The Toxicity of Recreational Drugs
Alcohol is more lethal than many other commonly abused substances
The Shuar tribes in Ecuador have for centuries used native plants to
induce religious intoxication and to discipline recalcitrant
children. By comparison, most North Americans know little about the
mood-altering potential of the wild vegetation around them. And
those who think they know something on this subject are often
dangerously ignorant. Over a three-week period in 1983, for example,
22 Marines wanting to get high were hospitalized because they ate
too many seeds of the jimsonweed plant (Datura stramonium),
which they found growing wild near their base, Camp Pendleton in
A dozen seeds of jimsonweed contain about 1 gram of atropine, 10
grams of which can cause nausea, severe agitation, dilation of
pupils, hallucinations, headache and delirium. Tribal groups in
South America refer to datura plants as the "evil eagles."
Of approximately 150 hallucinogenic plants that are routinely
consumed around the world, those with atropine have the most
pernicious reputation—something these Marines discovered the
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You say that heroin has an effective dose to lethal dose ratio of five, however I have read in many sources that such a calculation for opioids (which includes opium, morphine, heroin, and perscriptio...
posted by Stephen Smith
August 12, 2009 @ 12:08 PM
A casualty due to the toxicity of LSD would certainly be newsworthy, considering that there are no reported deaths from LSD overdose.
Though it is in passing, implying that one can overdose on LSD is ...
posted by John Trombetta
August 12, 2009 @ 1:27 PM
Interesting article, but I believe you should check what you say is a toxic dose of atropine. You probably mean milligrams rather than grams.
posted by Kevin McCullough
August 12, 2009 @ 5:55 PM
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