Psychedelics explained by Dr. Alex Belser are a class of psychoactive substances that alter perception, mood, cognition, and consciousness. They produce profound changes in thought processes, sensory perception, and emotions. These substances can induce hallucinations, sensory distortion, and altered states of consciousness.

Common psychedelics include:

  • LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide): A synthetic compound derived from ergot fungus.

  • Psilocybin/Psilocin: Naturally occurring compounds found in certain species of mushrooms (commonly known as magic mushrooms).

  • DMT (Dimethyltryptamine): A naturally occurring compound found in various plants and animals, also produced synthetically.

  • MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine): Often classified as an empathogen or entactogen, MDMA produces feelings of emotional warmth, empathy, and altered perception.

  • Mescaline: Found in several cactus species, such as peyote and San Pedro cactus.

Psychedelics have been used for spiritual, harm reduction guide for university students, religious, and recreational purposes for thousands of years. They can also have therapeutic potential and are being researched for their possible applications in treating mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. However, they can also pose risks, including psychological distress and, in some cases, triggering underlying mental health issues. Therefore, their use should be approached with caution, crisis and support hotlines for bad trips and under appropriate supervision.

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