Psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants

From ArticleWorld

Drugs that affect the subjective qualities of perception, thought, or emotion, are often termed hallucinogens, and can be divided into three broad categories: psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants. Psychedelics tend to induce visually distorting effects, deleriants commonly cause overpowering, and often unwanted visual and auditory hallucinations. Dissociatives block signals, typically related to the physical senses.



Often referred to as mind expanding, or consciousness expanding, under the influence of psychedelics, the conscious mind becomes aware of things which are normally inaccessible. At high levels this can become overwhelming, and can result in achieving a dissociative state. Classic psychedelics include LSD (acid), psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and mescaline (peyote), as well as cannabis (marijuana). Some of the synthetic "club drugs" such as MDMA (ecstasy), have much more specific action to particular aspects of the psyche, and are also classed as psychedelics.


Dissociatives block signals, typically related to the physical senses. Such a state of sensory deprivation can facilitate hallucinations, self exploration, and dreamlike states, which may resemble some psychedelic mindstates. The primary dissociatives are PCP (angel dust), Ketamine (an anaesthetic), and DXM (the active ingredient in cough syrup). Also included are nitrous oxide and salvia divinorum.


Deliriants are considered to be true hallucinogens, as users will have conversations with people who aren't there, or become angry with a person copying their actions, not aware that it is their own reflection in a mirror. Included in this group are plants such as deadly nightshade, mandrake, and henbane. A number of pharmaceutical drugs, are also deleriants, when taken in very high doses, such as the antihistamine diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and the antiemetic dimenhydrinate (Dramamine or Gravol).


Hallucingens are some of the oldest drugs known to man. They occur naturally in mushrooms, cacti and several other plants. The skin and venom of Bufo alvarius (Colorado River toad or Sonoran Desert toad), contain 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin. 5-MeO-DMT, and bufotenin, both belong to the family of hallucinogenic tryptamines. Historically, hallucingens have been most commonly used in religious rituals. Among other things, they have been used to heal the injured, for communication with the spirits, and in coming of age ceremonies. Evidence points to their use from prehistoric times, through the ancient cultures, and into the present.