While the 1960s and 70s may be the time period associated with psychedelics, that doesn’t mean these high potency drugs aren’t around today. From magic mushrooms to LSD, these same psychedelics are still available, but what’s worse, now there’s synthetic psychedelics being abused across the country.
What Is a Psychedelic?
A psychedelic is a drug that alters a person’s perception, thoughts, and feelings. It can blur the lines of reality and cause people to have hallucinations so lifelike, they struggle to tell what’s real and what’s not.
There’s a plethora of natural psychedelics, some of which have been used for hundreds of years by native cultures for religious reasons among others. Natural psychedelics include THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), psilocybin (found in magic mushrooms), LSD (made from lysergic acid, which grows as a fungus on rye), and peyote (a cactus found in the American deserts).
Synthetic Psychedelics Emerge
Although naturally occurring psychedelics have been used for centuries, the last few decades have seen a rise in synthetic psychedelics. Sometimes referred to as designer drugs, these pharmaceutical illegals are popular and dangerous. Here are some of the most common synthetic psychedelics.
- Dimitiri: The synthetic version of the naturally occurring DMT, Dimitri is typically found in a white, crystalline powder form and, like its natural counterpart, is often made into teas.
- DMX: Dextromethorphan is found in over the counter cough suppressants and other cold medicines. It’s taken in abundance to cause RoboTrips, and is popular among teenagers due to its easy availability.
- Ketamine: Common referred to as Special K, ketamine is a tranquilizer typically used for large animals like horses. Users take the medication either orally, by snorting it, or through injection, and often experience what is called a K-Hole, where the body is shut down, but the mind still works.
- PCP: Popular for years, PCP was originally designed as an anesthetic for surgery. After noticing its huge range of negative side effects, its use was discounted medically, but the drug found its way into the illicit market. Often referred to as Angel Dust, PCP gives its users a dissociated effect.
- Wet: Similar in composition to PCP, Wet is made from formaldehyde, and is often smoked by dipping cigarettes into the substance.
- MDMA: The active ingredient in ecstasy, MDMA can also be used on its own. This designer drug reached a peak in the 1990s during the rave scene, but is still popular today. Its users experience pleasurable sensations and are filled with love, hence leading to its name.
- Bath Salts: Originally marketed to truckers to help them stay awake on the road, bath salts have had a huge impact. Extended use of this drug, which was at one point available in truck stops around the country, causes severe psychosis and led to the “zombie” attack in Florida in 2012.
- K2: Also called Spice, K2 is marketed as synthetic marijuana due to its similar high, but it also has a distinct impact on the body. Because it’s not regulated, every use is different, and while people smoke it for months with no issue, at some point that changes. K2 has been shown to lead to psychotic and violent outbursts, and even been named as the cause in certain drug related deaths.
Synthetic Psychedelics Are Risky
When it comes to synthetic psychedelics, they’ve proven to be just as risky, if not more so, than the naturally occurring psychedelics. Because they’re made without regulations, each use is like a human experiment, and you never know what could happen. If you or someone you love needs help recovering form synthetic psychedelic abuse, call 800-609-2774 for help.