance. However, dissociation is remarkably administered by salvinorin A's potent κ-opioid receptor agonism, though sometimes described as an atypical psychedelic; some dissociatives can have CNS depressant effects, thereby carrying similar risks as opioids, which can slow breathing or heart rate to levels resulting in death (w
Enlightenment is the "full comprehension of a situation". The term is used to denote the Age of Enlightenment, but is used in Western cultures in a religious context, it translates several Buddhist terms and concepts, most notably bodhi and satori. Related terms from Asian religions are moksha in Hinduism, Kevala Jnana in Jainism, ushta in Zoroastrianism. In Christianity, the word "enlightenment" is used, except to refer to the Age of Enlightenment and its influence on Christianity. Equivalent terms in Christianity may be illumination, metanoia, revelation and conversion. Perennialists and Universalists view enlightenment and mysticism as equivalent terms for religious or spiritual insight; the English term enlightenment is the western translation of the abstract noun bodhi, the knowledge or wisdom, or awakened intellect, of a Buddha. The verbal root budh- means "to awaken," and its literal meaning is closer to "awakening." Although its most common usage is in the context of Buddhism, the term buddhi is used in other Indian philosophies and traditions.
The term "enlightenment" was popularised in the Western world through the 19th century translations of Max Müller. It has the western connotation of a sudden insight into reality; the term is being used to translate several other Buddhist terms and concepts, which are used to denote insight. What constituted the Buddha's awakening is unknown, it may have involved the knowledge that liberation was attained by the combination of mindfulness and dhyāna, applied to the understanding of the arising and ceasing of craving. The relation between dhyana and insight is a core problem in the study of Buddhism, is one of the fundamentals of Buddhist practice. In the western world the concept of spiritual enlightenment has become synonymous with self-realization and the true self and false self, being regarded as a substantial essence being covered over by social conditioning. In Indian religions moksha or mukti is the final extrication of the soul or consciousness from samsara and the bringing to an end of all the suffering involved in being subject to the cycle of repeated death and rebirth.
Advaita Vedanta is a philosophical concept where followers seek liberation/release by recognizing identity of the Self and the Whole through long preparation and training under the guidance of a guru, that involves efforts such as knowledge of scriptures, renunciation of worldly activities, inducement of direct identity experiences. Originating in India before 788 AD, Advaita Vedanta is considered the most influential and most dominant sub-school of the Vedānta school of Hindu philosophy. Other major sub-schools of Vedānta are Dvaita. Advaita is a system of thought where "Advaita" refers to the identity of the Whole. Recognition of this identity leads to liberation. Attaining this liberation takes a long preparation and training under the guidance of a guru, however Ramana Maharshi called his death experience akrama mukti, "sudden liberation", as opposed to the krama mukti, "gradual liberation" as in the Vedanta path of Jnana yoga; the key source texts for all schools of Vedānta are the Prasthanatrayi—the canonical texts consisting of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras.
The first person to explicitly consolidate the principles of Advaita Vedanta was Shankara Bhagavadpada, while the first historical proponent was Gaudapada, the guru of Shankara's guru Govinda Bhagavatpada. Shankara systematized the works of preceding philosophers, his system of Vedanta introduced the method of scholarly exegesis on the accepted metaphysics of the Upanishads. This style was adopted by all the Vedanta schools. Shankara's synthesis of Advaita Vedanta is summarized in this quote from the Vivekacūḍāmaṇi, one of his Prakaraṇa graṃthas: In half a couplet I state, what has been stated by crores of texts. In the 19th century, Vivekananda played a major role in the revival of Hinduism, the spread of Advaita Vedanta to the West via the Ramakrishna Mission, his interpretation of Advaita Vedanta has been called "Neo-Vedanta". In a talk on "The absolute and manifestation" given in at London in 1896 Swami Vivekananda said, I may make bold to say that the only religion which agrees with, goes a little further than modern researchers, both on physical and moral lines is the Advaita, and, why it appeals to modern scientists so much.
They find. A man must have not only faith, but intellectual faith too". Vivekananda emphasized samadhi as a means to attain liberation, yet this emphasis is not to be found in the Upanishads nor in Shankara. For Shankara and Nirvikalpa Samadhi are means to gain knowledge of the existing unity of Brahman and Atman, not the highest goal itself: oga is a meditative exercise of withdrawal from the particular and identification with the universal, l
Recreational drug use
Recreational drug use is the use of a psychoactive drug to induce an altered state of consciousness for pleasure, by modifying the perceptions and emotions of the user. When a psychoactive drug enters the user's body, it induces an intoxicating effect. Recreational drugs are in three categories: depressants. Many people use prescribed and illegal opioids along with opiates and benzodiazepines. In popular practice, recreational drug use is a tolerated social behaviour, rather than perceived as the serious medical condition of self-medication. However, heavy use of some drugs is stigmatized. Recreational drugs include alcohol. What controlled substances are considered illegal drugs varies by country, but includes methamphetamines, cocaine, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA and club drugs. In 2015, it was estimated that about 5% of people aged 15 to 65 had used illegal drugs at least once. Many researchers have explored the etiology of recreational drug use; some of the most common theories are: genetics, personality type, psychological problems, self-medication, age, instant gratification, basic human need, rebelliousness, a sense of belonging to a group and attachment issues, history of trauma, failure at school or work, socioeconomic stressors, peer pressure, juvenile delinquency, historical factors, or sociocultural influences.
There has not been agreement around any one single cause. Instead, experts tend to apply the biopsychosocial model. Any number of these factors are to influence an individual's drug use as they are not mutually exclusive. Regardless of genetics, mental health or traumatic experiences, social factors play a large role in exposure to and availability of certain types of drugs and patterns of drug use. According to addiction researcher Martin A. Plant, many people go through a period of self-redefinition before initiating recreational drug use, they tend to view using drugs as part of a general lifestyle that involves belonging to a subculture that they associate with heightened status and the challenging of social norms. Plant says, “From the user's point of view there are many positive reasons to become part of the milieu of drug taking; the reasons for drug use appear to have as much to do with needs for friendship and status as they do with unhappiness or poverty. Becoming a drug taker, to many people, is a positive affirmation rather than a negative experience.”
Anthropological research has suggested that humans "may have evolved to counter-exploit plant neurotoxins". The ability to use botanical chemicals to serve the function of endogenous neurotransmitters may have improved survival rates, conferring an evolutionary advantage. A restrictive prehistoric diet may have emphasised the apparent benefit of consuming psychoactive drugs, which had themselves evolved to imitate neurotransmitters. Chemical–ecological adaptations, the genetics of hepatic enzymes cytochrome P450, have led researchers to propose that "humans have shared a co-evolutionary relationship with psychotropic plant substances, millions of years old." Severity and type of risks that come with recreational drug use vary with the drug in question and the amount being used. There are many factors in the environment and within the user that interact with each drug differently. Overall, some studies suggest. However, studies which focus on a moderate level of alcohol consumption have concluded that there can be substantial health benefits from its use, such as decreased risk of cardiac disease and cognitive decline.
This claim has been disputed. Researcher David Nutt stated that these studies showing benefits for "moderate" alcohol consumption lacked control for the variable of what the subjects were drinking, beforehand. Experts in the UK have suggested that some drugs that may be causing less harm, to fewer users, include cannabis, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, ecstasy; these drugs are not without their own particular risks. The concept of "responsible drug use" is that a person can use drugs recreationally or otherwise with reduced or eliminated risk of negatively affecting other aspects of one's life or other people's lives. Advocates of this philosophy point to the many well-known artists and intellectuals who have used drugs, experimentally or otherwise, with few detrimental effects on their lives. Responsible drug use becomes problematic only when the use of the substance interferes with the user's daily life. Responsible drug use advocates that users should not take drugs at the same time as activities such as driving, operating machinery, or other activities that are unsafe without a sober state.
Responsible drug use is emphasized as a primary prevention technique in harm-reduction drug policies. Harm-reduction policies were popularized in the late 1980s, although they began in the 1970s counter-culture, when cartoons explaining responsible drug use and the co
Empathogens or entactogens are a class of psychoactive drugs that produce experiences of emotional communion, relatedness, emotional openness—that is, empathy or sympathy—as observed and reported for experiences with 3,4- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. This class of drug is distinguished from the classes of hallucinogen or psychedelic, amphetamine or stimulant. Major members of this class include MDMA, MDA, MDEA, MDOH, MBDB, 6-APB, mephedrone, αMT, αET, MDAI among others. Most entactogens are phenethylamines and amphetamines, although several, such as αMT and αET, are tryptamines; when referring to MDMA and its counterparts, the term MDxx is used. Entactogens are sometimes incorrectly referred to as hallucinogens or stimulants, although many entactogens such as ecstasy exhibit psychedelic or stimulant properties as well; the term empathogen, meaning "generating a state of empathy", was coined in 1983–84 independently by Ralph Metzner and David E. Nichols as a term to denote a therapeutic class of drugs that includes MDMA and phenethylamine relatives.
Nichols rejected this initial terminology and adopted, the term entactogen, meaning "touching within", to denote this class of drugs, asserting a concern with the potential for improper association of the term empathogen with negative connotations related to the Greek root πάθος páthos. Additionally, Nichols wanted to avoid any association with the term pathogenesis. Nichols thought the original term was limiting, did not cover other therapeutic uses for the drugs that go beyond instilling feelings of empathy; the hybrid word entactogen is derived from the roots en, tactus and -gen. Neither term is dominant in usage, despite their difference in connotation, they are interchangeable, as they refer to the same chemicals. Both terms adopted and used in naming the class of therapeutic drugs for MDMA and related compounds were chosen with the intention of providing some reflection of the reported psychological effects associated with drugs in the classification and distinguishing these compounds from classical psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin and major stimulants, such as methamphetamine and amphetamine.
Chemically, MDMA is classified as a substituted amphetamine, which makes MDMA a substituted phenethylamine by the definition of amphetamine. While chemically related both to psychedelics and stimulants, the psychological effects experienced with MDMA were reported to provide obvious and striking aspects of personal relatedness, feelings of connectedness, communion with others, ability to feel what others feel—in short an empathic resonance is evoked. While psychedelics like LSD may sometimes yield effects of empathic resonance, these effects tend to be momentary and passed over on the way to some other dimension or interest. In contrast, the main characteristic that distinguishes MDMA from LSD-type experiences is the consistency of the effects of emotional communion, emotional openness—in short and sympathy; the chemicals below have a varying degree of entactogenic effects. 5--2,3-dihydro-1H-indene 6-benzofuran 5-benzofuran Methylbenzodioxolylbutanamine Methylenedioxyamphetamine Methylenedioxyethylamphetamine Methylenedioxymethamphetamine Methylenedioxyhydroxyamphetamine Mephedrone 3-Methylmethcathinone Methylone α-Ethyltryptamine α-Methyltryptamine 5-Iodo-2-aminoindane Methylenedioxyaminoindane Psychiatrists began using empathogens as psychotherapy tools in the 1970s despite the lack of clinical trials.
In recent years, the scientific community has been revisiting the possible therapeutic uses of empathogens. Therapeutic models using MDMA have been studied because of its empathogenic properties; this type of therapy would be applicable for treating a patient, experiencing psychological trauma such as PTSD. Traumatic memories can be linked to fear in the patients which makes engaging with these memories difficult. Administration of an empathogen such as MDMA allows the patient to disconnect from the fear associated with the traumatic memories and engage in therapy. MDMA acts by targeting the body's stress response. In addition to reducing anxiety and a conditioned fear response, MDMA reduces the avoidance of feelings. Patients are able to trust themselves and their therapist and engage with traumatic memories under the influence of MDMA. Although the therapeutic effects of empathogens may be promising, drugs such as MDMA have the potential for negative effects that are counter productive in a therapy setting.
For example, MDMA may make negative cognition worse. This means that a positive experience is not a guarantee and can be contingent on aspects like the setting and the patient's expectations. Additionally there is no clear model of the psychopharmacological means for a positive or negative experience. There is a potential concern for the neurotoxic effects of MDMA on the fiber density of serotonin neurons in the neocortex. High doses of MDMA may cause potential depletion of serotonergic axons; the same effects may not be caused by lower doses of MDMA required f
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine known as ecstasy, is a psychoactive drug used as a recreational drug. The desired effects include altered sensations and increased energy and pleasure; when taken by mouth, effects begin after 30 -- last 3 -- 6 hours. Adverse effects include addiction, memory problems, difficulty sleeping, teeth grinding, blurred vision, a rapid heartbeat. Deaths have been reported due to dehydration. Following use people feel depressed and tired. MDMA acts by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline in parts of the brain, it belongs to the substituted amphetamine classes of drugs and has stimulant and hallucinogenic effects. MDMA is illegal in most countries and, has no approved medical uses. Limited exceptions are sometimes made for research. Researchers are investigating whether MDMA may assist in treating severe, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder with phase 3 clinical trials to look at effectiveness and safety expected to begin in 2018.
In 2017 the FDA granted MDMA a breakthrough therapy designation for PTSD, meaning if studies show promise, a review for potential medical use could occur more quickly. MDMA was first made in 1912, it was used to improve psychotherapy beginning in the 1970s and became popular as a street drug in the 1980s. MDMA is associated with dance parties and electronic dance music, it is sold mixed with other substances such as ephedrine and methamphetamine. In 2016, about 21 million people between the ages of 15 and 64 used ecstasy; this was broadly similar to the percentage of people who use cocaine or amphetamines, but fewer than for cannabis or opioids. In the United States, as of 2017, about 7% of people have used MDMA at some point in their life and 0.9% have used in the last year. In general, MDMA users report feeling the onset of subjective effects within 30–60 minutes of MDMA consumption and reaching the peak effect at 75–120 minutes, which plateaus for about 3.5 hours. The desired short-term psychoactive effects of MDMA have been reported to include: Euphoria – a sense of general well-being and happiness Increased self-confidence and feelings of communication being easy or simple Entactogenic effects – increased empathy or feelings of closeness with others and oneself Relaxation and reduced anxiety Increased emotionality A sense of inner peace Mild hallucination Enhanced sensation, perception, or sexuality Altered sense of timeThe experience elicited by MDMA depends on the dose and user.
The variability of the induced altered state by MDMA is lower compared to other psychedelics. For example, MDMA used at parties is associated with high motor activity, reduced sense of self-identity as well as poor awareness of the background surroundings. Use of MDMA individually or in a small groups in a quiet environment and when concentrating, is associated with increased lucidity, capability of concentration, sensitivity of aesthetic aspects of the background and emotions, as well as greater capability of communication with others. In psychotherapeutic settings MDMA effects have been described by infantile ideas, alternating phases of mood, sometimes memories and moods connected with childhood experiences. Sometimes MDMA is labelled as an "empathogenic" drug, because of its empathy-producing effects. Results of different studies show its effects of powerful empathy with others; when testing the MDMA for medium and high dosage ranges it showed increase on hedonic as well as arousal continuum.
The effect of MDMA increasing sociability is consistent, however effects on empathy have been more mixed. MDMA is considered the drug of choice within the rave culture and is used at clubs and house parties. In the rave environment, the sensory effects from the music and lighting are highly synergistic with the drug; the psychedelic amphetamine quality of MDMA offers multiple reasons for its appeal to users in the rave setting. Some users enjoy the feeling of mass communion from the inhibition-reducing effects of the drug, while others use it as party fuel because of the drug's stimulatory effects. MDMA is used less than other stimulants less than once per week. MDMA is sometimes taken in conjunction with other psychoactive drugs such as LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, ketamine, an act called "candy-flipping"; as of 2017, MDMA has no accepted medical indications. Before it was banned, it saw limited use in therapy. A small number of therapists continue to use MDMA in therapy despite its illegal status.
Small doses of MDMA are used as an entheogen to enhance prayer or meditation by some religious practitioners. MDMA has been used as an adjunct to New Age spiritual practices. MDMA has become known as ecstasy referring to its tablet form, although this term may include the presence of possible adulterants or dilutants; the UK term "mandy" and the US term "molly" colloquially refer to MDMA in a crystalline powder form, thought to be free of adulterants. MDMA is sold in the form of the hydrochloride salt, either as loose crystals or in gelcaps. In part due to the global supply shortage of sassafras oil, substances that are sold as molly contain no MDMA and instead contain methylone, ethylone, MDPV, mephedrone, or any other of the group of compounds known as bath salts. Powdered MDMA ranges from pure MDMA to crushed tablets with 30–40% purity. MDMA tablets have low purity due to bulking agents that are added to dilute the drug and increase profits and binding agents. Tablets sold as ecstasy sometimes contain 3,4-m
Psychedelics are a class of drug whose primary action is to trigger psychedelic experiences via serotonin receptor agonism, causing thought and visual/auditory changes, altered state of consciousness. Major psychedelic drugs include mescaline, LSD, DMT. Studies show that psychedelics do not lead to addiction. Studies conducted using psilocybin in a psychotheraputic setting reveal that psychedelic drugs may assist with treating alcohol and nicotine addiction. Differing with other psychoactive drugs, such as stimulants and opioids, psychedelics tend to qualitatively alter ordinary conscious experience. Whereas stimulants cause energized feelings and opioids produce a relaxed euphoric state, the psychedelic experience is compared to non-ordinary forms of consciousness such as trance, yoga, religious ecstasy and near-death experiences. Most psychedelic drugs fall into one of the three families of chemical compounds: tryptamines, phenethylamines, or lysergamides. Although lysergamides are their own group they are a tryptamine.
Many psychedelic drugs are illegal worldwide under the UN conventions excepting use in a religious or research context. Despite these controls, recreational use of psychedelics is common; the term psychedelic is derived from the Greek words ψυχή and δηλείν, hence "soul-manifesting", the implication being that psychedelics can access the soul and develop unused potentials of the human mind. The word was coined in 1956 by British psychiatrist, Humphry Osmond, the spelling loathed by American ethnobotanist, Richard Schultes, but championed by the American psychologist, Timothy Leary. Aldous Huxley had suggested to Humphry Osmond in 1956 his own coinage phanerothyme; the term entheogenic has come into use to denote the use of psychedelic drugs in a religious/spiritual/mystical context. Psychedelics have a long history of traditional use in medicine and religion, for their perceived ability to promote physical and mental healing. In this context, they are known as entheogens. Native American practitioners using mescaline-containing cacti have reported success against alcoholism, Mazatec practitioners use psilocybin mushrooms for divination and healing.
Ayahuasca, which contains the potent psychedelic DMT, is used in Peru and other parts of South America for spiritual and physical healing as well as in religious festivals. Classical or serotonergic psychedelics include LSD, mescaline, DMT; this class of psychedelics includes the classical hallucinogens, including the lysergamides like LSD and LSA, tryptamines like psilocybin and DMT, phenethylamines like mescaline and 2C-B. Many of these psychedelics cause remarkably similar effects, despite their different chemical structure. However, many users report that the three families have subjectively different qualities in the "feel" of the experience, which are difficult to describe. At lower doses, these include sensory alterations, such as the warping of surfaces, shape suggestibility, color variations. Users report intense colors that they have not experienced, repetitive geometric shapes are common. Higher doses cause intense and fundamental alterations of sensory perception, such as synesthesia or the experience of additional spatial or temporal dimensions.
Some compounds, such as 2C-B, have tight "dose curves", meaning the difference between a non-event and an overwhelming disconnection from reality can be slight. There can be substantial differences between the drugs, however. For instance, 5-MeO-DMT produces the visual effects typical of other psychedelics and ibogaine is an NMDA receptor antagonist and κ-opioid receptor agonist in addition to being an agonist for the 5-HT2A receptors, resulting in dissociative effects as well. Research published in journal Cell Reports states that psychedelic drugs promote neural plasticity in rats and flies; the empathogen-entactogens are phenethylamines of the MDxx class such as MDMA, MDEA, MDA. Their effects are characterized by feelings of openness, empathy, heightened self-awareness, by mild audio and visual distortions, their adoption by the rave subculture is due to the enhancement of the overall social and musical experience. MDA is atypical to this experience causing hallucinations and psychedelic effects in equal profundity to the chemicals in the 5-HT2A agonist category, but with less mental involvement, is both a serotonin releaser and 5-HT2A receptor agonist.
Certain dissociative drugs acting via NMDA antagonism are known to produce what some might consider psychedelic effects. The main differences between dissociative psychedelics and serotonergic hallucinogens are that the dissociatives cause more intense derealization and depersonalization. For example, ketamine produces sensations of being disconnected from one's body and that the surrounding environment is unreal, as well as perceptual alterations seen with other psychedelics. Salvia divinorum is a dissociative, sometimes classified as an atypical psychedelic; the active molecule in the plant, salvinorin A, is a kappa opioid receptor agonist, working on a part of the brain that de