5

6 b2) Peak of Experience A stuporous, hazey high is felt, and everything seems almost normal. After a while, either you get used to the feeling and don't notice it any more, or it fades (again, I cant tell, and I don't know anyone who can tell either), and it seems you are sober (between 6 and 8 hours in). After that, things either get scary or very interesting. Auditory hallucinations abound, although I don't know whether the brain comes up with an image, also, of someone talking to you, or a source for the noise. Visual hallucinations are less common, and equally as real. Keep in mind, these are full-blown hallucinations, with no way to tell whether they are real or not. Also, these may actually be DREAMS. 6 b3) Comedown As far as I can tell, there was no comedown. I did not feel sick the next day (a bit tired, but not sick), nor did I feel sick during the experience. I was asleep during the "comedown" phase of my most noticeable experience, so I would not likely know if I felt ill. Other users reported no comedown, either. There is one nagging aspect of Datura use. I was "weird" for about a week. I was prone to rambling on about things that werent really relevant, and I was basically more relaxed and open to suggestion than normal. Its difficult to describe, but the effects lasted about a week, with an almost perceptible change after that period (a few others noticed this in the messages I was leaving on newsgroups, et cetera). Upon re-examination of this, I would probably guess this was the suggestive effects of the scopolamine. 6 b4) Physical Effects of Datura on the Body Pupil Dilation Atropine has long been a chemical known to dilate the pupils, with effects lasting from as little as 6 hours to 3 weeks. I personally experienced it for three. Tropicamide, a chemical probably used by your opthamalogist, has effects that last around 12 hours but may be more pronounced than what would result from systemic use. I suggest wearing sunglasses or staying out of bright areas for at least a week after Datura consumption. This effect may also impair driving. Wearing sunglasses is usually a good idea when driving, provided they arent too dark, and with dilated pupils, it almost becomes a must. Delerium/Delerium in Sleep (See 7c) This is not well documented, so all I can do is hypothesize. When one dreams, most of the images, sounds, et cetera, one hears, originate from the brain stem. Atropine interferes directly with much of the activity in the brain stem, ranging from motor impairment and tachycardia to the basal ganglionic blockage. Acetylcholine, a chemical that atropine blocks, has been known to stop one from dreaming. As a result of this, a person might be more difficult to rouse from REM sleep, and their dreams may be more intense. Delerium in general may result from the body entering a pseudo-dream-state even when awake. This would explain not only the hallucinations, but some of the effects that occur when one is asleep. Hyperpyrexia "So how does overheating kill someone? Our body temperature (like that of other mammals) has to be controlled very precisely for us to function, which is why we use a thermometer to indicate when we are ill. If we get too hot, above 42 degrees C (108 degrees F), our blood starts to form tiny clots that stick to the artery walls. This is not usually a problem in itself, but the process uses up the clotting agent in the blood, so that there is nothing to prevent bleeding. There are always tiny cuts and scratches inside the body and brain which are due to the body constantly replacing worn out tissue with new cells, and normally these leaks are blocked by the clotting of blood so that you don't even notice them. But above 42 degrees bleeding is unfettered, and this is made worse by high blood pressure due to the speedy effect of MDMA and exercise. People can bleed to death in this way, and if bleeding occurs in the brain it can cause a stroke. When someone is bleeding internally, blood may run out of their mouth or anus." (E is for Ecstasy, Ch 6) When hyperpyrexia results from atropine usage, it is usually a compound effect. The main reason is most likely the stoppage of secretion from the body. One simply doesnt sweat. Circulation is increased, thus warming the extremities uncomfortably, especially with the lack of sweat. One, as a result of the hyperpyrexia, becomes dehydrated which also adds to the effect. This is not dangerous unless the person is outside, or away from water, or unable to cool off in any way. It could lead to a heat stroke, which requires IMMEDIATE medical attention. Motor Impairment See Figure 5 & Figure 3 in addendum. Motor impairment almost surely results from the blockage of acetylcholine in the neuromuscular junction. It is obviously not a complete blockage, as if it were, one would be completely paralyzed. It creates difficulty moving about, and gives one an intoxicated, "drunken" feeling. This could last up to two days, and should be regarded as serious if one is unable to walk. 6 b5) Quotes From Datura Users Anonymous 1, 4g of D. Inoxia Seeds, on events that occurred more than 4 hours after ingestion: "I didn't feel [intoxicated].. so I didn't think it'd be hard to talk to my mom, but I was wrong. I heard her say things which I later found out she hadn't said. So, I answered logically and intelligently to questions which were really something else...she convinced me that I was extremely out of it and hallucinating and I should go to the hospital. There, they made me drink this godforsaken Liquid Charcoal to remove the toxins, stuck an IV in me and hooked me up to an EKG. They made me stay over night, because me resting heartrate was 160bpm, and they said that was dangerous. By the next morning (I couldn't sleep, mostly cos of the 10-15 wires and IVs sticking from me and the damn Blood pressure cup which would go off every 5 minutes.) my heartrate was down to about 85bpm (which is more or less normal for a man my size) [130kg] and they let me go." "I remember meeting someone.. and thinking he looked a lot like me.. but it never occuring to me that it was my reflection in the mirror. It wasn't until like a day or 2 ago that I realized I was in [a friend's] bathroom. The guy looked almost exactly like me.. and I thought he was [expletive] with me.. cos like a split second after I would move or do something.. he did the same thing." gordon_k@efn.org (Gordon Kelley), on friend's experience "He drove off and doesn't know where he was heading, but ended up running his mom's brand new audi into a tree at some appartment complex. He was still functional enough to realize that he knew someone who lived in the area and went to her house... When she opened the door he was babbling about nothing at all and just running off at the mouth. Girl was a friend and loaded him into her car and took him to his house and dropped him off in the street. He walked inside his house (maybe 1.5 1.75 hours after eating) and goes into his room, gets his boombox and goes to the bathroom to take a shower. Strips down naked, gets in shower, no water.. gets out takes radio downstairs (still stark naked) and starts cleaning.. moving furniture and dusting etc... While his mom is sitting in the room trying to watch TV. She asks him what the hell he thinks he's doing... He replies, 'Goddammit Mom! Leave me alone, can't you see i'm trying to take a shower!! DAMN!' then starts babbling again..." markmar@crl.com (Mark Marshall) on friend's experience "One guy, who dealt drugs and wasn't particularily centered and/or able to connect with anyone else in the group decided to take off. Another guy and I understood that it was dangerous for anybody to become separated so we pursued him down to a busy boulevard where after a couple of blocks we became freaked and ceased trying to talk him into returning with us. We went back to the house. He went on his way, went to his house, got a suitcase full of drugs, walked to a strange neighborhood and into some old people's house. Whereupon, he began to behave as if he was in his own house. What occurred next I'm sure is obvious." 6 b6) Common Hallucinations Experienced on Datura Auditory hallucinations involving speaking to people who arent there. Auditory hallucinations involving speaking to objects that may or may not be there. Minor color differences in the sky and or ocean (blue to green but nothing drastic). One does not recognize a mirror, and often winds up speaking to the person in the mirror (often getting agitated at the "other person's" repetition of their body movements). Plants gain a higher intelligence level - people seem to think plants are sentient and will speak with them, associate a personality with them, et cetera. Forgetting where one is going, yet continuing to go "there." Animation of inanimate objects - statues, walls, fences, all seem to take on a life of their own and will in fact speak with the user. "He who partakes of it is deprived of his reason; for a long time lauughing or weeping, or sleeping and oftentimes talking and replying, so that at times he appears to be in his right mind, but really being out of it and not knowing to whom he is speaking, nor remembering what has happenend after his alienation has passed." (Plant Drugs That Changed The World, regarding Datura in general) _The Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeon's Complete Home Guide To Mental Health_ had this to say about delerium in general: "Visual hallucinations, usually including the appearance of animals, may precede delerium; this is particularly common during withdrawal from the use of alcohol and illicit drugs." 6 b7) What To Do For 3 Days Since the user (the recreational user, mind you) will be in a delerium for as much as three days, it's important to plan out things to do during that time period. Interacting with people who would not approve of your datura usage is a bad idea for the following reason: They would know you were "tripping," even if you didnt. see 6 (b [6]). It is impossible for the user to determine whether or not they are sober, and its probably not a good idea to let anyone except your companions know that you're hallucinating willingly. Activities that require more than a modicum of physical stress are to be avoided entirely. Sexual activity could (and almost always does) raise the heart rate, and is an aerobic workout. This causes problems with the already elevated heart rate of datura users, and could be fatal. Climbing stairs, jumping on beds, taking a long walk, arguing, all those things should be avoided. Im sure that since the user really isnt feeling much of the drug except for impaired motor skills, he or she may want to use another drug. I would suggest, at this point (because I probably couldnt convince them not to use other drugs), NOT to use a drug they have not used before, NOT to use a stimulant (i.e., speed, ecstasy), and not to use something that is a powerful hallucinogen (I would not call LSD a powerful hallucinogen, or psilocybin; DMT would definitely fall into that category, as would ritalin). Again, use drugs at your own risk. Try to go outside, I think, but stay away from people. If you pay attention to plants and statues, and other objects, you may wind up speaking with them, and who knows where that could go. Take your sober observer with you in the event you do this, and make sure they know not to interrupt you if you begin to speak to something that is "inanimate." Try also, to make a trip to the bathroom. You wouldnt necessarily have to urinate (or whatever other activities you perform in your bathroom), but take a look at the mirror. Smoking. If the user is a smoker, try to restrain them from smoking more than 1 cigarette an hour. Nicotine is a well known stimulant, and an appetite depressant, so caution is needed. The same precautions apply to clove cigarettes. See 6 (b [7 (a)]). Smoking marijuana has the same precautions that smoking cigarettes do, as inhaling smoke (and therefore cutting oxygen and elevating heart rate), could be dangerous. I would suggest using a water pipe, and not smoking more than a gram or two a day. See 8 (b [3]). "Checkup" Procedure Make this section either available to the sober person, or print it out and put it on a wall. Just make it visible and easy to get to. I suggest you perform this procedure no less than every 45 minutes. Because most people value their lives, it's important to make sure the user is within a rigid set of parameters. The following procedure should help the user (and sober guide) to know if they are still within "okay" levels, or when it is necessary to go to a hospital. Check the pulse. There are watches that do this, and I would very much recommend getting one, but I believe the price starts at US$50. Any way you do it, make sure they are within 50-180 beats per minute. More than that, it's probably time to head to the hospital. Administer fluids. Some people (myself included) forget to drink fluids when they are under the influence of psychoactive chemicals. I would suggest using the "checkup" as a good time to give the user a glass of water. DO NOT give them an alcoholic beverage (this will further dehydrate them). Cold fluids are most definitely a good idea, and will most likely sooth the user's high temperature. Check for wounds and/or bleeding. Bleeding from the mouth or anus with no visible signs of laceration may mean internal bleeding. This is definitely a sign to go straight to the hospital. It is important to check for wounds, even bruises, because the user is not quite fully aware of their body. Use your own judgement on the severity of the wound. Obviously, if someone has a 1" deep cut in the arm, its time to go to the hospital. On the same note, don't panic if they have a paper cut. Check Temperature. Many of those neat watches take the temperature, as well. Again, theyre out of some peoples' price range, buy they are nonetheless a great idea. If the temperature goes above 104F, I would suggest putting cool washcloths on them, perhaps a cool bath, and taking the temperature every 3 minutes afterwards until the temperature drops below 100F. If the temperature goes above 106F, its time to go to the hospital. Eat. Remember to eat when in a delerium. If you don't, make sure the sober person has a copy of this paper, and can remind you that you need to eat. Don't eat anything salty, don't eat more datura, don't eat anything hot (a heaping plate of lasagna would be a bad idea). I would suggest a starchy food, with water, and perhaps some green vegetables. Attempt to write down what has happened so far. If you keep a log of what happened to you, you could compare it to what "actually" happened after the experience. Many users of psychoactives have troubles remembering what happened during their experiences. This is also a source of much frustration. If it is difficult to write, and it may be, see if you can get your sober companion to write for you. 6 b8) Datura Effects Chart Sensation | Comments ----------------------------------------------------- Vision | Blurry, Flashes in peripheral | vision. Prescription lenses | become somewhat inaccurate. | Motor | Slight motor impairment. Not | particularly noticeable. | Sexual | DANGEROUS. Elevated heart | rate could be fatal. Nothing | particularly unusual, but I | don't have any reports of | sexual activity. | Tactile | No difference in tactile | sensation. | Emotional | No emotional difference was | noted, with the exception of | increased suggestability. | Increased body temperature | and dehydration may lead to | irritability. | Logical | No impaired logic was noted | with the exception of hall- | ucinations (talking statues, | et cetera). | Mood | Hyperpyrexia and dehydration | will probably cause irrit- | ability, but provided with | proper set/setting and liquid, | effects should not be severe. 6c) The Shamanic Experience 6 c1) My Take on Datura Shamanism At the start of this section, I want to indicate that I have NOT spoken with a shaman and I have NOT used Datura in a shamanic way, nor have I had "strange" hallucinations on Datura. I plan on doing this in the future, but as of yet, everything here I have extrapolated from reading and what I know of the brain. Where Everything Comes From "That ugly crumpled upper surface of yours, that cerebral cortex, is almost nonexistent in lower animals, but once you got the hang of evolutionary growth and a taste of the inflated cabstract thoughts you could make with that cortex, you enlarged it and enlarged it until it became eighty percent of your volume. Then you started cranking out rarefied ideas as fast as you could crank them, and issuing commands to helpless appendages like me, forcing us to act on those ideas, to give them form. Out of that came civilization. You willed it into being because, with your cortex so oversized and all, you lost your common ground with other animals, and especially with plants; lost contact, became alienated and ordered civilization built in compensation. And there was nothing the rest of us could do about it. You were holed up there in your solid bone fortress, a cerebrospinal moat around you, using up twenty percent of the body's oxygen supply and hogging a disproportionate share of nutrients, you greedy bastard; you had hold of the muscle motor switches and there was no way any of us could get at you and stop you from spoiling the delight of the world." (_Even Cowgirls Get The Blues_) The above conversation took place between the thumb and brain in _Even Cowgirls Get The Blues_, and gives the reader a good idea of what I am referring to in this section. The cerebrum and cerebral cortex are what separates us from the rest of life on earth, and rules almost all we see. The brain stem, however, has remained unchanged throughout time, and is perhaps our only link to our environment. That is why Datura shamanism is such an interesting concept. All hallucinations on Datura are a result of changes in the brain stem. The brain stem controls dreaming. "Reason" is not something the brain stem understands, and hallucinations reflect that. Hallucinating with that part of the brain "in charge" has the possibility of leading in many different places, all of which have SERIOUS implications. The basic commands "flee," "eat," "save the organism," and other, very _primal_ urges all emenate from this part of the brain. Much respect for ones body, and things encountered is needed AT ALL TIMES. Now, as to where things come from. If one looks at shamanism scientifically, (scientifically, that is, with the incorporation of huxlean/mckennian philosophy) it is reasonable to assume everything someone sees comes from _themselves_. Humans have been around for a long time, and seen many things. You as a human (or more correctly, your body as a human) have some possible recollection of these events, this is what causes evolution (sudden or otherwise). The brain stem houses these things, along with the rest of the brain to a lesser extent. When one sees someone in the mirror when hallucinating, it is an entity that the brain has conjured up, and should be dealt with as a separate being. Speaking with that entity is VERY MUCH speaking with yourself. This is where shamanism comes in. It is the belief of shamans (from what I know) that either they know or other creatures (not necessarily even earth-living creatures) know things we cannot consciously access. When you speak to an entity in the mirror, you are speaking with your brain. How Datura hallucinations work, I do not know. When one dreams, the brain stem works as a filter for the rest of the world, only sending the cerebrum information it deems necessary (thus creating urges that are very clear emotionally and physically but not so much logically). It is possible that Datura iduces a dream-like (or simply dream) state in which the "dreamer" is in fact conscious. I mentioned earlier that the brain stem is the part of the brain that controls primal urges (and/or knowledge that translate into urges). Speaking with that part of the brain can help you better understand yourself. Shamanism indicates that not only can you better understand yourself, but you can better understand your world through the body (which is essentially the product of hundreds of thousands of years of learning). All in all, it's a reasonable conclusion. The personality of the user probably doesnt come into play because it resides, for the most part, in the cerebrum. Since the cerebrum really isn't involved the hallucinations experienced on Datura, I wouldnt really worry. However, see 6 (c [1 (b)]) for respect and entities. Entities When one encounters an entity, it is important to discern just what that entity is. If it is a plant, and it is speaking to you, it is a very good idea to try and learn from it. Whether it is, in fact the plant, or your brain telling you what it knows of the plant in a different way, is completely irrelevant. There is a good deal to learn from yourself. Always treat an entity you encounter with respect (if this means thinking constantly that you would not wish to disrespect yourself, so be it). Not doing so can cause problems (and quite possibly, a "bad trip"). This includes not telling anyone the name of an entity you encounter; consider it your secret. Do not laugh at something an entity says unless it was meant as something to be laughed at. Remember this: the entity has CHOSEN to speak with you; it is not your place to be disrespectful or impudent. If you, in fact, voyage (be it astral or physical), be sure to return in the same matter you left. Getting lost is a definite problem, and according to shamans, can be a cause of death. Implications If the brain is actually consciously dreaming, the implications of this for research are, quite frankly, staggering. There is much research done on dreaming, yet there are many problems with remembering ones dreams, and having trouble dreaming lucidly. If someone (sober, of course) was there to record things done by the dreamer (user), then we as a race could stand to learn a lot from that person (if we choose to view it with an open mind). 6d) Dreaming (See 7 c) I have noticed, after speaking with Datura users, that at higher levels, it is impossible to discern between sleeping and wakefulness. This is said to happen to insomniacs, who actually dream they are awake (and thus arent really insomniacs). Things happen that users label as hallucinations when in fact they may be only dreaming. Someone posted the following message to the alt.drugs newsgroup regarding atropine and dreaming: " If the purpose is to get high, try drinking a tea made from a 1/3 of teabag worth of leaf. Of course nightshade, belladonna, and jamestown weed are unpredictable, having a lot to do with growing conditions. If you are planning on tripping, start within the lower half of a teabag. If your intention is to kill someone, or yourself:) EAT A PLANT, or three. You can expect a very drythroat, lucid reality dreams, and a loss of balance. Effects last at least 12 hrs. Lock yourself in your house, and explore the inner realms of the ancient plant. Think of flying! Thats it. Now float. I think atropines would be quite useful in small amounts to help invent artistic admixtures. The amount would have to be very small, and it is important to remember that. Due to the availability of the plants, they can be quite useful for the dreamer. All you need to do is take caution. If you jump, remember> YOU CAN FLY." The above was in reference to Atropa belladonna, so the effects are the same, the doses surely vary. I would very much suggest AGAINST eating a plant. Not only do the sizes of the various Datura plants vary, but ANY plant would contain a great deal of atropine. That could be a horrendous, and likely _fatal_ experience. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7) AN INTRODUCTION TO YOUR BODY 7a) The Nervous System 7 a1) The Autonomic Nervous System The autonomic nervous sytem regulates things like breathing, the beating of your heart, and other involuntary actions. It is housed in the lower parts of the brain and in the spinal cord, specifically the cerebellum (equilibrium, et cetera) and brain stem (heart, lungs). Sympathetic Nervous System "The sympathetic nervous system governs the body's response to pain, anger, and fear." (The Nervous System) Usually works together with the parasympathetic nervous system to control the body's reaction to normal bodily functions (such as exertion or secretion). Parasympathetic Nervous System "...The parasympathetic nervous system controls involuntary actions inside the body such as the secretion of substances and the dilation of blood vessels." (The Nervous System) 7 a2) The Central Nervous System The central nervous system (CNS) controls all thought and organizes activity. These are movements or activity controlled by your own effort. It is housed in the hindbrain and spinal cord. 7 a3) The Prehispheral Nervous System The prehipheral nervous system connects the CNS with the other parts of the body. It makes you aware of what is around you. This system mainly controls the senses. 7b) The Brain 7 b1) Introduction To The Brain The brain is a pinkish grey color, resembling broccoli or cauliflower. It is composed of about three pounds of nervous tissue. It is located in the upper part of the head, and contains more than 12 billion cells. On "Killing Brain Cells" After about age 18, the brain begins to lose cells at a rate of near1,000 cells a day (the cause for this is still unknown). In order for a loss of that rate to completely destroy your brain, you would have to be alive more than 12,000,000 days, or close to 33,000 years. I suppose logic indicates that no human has ever lived 33,000 years, and as such, "killing brain cells" shouldnt be too much of a problem. There has been talk that smoking marijuana (and in fact other smoked "drugs" -- curiously not tobacco) causes increased loss of brain cells. It is important to know that even a loss of a million cells (which could never happen from smoking anything once or twice) would not even do serious damage to your brain. Damaging specific areas of the brain through trauma (car wrecks, et cetera) is much more dangerous, however. It is said that the brain uses 10% of its mass. That means that roughly 120,000,000 cells are used. The brain's approximate mass of 12,000,000,000 cells, minus 120,000,000 is still 11,880,000,000. Now, its not true that brain damage (from various activities: contact sports among them) occurrs exclusively to the part of the brain you don't use, but you still have over _eleven BILLION_ cells to kill. Interpret that as you see fit. Rest assured that infrequent smoking of anything does not cause your brain significant harm. 7 b2) The Cerebrum See Figures 1 and 2 in addendum. The cerebrum is the upper part of your brain. The Homo sapien cerebrum separates it from the rest of the animal kingdom because of its striking complexity. It starts in front, mainly a litle below eye level, and continues back to the back of your head at about the same level. It is divided into two halves of nerve tissue, called the "right" and "left" brains. It is responsible for all voluntary muscles. It also controls thinking, memory, sensations, and emotions. Several parts of the cerebrum have been implicated in the following processes: Coordination Hearing Hot/Cold touch sensations Judgement Movement Perceptual Sensory analysis Speech Thought Vision Visual analysis 7 b3) The Cerebellume See Figures 1 and 2 in addendum. The cerebellum is under the cerebrum, in the back of your head. It is significantly smaller than the cerebrum. It is divided, as well, into two halves. The cerebellum allows you to learn habits and develop motor skills. It also causes the voluntary muscles used in activities to work properly. It also controls your sense of balance. Brain damage to the cerebellum causes dizziness and general inability to perform activities that require balance. 7 b4) The Brain Stem See Figures 1 and 2 in addendum. The brain stem, like the name implies, is below the brain, between the cerebellum, cerebrum, and spinal cord. It controls involuntary actions (i.e., the autonomic nervous system). It regulates your heart, lungs, and other involuntary muscles. Damage to the brain stem can cause death (via impaired heart, lungs, et cetera). 7c) Sleep 7 c1) The Basic Ideas of Sleep (See 6b1 and 6b2) Sleep was, until recently (ca. 1900), regarded as a time when the body did fairly little. In fact, sleep is much the opposite. Much activity occurrs during sleep. The brain changes dramatically, the heart rate drops, and the chemical composition of the brain (and in fact body) changes. Dreaming as a Chemical State All chemical states can be considered electrical states as well, so keep that in mind. I will not have two sections with an "electrical state" and a "chemical state." Chemicals which cause one to fall asleep (or otherwise are implicated in the process of sleep itself) exist in both the spine (which is in turn connected to the brain stem, and full of cerebrospinal fluid), and upper parts of the brain. Several chemicals (or compounds therein) have been isolated as related to the sleep process. DSIP (Delta-Sleep-Inducing-Peptide) SPS (Sleep Promoting Substance) A combination of 4 different chemicals. Muramyl Peptide A chemical similar to chemicals found in cell walls of bacteria. MDP (Muramyl Dipeptide) A chemical that causes up to 6 hours of deep non-rem sleep in animals in which it was injected into. Factor S A chemical originally extracted from sleep-deprived goats, injected into other animals, causing them to become sleepy. L-Tryptophan Brain levels of l-tryptophan affect serotonin levels in the brain. Lecithin contains a high level of l-tryptophan. Caution: Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (symptomized by aching muscles and decreased levels of eosinophils) has been linked to l-tryptophan. Several other chemicals have been isolated, and fall into the neurotransmitter category. Serotonin and Norepinephrine are both neurotransmitters that appear to play a role in sleep. Interestingly, since serotonin is contained in some foods, one's eating habits may actually influence their sleeping habits! Dreaming as a Shamanistic State It is hard to tell where hallucinating ends and dreaming ends. Some shaman-drinks contain chemicals that cause one to sleep, and when dealing with delerients it is difficult, if not impossible, to tell whether or not one is sleeping. However, dreaming is well established as a shamanistic state, and in the book _The Teachings Of Don Juan_, Carlos Castaneda describes, in fairly good detail, at least the possibility of shaman dreaming. The authenticity of the Castaneda books is questionable, but the ideas are sound. Just as a psychologist can learn about a person by analyzing dreams, one can learn about themselves with proper training. One can also travel on fantastic voyages and do things that would not otherwise be possible, even with ingestion of hallucinogenic compounds. "Lucid Dreaming" Lucid dreaming is defined as a dream in which the dreamer is aware they are dreaming. It often opens up doors for the person, enabling them to control various (if not all) aspects of the dream. Lucid dreaming starts as a slow process, beginning with (in castanedian dreaming) looking at one's hands. Other sources will tell you to, throughout the day, look periodically at written text, and then look back again in a second or two. Eventually, you become trained to do this and you should find yourself doing it in your sleep. The brain stem is not really able to understand written text, so if you find you are doing this and the text is distorted or missing or different, it is a good indication you are dreaming. From that point, there are various things you can do. Some include meeting with entities in your surroundings, some include simply recreation such as flying, and other activities. Basically, like hallucinations, dreaming can be treated as a recreational state or a shamanistic state. Dr. Stephen LaBerge, of the Sleep Research Center at Stanford University, came up with a process he dubbed MILD (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming). It includes the following steps: When awakening from a dream, review it several times until it is memorized. While still in bed, say "The next time I dream, I want to remember to recognize I'm dreaming." Picture being back in the dream, yet realizing that it is a dream. Repeat the second and third steps until falling back to sleep. Dreaming as a Process Dreaming follows a set of steps, very distinct from one another. Usually, when a step is changed or left out (such as REM sleep), problems arise. Your body has a "biological clock," and it is controlled by what scientists call circadian rythms. The body adjusts itself to its environment, and sleeps at the times it feels are appropriate. Researchers have learned how to "set" the clock, so to speak, with therapy involving large flourescent lights, among other things. When someone first falls asleep, brain wave patterns change very clearly. Theta waves emerge from the brain, and characterize stage one of sleep. Stage two is distinct from stage one, having different patterns on an EEG, as well. It is the first "true" sleep in the sleep process. Stage three is simply a deeper sleep than stage two, and is mainly a transition to stage 4, the deepest sleep. Usually, the time it takes one to reach stage 4 from stage 1 is only about an hour. Curiously, the brain then reverses its course, going back to stage 1 sleep (from stage 4) in about 30 minutes. This is when REM sleep occurs. REM sleep takes place in a pseudo-stage 1 sleep state, and although it is in fact a light sleep, the sleeper is difficult to awaken (this has led to REM sleep being called "paradoxical sleep"). The body goes to sleep through the following steps: Stage 1 Light sleep, beginning of theta waves Stage 2 Different than stage 1 on an EEG, a "true" sleep state. Stage 3 Different as well, from the other stages, on an EEG, and a sort of transitional state between stage 4 and 2. Stage 4 Deep sleep. Upone reaching stage 4, the body goes back through the stages, sequentially, and reaches REM sleep. REM Sleep Like stage 1 sleep, but includes rapid eye movements, increase of bloodflow to the genital regions (in men and women), quick sudden muscle movements, and activation of the brain centers that control both vision and hearing (presumably specific regions of the cerebrum). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8) DRUG INTERACTIONS 8a) Cautions This subsection is just a summary of the below sections. I know people dont like to read big long documents so maybe this will save a life or two. Please, however, read the entire FAQ. If you are taking ANY medicine on ANY basis, DO NOT take any form of Datura. Do not use Datura if you have a heart problem or have had a heart attack. Do not use Datura if you have never used a psychedelic drug. Do not use Datura if you are on antidepressants. Do not use Datura if you have not read the rest of the FAQ. Do not use Datura if you are suffering from glaucoma. 8 a1) A Datura Overdose A friend of mine was taken to the hospital by his mother after smoking about a quarter ounce of marijuana, ingestion of 400mg of DXM HBr, (he weighs 130kg), and ingestion of 4g of (uncooked) Datura inoxia seeds (at once). While I was with him, he was fine. He had great trouble speaking, and was slurring his words together. When he concentrated, he was able to speak. His mother found that he was VERY intoxicated and rushed him to the hospital. I spoke with paramedics, and the doctor responsible for him. NONE of them knew much about any of the chemicals he had ingested. I told them the chemicals they needed to treat an overdose of both the DXM and the Anticholinergens (they didn't even seem to know what the word "anticholinergen" meant -- my faith in doctors is severely shaken by this incident). His heart rate was higher than normal (180bpm, which is to be expected), and his speech abnormally slurred. The doctors on the scene told me he was "very sick." His mother told me "[anonymous 1] could die." I never got to see him in the hospital so I don't know the extent of his condition (he could have simply been delerient, and that may have caused the panic -- I don't know if he was physically ill). The doctor mentioned something about headache medicine he was taking. It was not an MAO inhibitor, and I cannot think of any chemical that could have caused ill effects with those three other than aspirin. Aspirin is a likely candidate for headache medicine. However, the medicine he was taking was for migraine headaches. One might think that he was not prescribed something as simple as aspirin. Also, I cannot imagine why aspirin would cause an ill effect with the receptor blockage. Another possibility here is that the DXM and the anticholinergens conflicted. Both cause a raised heartbeat. It could be the mild depressant effects of the DXM and the Scopolamine together, but I doubt it. Yet another possibility is the THC. The THC is a mild depressant, and that would add up to three depressants in his body (yet he _did_ have an elevated heart rate). This causing "sickness" is improbable. My assumption is that he was not "sick" at all. He could have simply been delerient (with of course, the NORMAL aspects of Datura poisoning). Delerium like he was experiencing when he was with us is common with Datura use, but may have seemed very terrifying to others. This, so far, seems the most likely prospect to me. Still, it leaves me wondering why the doctors did not know of the delerient effects of the anticholinergens, or what "DXM" was, or what the effects of THC on the body are (one of them went as far as to tell me he could have "overdosed" on marijuana after smoking 1/4oz!). My advice to them was to let him sleep it off, keeping close attention on him. They decided to pump him full of "cleansers." I don't know which was worse -- the "treatment" or the actual Datura usage. Anonymous 1 is, of course, just fine now. 8 a2) Anticholinergenic Syndrome I have read, in researching Antilirium, about a condition referred to as "anticholinergenic syndrome." Its interesting that I have not encountered this term anywhere else other than the PDR, but it is definitely something I should look in to. There is a definite possibility that it is simply the term applied to tropane-induced delerium. Drugs that are known to induce anticholinergenic syndrome include: Amitriptyline Amoxapine Anisotropine Atropine Benzotropine Biperiden Carbinoxamine Clidnium Cyclobenzaprine Desipramine Doxepine Homatropine Hyoscyamine Hyoscine Hyoscyamus Imipramine Lorazepam Maprotiline Mepenzolate Nortriptyline Propantheline Protryptyline Scopolamine Trimipramine Anticholinergenic syndrome should be treated with Physostigmine Salicylate. 8b) Drugs That Interact Harmfully With Datura See Section 8 in addendum. A word to the wise: Most shamans think that fasting purifies the body for a psychedelic experience. It is definitely good practice. This will guarantee not only the absorbtion of the drug, but also that you do not have any other chemicals in your body. Two days is a good length to fast for, with simply water to sustain you. Even bread can be harmful at times (yeast). Two weeks is a good time to have been clear of other drugs. Take care, though. Claritin (tm) stayed in my bloodstream up to 8 weeks after I had taken it. Generally, antidepressants are to be avoided when using psychedelics. I do not have any concrete evidence that atropine would disagree with something like prozac. However, when one has multiple chemicals in the brain doing verious things to different receptors, things can get hectic. Caution is advised. If you are using drugs to regulate your urinary tract, or to relieve pain from your urinary tract, do not use Datura. Atropine has been prescribed to relieve pain in the urinary tract, and you may actually be taking atropine. This could cause a drastic increase in your dosage, without you even knowing. See Section 8 in addendum. Do not use Datura if you are using a MAOI (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor). These drugs may have the brand names: Catron Marsilid Niamid Eutonyl Furoxone Iproniazid Marplan Matulane Nardil Parnate They are said to amplify the effects of Datura. DO NOT INTERPRET THAT AS A WAY TO HAVE AN INTENSE EXPERIENCE!!! MAO Inhibitors are, quite frankly, _serious shit_. You do not want to mess with that group of chemicals. They _inhibit_ your body's ability to defend against chemicals that may harm it. Give yourself 2 weeks minimum since last usage of an MAOI before using Datura. Do not use Datura if you are also currently taking sulfon amides. Do not use Datura if you are currently taking a drug for diarrhea such as Kaolin or Attapulgite. Do not use Datura if you are also currently taking antacids. Do not use Datura if you are also currently taking Amantadine. Do not use Datura if you are also currently taking antihistamines. Do not use nicotine products under the influence of Datura. Do not use Datura if you are also currently taking haloperidol. Do not use Datura if you are also currently taking phenothiazine. Do not use Datura if you are also currently taking tranquilizers. Do not use Datura if you are also currently taking procainamide. Do not use Datura if you are also currently taking quinidine. Do not use Datura if you are also currently taking tricyclic antidepressants. Do not use Datura if you are taking Thiazide Diuretics (water pills). Do not use Datura if you are taking stimulants of any kind, including MDMA (ecstasy, "e," "x") and Crystal Methamphetamine ("tweek," "speed"). Do not use Datura if you are taking urinary alkalizers. Some of the brand names for urinary alkalizers are: Diamox Daranide Neptazone Baking soda is supposed to lessen the effect of atropine on the urinary tract through urinary alkalinization. 8 b2) Drug Interactions More information to come 8 b3) Mixing Recreational Drugs with Datura Since its likely that the datura user will be experiencing the effects of the delerium for two or more days, Im sure people will be using other drugs in that period of time. Let me say first that it is unwise to combine ANY drugs, especially recreational drugs, as not much is known about them. In that time period, another drug which increases the heart rate might not be dangerous unless something strenuous, even walking up a flight of stairs, happened. Keep that in mind. Marijuana Datura has been used with marijuana causing no ill effects. THC and Scopolamine may cause a problem together due to the depressant effects of both. DXM Elevated heart rate was present, so Datura usage with DXM should not be more than a minimal dose. "[tachycardia] seems to be fairly common but not particularly serious; generally, a heart rate in the range of 90 to 120 can occur. This is probably a side effect of the stimulant qualities of DXM. Substantially higher heart rate may indicate a panic attack." (from DXM FAQ) Mescaline I have no reports of mescaline use with Datura. However, it is interesting to find that some indian cultures actually use peyote to treat Datura poisoning! MDMA & Other Amphetamines I have no reports of amphetamine use with Datura. The resulting stimulation from an amphetamine could be deadly. Atropine causes the heart rate to go up, blood pressure to rise, and temperature to rise. To use an amphetamine with those effects already in place would most likely be fatal. 8c) Conditions That Should Discourage Datura Use People with the following conditions should NOT use any anticholinergenic drug under any circumstances: narrow angle glaucoma achalasia pyloric obstruction paralytic ileus bladder neck obstruction prostatic hypertrophy glaucoma Low Sodium Diet Low Sugar Diet (all the above to be defined in the addendum soon) Although I shouldn't have to tell anyone, SMALL CHILDREN SHOULD NOT USE Datura. Even 4 or 5 grams of seeds can be fatal to children. 8d) How To Stop A Trip 8 d1) A Note on "Bad Trips" Almost all psychedelic users I know have had a bad trip. One notable bad trip was at Woodstock '95, with a good deal of LSD-25 ingested, and nine inch nails playing. Almost all bad trips can be avoided, or calmed. The first thing you should do is make sure you are in a comfortable setting. This can be your house, your friends house, whatever, but a place you are familliar with, and comfortable in sober. Second, make sure that nothing will occurr that could cause discomfort (physically or otherwise), anxiety, or other conditions which could lead to panic. One way to facilitate this is to make sure you have a sober companion with you who can be a sort of liasion to "reality." Third. Although some people will swear up and down that music does not affect people on an emotional or unconscious level, hallucinogens make one very subjective, and music can cause great variance in ones condition. Don't listen to anything you don't listen to normally. I personally preferr something calm (like pink floyd), but others listen to what they like (even something as drastic as slayer or sepultura). The key here is not to listen to something that will make you uncomfortable. Interestingly enough, steady, regular drumming (as mentioned in the DXM faq, among other places) is supposed to aid in the acheivement of out-of-body-experiences. Some techno (referred to as "trance") appears to be engineered with this in mind. I would recommend AGAINST attending a rave (or other club-like, loud-music, loud-bass scene) under the datura delerium. Not only would the public be a bad idea (remember, this is a drug that needs stimulus to cause hallucinations, and the public is a good place to find that), but its also completely illegal to be "publicly intoxicated" (at least in the states). Now, playing such music in ones home, perhaps with a friend (and of course, your sober companion), might be a good idea. Fourth, a sober companion can help avoid the onset of a bad trip by removing the offending condition (be it music, providing stomach ache medicine...) from the set/setting, and calming the user. It is a VERY good idea to have a sober companion when using hallucinogens, especially Datura. People often referr to "set" and "setting." Both are covered above, but again, remember that where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing have GREAT influence on you while under the influence of psychedelics. 8 d2) General Theory Behind This Section The general idea behind this section is this: If atropine and scopolamine cause a delerium, then what causes that delerium, physically? If the effects in the brain are physical in nature, then a reversal of the physical effects should cause the delerium to end. Be advised, this is entirely theoretical. I am still uncertain what exactly causes the delerium (I'm fairly certain scopolamine has a bigger part in it than atropine), and this section would only block one of the effects of the anticholinergenic. The other is the "block [of] the autonomic ganglia." I would advise (of course don't use this stuff yet) that if you have to use this (and it is fairly harmless if it doesnt work, albeit a tad bit expensive), just to wait it out until this section is finished. I will find out just what the autonomic ganglia do, and see if there is a way to stop the atropine/scopolamine effect from blocking it. Note, also, that I am not including the two chemicals used in treating overdosage on atropine (physostigmine and slicylate). I am unsure not only of dosages required, but I also do not know of their physical effects on the brain. When I fully understand the chemistry of all the drugs involved in this document, I'm sure there will be a section on the two of them. Also, they may not be available to the public at all. It would be better to create a "remedy" that was easy to acquire. 8 d3) Overview of Chemicals Involved A good place to obtain some of the chemicals mentioned here is: Puritan's Pride Top Quality Natural Vitamins, Health & Beauty Aids (800) - 645 - 1030 200x 420mg Phosphatidyl Choline: US$25.40 The first chemicals we have involved are those in the Datura plant itself. As mentioned earlier, Datura has varied levels of atropine and scopolamine. Also mentioned earlier, scopolamine is a direct depressant of the CNS. Atropine is a more powerful drug that instead works on receptors in the brain, blocking certain chemicals. Both, not only one of these drugs, have a different effect that has to be neutralized before the "trip" can end. Second, we have acetylcholine. The effects of acetylcholine in the brain are blocked by atropine (both at the neuromuscular junction and in the basal ganglion), and that effect (of atropine), too, has to be neutralized. Third, we have the chemicals being used to stop the trip. So far, only lecithin, choline, and vitamin B5 are being used. Choline and lecithin are combined in the body to produce acetylcholine. That isnt enough, however, especially if someone is panicking. Vitamin B5 is added to facillitate the process of combining the lecithin and choline. Whether it is combined fast enough, I do not know, but it is a good start. Niacin is probably also a good idea but I do not currently know the actions of niacin upon the brain. Niacin (coupled with a cold shower) is often used to stop an LSD or psilocybin trip. Fourth, we are going to need a chemical to stop the blockage, or to make sure at least some of the acetylcholine gets through. I do not know yet that chemical could do that. There are two possibilities for chemical #4. I doubt very much that there is a chemical that removes the blockage. It's much more likely that simply increasing the acetylcholine levels would work. Physostigmine works in this manner, by increasing the acetylcholine levels at the neuromuscular junction. With that in mind, it makes sense that the choline/lecithin/b5/DMAE stuff could work (although much more slowly). 8 d4) A Process for Stopping a Trip "Anticholinergenics primarily oppose the actions of acetylcholine at postganglionic cholinergenic nerve endings. They also block direct acetylcholine action on blood vessels and in the CNS; the muscarinic actions of other cholinergenic drugs are also opposed. In high doses these drugs also block the autonomic ganglia; none block the neuromuscular junction." So it seems that the acetylcholine is not used by the affected areas. More correctly, the acetylcholine is BLOCKED in the affected areas by the atropine. It seems the solution would be allowing those parts of the brain access to the acetylcholine. The first part of this procedure should probably involve putting some more acetylcholine in the body. This can be done the following way: One could take a sizeable dose (more than normal due to the fact that we are dealing with a situation that is full of excesses) of choline and lecithin. Choline and Lecithin are mainly harmless, and a dose of between 3 and 12 grams of choline and a slightly larger dose of lecithin could be taken easily. To facilitate the conversion of the two into acetylcholine, 1 or 2 grams of vitamin B5 should be taken (but I suppose it is optional). If diarrhea results, the dosage is too high. Both of these chemicals can be bought at your average health-food store (I found choline at the store down the street for $7.50/35g -- DMAE goes for 50x110mg/$6.50). This may only solve part of the problem. The problem at the heart of this may be in fact just the blocking of the receptors. Im not sure how to stop that, but there *has* to be a way to do it. Thus there is a second problem we have to deal with. That is the actual blockage of the "postganglionic cholinergenic nerve endings." I assume this can be done, but right now I don't have the information to come up with a way. Soon, I should have that. There may be yet another problem. The direct depression of the CNS by scopolamine. It might not require a stimulant, and since stimulants as a group are fairly harsh on the body, I would like to avoid that angle. However, CNS depression can make you miserable. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9) TREATMENT OF A DATURA OVERDOSE See Section Nine in Addendum for pre-written warning to submit to physicians upon admittance to hospital facilities. Be aware that the intense symptoms of Datura use may abate after 12-48 hours. "Vision disturbances may last up to a week." I personally had them for 3. Please tell your physician, in the event you are at a hospital following usage, that the following procedures are most likely the best route to a cure, AND that you have ingested high doses of anticholinergenic ("an-ty-kol-in-er-jen-ik") drugs. Remember, it is their job to make you well. They probably won't give you any trouble at the time. Afterwords may be a different matter. Again, I don't know the legality of Datura usage. I assume that you are going to be taking the patient to a hospital since an overdose is a very serious condition (even with the proper care). Do not give the victim aspirin under any circumstances. Induce vomiting. [If possible. Scopolamine is an antiemetic, and thus it partially inhibits vomit reflexes.] Propranolol can be used to regulate the heartbeat in the following doses: 2mg every 1/2 hour as needed up to 6mg/day for adults .5mg every 1/2 hour as needed up to 2mg/day for children Dexamethasone 1mg/kg i.v. may be used for hyperpyrexia. Physostigmine Salicylate should be used IMMEDIATELY, in a 2mg INTRAMUSCULAR injection, and should be continually used if the patient does not improve (more specific directions are in the packaging, and the PDR). Physostigmine is often referred to as "Antilirium." Physostigmine may cause a state of shock if too much is administered (resulting from buildup of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, characterized by seizures and delerium). Ironically, it is best treated with tropane alkaloids. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10) ADDICTION POSSIBILITIES I am under the impression that _anything_ can be psychologically addicting. However, the effects of Datura are somewhat unpleasant. Among Datura users, there is a general concensus that it is something that should only be used once, if at all. I dont see addiction happening. Atropine has no physical addiction properties. Scopolamine has no physical addiction properties. Regular usage of choline (for that matter, most nootropics) can result in a stimulant effect, and stopping that usage "cold turkey" can result in a bout of depression. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11) OTHER EFFECTS OF DATURA USAGE Some drugs that are used recreationally (Dextromethorphan being one of them) deplete receptors in your brain for several days afterwards. Atropine/Scopolamine is very active in the brain in places that control very important things to everyday life. Chronic usage (though I dont know why anyone would want to use this drug chronically) could result in either damage to those areas (the effects last a long time at high dosage, its reasonable to assume this could last a *very* long time at chronic levels) or a generally unhappy life for a long time. I would say never to use atropine/scopolamine more than 2 or 3 times a MONTH and never more than once a week. The pupil dilation is awful, and persists for actually about 3 weeks. People will remark about this as it is so pronounced. I do not know of any other effects. Jonathon Michael Doe Maintainer of many things including a green car and two green plants. .