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Di methyl I ryptarriFrie* (DMT)


Figure 15.6. Structures of some naturally occurring (*) and synthetic hallucinogens.

suggests that the latter must produce their effects by acting on other transmitter processes in addition to the 5-HT system.

Unlike other drugs of abuse, the hallucinogens do not produce a pattern of regular use and they appear to be confined only to occasional use. Abrupt withdrawal is not associated with any noticeable physical or psychological effects. The primary adverse effect of these drugs (a "bad trip'') is associated with severe anxiety and panic, which usually respond to anxiolytics. A recurrence of hallucinations when the user is not taking the drug, termed a ''flash-back'', can occur in about 15% of former hallucinogen users. It is often precipitated by anxiety and may occur several years after the last administration of a hallucinogen.

In some people, the use of hallucinogens can precipitate a severe psychiatric disorder, such as depression or a schizophrenic-like psychosis.

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