Mind Altering Drugs


By: Lauren Mye

As a follow-up to the survey conducted last month, here is an overview of mind-altering drugs.

Did you know?

In the ‘50s and ‘60s, the US government tested acid on people—yep, American and Canadian citizens—without their knowledge.

Have you ever heard of MK-UlTRA?

It is referred to as the CIA’s mind control program, where they experimented on humans from 1953-1964. The experiments were intended to identify and develop drugs and procedures to be used in interrogations and torture, in order to weaken the individual to force confessions through mind control. In one incident, an army scientist was dosed with a huge amount of the drug and later ended up leaping out a 10th story window to his death. The supposed reason for the clandestine experiments was to gain a better understanding of the drug that agents believed the Soviets and other Communist countries were using to brainwash captured Americans.

So, what are hallucinogens?

They are drugs that distort your perception of reality. They can cause you to see, feel and hear things that don’t exist, making it hard to communicate or think clearly. They can also cause rapid, intense emotional mood swings. Some occur naturally and others are made in laboratories. Some examples of hallucinogens include LSD, mushrooms, mescaline and PCP

LSD is one of the most potent mood- and perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. It is a clear or white, odorless, water-soluble material synthesized from lysergic acid, a compound derived from a rye fungus. LSD users call an LSD experience a “trip” typically lasting approximately twelve hours.

Effects: unpredictable, depending on the amount taken, it could be a distorted high or a paranoid low.

  • Changes in body temperature
  • Blood pressure and heart rate fluctuations
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleepiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Extreme changes in mood

Mushrooms that contain psilocybin, a hallucinogenic substance are called “Magic Mushrooms.” A person can eat these mushrooms, brew a tea with them, mix them with other foods or, as some people do to mask their bitter taste, coat them with chocolate and then eat them. Approximately 30 minutes after being taken, their hallucinogenic effects can start.

Effects: A person’s perceptions of color, sound and light may change. Surfaces may seem to move or ripple. Moving object may seem to have visible trails that linger behind them. Psilocybin does create tolerance, meaning that more of the mushrooms must be used to get the same effect after a while. Other than tolerance, the mushrooms do not appear to be physically addictive. A person can become psychologically addicted to this drug, however.

  • Nausea
  • Muscle weakness

Mescaline is a hallucinogen obtained from the cactus Peyote. The top of the cactus consists of disc-shaped buttons that are cut from the roots and dried. These buttons are generally chewed or soaked in water to produce an intoxicating liquid. It lasts about 12 hours.


  • Visual hallucinations
  • Altered states of consciousness
  • Occasional feelings of anxiety
  • Open and closed eye visualizations
  • Euphoria
  • Dream like state
  • Laughter and a psychedelic experience
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache

It is available in a variety of tablets, capsules, and colored powders, which are either taken orally or snorted. The liquid form of PCP is actually PCP base dissolved most often in ether, a highly flammable solvent. For smoking, PCP is typically sprayed onto leafy material such as mint, parsley, oregano, or marijuana. PCP may also be injected.


  • Numbness of extremities
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination
  • Psychological dependence
  • craving
  • Memory Loss
  • Difficulties with speech and learning
  • Depression
  • Weight Loss

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