Dissociatives are a class of hallucinogen, which distort perceptions of sight and sound and produce feelings of detachment – dissociation – from the environment and self. This is done through reducing or blocking signals to the conscious mind from other parts of the brain. Although many kinds of drugs are capable of such action, dissociatives are unique in that they do so in such a way that they produce hallucinogenic effects, which may include sensory deprivation, dissociation, hallucinations, and dream-like states or trances. Some, which are nonselective in action and affect the dopamine and/or opioid systems, may be capable of inducing euphoria. Many dissociatives have general depressant effects and can produce sedation, respiratory depression, analgesia, anesthesia, and ataxia, as well as cognitive and memory impairment and amnesia.
Classes of dissociatives
NMDA receptor antagonists
κ-opioid receptor agonists
The effects of dissociatives can include sensory dissociation, hallucinations, mania, catalepsy, analgesia and amnesia. The characteristic features of dissociative anesthesia were described as catalepsy, amnesia and analgesia. According to Pender (1972), "the state has been designated as dissociative anesthesia since the patient truly seems disassociated from his environment." Bonta (2004) described dissociative anaesthesia as "... a peculiar anaesthetic state in which marked sensory loss and analgesia as well as amnesia is not accompanied by actual loss of consciousness." Both Pender (1970) and Johnstone et al. (1959) reported that patients under anaesthesia due to either ketamine or phencyclidine were prone to purposeless movements and had hallucinations (or "dreams") during and after anaesthesia. Some patients found the hallucinations euphoric while others found them disturbing.
At sub-anesthetic doses, dissociatives alter many of the same cognitive and perceptual processes affected by other hallucinogenic drugs such as mescaline, LSD, and psilocybin; hence they are also considered hallucinogenic, and psychedelic. Perhaps the most significant subjective differences between dissociatives and the classical hallucinogens (such as LSD and mescaline) are the dissociative effects, including: depersonalization, the feeling of being unreal, disconnected from one's self, or unable to control one's actions; and derealization, the feeling that the outside world is unreal or that one is dreaming.
- Tamminga, C. A.; Tanimoto, K.; Kuo, S.; Chase, T. N.; Contreras, P. C.; Rice, K. C.; Jackson, A. E.; O'Donohue, T. L. (1987). "PCP-induced alterations in cerebral glucose utilization in rat brain: Blockade by metaphit, a PCP-receptor-acylating agent". Synapse 1 (5): 497–504. doi:10.1002/syn.890010514. PMID 2850626.
- Snyder, Solomon H. (1980). "Phencyclidine". Nature 285 (5764): 355–6. doi:10.1038/285355a0. PMID 7189825.
- Giannini, AJ; Eighan, MS; Loiselle, RH; Giannini, MC (1984). "Comparison of haloperidol and chlorpromazine in the treatment of phencyclidine psychosis". Journal of clinical pharmacology 24 (4): 202–4. doi:10.1002/j.1552-4604.1984.tb01831.x. PMID 6725621.
- Giannini, A. James; Nageotte, Catherine; Loiselle, Robert H.; Malone, Donald A.; Price, William A. (1984). "Comparison of Chlorpromazine, Haloperidol and Pimozide in the Treatment of Phencyclidine Psychosis: Da-2 Receptor Specificity". Clinical Toxicology 22 (6): 573–9. doi:10.3109/15563658408992586. PMID 6535849.
- Giannini, A. James; Underwood, Ned A.; Condon, Maggie (2000). "Acute Ketamine Intoxication Treated by Haloperidol". American Journal of Therapeutics 7 (6): 389–91. doi:10.1097/00045391-200007060-00008. PMID 11304647.
- Giannini, A. James; Giannini, Matthew C.; Price, William A. (1984). "Antidotal Strategies in Phencyclidine Intoxication". The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 14 (4): 315–21. doi:10.2190/KKAW-PWGF-W7RQ-23GN.
- Giannini, A. James; Price, William A.; Loiselle, Robert H.; Malone, Donald W. (1985). "Treatment of Phenylcyclohexylpyrrolidine (Php) Psychosis with Haloperidol". Clinical Toxicology 23 (2-3): 185–9. doi:10.3109/15563658508990627. PMID 4057312.
- Tarter, RE; Ammerman, RT; Ott, PJ (1998). Handbook of Substance Abuse: Neurobaehavioral Pharmacology. NY: Plenum Press. p. 265. ISBN 0-306-45884-5.
- Pender, John W. (1970). "Dissociative Anesthesia". California Medicine 113 (5): 73. PMC 1501800. PMID 18730444.
- Johnstone, M.; Evans, V.; Baigel, S. (1959). "SERNYL (C1−395) IN CLINICAL ANAESTHESIA". BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia 31: 433–9. doi:10.1093/bja/31.10.433.
- Oduntan, S. A.; Gool, R. Y. (1970). "Clinical trial of ketamine (ci-581): A preliminary report". Canadian Anaesthetists' Society Journal 17: 411–6. doi:10.1007/BF03004705.
- Pender, John W. (October 1972). "Dissociative Anesthesia". California Medicine 117 (4): 46–7. PMC 1518731. PMID 18730832.
- Bonta, I (2004). "Schizophrenia, dissociative anaesthesia and near-death experience; three events meeting at the NMDA receptor". Medical Hypotheses 62 (1): 23–8. doi:10.1016/S0306-9877(03)00307-4. PMID 14729000.
- Virtue, RW; Alanis, JM; Mori, M; Lafargue, RT; Vogel, JH; Metcalf, DR (1967). "An anaesthetic agent: 2-orthochlorophenyl, 2-methylamino cyclohexanone HCl (CI-581).". Anesthesiology 28 (5): 823–33. doi:10.1097/00000542-196709000-00008. PMID 6035012.
- Mason, Oliver J.; Morgan, Celia J.M.; Stefanovic, Ana; Curran, H Valerie (2008). "The Psychotomimetic States Inventory (PSI): Measuring psychotic-type experiences from ketamine and cannabis". Schizophrenia Research 103 (1-3): 138–42. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2008.02.020. PMID 18387788.
- Lim, DK (2003). "Ketamine associated psychedelic effects and dependence." (PDF). Singapore medical journal 44 (1): 31–4. PMID 12762561.
- Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E.; Heekeren, K.; Neukirch, A.; Stoll, M.; Stock, C.; Obradovic, M.; Kovar, K.-A. (2005). "Psychological Effects of (S)-Ketamine and N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT): A Double-Blind, Cross-Over Study in Healthy Volunteers". Pharmacopsychiatry 38 (6): 301–11. doi:10.1055/s-2005-916185. PMID 16342002.
- Krupitsky, EM; Grinenko, AY (1997). "Ketamine psychedelic therapy (KPT): a review of the results of ten years of research.". Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 29 (2): 165–83. doi:10.1080/02791072.1997.10400185. PMID 9250944.
- Vollenweider, F; Geyer, MA (2001). "A systems model of altered consciousness: integrating natural and drug-induced psychoses". Brain Research Bulletin 56 (5): 495–507. doi:10.1016/S0361-9230(01)00646-3. PMID 11750795.