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Ignorance Is Eternal
post Nov 04, 2006, 11:20 AM
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Recently I've heard that Psilocybin mushrooms cause your brain to bleed. I rejected this immediately due to bias in favor of mushrooms, but now I am wondering very intensely. Are there any physically (and solely) detrimental side-effects of psychedelic mushrooms, especially ones relating to the brain?
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lucid_dream
post Nov 04, 2006, 08:28 PM
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any hallucinogen can cause brain damage if overused and abused. Your brain doesn't bleed, but neurons will die. If you experience lack of motivation or other undesirable side-effects, then you should have the sense and self-control to stop abusing and choose a better course of action.
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Ignorance Is Eternal
post Nov 05, 2006, 07:48 PM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Nov 04, 2006, 08:28 PM) *

If you experience lack of motivation or other undesirable side-effects, then you should have the sense and self-control to stop abusing and choose a better course of action.


I've only taken hallucinagens once, and didn't take enough to hallucinate. This is all pre-experimental research.

With just one average dose, would there be any brain damage, the death of neurons or anything of the sort?
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m4x1m1n1o
post Feb 08, 2007, 09:01 AM
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QUOTE(Ignorance Is Eternal @ Nov 04, 2006, 08:20 PM) *

Are there any physically (and solely) detrimental side-effects of psychedelic mushrooms, especially ones relating to the brain?

I did take magic mushrooms few times in my life and I can assure you there are no side-effects!headache neither happy.gif
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LifeMirage
post Feb 08, 2007, 12:50 PM
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QUOTE
Recently I've heard that Psilocybin mushrooms cause your brain to bleed. I rejected this immediately due to bias in favor of mushrooms, but now I am wondering very intensely. Are there any physically (and solely) detrimental side-effects of psychedelic mushrooms, especially ones relating to the brain?


I would avoid such compounds at any cost until proper research and quality issues are resolved.
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simon
post Feb 27, 2007, 12:33 AM
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http://www.erowid.org/plants/mushrooms/mushrooms_faq.shtml#4
Psilocybin and psilocin are part of the tryptamine family (indole C8H7N & ethylamine side chain). Psilocybin is soluable in 20 parts water, while psilocin is only slightly soluable in water.9 They bear close resemblance to the neurotransmitter serotonin. How these substances work is still quite obscure. Primary effect seems to be the inhibition of neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine aka 5-HT), i.e. a 5-HT2A post-synaptic agonist that mimics the effects to 5-HT to put it in jargon. This is the working hypothesis for LSD-25 at the moment and it's probably true for psilocybin as well. These substances also present some cross-tolerance.

Psilocybin, psilocin and psilocybian mushrooms have very low toxicity - in tests with mice, doses up to 200 mg of pure psilocybin/kg of body weight have been injected intravenously without lethal effects (that would be 13 grams of pure psilocybin per average human (65 kg / 140 lbs). The ED50:LD50 ratio is 641 according to the NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects; compare this with 9637 for vitamin A, 4816 for LSD, 199 for aspirin and 21 for nicotine. According to Leo Hollister, Jonathon Ott, and John W. Allen, one would have to consume their body weight in fresh mushrooms or eat approximately 19 grams of the pure chemical substance to bring on death. As long as Psilocybin mushrooms are properly identified, poisoning is not a problem.
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maximus242
post Feb 27, 2007, 01:06 AM
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QUOTE(Ignorance Is Eternal @ Nov 05, 2006, 08:48 PM) *

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Nov 04, 2006, 08:28 PM) *

If you experience lack of motivation or other undesirable side-effects, then you should have the sense and self-control to stop abusing and choose a better course of action.


I've only taken hallucinagens once, and didn't take enough to hallucinate. This is all pre-experimental research.

With just one average dose, would there be any brain damage, the death of neurons or anything of the sort?


Almost anything can cause neuron damage on a small scale, however things like drugs are to be avoided like the plague if you wish to keep your intelligence. Ive seen brilliant minds be wasted away because of their inability to refuse peer pressure which lead them to taking drugs.

You definatly need to consider the source of what your taking, how do you know it has been properly manufactured in a pharmasutical environment?

Taking one average dose will not cause brain damage on any considerable level. It will be the equivilant of smaking yourself on the head with your hand a few times (yes that does kill neurons).

I think you are beginning to understand that these sort of things are dangerous for your body and if you respect your body - you will take care of it by having a well balanced lifestyle and staying away from things that would hurt your body.

Dont let yourself loose sleep over one time, the effects are to small to be noticed, if you bonk your head on anything - you loose neurons. But its when you do it multiple times that the real trouble starts. Your brain could become chemically dependant on the substance (an addiction) and you could also develop psychological conditions by constantly using hallucinations to escape the drama of reality. The change in the chemical makeup could also have an effect on how your neurons operate, to go indepth requires more research though.

Hallucinations alone are not inherintly bad, they have alot of intresting philosophical properties. But becareful, this is the 'dark' side of philosophy which can cause people to go insane.

I think the Robot said it best,

Danger! Will Robinson, Danger!
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lcsglvr
post Feb 27, 2007, 05:46 AM
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I agree with maximus.

You wonder why when NFL players retire they are, literally, dumb and no cognitive abilities? It's like they're in a mini-car crash each and every time they are hit (especially linemen).. sure they had a good time while they were playing, but at the expense of being idiots later on in life... it's sort of like doing drugs. You run that risk when you do drugs continuously.
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Orbz
post Feb 28, 2007, 07:15 PM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Nov 05, 2006, 12:28 PM) *

any hallucinogen can cause brain damage if overused and abused. Your brain doesn't bleed, but neurons will die. If you experience lack of motivation or other undesirable side-effects, then you should have the sense and self-control to stop abusing and choose a better course of action.


Serotonergic agonists (hallucinogens) actually have neuroprotective effects in situations where NMDA antagonists are given. They are also good migraine relievers.
I have yet to see a study showing neurotoxic effects of either psilocybin or LSD. Do you know of any?
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lucid_dream
post Feb 28, 2007, 07:41 PM
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QUOTE(Orbz @ Feb 28, 2007, 07:15 PM) *
I have yet to see a study showing neurotoxic effects of either psilocybin or LSD. Do you know of any?


I have my own anecdotal evidence from heavy drug users I've known, and also the following from Pubmed:


Int J Addict. 1981 Apr;16(3):527-40. Links
Multiple drug abuse involving nonopiate, nonalcoholic substances. II. Physical damage, long-term psychological effects and treatment approaches and success.

* Kornblith AB.

A review of the literature of multiple drug abuse involving two or more drug categories where at least one is a nonopiate, nonalcoholic substance (MDA NONA) suggested the possibility that sedative-hypnotics were the culpable agent for neuropsychological deficits in this group. Individually, amphetamines and hallucinogens, primarily LSD, have been associated with long-term psychological disturbance. While many abusers of these drugs who develop psychoses have been documented to be emotionally disturbed prior to drug usage, indicating that the drug exacerbated a prepsychotic condition, other abusers have no such history, indicating a drug-induced psychosis. Current treatment approaches appear to be ineffective for MDA-NONA abusers, as indicated by poor retention rates and relapse to drug use.


Granted this study is not very convincing though, and it's surprising that, if psychedelics do cause brain damage, then why isn't there clear-cut evidence demonstrating this.


QUOTE(Orbz @ Feb 28, 2007, 07:15 PM) *
Serotonergic agonists (hallucinogens) actually have neuroprotective effects in situations where NMDA antagonists are given.


you're referring to this study?


Neuropsychopharmacology. 1998 Jan;18(1):57-62.Click here to read Links
Serotonergic agents that activate 5HT2A receptors prevent NMDA antagonist neurotoxicity.

* Farber NB,
* Hanslick J,
* Kirby C,
* McWilliams L,
* Olney JW.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Phencyclidine, ketamine, and other agents that block NMDA glutamate receptors trigger a schizophrenia-like psychosis in humans and induce pathomorphological changes in cerebrocortical neurons in rat brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that a complex network disturbance involving multiple transmitter receptor systems is responsible for the neuronal injury, and it is proposed that a similar network disturbance is responsible for the psychotomimetic effects of NMDA antagonists, and might also be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. In the present study we present evidence that serotonergic agents possessing 5HT2A agonist activity prevent NMDA antagonist neurotoxicity in rat brain. It is proposed that 5HT2A agonists may also prevent the psychotomimetic effects of NMDA antagonists. Among the 5HT2A agonists examined and found to be neuroprotective are LSD and related hallucinogens. The apparent contradiction in proposing that these agents might have antipsychotic properties is resolved by evidence linking their hallucinogenic activity to agonist action at 5HT2C receptors, whereas antipsychotic activity would be attributable to agonist action at 5HT2A receptors.




I haven't seen clear evidence of how LSD works or even if it has predominantly serotonergic agonist versus antagonist properties, though the above study claims that it's an agonist at 5HT2A. The thing about the above study is that NMDA antagonist neurotoxicity has only been demonstrated in rodents, but has never been demonstrated in primates, to my knowledge.
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Orbz
post Feb 28, 2007, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Mar 01, 2007, 12:41 PM) *

QUOTE(Orbz @ Feb 28, 2007, 07:15 PM) *
I have yet to see a study showing neurotoxic effects of either psilocybin or LSD. Do you know of any?


I have my own anecdotal evidence from heavy drug users I've known, and also the following from Pubmed:

*cut*

Granted this study is not very convincing though, and it's surprising that, if psychedelics do cause brain damage, then why isn't there clear-cut evidence demonstrating this.


The study mentions nothing about neurotoxicity. While I agree that psychological conditions can get worse on chronic administration of hallucinogens, that isn't brain damage.

QUOTE

you're referring to this study?

Neuropsychopharmacology. 1998 Jan;18(1):57-62.Click here to read Links
Serotonergic agents that activate 5HT2A receptors prevent NMDA antagonist neurotoxicity.

I haven't seen clear evidence of how LSD works or even if it has predominantly serotonergic agonist versus antagonist properties, though the above study claims that it's an agonist at 5HT2A. The thing about the above study is that NMDA antagonist neurotoxicity has only been demonstrated in rodents, but has never been demonstrated in primates, to my knowledge.


Yes.

I thought LSD was a partial agonist?
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lucid_dream
post Mar 01, 2007, 03:18 PM
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QUOTE(Orbz @ Feb 28, 2007, 08:36 PM) *
While I agree that psychological conditions can get worse on chronic administration of hallucinogens, that isn't brain damage.

From the reference above: "While many abusers of these drugs who develop psychoses have been documented to be emotionally disturbed prior to drug usage, indicating that the drug exacerbated a prepsychotic condition, other abusers have no such history, indicating a drug-induced psychosis."

I think it plausible that long-term drug-induced psychosis is indicative of brain damage. If drugs chronically screw you up mentally, then how else could it be mediated except through brain abnormality and brain damage?

QUOTE(Orbz @ Feb 28, 2007, 08:36 PM) *
I thought LSD was a partial agonist?

The studies are conflicting as to whether LSD is predominantly 5HT agonist or antagonist, and do not indicate, to my knowledge, that LSD's psychedelic effects are mediated through 5HT.

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Flex
post Mar 01, 2007, 11:50 PM
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"If drugs chronically screw you up mentally, then how else could it be meditated except through brain abnormality and brain damage?"

A change of perspective could seriously screw you up mentally. Tripping out on LSD could alterones perception of reality, and cause one to question reality as a whole--diving too deep into the mind can be a very dangerous thing. I know I for one can be taken to a very dark place when I think too much.
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Orbz
post Mar 03, 2007, 04:49 AM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Mar 02, 2007, 08:18 AM) *

QUOTE(Orbz @ Feb 28, 2007, 08:36 PM) *
While I agree that psychological conditions can get worse on chronic administration of hallucinogens, that isn't brain damage.

From the reference above: "While many abusers of these drugs who develop psychoses have been documented to be emotionally disturbed prior to drug usage, indicating that the drug exacerbated a prepsychotic condition, other abusers have no such history, indicating a drug-induced psychosis."

I think it plausible that long-term drug-induced psychosis is indicative of brain damage. If drugs chronically screw you up mentally, then how else could it be mediated except through brain abnormality and brain damage?

QUOTE(Orbz @ Feb 28, 2007, 08:36 PM) *
I thought LSD was a partial agonist?

The studies are conflicting as to whether LSD is predominantly 5HT agonist or antagonist, and do not indicate, to my knowledge, that LSD's psychedelic effects are mediated through 5HT.


If drug induced psychosis is indicative of brain damage, then is all psychiatric illness caused from brain damage? Is anxiety, depression, adhd, addiction, schizophrenia a form of brain damage, brain abnormality, neurotansmitter abnormality, abnormal connectivity between neurons??? I'd say that none of them, have at their core, brain damage as the underlying reason for the problem, or even that brain damage is necessarily there.

Just checked on LSD its definitely a 5-HT partial agonist. The 'antagonist' effects are actually 5-HT1 autoreceptor agonist effects leading to a decrease in serotonin release.
Still trying to figure out how it causes its main psychological effects.
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lucid_dream
post Mar 03, 2007, 11:09 AM
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Flex, good point, but I'm thinking of chronic users versus non-users or non-chronic users. Drug-induced trips are most profound when you first start, but then you build tolerance or habituate to the drug, and further drug use is paralleled with diminished psychedelic/psychic components. Which suggests that the insights (via change of perspective) would most likely be gained when first using the drug, and not by chronic use when the psychedelic and change-of-perspective effects are diminished. LSD and shrooms might not fit this category since I don't know whether the psychedelic effects diminish with continued LSD and shroom usage. I expect that they would, though.

Orbz, schizo and other mental disorders are certainly brain abnormalities and sometimes occur in parallel with brain damage (in terms of reduced number of neurons in certain regions of the brain). You cannot place anxiety and depression on a par with the long-term mental deficits experienced by many chronic drug users, which includes reduced intellectual capacity, reduced motivation, and memory deficits. These deficits are brain abnormalities which are plausibly due to brain damage. Functional imaging studies are interesting to look at too, because they confirm that chronic drug users have all types of functional abnormalities, like reduced BOLD response and overall brain activation. It is plausible to infer that these abnormalities are due to brain damage.

Btw, can you provide a reference for your last claim since the literature I read was conflicting?
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Flex
post Mar 03, 2007, 11:04 PM
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I do believe that the effects of shrooms and LSD deminish with chronic use, however, it is my experience that although the peak of the high may not be at the same level as non-chronic users, the effects are actually more profound. The more I use psychedelics, the more I find myself having psychedelic flashbacks of sorts (if I stare at the ceiling or floor it will begin to move just as on psychedelics).

I believe that there is definitely a correlation between psychedelics and manic depression. I have no real scientific understanding of the matter, but maybe some one out there could place some validity on this claim. Perhaps psychedelics cause lithium levels to deplete?
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Orbz
post Mar 04, 2007, 02:37 AM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Mar 04, 2007, 04:09 AM) *

LSD and shrooms might not fit this category since I don't know whether the psychedelic effects diminish with continued LSD and shroom usage. I expect that they would, though.


The hallucinogenic effects rapidly habituate.

QUOTE

Orbz, schizo and other mental disorders are certainly brain abnormalities and sometimes occur in parallel with brain damage (in terms of reduced number of neurons in certain regions of the brain). You cannot place anxiety and depression on a par with the long-term mental deficits experienced by many chronic drug users, which includes reduced intellectual capacity, reduced motivation, and memory deficits. These deficits are brain abnormalities which are plausibly due to brain damage.

Yes, but they do not necessarily involve brain damage, I'll accept brain abnormality but not brain damage.
I was mentioning depression and anxiety in relation to the idea that if the brain doesn't work properly then it must be damaged, which it clearly doesn't need to be. The major underlying problem of addiction does not need to be explained by brain damage (although there most likely is some, I've yet to see a non-correlational study in humans), brain changes, certainly.

Why can't I place addiction on par with anxiety and depression? Many dependent users have co-morbid anxiety, depression and bipolar; I consider addiction, anxiety and depression as mental health issues; and they can have similar symptoms, problems, and solutions.

QUOTE

Functional imaging studies are interesting to look at too, because they confirm that chronic drug users have all types of functional abnormalities, like reduced BOLD response and overall brain activation. It is plausible to infer that these abnormalities are due to brain damage.

I agree, but these studies are correlational.

QUOTE

Btw, can you provide a reference for your last claim since the literature I read was conflicting?


Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1998 Apr;136(4):409-14. Related Articles, Links
Agonist activity of LSD and lisuride at cloned 5HT2A and 5HT2C receptors.
Egan CT, Herrick-Davis K, Miller K, Glennon RA, Teitler M.

Nichols, David E. (2004). "Hallucinogens". Pharmacology & Therapeutics 101 (2): 131-81. page 142
can be found at- http://www.erowid.org/references/refs_view...howDoc1&ID=6318
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lucid_dream
post Mar 04, 2007, 10:53 AM
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thanks for the ref. I'm not thinking of symptoms associated with addiction, which include bizarre drug-seeking behaviors. I'm thinking about intellectual, motivational, and memory dysfunction, which is completely different. Granted, there is a lack of hard data showing causation (instead of correlation) between chronic drug use and these mental deficits, but my anecdotal evidence of many chronic users I've known who clearly have these deficits (which does not necessarily rule out correlation), coupled with chronic users testimony from sites like Yahooka who complain about these deficits and sometimes attribute it to their chronic drug use, are enough to convince me that chronic psychedelic drug use has a non-trivial probability for causing brain damage, either at the network, single neuron, or sub-neuronal level, that is responsible for said mental deficits. Also, with many drugs, purity is not guaranteed, which means that additional, possibly neurotoxic chemicals are taken into the body that having nothing to do with the drug per se, and which means that any drug, taken too much, can result in brain damage. The amounts of the drug required to cause this may be well above the norm, but there are always going to be some people who go overboard with their drug use and do serious damage to themselves. Even drinking too much water can cause brain damage and can be fatal. Are you claiming that chronic psychedelic use is safer than drinking a glass of pure water?
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Orbz
post Mar 05, 2007, 07:21 PM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Mar 05, 2007, 03:53 AM) *

thanks for the ref. I'm not thinking of symptoms associated with addiction, which include bizarre drug-seeking behaviors. I'm thinking about intellectual, motivational, and memory dysfunction, which is completely different. Granted, there is a lack of hard data showing causation (instead of correlation) between chronic drug use and these mental deficits, but my anecdotal evidence of many chronic users I've known who clearly have these deficits (which does not necessarily rule out correlation), coupled with chronic users testimony from sites like Yahooka who complain about these deficits and sometimes attribute it to their chronic drug use, are enough to convince me that chronic psychedelic drug use has a non-trivial probability for causing brain damage, either at the network, single neuron, or sub-neuronal level, that is responsible for said mental deficits.

Could it be that the narrowing of behaviour arising from the bizarre drug seeking behaviour (a motivation problem) leads to a reduction in use of other cognitive skills such as intelligence and memory in a use it or lose it situation? When your whole life is consumed around finding drugs and taking them, how much is left over for other mental faculties? I know some incredibly intelligent post methamphetamine abusers.
Just one possibility of course another is that methamphetamine actually destroys neurons or creates long term changes in those areas.

QUOTE

Also, with many drugs, purity is not guaranteed, which means that additional, possibly neurotoxic chemicals are taken into the body that having nothing to do with the drug per se,

That's a separate issue.
QUOTE

and which means that any drug, taken too much, can result in brain damage.

Everything is a drug, as the world is made up of chemicals. All things have their safe and adverse effect doses. The example you give below of water is an example, too much water kills you, yet its perfectly safe most of the time. Event table salt has a material safety data sheet with LD50s.

QUOTE

The amounts of the drug required to cause this may be well above the norm, but there are always going to be some people who go overboard with their drug use and do serious damage to themselves. Even drinking too much water can cause brain damage and can be fatal. Are you claiming that chronic psychedelic use is safer than drinking a glass of pure water?

No, are you?
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Orbz
post Mar 05, 2007, 07:23 PM
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I'm not disagreeing with the fact that chronic drug use alters people somehow, only that this is necessarily caused by brain damage.
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lucid_dream
post Mar 05, 2007, 10:38 PM
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I think we can agree that it causes brain changes. Whether it's damage depends on how you define it. The suggestion I was originally making above was that too much drugs is not a good thing and can lead to brain damage. My reference to too much water ingestion causing brain damage was to point out that my original suggestion could be interpreted in a trivial sense, and that anything in excess can cause brain damage or death. Whenever you do any drugs, you have to rely on self-feedback and not go overboard with taking excess drugs. If you notice cognitive or memory impairment due to drug use, days or weeks after taking the drug, then that should be an indication that it's probably a good idea to back off or tone down the drug use, or else risk permanently damaging your brain and mental health.
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