Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Coma Inducing Flowers Grown Next To Bio II

In class today John mentioned that there is a type of plant growing next to the Life Science Teaching Building called Angels Trumpet that is known for its hallucinogenic effects. I was surprised that something like that would be grown on campus so I did some research and found some crazy stuff! Angels Trumpet is scientifically known as Datura Stramonium, and causes anticholinergic effects due to its high content of tropane alkaloids (specifically atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscine). In simple terms, this drug cuts off the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is responsible for almost the entire parasympathetic nervous system. According to Diker, a common sign of Datura toxicity is coma! People affected by this drug experience dry throat, raised heart beat (up to 180 bpm), and intense hallucinations. One of the scariest parts of this is that "the effect of Datura is not distinguishable from reality, i.e., the patients have no idea that they are under the influence of a toxic substance" (Diker).

Paper with Datura case studies


I also found a terrifying narrative of a person who took this drug - Story

It is a scary thought that something so intense - a drug where over 80% of the studied patients had to go to the hospital - is growing somewhere I walk every day. I suppose I just never thought twice about the plants that I walked by on my way to class. Anyways, the moral of the story: don't do drugs kids.

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