Monthly Archives: April 2015

High School and Youth Trends

2014’s Monitoring the Future survey of drug use and attitudes among American 8th, 10th, and 12th graders continued to show encouraging news about youth drug use, including decreasing use of alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription pain relievers; no increase in use of marijuana; decreasing use of inhalants and synthetic drugs, including K2/Spice and bath salts; and a general decline over the last two decades in the use of illicit drugs. However, the survey highlighted growing concerns over the high rate of e-cigarette use and softening of attitudes around some types of drug use, particularly decreases in perceived harm and disapproval of marijuana use.

Alcohol 2014 The survey showed continued declines in alcohol use by all grades. Nine percent of 8th graders, 23.5 percent of 10th graders, and 37.4 percent of 12th graders reported past-month use of alcohol, which was significantly lower than in 2009, when rates were 14.9 percent, 30.4 percent, and 43.5 percent, respectively. There was also a significant five-year drop in binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row in the previous 2 weeks) by seniors: 19.4 percent reported binge drinking in 2014, whereas 31.5 percent had reported the practice at its peak in 1998.

Cigarette smoking-Cigarettes by youth continues to drop and is at its lowest rate in the survey’s history. Only 1.4 percent of 8th graders reported smoking every day in 2014, compared to 2.7 percent in 2009; 3.2 percent of 10th graders reported smoking daily, compared to 4.4 percent in 2013 and 6.3 percent in 2009; and 6.7 percent of high school seniors reported smoking daily in 2014, down from 8.5 percent in 2013 and 11.2 percent in 2009. In 1997, at its peak, nearly a quarter of seniors were daily smokers.

However, other forms of tobacco remain popular. In 2014, past-year hookah use continued to increase among12th graders to 22.9 percent—the highest rate since 2010, when the survey started capturing this type of tobacco use.

Also popular among teens is the use of e- cigarettes, which was measured for the first time in 2014. Use of e-cigarettes in the past 30 days was reported by 8.7 percent of 8th graders, 16.2 percent of 10th graders, and 17.1 percent of 12th graders. Only 14.2 percent of 12th graders view regular e-cigarette use as harmful. The nicotine in e-cigarettes is vaporized and inhaled (not smoked), but the health impact of e-cigarette use is not yet clear, nor do we know if e-cigarette use makes it more likely for people to use conventional cigarettes or other tobacco products. Survey findings show that while most e-cigarette users have also smoked conventional tobacco products, approximately 2.9 percent of 8th graders, 4.5 percent of 10th graders, and 3.8 percent of 12th graders who report past month use of e-cigarettes deny ever using tobacco cigarettes or smokeless tobacco.

Use Illicit of Drugs any illicit drug has generally declined over the past two decades. Past- year use of illicit drugs for all grades combined was 27.2 percent in 2014, down from its peak at 34.1 percent in 1997. The MTF survey also shows a decline in the perceived availability of most substance over the past few years, including alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, powder cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and prescription painkillers.

Marijuana use remained stable in 2014, even though the percentage of youth perceiving the drug as harmful went down. Past-month use of marijuana remained steady among 8th graders at 6.5 percent, among 10th graders at 16.6 percent, and among 12th graders at 21.2 percent. Close to 6 percent of 12th graders report daily use of marijuana (similar to 2013), and 81 percent of them said the drug is easy to get. Among 8th graders, there was a drop in perceived availability in 2014, with 36.9 percent saying it is easy to get marijuana, compared to 39.1 percent in 2013.

Although marijuana use has remained relatively stable over the past few years, there continues to be a shifting of teens’ attitudes about its perceived risks. The majority of high school seniors do not think occasional marijuana smoking is harmful, with only 36.1 percent saying that regular use puts the user at great risk, compared to 39.5 percent in 2013 and 52.4 percent in 2009. However, 56.7 percent of seniors say they disapprove of adults who smoke it occasionally, and 73.4 percent say they disapprove of adults smoking marijuana regularly.

Marijuana use continues to exceed cigarette use in all three grade levels. In 2014, 21.2 percent of high school seniors had used marijuana in the past 30 days, whereas only 13.6 percent had smoked cigarettes.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter

Misuse Drugs and abuse (or “non-medical use”) of prescription and over-the-counter drugs continues to decline among the nation’s youth. Past-year use of the opioid pain reliever Vicodin has dropped significantly over the past 5 years; 4.8 percent of 12th graders used Vicodin for non-medical reasons in 2014, compared to 9.7 percent in 2009. Past-year use of narcotics other than heroin (which includes all opioid pain relievers) among high school seniors dropped from 7.1 percent in 2013 to 6.1 percent in 2014; 9.5 percent of seniors had reported past- year use of these drugs in 2004. Past-year non-medical use of the stimulants Adderall and Ritalin (often prescribed for ADHD) remained relatively steady in 2014, at 6.8 percent and 1.8 percent respectively for high school seniors. The survey continues to show that most teens get these medicines from friends or relatives; a smaller percentage misuse or abuse pills that had been prescribed for them for a medical problem. Although teens did not misuse or abuse prescription stimulants at higher rates than in past years, there has been a decline in teens’ perceptions the risks of doing so. In 2014, 55.1 percent of seniors saw regularly taking prescription amphetamines as harmful, down from 69.0 percent in 2009.

In 2014, there was also a significant drop in the past-year use of cough/cold medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) among 8th graders, with only 2.0 percent using them for non-medical reasons, down from 2.9 percent in 2013 and 3.8 percent in 2009.

Other Illicit Use

Past year use of MDMA (also known as ecstasy or “Molly”) saw a significant decline among 10th graders to 2.3 percent in 2014, from 3.6 percent in 2013 and 6.2 percent in 2001, when it peaked. Past-year use of heroin remained very low in all three grades despite increased use among adults over 26 years of age in 2013.1

There has been a considerable decline in past-year use of synthetic cannabinoids (“K2/Spice,” sometimes misleadingly called “synthetic marijuana”) in the two years the survey has been tracking their use. Only 5.8 percent of 12th graders reported using K2/Spice in 2014, compared to 7.9 percent in 2013 and 11.3 percent in 2012. This was associated with an increase in the perceived risk of taking synthetic marijuana once or twice among 12th graders. Use of the hallucinogen salvia also dropped significantly among 12th graders in 2014 to 1.8 percent, from 3.4 percent in 2013.

Another harmful synthetic drug, bath salts (synthetic stimulants), was added to the survey in 2012; past-year use of bath salts remained low in 2014, and dropped considerably among 8th graders, to 0.5 percent, compared to 1 percent.

1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of national findings. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2014. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4887. NSDUH Series H-49.

Current, past-year, and lifetime use

Inhalinhalants

of among 10th and 12th graders is at its lowest levels in the history of the survey. Rates of inhalant use are traditionally highest among the youngest adolescents (unlike most other drugs); in 2014, 5.3 percent of 8th graders reported using inhalants in the past year, down from 8.1 percent in 2009 and 12.8 percent in 1995, when use peaked.

Learn More

Complete MTF survey results are available at www.monitoringthefuture.org.

For more information on the survey and its findings, also visit www.drugabuse.gov/related- topics/trends-statistics/monitoring- future.

About the Survey

Since 1975, the MTF survey has meas- ured drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes among 12th graders, nationwide. In 1991, 8th and 10th graders were added to the survey. Survey participants report their drug use behaviors across three time peri- ods: lifetime, past year, and past month. Overall, 41,551 students from 377 public and private schools in the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades participated in the 2014 survey.

The survey is funded by NIDA and con- ducted by the University of Michigan. Results from the survey are released each December.

 

Other sources of information on drug use trends among youth are available:

The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, gathers detailed data on drug, alcohol, and tobacco use by all age groups. It is a comprehensive source of information on substance use and dependence among Americans aged 12 and older. Data and reports can be found at www.samhsa.gov/data/population- data-nsduh.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey is a school-based survey conducted every other year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It gathers data on a wide variety of health-related risk behaviors, including drug abuse, from students in grades 9 through 12. More information is available at www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dash/yrbs/inde x.htm.

 

Anabolic Steroids - Drug Facts

Anabolic steroids” is the familiar name for synthetic variants of the male sex hormone testosterone. The proper term for these compounds is anabolic-androgenic steroids (abbreviated AAS)—“anabolic” referring to muscle-building and “androgenic” referring to increased male sexual characteristics.

Anabolic steroids can be legally prescribed to treat conditions resulting from steroid hormone deficiency, such as delayed puberty, as well as diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass, such as cancer and AIDS. But some athletes, bodybuilders, and others abuse these drugs in an attempt to enhance performance and/or improve their physical appearance.
How Are Anabolic Steroids Abused?

Anabolic steroids are usually either taken orally or injected into the muscles, although some are applied to the skin as a cream or gel. Doses taken by abusers may be 10 to 100 times higher than doses prescribed to treat medical conditions.

Steroids are typically taken intermittently rather than continuously, both to avert unwanted side effects and to give the body’s hormonal system a periodic chance to recuperate. Continuous use of steroids can decrease the body’s responsiveness to the drugs (tolerance) as well as cause the body to stop producing its own testosterone; breaks in steroid use are believed to redress these issues. “Cycling” thus refers to a pattern of use in which steroids are taken for periods of weeks or months, after which use is stopped for a period of time and then restarted.

In addition, users often combine several different types of steroids and/or incorporate other steroidal or non-steroidal supplements in an attempt to maximize their effectiveness, a practice referred to as “stacking.”
How Do Anabolic Steroids Affect the Brain?

Anabolic steroids work very differently from other drugs of abuse, and they do not have the same acute effects on the brain. The most important difference is that steroids do not trigger rapid increases in the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is responsible for the rewarding “high” that drives the abuse of other substances.

However, long-term steroid use can affect some of the same brain pathways and chemicals—including dopamine, serotonin, and opioid systems—that are affected by other drugs, and thereby may have a significant impact on mood and behavior.

Abuse of anabolic steroids may lead to aggression and other psychiatric problems, for example. Although many users report feeling good about themselves while on steroids, extreme mood swings can also occur, including manic-like symptoms and anger (“roid rage”) that may lead to violence. Researchers have also observed that users may suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility.
Are Steroids Addictive?

Even though anabolic steroids do not cause the same high as other drugs, steroids are reinforcing and can lead to addiction. Studies have shown that animals will self-administer steroids when given the opportunity, just as they do with other addictive drugs. People may persist in abusing steroids despite physical problems and nega-tive effects on social relationships, reflecting these drugs’ addictive potential. Also, steroid abusers typically spend large amounts of time and money obtaining the drug—another indication of addiction.

Individuals who abuse steroids can experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking them—including mood swings, fatigue, rest-lessness, loss of appetite, insomnia, reduced sex drive, and steroid cravings, all of which may contribute to continued abuse. One of the most dangerous withdrawal symptoms is depression—when persistent, it can sometimes lead to suicide attempts. Research has found that some steroid abusers turn to other drugs such as opioids to counteract the negative effects of steroids.
What Are the Other Health Effects of Anabolic Steroids?

Steroid abuse may lead to serious, even irreversible, health problems. Some of the most dangerous consequences that have been linked to steroid abuse include kidney impairment or failure; damage to the liver; and cardiovascular problems including enlargement of the heart, high blood pressure, and changes in blood cholesterol leading to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack (even in young people).

Steroid use commonly causes severe acne and fluid retention, as well as several effects that are gender- and age-specific:

For men—shrinkage of the testicles (testicular atrophy), reduced sperm count or infertility, baldness, development of breasts (gynecomastia), increased risk for prostate cancer
For women—growth of facial hair, male-pattern baldness, changes in or cessation of the menstrual cycle, enlargement of the clitoris, deepened voice
For adolescents—stunted growth due to premature skeletal maturation and accelerated puberty changes, and risk of not reaching expected height if steroid use precedes the typical adolescent growth spurt

In addition, people who inject steroids run the added risk of contracting or transmitting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Anabolic Steroids Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/anabolic-steroids on March 5, 2015

Cocaine - Drug Facts - Cocaine Effects

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. It produces short-term euphoria, energy, and talkativeness in addition to potentially dangerous physical effects like raising heart rate and blood pressure.

Cocaine pile
How Is Cocaine Used?

The powdered form of cocaine is either inhaled through the nose (snorted), where it is absorbed through the nasal tissue, or dissolved in water and injected into the bloodstream.

Crack is a form of cocaine that has been processed to make a rock crystal (also called “freebase cocaine”) that can be smoked. The crystal is heated to produce vapors that are absorbed into the blood-stream through the lungs. (The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound produced by the rock as it is heated.)

The intensity and duration of cocaine’s pleasurable effects depend on the way it is administered. Injecting or smoking cocaine delivers the drug rapidly into the bloodstream and brain, producing a quicker and stronger but shorter-lasting high than snorting. The high from snorting cocaine may last 15 to 30 minutes; the high from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes.

In order to sustain their high, people who use cocaine often use the drug in a binge pattern—taking the drug repeatedly within a relatively short period of time, at increasingly higher doses. This practice can easily lead to addiction, a chronic relapsing disease caused by changes in the brain and characterized by uncontrollable drug-seeking no matter the consequences.

How Does Cocaine Affect the Brain?

Cocaine is a strong central nervous system stimulant that increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in brain circuits regulating pleasure and movement.

Normally, dopamine is released by neurons in these circuits in response to potential rewards (like the smell of good food) and then recycled back into the cell that released it, thus shutting off the signal between neurons. Cocaine prevents the dopamine from being recycled, causing excessive amounts to build up in the synapse, or junction between neurons. This amplifies the dopamine signal and ultimately disrupts normal brain communication. It is this flood of dopamine that causes cocaine’s characteristic high.

With repeated use, cocaine can cause long-term changes in the brain’s reward system as well as other brain systems, which may lead to addiction. With repeated use, tolerance to cocaine also often develops; many cocaine abusers report that they seek but fail to achieve as much pleasure as they did from their first exposure. Some users will increase their dose in an attempt to intensify and prolong their high, but this can also increase the risk of adverse psychological or physiological effects.
What Are the Other Health Effects of Cocaine?

Cocaine affects the body in a variety of ways. It constricts blood vessels, dilates pupils, and increases body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. It can also cause headaches and gastrointestinal complications such as abdominal pain and nausea. Because cocaine tends to decrease appetite, chronic users can become malnourished as well.

Most seriously, people who use cocaine can suffer heart attacks or strokes, which may cause sudden death. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of the heart stopping (cardiac arrest) followed by an arrest of breathing.

People who use cocaine also put themselves at risk for contracting HIV, even if they do not share needles or other drug paraphernalia. This is because cocaine intoxication impairs judgment and can lead to risky sexual behavior.

Some effects of cocaine depend on the method of taking it. Regular snorting of cocaine, for example, can lead to loss of the sense of smell, nosebleeds, problems with swallowing, hoarseness, and a chronically runny nose. Ingesting cocaine by the mouth can cause severe bowel gangrene as a result of reduced blood flow. Injecting cocaine can bring about severe allergic reactions and increased risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis C, and other blood-borne diseases.

Binge-patterned cocaine use may lead to irritability, restlessness, and anxiety. Cocaine abusers can also experience severe paranoia—a temporary state of full-blown paranoid psychosis—in which they lose touch with reality and experience auditory hallucinations.

Cocaine is more dangerous when combined with other drugs or alcohol (poly-drug use). For example, the combination of cocaine and heroin (known as a “speedball”) carries a particularly high risk of fatal overdose.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Cocaine Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine on March 5, 2015

Hallucinogens - LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP - Drug Facts

Hallucinogenic compounds found in some plants and mushrooms (or their extracts) have been used—mostly during religious rituals—for centuries. Almost all hallucinogens contain nitrogen and are classified as alkaloids. Many hallucinogens have chemical structures similar to those of natural neurotransmitters (e.g., acetylcholine-, serotonin-, or catecholamine-like). While the exact mechanisms by which hallucinogens exert their effects remain unclear, research suggests that these drugs work, at least partially, by temporarily interfering with neurotransmitter action or by binding to their receptor sites. This DrugFacts will discuss four common types of hallucinogens:

LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide) is one of the most potent mood-changing chemicals. It was discovered in 1938 and is manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.
Peyote is a small, spineless cactus in which the principal active ingredient is mescaline. This plant has been used by natives in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States as a part of religious ceremonies. Mescaline can also be produced through chemical synthesis.
Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) is obtained from certain types of mushrooms that are indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Mexico, and the United States. These mushrooms typically contain less than 0.5 percent psilocybin plus trace amounts of psilocin, another hallucinogenic substance.
PCP (phencyclidine) was developed in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic. Its use has since been discontinued due to serious adverse effects.

How Are Hallucinogens Abused?

The very same characteristics that led to the incorporation of hallucinogens into ritualistic or spiritual traditions have also led to their propagation as drugs of abuse. Importantly, and unlike most other drugs, the effects of hallucinogens are highly variable and unreliable, producing different effects in different people at different times. This is mainly due to the significant variations in amount and composition of active compounds, particularly in the hallucinogens derived from plants and mushrooms. Because of their unpredictable nature, the use of hallucinogens can be particularly dangerous.

LSD is sold in tablets, capsules, and, occasionally, liquid form; thus, it is usually taken orally. LSD is often added to absorbent paper, which is then divided into decorated pieces, each equivalent to one dose. The experiences, often referred to as “trips,” are long; typically, they end after about 12 hours.

Peyote: The top of the peyote cactus, also referred to as the crown, 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. The hallucinogenic dose of mescaline is about 0.3 to 0.5 grams, and its effects last about 12 hours. Because the extract is so bitter, some individuals prefer to prepare a tea by boiling the cacti for several hours.

Psilocybin: Mushrooms containing psilocybin are available fresh or dried and are typically taken orally. Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) and its biologically active form, psilocin (4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine), cannot be inactivated by cooking or freezing preparations. Thus, they may also be brewed as a tea or added to other foods to mask their bitter flavor. The effects of psilocybin, which appear within 20 minutes of ingestion, last approximately 6 hours.

PCP is a white crystalline powder that is readily soluble in water or alcohol. It has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. PCP can be mixed easily with dyes and is often sold on the illicit drug market in a variety of tablet, capsule, and colored powder forms that are normally snorted, smoked, or orally ingested. For smoking, PCP is often applied to a leafy material such as mint, parsley, oregano, or marijuana. Depending upon how much and by what route PCP is taken, its effects can last approximately 4–6 hours.
How Do Hallucinogens Affect the Brain?

LSD, peyote, psilocybin, and PCP are drugs that cause hallucinations, which are profound distortions in a person’s perception of reality. Under the influence of hallucinogens, people see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but are not. Some hallucinogens also produce rapid, intense emotional swings. LSD, peyote, and psilocybin cause their effects by initially disrupting the interaction of nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin.1 Distributed throughout the brain and spinal cord, the serotonin system is involved in the control of behavioral, perceptual, and regulatory systems, including mood, hunger, body temperature, sexual behavior, muscle control, and sensory perception. On the other hand, PCP acts mainly through a type of glutamate receptor in the brain that is important for the perception of pain, responses to the environment, and learning and memory.

There have been no properly controlled research studies on the specific effects of these drugs on the human brain, but smaller studies and several case reports have been published documenting some of the effects associated with the use of hallucinogens.

LSD: Sensations and feelings change much more dramatically than the physical signs in people under the influence of LSD. The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. If taken in large enough doses, the drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations. The user’s sense of time and self is altered. Experiences may seem to “cross over” different senses, giving the user the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds. These changes can be frightening and can cause panic. Some LSD users experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings of despair, fear of losing control, or fear of insanity and death while using LSD.

LSD users can also experience flashbacks, or recurrences of certain aspects of the drug experience. Flashbacks occur suddenly, often without warning, and may do so within a few days or more than a year after LSD use. In some individuals, the flashbacks can persist and cause significant distress or impairment in social or occupational functioning, a condition known as hallucinogen-induced persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD).

Most users of LSD voluntarily decrease or stop its use over time. LSD is not considered an addictive drug since it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior. However, LSD does produce tolerance, so some users who take the drug repeatedly must take progressively higher doses to achieve the state of intoxication that they had previously achieved. This is an extremely dangerous practice, given the unpredictability of the drug. In addition, cross-tolerance between LSD and other hallucinogens has been reported.

Peyote: The long-term residual psychological and cognitive effects of mescaline, peyote’s principal active ingredient, remain poorly understood. A recent study found no evidence of psychological or cognitive deficits among Native Americans that use peyote regularly in a religious setting.2 It should be mentioned, however, that these findings may not generalize to those who repeatedly abuse the drug for recreational purposes. Peyote abusers may also experience flashbacks.

Psilocybin: The active compounds in psilocybin-containing “magic” mushrooms have LSD-like properties and produce alterations of autonomic function, motor reflexes, behavior, and perception.3 The psychological consequences of psilocybin use include hallucinations, an altered perception of time, and an inability to discern fantasy from reality. Panic reactions and psychosis also may occur, particularly if a user ingests a large dose. Long-term effects such as flashbacks, risk of psychiatric illness, impaired memory, and tolerance have been described in case reports.

PCP: The use of PCP as an approved anesthetic in humans was discontinued in 1965 because patients often became agitated, delusional, and irrational while recovering from its anesthetic effects. PCP is a “dissociative drug,” meaning that it distorts perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment (dissociation) from the environment and self. First introduced as a street drug in the 1960s, PCP quickly gained a reputation as a drug that could cause bad reactions and was not worth the risk. However, some abusers continue to use PCP due to the feelings of strength, power, and invulnerability as well as a numbing effect on the mind that PCP can induce. Among the adverse psychological effects reported are—

Symptoms that mimic schizophrenia, such as delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, disordered thinking, and a sensation of distance from one’s environment.
Mood disturbances: Approximately 50 percent of individuals brought to emergency rooms because of PCP-induced problems—related to use within the past 48 hours—report significant elevations in anxiety symptoms.4
People who have abused PCP for long periods of time have reported memory loss, difficulties with speech and thinking, depression, and weight loss. These symptoms can persist up to one year after stopping PCP abuse.
Addiction: PCP is addictive—its repeated abuse can lead to craving and compulsive PCP-seeking behavior, despite severe adverse consequences.

What Other Adverse Effects Do Hallucinogens Have on Health?

Unpleasant adverse effects as a result of the use of hallucinogens are not uncommon. These may be due to the large number of psychoactive ingredients in any single source of hallucinogen.3

LSD: The effects of LSD depend largely on the amount taken. LSD causes dilated pupils; can raise body temperature and increase heart rate and blood pressure; and can cause profuse sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors.
Peyote: Its effects can be similar to those of LSD, including increased body temperature and heart rate, uncoordinated movements (ataxia), profound sweating, and flushing. The active ingredient mescaline has also been associated, in at least one report, to fetal abnormalities.5
Psilocybin: It can produce muscle relaxation or weakness, ataxia, excessive pupil dilation, nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness. Individuals who abuse psilocybin mushrooms also risk poisoning if one of many existing varieties of poisonous mushrooms is incorrectly identified as a psilocybin mushroom.
PCP: At low-to-moderate doses, physiological effects of PCP include a slight increase in breathing rate and a pronounced rise in blood pressure and pulse rate. Breathing becomes shallow; flushing and profuse sweating, generalized numbness of the extremities, and loss of muscular coordination may occur.

At high doses, blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiration drop. This may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, flicking up and down of the eyes, drooling, loss of balance, and dizziness. PCP abusers are often brought to emergency rooms because of overdose or because of the drug’s severe untoward psychological effects. While intoxicated, PCP abusers may become violent or suicidal and are therefore dangerous to themselves and others. High doses of PCP can also cause seizures, coma, and death (though death more often results from accidental injury or suicide during PCP intoxication). Because PCP can also have sedative effects, interactions with other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines, can also lead to coma.

What Treatment Options Exist?

Treatment for alkaloid hallucinogen (such as psilocybin) intoxication—which is mostly symptomatic—is often sought as a result of bad “trips,” during which a patient may, for example, hurt him- or herself.6 Treatment is usually supportive: provision of a quiet room with little sensory stimulation. Occasionally, benzodiazepines are used to control extreme agitation or seizures.

There is very little published data on treatment outcomes for PCP intoxication. Doctors should consider that acute adverse reactions may be the result of drug synergy with alcohol.7 Current research efforts to manage a life-threatening PCP overdose are focused on a passive immunization approach through the development of anti-PCP antibodies.8 There are no specific treatments for PCP abuse and addiction, but inpatient and/or behavioral treatments can be helpful for patients with a variety of addictions, including that to PCP.
How Widespread Is the Abuse of Hallucinogens?

According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)*, more than 1.1 million people aged 12 or older reported using hallucinogens within the past 12 months.
LSD

In 2013, more than 24.8 million people aged 12 or older reported they had used LSD in their lifetime (9.4 percent) according to NSDUH. More than 1.1 million people had used the drug in the past year. Between 2012 and 2013, the number of past-year initiates of LSD increased only slightly.
Peyote and Psilocybin

It is difficult to gauge the extent of use of these hallucinogens because most data sources that quantify drug use exclude these drugs.
PCP

In 2013, 6.5 million people aged 12 or older reported that they had used PCP in their lifetime (2.5 percent) according to NSDUH. However, only 90,000 people reported use in the past year—a decrease from 172,000 in 2012.
Learn More

For more information on hallucinogens, please visit http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/hallucinogens.
Other Data Sources

* NSDUH (formerly known as the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse) is an annual survey of Americans age 12 and older conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This survey is available on line at www.samhsa.gov.
References

Fantegrossi WE, Murnane KS, Reissig CJ. The behavioral pharmacology of hallucinogens. Biochem Pharmacol. 2008;75(1):17-33.
Halpern JH, Sherwood AR, Hudson JI, Yurgelun-Todd D, Pope HG Jr. Psychological and cognitive effects of long-term peyote use among Native Americans. Biol Psychiatry. 2005;58(8):624-631.
Cunningham N. Hallucinogenic plants of abuse. Emerg Med Australas. 2008;20(2):167-174.
Yago,KB, Pitts, FN, Burgoyne, RW, Aniline, O, Yago, LS, Pitts AF. The urban epidemic of phencyclidine (PCP) use: Clinical and laboratory evidence from a public psychiatric hospital emergency service. J Clin Psychiatry. 1981;42:193-196.
Gilmore HT. Peyote use during pregnancy. S D J Med. 2001;54(1):27-29.
Attema-de Jonge ME, Portier CB, Franssen EJ. Automutilation after consumption of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2007;151(52):2869-2872.
Schwartz RH, Smith DE. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1988;27(2):70-73.
Kosten T, Owens SM. Immunotherapy for the treatment of drug abuse. Pharmacol Ther. 2005;108(1):76-85.

Source:

National Institute on Drug Abuse. Hallucinogens – LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens-lsd-peyote-psilocybin-pcp on March 5, 2015