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Hallucinogens: Psychodelics, Dissociatives and Deliriants – Drugs of Abuse

by Pravin Shukle, MD
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    The next category of drugs are hallucinogens. They include the psychedelics, the dissociatives drug and the deliriants. Now, psychedelics are classical hallucinogens. So, when we talk about classical hallucinogens, what we're talking about are psychodelic drugs. These cause a change in thought, in mood, in perception, and they often cause intellectual and memory impairment as well. However, the amount of intellectual and memory impairment is actually quite minimal compared to other drugs. You often will have a stupor or a narcosis, but once again, this is not a predominant effect of the hallucinogens, particularly the psychodelics. What you really see is altered perception. Now they act through the 5-HT2 serotonin receptor. LSD or mescaline or some of the most commonly known ones, but we also have drugs like PCP, often called "angel dust". We have serotonin releasing agents. So, they are the substituted MD drugs. So, it can be MDMA or ecstasy or MDA. There's a whole class of them that we can cover, and I did cover in previous lectures. And then of course, there are the cannabinoids. The most common of course is marijuanna, but then we also have the new synthetic cannabinoids that have recently entered onto the market. The dissociative drugs act predominantly through the NMDA receptor. They produce an analgesia, amnesia and derealization. They cause dissociative perception. And they cause clinically horizontal and vertical nystagmus and marked hypertension and seizures. So, when you have a patient show up and they are delirious and you can't really communicate with them on one on one basis, and they are imagining things. Look at their eyes, and if they're having horizontal and vertical nystagmus, they are not on a classic hallucinogen or psychodelic drug, they are on one of the dissociatives. Ketamine, or "special K" on the street,...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Hallucinogens: Psychodelics, Dissociatives and Deliriants – Drugs of Abuse by Pravin Shukle, MD is from the course Toxicology. It contains the following chapters:

    • Psychedelics
    • Dissociatives
    • Deliriants
    • Special Discussion: PCP
    • Special Discussion: Cannabinoids

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Serotonin
    2. Norepinephrine
    3. Dopamine
    4. Adenosine
    5. GABA
    1. Nystagmus
    2. hypothermia
    3. Dysarthria
    4. Hypernatremia
    5. Metabolic acidosis with respiratory alkalosis
    1. Anti-nausea medication
    2. Proton-pump inhibitor medication
    3. Chemotherapy
    4. Psychedelic
    5. Dissociative
    1. Increases risk of depression
    2. Increases aggression
    3. Decreases appetite
    4. Helps students study
    5. Increase risk of hypertension later in life

    Author of lecture Hallucinogens: Psychodelics, Dissociatives and Deliriants – Drugs of Abuse

     Pravin Shukle, MD

    Pravin Shukle, MD


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