Altered States of Consciousness

Mari Marques and Isabella Cozzarin

Psychoactive Drugs

A chemical substance that changes brain function and results in alterations in perception, mood, or consciousness

Stimulants

Stimulants are psychoactive drugs that induce temporary improvements in either mental or physical functions or both.
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Depressants

A drug that lowers neurotransmission levels, which is to depress or reduce arousal or stimulation, in various areas of the brain.
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Opiates

Substances that act on the nervous system in a similar way to opiates such as morphine and codeine
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Psychedelic Drugs

A psychedelic substance is a psychoactive drug whose primary action is to alter cognition and perception, typically by agonizing serotonin receptors.
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Tolerance

The power of enduring or resisting the action of a drug or a poison
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Withdrawal

The process of ceasing to take an addictive drug
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Interesting Facts

1. Worldwide, psychoactive drugs are responsible for 8.9% of all disability-adjusted life years lost. The main impact is not due to illicit drugs, but to tobacco (4.1%) and alcohol (4%).


2. A person may enter an altered state of consciousness through such things as sensory deprivation or overload, neurochemical imbalance, fever, or trauma. One may also achieve an altered state by chanting, entering a trance state, or ingesting psychedelic drugs.


3. Medical science has been able to measure consciousness as the product of the brain’s activity. There are four levels of brain-wave activity with corresponding Greek letters to designate each: beta, alpha, theta, and delta. The electroencephalogram (EEG) machine measures these brain-wave activities.