Michigan Poison and Drug Information Center issues notification on effects and risks of psychedelic use – School of Medicine News
Michigan State Senator Jeff Irwin (County of D-Washtenaw) this month introduced a bill to decriminalize two psychedelic drugs. Last year, a city of Ann Arbor ordinance decriminalized the use of psychedelic drugs. Similar proposals are being considered to decriminalize psychedelics in other communities across the state.
The Michigan Poison and Drug Information Center at Wayne State University School of Medicine wants to make sure the public is educated about the risks associated with the use of psychedelics.
Many of these substances have toxic effects and can cause serious illness leading to hospitalization or death in people with underlying heart and neurological conditions. The large variation in the metabolic rate of consuming these compounds puts some people at high risk for drug and food interactions. Studies suggest that patients with mental health problems who use psychedelics are more likely to suffer from thoughts of harming and killing themselves, or from so-called “bad trips”. It manifests as fear, conflicting hallucinations, severe anxiety, confusion, and paranoia. Although rare, death can occur from the combined use of these substances and other agents, such as alcohol and some prescription drugs.
Symptoms associated with the use of psilocybe cubensis, known as ‘magic mushrooms’, and other related species of fungi may include dilated pupils, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, rapid heart rate and high blood pressure. Psychotropic effects can include hallucinations, euphoria, distorted perception and anxiety. Prolonged hallucinations and flashbacks have occurred months after use. Seizures, cardiopulmonary arrest and death have also occurred following use.
Ayahuasca is an herbal psychedelic containing the active ingredient dimethyltryptamine, or DMT. Ayahuasca also contains compounds known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs, which prevent the breakdown of certain chemicals (including serotonin), foods, and drugs in the gut. Due to the presence of DMT and MAOI in ayahuasca, people using antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa) and others, or those using methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA are at higher risk of side effects. effects such as seizures and cardiovascular toxicity. Using ayahuasca with other medicines used to treat attention deficit disorder, pain, weight loss, high blood pressure, and other health problems can cause serious side effects. Many foods and alcoholic beverages, such as beer and red wine, should not be consumed with ayahuasca.
Of all these substances, ibogaine is the drug of most concern. Ibogaine is a known cardiac toxin and in high doses it can cause nervous system cells to die. People with pre-existing heart disease are at a higher risk of disease and sudden cardiac arrest with the use of ibogaine. There are many cases of people developing abnormal heart rhythms requiring defibrillation and resulting in sudden death.
The Michigan Poison and Drug Information Center at Wayne State University School of Medicine is committed to providing information and education on poison prevention to the public. Adults who choose to use recreational substances should be aware of the risks. Accidental consumption by a child of any substance intended for adult use can cause serious and potentially fatal symptoms. Keep drugs, alcohol, and all recreational substances out of the sight and reach of children.
For more information, call the center at 1-800-222-1222.