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Deliriants | Dextromethorphan | Diethyl ether | Ketamine

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A dissociative is a drug which reduces (or blocks) signals to the conscious mind from other parts of the brain, typically, but not necessarily, limited to the physical senses. Such a state of sensory deprivation and dissociation can facilitate self exploration, hallucinations, and dreamlike states of mind which may resemble some psychedelic mindstates. Essentially similar states of mind can be reached via contrasting paths—psychedelic or dissociative. That said, the entire experience, risks and benefits are markedly different.

The primary dissociatives are similar in action to phencyclidine (PCP), and include ketamine and dextromethorphan. Also included are nitrous oxide (laughing gas), salvia divinorum, and muscimol from the amanita muscaria (fly agaric) mushroom.

Many dissociatives also have central nervous system depressant effects, thereby carrying similar risks as opioids to slowing breathing or heart rate to levels resulting in death, when using very high doses.

Their effects are characterized by intense feelings of depersonalization, derealization, and analgesia.


Pharmacological classes of dissociatives, and their general subjective effects

Entries marked with a # are naturally occurring.

NMDA receptor antagonists and sigma1 ligands

Kappa opioid receptor agonists

  • Salvinorin-A #, the active constituent of Salvia divinorum (diviner's sage)
    ibogaine (Weak / Complex mechanism of action)


Amanita muscaria constituents

  • Muscimol # GABA-A agonist, primary active constituent
    Ibotenic acid # NMDA agonist, metabolizes to muscimol
  • Muscarine # muscarinic ACh agonist, trace constituent, deliriant

These four groups of dissociatives have slightly different effects but also share similarities separating them from other classes of hallucinogens. They are markedly different from psychedelics such as LSD, where alert and fully conscious users experience cognitive distortion while simultaneously interacting with the "real world". Hallucinations from these dissociatives are generally only experienced in dark rooms or with eyes closed, unless at very high doses above what is normally consumed recreationally. Nitrous oxide has very different effects however, and even at low doses includes auditory distortions. Unlike with many other psychedelic chemicals, salvia users are generally not ambulatory and the experience is frequently dissociative. Often a very brief trance is entered, where the user experiences an intense and very realistic dream state. On the other hand, the effect of salvia on emotion has been reported to be less marked than that of true psychedelics.

Although muscimol does not usually cause normal hallucinations, it has a tendency to put the user to sleep, during which the user is able to have very vivid dreams with good dream recall.

See also

Home | Up | Alcohol | Alkyl nitrites | Antidepressants | Antipsychotics | Anxiolytics | Cannabis | Deliriants | Dissociatives | Hypnotics | Mood stabilizers | Mu-opioid agonists | Opioids | Phenethylamines | Psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants | Sedatives | Semisynthetic opioids | Stimulants

Drugs & Medication, made by MultiMedia | Free content and software

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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