What Are Psychedelic Amphetamines?

What Are Psychedelic Amphetamines?Psychedelic amphetamines, also known as substituted amphetamines, are stimulant drugs in the amphetamine class that mimic the effects of psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin. Psychedelic amphetamines include dimethoxyamphetamine (DMA) and its analogues 2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromoamphetamine (DOB), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-chloroamphetamine (DOC), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI) and 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine (DOM). DMA, DOB, and DOM are Schedule I controlled substances, meaning that any manufacture, sale, or possession without a federal permit is illegal. DOC is currently unscheduled, although the federal government considers it to be an analogue of DOB so that possession can be prosecuted under the Federal Analogues Act. DOI is also currently unscheduled in the United States but may also fall under the Federal Analogue Act. DOI is unusual in that, despite being a substituted amphetamine it is not actually a stimulant.

Psychedelic amphetamines are sometimes sold as substitutes for LSD or even passed off as LSD. This practice can be very dangerous since, unlike LSD, it is quite possible to overdose on psychedelic amphetamines and fatalities have been reported. DOM enjoyed a brief period of popularity in 1967 amid the psychedelic drug scene in the Haight-Asbury district in San Francisco where it was known as STP (an acronym for “serenity, tranquility and peace”), but quickly fell out of favor in the wake of overdose casualties. Various psychedelic amphetamines continue to emerge at various times and locations, usually passed off as LSD.

Similarities between Psychedelic Amphetamines and LSD

Psychedelic amphetamines produce many effects that are similar to those of psychedelic drugs like LSD, including visual distortions and hallucinations, altered perception of time, increased mental clarity and increased perception of detail, sometimes known as “heightened reality.” These similarities can lead users to believe that they have taken LSD when in fact they have taken psychedelic amphetamines. This can be dangerous because, in addition to increasing the chance of overdose, attending medical staff in an emergency room may not know what they are dealing with and therefore may not know how to respond to an overdose.

Differences between Psychedelic Amphetamines and LSD

There are a number of significant differences between the effects of LSD and the effects of psychedelic amphetamines. Again, the most serious difference is the potential for overdose that may be fatal. While large doses of LSD can cause psychic disturbances and psychological problems there is no known case of a person dying from an LSD overdose directly. This is not the case with psychedelic amphetamines; although the exact toxicology of these drugs is not known, there is evidence that they can cause serious negative effects such as the following:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Chest pains
  • Vasoconstriction
  • Arterial vascular spasms
  • Convulsions
  • Respiratory depression
  • Respiratory failure
  • Coma
  • Death as a result of overdose

Overdosing on psychedelic amphetamines is also likely because a dose equivalent to that of LSD needed to achieve a perceptible “acid trip” may be enough to cause overdose. Furthermore, psychedelic amphetamines typically have a much slower onset of effects than LSD, so users who do not perceive the effects when they expect to, may take another dose and overdose on accident.

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