A psychoactive drug is a chemical substance which, when consumed, can affect the brain and nervous system, resulting in an altered mental state. The potent effects of psychoactive drugs have led some to be used as prescription medicines, while others have become some of the most widely prohibited illicit substances in the world. So what are the effects of drugs on the brain? What are the different types of psychoactive drug, and how do these various chemicals affect behaviour, consciousness, mood, perception, and the functioning of the brain?
Hallucinogens alter perception and cause hallucinationsShow moreShow less
Hallucinogenic substances interact with receptor molecules in the brain, including acetylcholine, glutamate, and serotonin receptors, with a range of effects from perceptual changes to hallucinatory experiences.
Major psychedelic drugs include LSD, DMT, mescaline, and psilocybin. These drugs primarily act on serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter which affects many areas of brain function, including cognition, learning, and memory, but is most commonly associated with rewarding feelings of happiness and contentment. By acting on serotonin receptors and thus influencing the complex neurochemistry of serotonin, psychedelic drugs can trigger a myriad of changes to perception and consciousness, from trance-like states to flashbacks to psychotic episodes.
[P1] Psychedelic drugs act on serotonin receptors to alter consciousness.