WHAT are the most serious hallucinogens? LSD is still one of the most potent moodchanging chemicals. It is manufactured from a cocaine fungus that grows on rye and other grains. A very tiny amount can produce 12 hours or more of effects. It is highly poisonous. Its effects are unpredictable.
Physical effects include: dilated pupils; higher body temperature; increased heart rate and blood pressure; sweating; loss of appetite; sleeplessness; dry mouth and tremors. Usually an LSD “trip” begins to clear up after about 12 hours. Some users experience: severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings; fear of losing control; fear of insanity and death; and feelings of despair while using LSD. Some fatal accidents have occurred during these states. Many users later experience flashbacks and recurrence of parts of the “trip.” Some LSD users manifest long-lasting psychoses.
PCP (angel dust) is an addicting hallucinogen that was first used as a large animal tranquiliser. Its use often leads to psychological dependence and craving. It was introduced as a street drug in the 1960s and quickly gained a reputation as a drug that could cause bad reactions and was not worth the risk. Some persist in using it because of its addicting properties. Others cite feelings of strength, power and invulnerability, and the numbing effect on the mind as the reasons for their continued use of the drug. Many users are brought to the emergency room because of the drug’s unpleasant psychological effects or because of overdoses.
Low doses of PCP cause an increase in breathing rate and a more pronounced rise in blood pressure and pulse rate. Breathing becomes shallow, and flushing and profuse sweating occurs. Generalised numbness of the extremities and muscular inco-ordination (inability to co-ordinate muscle movements) also may occur. Use among adolescents may interfere with hormones related to body growth and development, as well as with the ability to learn. At high doses of PCP, there is a drop in blood pressure, pulse rate and normal breathing. This can be accompanied by: nausea; vomiting; blurred vision; flicking up and down of the eyes; drooling; loss of balance and dizziness. Seizures, coma and even death can occur. Death more often results from accidental injury or suicide during PCP intoxication.
What are the dangers of steroids?
Steroids affect the heart. They have been associated with heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. They can cause fatal liver cysts, liver cancer, male baldness and/or breast enlargement in men and a deepened voice and breast reduction in women. Steroids can make a person angry and hostile for no reason. Steroids can be addictive. Withdrawal symptoms include: mood swings; suicidal thoughts and/ or attempts; fatigue; restlessness; loss of appetite and sleeplessness.
λ Mthandazo Ndlovu is a drug prevention and rehabilitation specialist. For more information and help call or WhatsApp 00263772399734 or email [email protected] Join the Rechabites in creating drug free, healthy and productive communities.