Overdose on Paranoia: How LSD and other psychedelics really work

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Only certain things have the ability to take a person steps above reality, asides spiritual practices. Two of which, are booze and drugs. Generally, these things alter perceptions and send you to different states of being. It is how booze unleashes the rationality or irrationality in you; how Codeine makes you slower than life itself, and how ecstasy gets you impossibly ecstatic. As a result of the initial purposes of these drugs, asides booze of course, the results are largely similar from one user to the other. I mean, nobody actually gets slow from Ecstasy. However, a particular family has been known to take it up a notch – psychedelics. Psychedelics, are part of a wider class of drugs called hallucinogens, which also includes dissociatives and deliriants. They are substances that have hallucinogenic, perception-altering effects. They basically alter how people see the world and how they reason.

Interestingly, psychedelics have been used in time past by religious groups who wanted to go into this same ‘high’ states. Drugs under this include cannabis, DMT, Magic Mushrooms, Ecstasy, mescaline, PCP, and the king of them all, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). My curiosity for psychedelics arose after reading a subreddit on Psychonaut. In it, different past users, majorly one-time users for reasons you would soon see, narrated their experiences. The top picks were “I felt I was going to die” and “I felt at one with the universe”. Majorly the first, though. Psychedelics are extremely illegal in various parts of the world because scientists have found no major medical purposes for them (researchers are still trying to find medicinal uses), and they are of course deadly; unlike say Codeine, that is used for mentally deranged people. Since our world has been known to crave the forbidden fruit since its inception, people still use them, and numerous tests have been carried out.

Initially, my perception of what causes the users of hard drugs to ‘trip’, was paranoia. My assumption was that users just get lost in the illusion they had created for themselves through the use of the drugs, and get paranoid about stuff. The paranoia probably getting worse when a ‘bad trip’ is experienced.

source: YouTube

But, it is that and much more. Apparently, psychedelics affect the brain’s cortex. It changes visual information in the brain and causes a new form of activity in the brain, which is normally suppressed from perception. Most times, it gets a lot out of hand. This is why people think they can fly or walk on water. Even popular rapper, A$AP Rocky, spoke about the role psychedelic drugs play in terms of his creativity. Says LSD helps him ‘cope with life’. The thing is, in truth, the ones who have been known to take it more than once, would tell you by how far it gets them above ‘it’ all. Still on being at one with the universe. But even Asap Rocky has been accused of having impeccably grandiose delusions and he is one of the few people acid has had a ‘positive’ effect on.

What I’m saying is, the effect of psychedelics on the brain and mind, are beyond paranoia. The not-so-bad effects include: heightened perception of depth, heightened sensitivity to changes in the environment, alterations in memory, intense fear, poor judgment and decision-making abilities, delusions, distorted sense of time and space, panic attacks, psychotic-like behaviours, paranoia, to mention a few. However, LSD has long-term and much deadly effects. There could be sudden heart failure, desire to cause self-harm or harm to others, hyperthermia, or overheating, recurrent hallucinations, and of course, death. This should not be surprising, knowing that inhaling LSD is actually you inhaling acid. The illusion of enhanced knowledge, being one with the universe (whatever that means), creativity, and all that cool stuff; is just as a result of the altered brain pattern caused by psychedelics. They are for short term periods and come with bags of disaster. In other words, don’t do drugs!

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Ejiro Lawretta Egba is a young chartered accountant and writer from Nigeria. She holds a degree in Accounting and is a qualified member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. She is currently a Financial Analyst for a private equity firm in Nigeria, a ghost writer, and a writer/contributor for a number of websites and platforms, both home and abroad. With an immense passion for knowledge acquisition, she seeks to contribute her own quota to the African community and beyond. For info and inquiries, contact via: lawrettawritesbookreviews@yahoo.com


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