Shutting the Door, as Flash calls it

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Posted by pinksharkmark ( on August 17, 2001 at 17:42:44:

In Reply to: Something else that should be added to that... posted by Margi on August 17, 2001 at 10:17:56:

Right. This is why the hallucinogens are considered "counter-addictive". Flash used an interesting analogy to describe the process a few months back, but I don't have the post number handy, so I'll lay it out again.

One of the first things that a molecule of psilocin will do when it nestles snuggly into its chosen synaptic cleft is to trigger a reaction in the brain that "shuts the door" behind it. Not only does the door shut on the sites that contain psilocin molecules already, but on all other sites anywhere in the brain that are capable of accepting similar molecules. This process is not instantaneous, but it does take place fairly rapidly... maybe over twenty minutes or half an hour or so.

This is why dosing with hallucinogens is an "all or nothing" thing. With alcohol or marijuana, if you think you are not yet where you want to be, you can have another beer or another joint, and another and another. But the hallucinogens take time to work their magic... sometimes as much as an hour or even longer from the time you take them till the time they start to work. By the time you discover that you have underdosed, it is too late to do anything about it. You will have to wait until next time around to adjust the dose. If you eat some more immediately, it is a complete waste of medicine, since by the time the new batch of molecules make it to your brain, all the doors are firmly shut and they will just mill around aimlessly whining and complaining.

These doors remain firmly shut until all the hallucinogenic molecules have broken down (around 18 to 24 hours) and then the doors gradually start to re-open. This is why veteran "acidheads" back in the days would only dose once a week or so. Some individuals can dose with only a three day break, others need as much as week. A good compromise for clusterheads is about five days.

This door-shutting mechanism precludes the use of ANY OTHER hallucinogen for that given period of time. That is to say, if you take some mushrooms Friday night, then take some LSD on Saturday night, the LSD will have no effect at all. What makes matters worse is that there are certain NON-hallucinogenic substances that will shut that same door. Methysergide (Sansert) and other ergot compounds such as ergotamine and dihydro ergotamine (DHE) will shut the door. This is one reason why we are forbidden to take both ergot compounds and triptans (Imitrex, Zomig, Amerge, Maxalt) within 24 hours of each other.

There are undoubtedly medications other than the ergot alkaloids that will produce this same "blocking" effect. It is likely that many and perhaps all of the medications that target serotonin receptor site activity will interfere with the action of hallucinogens in some way.

This is why it is best to be as free of medication as possible before trying the hallucinogen treatment.

Bottom line... Wait 5 days or so between mushroom doses, and don't take any "blocking" meds in that period of time either.


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