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Pros And Cons Of Recreational Drug Use

1578 words - 7 pages

It is no secret that drug use has the ability to completely alter a person’s state of consciousness, whether it be through extreme euphoria, increased hyperactivity, pain relief or psychedelic hallucinations. Although many drugs are used for medical purposes, the global issue of recreational drug use is now being fronted as an extremely serious matter that is steadily on the uprise. Recreational drug use is often associated with negativity, addiction and as having serious physical and mental repercussions. One of the few class of drugs that is often associated with both positive and negative connotations are hallucinogens, otherwise known as “psychedelics”, which have powerful altering effects on ones sense of perception, brain function and mood (Nichols, 2004).
Hallucinogens are a class of drug that, as suggested by its name, have the ability to induce powerful hallucinations, and can even be “psychotomimetic” (Nichols, 2004), meaning that it has the ability to mimic the signs of psychosis. Hallucinogenic drugs often stir reactions in serotonin (5-HT) receptors in the brain. Serotonin, being “neurotransmitter” (Nichols, 2004) is responsible for various brain functions, inclusive of memory. Once these receptors respond to the ingested drug, the person may experience a range of both psychological and physiological onset effects, including “somatic symptoms” such as nausea, dizziness, frailty and lethargy, “perceptual symptoms” such as acute sensory functions, warped colours, warped shapes and trouble concentrating on surroundings and finally “psychic symptoms”, inclusive of perception of time, hallucinogenic manifestations and changes in emotional state (Nichols, 2004). All of these effects combined resulted in the phrase “tripping out”, which is basically a common term for when an individual’s perception of reality is completely distorted. A rather dangerous concept that is often associated with the onset effects of hallucinogenic drugs is that of “synaesthesia”. Synaesthesia occurs when the individual simply mixes up their senses; they may visualise noise and believe colours have scents (Kowalski, 2000).
It is such effects as the latter, synaesthesia, which introduces the cons and explicit dangers of ingesting a hallucinogenic drug. This is particularly mentioned when regarding the use of lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD or acid. LSD is rather infamous in the hallucinogenic drug world, known to induce extremely convincing hallucinations. Unlike ayahuasca, a hallucinogen that is discussed below, there have been many cases individuals using LSD and never properly recovering. This is evident in not only LSD users, but all hallucinogenic drugs. When an individual consumes a hallucinogenic substance, they run the risk of aspects of a specific trip reoccurring at later times that can last for years, even when in a completely sober state (Vale, 2007). This, of course, is a negative aspect of participating in recreational use of LSD,...

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