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(partae - vaping)

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In summary, concurrent ethanol exposure appears to increase the risk for MDMA toxicity. Increased toxicity is due to an aggravation of MDMA pharmacodynamics, while MDMA pharmacokinetics is largely unaffected. Although a significant attenuation of the MDMA-induced increase of body temperature was observed in animal studies, its relevance for human exposure remains unclear.

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Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic substance people ingest from certain types of mushrooms that grow in regions of Europe, South America, Mexico, and the United States.

Risks

People who have taken psilocybin in uncontrolled settings might engage in reckless behavior, such as driving while intoxicated.

Some people may experience persistent, distressing alterations to the way they see the world. These effects are often visual and can last anywhere from weeks to years after using the hallucinogen.

Physicians now diagnose this condition as hallucinogen persisting perception disorder, also known as a flashback. A flashback is a traumatic recall of an intensely upsetting experience. The recollection of this upsetting experience during hallucinogen use would be a bad trip, or a hallucination that takes a disturbing turn.

Some individuals experience more unpleasant effects than hallucinations, such as fear, agitation, confusion, delirium, psychosis, and syndromes that resemble schizophrenia, requiring a trip to the emergency room.

In most cases, a doctor will treat these effects with medication, such as benzodiazepines. These effects often resolve in 6 to 8 hours as the effects of the drug wear off.

Finally, though the risk is small, some psilocybin users risk accidental poisoning from eating a poisonous mushroom by mistake – Symptoms of mushroom poisoning may include muscle spasms, confusion, and delirium. Visit an emergency room immediately if these symptoms occur.

Because hallucinogenic and other poisonous mushrooms are common to most living environments, a person should regularly remove all mushrooms from areas where children are routinely present to prevent accidental consumption.

Most accidental mushroom ingestion results in minor gastrointestinal illness, with only the most severe instances requiring medical attention.

 

Psilocybin as a treatment for depression

Discussions are ongoing about whether psychological specialists can use psilocybin and similar hallucinogens as a treatment for depression.

Two studies have looked at psilocybin as a treatment. One study examined the ability of psilocybin to reduce depression symptoms without dulling emotions, and the other assessed the relationshipTrusted Source between any positive therapeutic outcomes and the nature of psilocybin-induced hallucinations.

While some researchers are looking into some therapeutic uses for psilocybin, they still, at present, regard psilocybin as unsafe and illegal.

Effects

The effects of psilocybin are generally similar to those of LSD. They include an altered perception of time and space and intense changes in mood and feeling.

Possible effects of psilocybin include:

  • quickly changing emotions
  • derealization, or the feeling that surroundings are not real
  • depersonalization, or a dream-like sense of being disengaged from surroundings
  • euphoria
  • distorted thinking
  • visual alteration and distortion, such as halos of light and vivid colors
  • dilated pupils
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • peacefulness
  • impaired concentration
  • muscle weakness
  • lack of coordination
  • unusual body sensations
  • nausea
  • paranoia
  • confusion
  • ‘spiritual’ awakening
  • frightening hallucinations
  • vomiting
  • yawning

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Abusing drugs at early ages makes a rocky period of development even rockier. Behavioral changes stemming from drug use is common among young people who use substances. Some drug users in the 18-25 age range may show, a result of their drug use, that:

  • They have a hard time controlling their emotions.
  • They have poor judgment or reasoning ability. They’re not likely to think about how their drug use or drug addiction can bring consequences
  • They engage in high-risk and impulsive behaviors. Experimenting with addictive substances is one of those behaviors.

Drug addiction on the developing brain also affects other neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which is responsible for stabilizing moods and regulating emotions; gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that regulates the stress response and lowers anxiety naturally; and norepinephrine, which is known as the stress hormone and speeds up the body’s “fight or flight” response.

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For more on how to protect your developing brain and building a more RESILIENT YOU without the brain wrecking use of substances go to the Humpty Dumpty Resilience Project and our YouTube Channel

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A survey taken between December 2016 and January 2018 shows that adolescents who vape marijuana are more likely to wheeze and cough than those who smoke cigarettes or vape nicotine.
 
The federally funded Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study surveyed nearly 15,000 teens. It showed that vaping marijuana increased the risk of wheezing or whistling in the chest by 81 percent compared to a 15 percent increased risk from cigarettes and a 9 percent increased risk from nicotine e-cigarettes. Vaping marijuana also increased teens’ risk of: 

  • sleep disturbed by wheezing by 71 percent,
  • speech limited due to wheezing by 96 percent,
  • wheezing during or after exercise by 33 percent, and
  • dry coughing at night by 26 percent. 

These are all signs of significant injury to the lungs.
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 4 out of 5 patients with the serious lung disease called EVALI had vaped marijuana, versus only about 16 percent who said they were only vaping nicotine. Vitamin E acetate was found in the lung fluids of all EVALI patients.
 
The researchers in this study were surprised to learn that lifetime use of vaping marijuana was associated with a far greater number of symptoms and a higher likelihood of having each symptom, says lead researcher Carol Boyd. Professor Emerita Boyd is co-director of the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking, and Health.
 
Read Healthday article here

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Research has demonstrated an association between e-cigarette use (vaping) and initiation of combustible cigarette (tobacco) use among youth. This study used data from a US national sample (N=3426, age 15–27) to examine the magnitude of this association among youth with e-cigarette use from 2017 to 2019, when “pod mod” devices—which deliver high nicotine concentrations—had the largest share of the market.

  • Compared with youth who had never had e-cigarette use, those who initiated it in 2018 were 7 times more likely to initiate combustible cigarette use in 2019 (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 7.29), and 8 times more likely to have current combustible cigarette use (aOR, 8.26).
  • Other predictors of combustible cigarette use included male gender, household tobacco use, and sensation seeking.

Comments: E-cigarette use during adolescence greatly increases the risk of later combustible cigarette use. The popularity of vaping is a concern because the vast majority of adults with combustible cigarette use initiated it in their teen years. While e-cigarettes were introduced to the marketplace as a solution to the public health problem of smoking, the popularity of “pod mod” devices among adolescents may result in these devices introducing a greater number people to smoking than the number of those they help to quit.

Sharon Levy, MD

Reference: Hair EC, Barton AA, Perks SN, et al. Association between e-cigarette use and future combustible cigarette use: evidence from a prospective cohort of youth and young adults, 2017–2019Add Behav. 2021;112:106593.

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