Talk:Psychoactive drug/Archive 2

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Hello ... Modafinil is not a orexin agonist ... there is no orexin agoniste know.

Userbox for users who experiment with psychoactive drugs

I'm not sure if this is the most appropriate place for such, however, I've created a userbox for those users who experiment with psychoactive drugs. Include {{User:Tylerdmace/Userboxes/drugexp}} to use. Apologies if this was better suited somewhere else.

--Tylerdmace 10:26, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

New Section on being High

Could we add a section (or another page) for things typically done while high on psychoactive drugs. The alcohol page hase references to its use being common while watching sporting events. I know a lot of people while high on these drugs like to do things such as perform plays, listen to music, paint, etc. I think adding a section would better illustrate the culture of the drug to someone not familiar with it. -- 01:04, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

This sort of content belongs in recreational drug use, as the experience of getting high is more specific to recreational drug use than psychoactive drug use in general. Steve CarlsonTalk 05:07, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


Another note, would it be the time to change or remove the Assortment of psychoactive drugs -picture? I don't find it on a par with the set quality standards. -- 10:43, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Could you be a little more specific in your critique, and perhaps offer suggestions towards an improved photo? (i.e. too grainy, too many items, too few items, etc) --Thoric 16:51, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I like the picture, but maybe it is a little fuzzy. Also, it just seems a little scattered... something a bit more organized would be nice. Maybe taking several pictures would also be a little prettier. I suspect, however, that the author of the original comment is upset that it's mostly illegal psychoactives when there are many possible legal psychoactives that could be photographed as well. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jolb (talkcontribs) 19:54, 15 February 2007 (UTC).
I would not say they are mostly illegal. There are seven pharmaceuticals, six illegal substances (albeit only four of them are uniquely illegal -- there are two different forms of cocaine, and two different forms of cannabis), and four non-illegal, non-medical psychoactives. I would say it is a decent balance, except that a lot of substances are missing. It is a little fuzzy. --Thoric 20:37, 15 February 2007 (UTC)


I feel that this article is a bit lacking... It needs a better discussion of the effects of different psychoactives, their uses, and more info on neurochemistry. Jolb 15:49, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I made a start on expanding the article. I reorganized the sections and added the subsections that I felt were missing. The new subsections are addiction, current uses, and effects of drugs. They're still lacking, but all those sub-sections should be expanded to make this a more complete article. Jolb 22:09, 27 February 2007 (UTC)


moved from user talk:LetTheSunshineIn
Psychedelic are not addictive because they do not stimulate the dopaminergic system (and really you can't find anybody who is addicted to acid). the word pleasurable is a bit vague and misleading. Movies are not addictive in the same way that psychedelics are not addictive because eventhough they are enjoyable they do not produce pleasure, in contrast to sex and cocaine. saying that all drugs can cause psychological addiction and is very misleading if not political. If psychedelics would stimulate the dopaminergic system the concept of a bad trip would be inplausible (you never heard of anyone having a bad trip on cocaine or meth, have you?). Let The Sunshine In 17:13, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I disagree, and I think if you read the two sources I cited, you'd agree with my view. Psychedelics are psychologically addictive, not physically addictive, and there ARE people addicted to psychedelics (I could refer you to some, if you want.) They're addicted in the same way people are addicted to sex, gambling, masturbating, video games, exercising, television, and anything else people enjoy. All these things stimulate the brain's dopaminergic reward system. Flying kites stimulates the dopaminergic reward system. Psychedelics are less psychologically addictive than other drugs that aren't physically addictive (like marijuana) because of the bad trip; psychedelics can inspire visions that aren't pleasurable. Jolb 19:02, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Hi. psychological addiction = psychological withdrawal symptoms, i.e. cravings, irratability, depression etc.
If you include minor indirect dopamine releaes, then yes, everything is this world may be addictive, but this isn't addiction. LSD exerts its effects by seretonin receptors agonism, not by dopaminergic stimulation. LSD is not pleasurable, it may be, but it isn't by definition. however, it is enlightening, and this is the reason people use it (for the record, I have never tried LSD); You can compare it to watching a movie: watching a movie isn't pleasurable by definition - you may watch a crapy movie, with Paris Hilton, and you may watch stanley Kubrick. If you claim that LSD is addictive, you should also claim in the article about kites that they are addictive. The fact that there is some extremely minor potential for addiction doesn't make something addictive. Like I said before psychological addiction = psychological withdrawal symptoms. Let The Sunshine In 19:15, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
So what do you say about sex addiction or gambling addiction or even marijuana addiction? Jolb 19:22, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
All have psycological withdrawal symptoms. for the first two the most obvious withdrawal symptom is craving, and for the latter there is a spectrum of mild withdrawal symptoms after heavy chronic use (irratability, anorexia, insomnia etc). Let The Sunshine In 19:26, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
LSD exhibits those withdrawal effects, too. Jolb 19:27, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
No it doesn't. moreover, people can't take LSD (and other classic psychedelics) on a daily basis due to tachyphylaxis. Let The Sunshine In 19:29, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I got around to researching some citations.

  • Evidence for a hallucinogen dependence syndrome developing soon after onset of hallucinogen use during adolescence.
Stone AL, Storr CL, Anthony JC.
University of Washington School of Nursing, Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, Seattle, USA.
This study uses latent class methods and multiple regression to shed light on hypothesized hallucinogen dependence syndromes experienced by young people who have recently initiated hallucinogen use. It explores possible variation in risk. The study sample, identified within public-use data files of the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), consists of 1186 recent-onset hallucinogen users, defined as having initiated hallucinogen use within 24 months of assessment (median elapsed time since onset of use -12 to 13 months). The recent-onset users in this sample were age 12 to 21 at the time of assessment and were between the ages of 10 and 21 at the time of their first hallucinogen use. The NHSDA included items to assess seven clinical features often associated with hallucinogen dependence, which were used in latent class modelling. Latent class analysis, in conjunction with prior theory, supports a three-class solution, with 2% of recent-onset users in a class that resembles a hallucinogen dependence syndrome, whereas 88% expressed few or no clinical features of dependence. The remaining 10% may reflect users who are at risk for dependence or in an early stage of dependence. Results from latent class regressions indicate that susceptibility to rapid transition from first hallucinogen use to onset of this hallucinogen dependence syndrome might be influenced by hallucinogenic compounds taken (for example, estimated relative risk, RR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.6, 7.6 for users of MDMA versus users of LSD). Excess risk of rapid transition did not appear to depend upon age, sex, or race/ethnicity.
PMID: 17019896 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

(bolds mine)

  • Who is becoming hallucinogen dependent soon after hallucinogen use starts?
Stone AL, O'Brien MS, De La Torre A, Anthony JC.
University of Washington, School of Nursing, Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, Seattle, WA 98195, United States.
This study, based upon epidemiological survey data from the United States (U.S.) National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) from 2000 to 2001, presents new estimates for the risk of developing a hallucinogen dependence syndrome within 24 months after first use of any hallucinogen (median elapsed time approximately 12 months). Subgroup variations in risk of becoming hallucinogen dependent also are explored. Estimates are derived from the NHSDA representative samples of non-institutionalized U.S. residents ages 12 and older (n=114,241). A total of 2035 respondents had used hallucinogens for the first time within 24 months prior to assessment. An estimated 2-3% of these recent-onset hallucinogen users had become dependent on hallucinogens, according to the NHSDA DSM-IV computerized diagnostic algorithm. Controlling for sociodemographic and other drug use covariates, very early first use of hallucinogens (age 10-11 years) is associated with increased risk of hallucinogen dependence (p<0.01). Excess risk of developing hallucinogen dependence was found in association with recent-onset use of mescaline; excess risk also was found for recent-onset users of ecstasy and of PCP. This study's evidence is consistent with prior evidence on a tangible but quite infrequent dependence syndrome soon after the start of hallucinogen use; it offers leads that can be confirmed or disconfirmed in future investigations.
PMID: 16987612 [PubMed - in process]

(bolds mine)

I realize that PCP is a different breed of psychedelic, but mescaline is closely related to LSD.

  • Order of onset of substance abuse and depression in a sample of depressed outpatients.
Abraham HD, Fava M.
Department of Psychiatry, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
Drug abuse has been thought to cause depression, or to serve as a form of self-medication for depression. Our objective was to examine whether specific types of drug abuse preceded or followed the onset of depression. A retrospective, blinded case-controlled assessment of the drug and depressive history of depressed outpatients was conducted. Three hundred seventy-five patients with major depressive disorder were evaluated for comorbid drug dependence using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID). They were selected from the psychiatric outpatient department of a metropolitan teaching hospital and grouped into homogeneous classes of drug dependence including alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine, LSD, hypnosedative, opiate, and polysubstance use. We determined the percent of depressed patients with each specific type of drug abuse, their age of onset of depression and onset of specific drug abuse, and the mean number of lifetime depressive episodes for each patient. We found that alcohol dependence followed the onset of first life depression by 4.7 years (P = .02, two-tailed). Among polydrug-dependent patients, each drug abused followed the onset of depression, except for LSD, which coincided with the onset of depression. Among polydrug users, cocaine dependence occurred 6.8 years after the first major depressive episode (P = .007) and alcohol dependence 4.5 years after the onset of depression (P = .007). Opiate and sedative users had the least number of lifetime depressive episodes (3.7), and LSD and cocaine users had the greatest number (12.2). We conclude that alcohol and cocaine use in this sample of depressed outpatients conformed to a pattern of self-medication.
PMID: 9924877 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

(bolds mine)

If you still don't believe me, I'd be happy to refer some psychedelic addicts here to give you a testimonial. Jolb 04:30, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Some people can become addicted to anything. This is not evidence for the addictiveness of a substance. When placed on a scale of relative addictiveness, classic psychedelics (LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, etc) are at the very bottom -- the least addictive psychoactives known to man. Please examine this scale Relative Addictiveness of Various Substances. --Thoric 05:13, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I'd be happy if someone were to add in information about the addictiveness of different drugs. Psychedelics are most definitely not very addictive, but anything can be addictive. If you want to insert something that makes this more clear in the Addiction the section, feel free. The section definitely needs expanding. Jolb 05:25, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
In addition to Thoric's link, I find this one very useful. [1] It was published in the New York Times, and the danger rankings down at the bottom are very interesting. Jolb 05:27, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Thoric, I wouldn't say that psychedelics are the least addictive psychoactives. I bet there's some psychactive that just induces utter agony. For example, Naloxone induces opioid withdrawal. That couldn't possibly be more addictive than LSD. Jolb 05:31, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Well then you could say it is the least addictive drug of abuse. Let The Sunshine In 10:28, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
Good, I like this edit. Have you read over the two articles I left as references? I think that it would be appropriate to source your statement with that second source I left (the one about the Nosology, lol). Agreed? Jolb 16:37, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I believe that naloxone only induces pain in people for which opioids (including natural endorphins) are blocking. Naloxone given to someone not in pain should not cause any significant effect. Conversely, giving a strong dose of LSD to someone naive of its effects has the potential to induce several hours of horror -- a potential which remains even with those with a great deal of psychedelic experience. --Thoric 16:39, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
You're right. (Pubmed: 7996451.) However, I'm sure there must be some psychoactives that only induce pain. What about neurotoxins? They're technically psychoactive. Take for example Latrotoxin. Jolb 17:12, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Just to be clear, when I'm referring to psychedelic drugs I mean psychedelics, not hallucinogens (which the sources you cited generally concern). Dissociative drugs are rewarding (in the dopaminergic sense) and can be addictive, and entactogens are a whole other story. The addiction section right now doesn't make it clear enough that the addiction potential of classic psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Psylocibin, DMT etc) is minimal; it states that they are less likely to be addictive than cocaine, but cocaine is extremely addictive, which make LSD look addictive (not extremely addictive, but with high likelihood for dependence) which is not true. It should be stated that the addiction potenial of classic psychedelics is minimal. Let The Sunshine In 02:28, 12 April 2007 (UTC)


Hi, just a question: why isn't there a "filmography" (and "bibliography") section in this article? Is it in another article? I was thinking about films such as Naked lunch, Fear and loathing in Las Vegas, Trainspotting, Human traffic, Requiem for a dream, etc. Can I create a section here? Ajor 15:25, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

You mean like psychoactive drugs in popular culture? Let The Sunshine In 16:30, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, we could create a complete article about drugs in popular culture. Moreover, we can also create a "bibliography" and a "fimography" section in the article psychoactive drug with the principal films and books which are talking about drugs, documentaries and fictions. What do you think about that? Ajor 23:00, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
I know there are articles about Heroin in popular culture, and Psychedelics in popular culture, maybe there are others as well.. It is quite a feat to write such an article.. Let The Sunshine In 23:04, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

GA review


  • Expand "Current uses"
  • More refs for "Legality and ethics" as well as giving a more worldwide view of the subject eg alcohol in the Muslim religion and khat use in Africa.
  • More on pharmacology and classes of drug, you don't explain why drugs have stimulant or depressive effects on the brain.
  • Article is overall slanted towards recreational drugs and does not deal in depth with medical uses. Try discussing antidepressants and antipsychotics, their history and usage.

TimVickers 04:40, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Yay! It's a good article!Jolb 15:39, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
TimVickers - Some good suggestions, but I have some reservations that I would like to dialog about. I am leery about putting specific detail on any particular drug into this article unless it serves as an example to illustrate a more general point. Specific details about any single drug should be added to the article on that drug. In that spirit, I think info on khat use in Africa and the muslim faith and alcohol belong, respectively, in the articles on khat and alcohol (and possibly, Africa and Islam).
There is a brief mention of how psychoactives affect the brain, which should be expanded, but I generally believe that specific pharmacological effects (i.e. stimulants, depressants) should be detailed in the articles on those subjects. The brain and nervous system and its interface to the body is a complex subject and there just isn't any way we can go into specific detail on this subject in this article without having to do the same for every drug, which would make this article unreadable.
There is a separate article for psych meds that goes into more detail on the drug classes you mention, but your point is well-taken and I agree that we need to move the detail on rec drugs to the article on recreational drug use. This article should include only general information that applicable to all psychoactive substances. Steve carlson 19:44, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

New Categories in Uses of psychoactive substances

Steve carlson, thanks for your edits. They're great.

I noticed you put certain categories under Uses of psychoactive substances: Painkillers, Psychiatric Medications, Recreational Drugs, and Ritual and Spiritual use. I think we should put something in that says that there are additional, less common uses for drugs, such as sleep aids like diphenhydramine and antitussives like dextromethorphan. Agreed? Jolb 03:00, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Let The Sunshine In 12:18, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
We already mention sleep aids under both "Psychiatric Meds" and "Rec Drugs", but maybe it isn't clear enough. They are referred to as "sedatives". As for dextromethorphan, it does have a psychoactive effect, but it's used primarily for its physiological effects (unless it's being used recreationally, of course). I'm open to adding a new category for it, but I'd like to have a few more examples to justify adding a whole category. Steve carlson 18:04, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

The article needs a Usage section for use as tools to study or augment the mind. MichaelSHoffman 21:28, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

So, distinct from entheogenic and recreational uses? OK, I think I see the validity in that - I occasionally see justifications for calling a syndrome a distinct pathology based on its response to a certain class of medications (i.e. bipolar disorder and lithium). Does anyone have any other content to contribute to this section? Steve CarlsonTalk 05:14, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Enter Jenkem

This substance made from fermented sewage in my opinion warrants mentioning in this article. It appears that journalists and Wikipedia editors so far have surmised its hallucinogenic effect as somehow related to methane. To me the easy connection lies with indole, and the scant trip references also seem to bear some resemblance to the ibogaine experience. __meco 22:07, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I agree that this is an interesting drug, but if we were to list every psychoactive drug on this page, it would be quite a long list. I think it would be more appropriate to mention this drug on the Hallucinogen and/or Dissociative pages, as it is a specific example of those types of drugs. Steve carlson 17:56, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Jenkem is an inhalant. Its reputed effects are much like Erowid trip reports of gasoline, propane and butane. --Thoric 23:42, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Relocation of sentence regarding use of psychedelics to treat addiction

Moved info about psychedelics being used to treat addiction to addiction section, changed language to reflect the tone of the cited sources (still being researched!)) -- Steve Carlson

Why move only the psychedelic specific reference and not the entire "addiction" sentence down to the addiction section? Your change appears to lend support to the POVs that drugs are bad and addictive, and that abstinence is the only treatment for addiction. Use of psychedelics to treat addiction has been around since the 1950s, and has shown much higher success rates than any other form of treatment. I don't see any reason to try and hide this. You appear to be slanting the tone of the article towards an anti-drug POV. With this subject matter in particular, a NPOV is crucial. --Thoric 23:13, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Funny, that's not my POV at all. The reason I moved that sentence to the addiction section is because it is disputable, still being researched and far from being accepted practice in medicine/psychiatry. Look at the sources that statement cites - they all claim that research is being done on the topic, not that this is the new silver bullet treatment for addiction. Pardon this assertion Thoric, I mean no insult, but I think your POV is showing! I just wanted the opening paragraph to be a good, non-biased summary of the topic and felt that was too controversial. I did think it needed to have some mention of addiction in order to be considered a good summary, so I tried to come up with some high-level content on the subject. I see your point, however, and think that adding a sentence on how some psychoactives (without getting into specifics) can be used to help treat addictions in that paragraph would help give a balanced perspective. My next edit will attempt to do this. --Steve carlson 00:12, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

It already had mention of addiction ;) I'm not trying to give you a hard time, but we really need to make sure that we do not perpetuate any anti-drug propaganda unless specifically attributing it to a particular group or organization. My POV is that the dangers of certain psychoactives are overstated by organizations like the DEA as compared to legal psychoactives and medications, and that their POV is deeply ingrained into the psyche of the vast majority of the population -- even including those who disagree with their actions. Essentially, people are fearful and suspicious of psychoactives which they have no personal experience with. As most people have experience with alcohol, it holds an unfair status as compared to other drugs which most people have no experience with yet have similar or even less abuse potential. To be able to use a drug responsibly, one must have guided experience with that substance. As the majority of the population has had guided experience with alcohol (from their parents, or from their peers), most are able to use alcohol responsibly. Provide any drug unguided to someone without any experience with it, and they are likely to experience difficulty (or serious harm). Until such time when all drugs are treated equal, and guided experience is available (or better yet, required) before one uses any of them, we must constantly remind ourselves that the status quo has a long, dark history. When I talk with people with drug addictions I have to look past the drug, past the addiction and see the person inside. I know that the drug use is only a symptom of a deeper underlying problem. It's easy to blame the drug, but the drug is not to blame. --Thoric 16:24, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like you and I are coming from the same place Thoric. I changed the content on addiction in the intro because it was technically incorrect (it implied that physical dependence leads to substance abuse, not the other way around). Did my latest edit address your concerns? Steve carlson 20:31, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Good job :) Looks like this article is getting a lot of long needed attention. My only comment would be that since what constitutes "abuse" is a matter of opinion, and that word should be used carefully (i.e. DEA opinion would be that recreational use of any susbstance beyond alcohol is abuse, and any use of a CSA Schedule I drug would also be abuse). --Thoric 04:06, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Navigation Template

(Moved from top of page) I'm not sure this is the ideal place to put this, but anyway... Considering the huge number of different "drug-culture" and "drug-related" pages on WikiPedia, would it not be a good idea to create a navigation template linking them all together? Like Template:Linguistics or Template:LGBT sidebar, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Anyone have any suggestions / want to help? STGM 07:48, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree, I think this would be a great addition to the article and get it that much closer to FA status. What should the top-level category be? Should it be this article, or should it be something higher-level like medicine or pharmacology? Suggestions? Steve carlson 02:25, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
It's really hard with something like this. What should "drug-related articles" include? Not just illegal drugs, because that excludes relevant legal psychoactives like alcohol, tobacco, and amphetamines. So that would entail including all psychiatric medicines, and that's a HUGE category. I don't know if it's really that relevant... I think it might be better to do it on smaller scales with different wikiprojects, including Wikiproject Medicine for psychiatric medications; Wikiproject Psychedelics, Dissociatives, and Deliriants for hallucinogens; etc. To include all psychoactive substances would be too sprawling. Jolb 03:12, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Legality and Ethics

The Legality and Ethics section has had an unreferenced tag for a month or two now. Even though it's pretty good and well-balanced, it's more important that we get sourced information in there. This may call for a complete downsize/rewrite to the section.

Anyway, I have no books/articles/whatever that talk about the legality and ethics of ALL psychoactive drugs, as most articles focus on certain sub-categories. So I'm requesting that we either rework what's already there and add citations or somebody completely rewrites one or two paragraphs and cites them. Thoric, you should be able to do a complete rewrite and have a bunch of good citations (I remember your comment about you having an entire library of books on psychoactive drugs.) Jolb 19:56, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Hrm, that's a tall order ;) That section is a little all over the place, and really you could write an entire article on the subject. I have a few books that would apply I think... (ISBN 0595147194) (ISBN 192976717X) (ISBN 0316107174) (ISBN 0395911524) (ISBN 0525247645) (ISBN 0393051897). What basic points do you think should be covered? --Thoric 20:42, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Well... I think that in the legality realm, we should have a "worldwide view" and talk about the UN's various resolutions (Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, Convention on Psychotropic Substances, United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) and then give snippits of information about various countries...
Ethics is trickier. First, you could try to encompass the strictly "ethical" issues; weighing their harms versus their benefits and then talking about peoples' human rights... Then you could talk about moral objections (a la Prohibition) and quote religious leaders.
On second thought, it might make more sense to talk about ethics before getting into legality.... But either way, those are the main things I think should be included. Jolb 01:17, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Uses of psychoactive substances

Why is there no "Anesthetics" category? Anesthetics are distinct from analgesics, as they usually don't act on the opioid systems but rather GABA or NMDA systems... See sevoflurane, desflurane, and ketamine. Jolb 20:14, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

When I created the "Uses" section, I was under the impression that angalgesics encompassed anesthetics. Do anestheics include analgesics as a subcategory? The article on analgesics seems to imply this. Either change the Painkiller section to Anesthetics and link appropriately, or create a new section for Anesthetics. Steve carlson 20:36, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

An "analgesic" primarily refers to a substance which reduces sensitivity to pain without causing a loss of consciousness. NSAIDs and acetaminophen do this without causing significant drowsiness. Opioids begin to do this well before they induce sleep. Local anesthetics do this at a local point of contact. General anesthetics most often involve a complete loss of consciousness. A dissociative anesthetic also generally causes a loss of consciousness at the levels required for blocking the level of pain required for surgery. --Thoric 20:50, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Thoric, that clarifies things a bit. Can all of the above be referred to as "Painkillers", or is "Anesthetic" a better title? Can I task you with revamping the "Painkiller" section, including giving it a more appropriate title, main article link, and incorporating the information from your above post? Steve carlson 23:23, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I would say that "Anesthetic" likely best encompases all of the psychoactive "painkillers" (at least according to the anesthesia page. As the analgesics such as the NSAIDs and acetaminophen are not considered to be psychoactive, we do not need to worry about them here. Nonetheless, we may want to consult our resident expert on painkillers ... JFW. --Thoric 04:17, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Removal due to lack of citation

I just noticed a removal of information with the reasoning that there was no citation, and the information seemed "fishy". This is not adequate reasoning for removal. The proper action is to tag that information with a citation tag, and perhaps go and find the citation yourself -- as in this case the periodical name was mentioned. I was able to find that the same publication released information from a study done by the bureau of Indian affairs, which showed even higher rates of illegal drug use among high school students (over 75%) [2]. --Thoric 16:01, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Legality and ethics

I redid the Legality and ethics section so that we can get rid of the only remaining glaring problem with the page, that unreferenced tag. Take a look at it and see if any changes are needed; once we do that, we should nominate this article for FA status.Jolb 23:41, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Featured Article Status

I think this article is pretty close to being Featured Article material. We should try and get it there. I think we might fail FA status, though. There are a few things we need to do:

1) We need to standardize our references. Some of them are in a different format from the others.

2) We need to expand certain sections:

Drugs as Status Symbols. We might even want to merge this section into another since it's so short.
Legality and Ethics. I tried redoing this, but I feel it might be a bit lacking. I only have like 4 sentences on the ethics of drugs. That could be expanded.

3) I still have a problem with Thoric's chart, and the mediation we got into never got anywhere (I feel that our moderator was lost.) I think the use of the word "psychedelic" represents someone's POV and we should change the term "Psychedelic" to something more appropriate like "Serotonergic Hallucinogens."

The chart's use of the word "psychedelic" is in line with the consensus of Wikipedia:WikiProject Psychedelics, Dissociatives and Deliriants. This issue should be addressed there before it is addressed here. --Thoric 15:38, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not trying to argue the point again, I'm trying to say that if we put the article up for FA status, then somebody might call POV on your chart. Jolb 00:50, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Other than that, I think we could easily get Featured Article status. But please try to help on those things. Jolb 14:38, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm nominating this article for Featured Article Status. I don't think the article will get it, but I hope to get good feedback that can tell us what it needs. Jolb 16:12, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Results of FA nomination

We got some definite feedback from the FA nomination. Reviewers said that:

  • Expand short sections.
A lot of one- or two-sentence sections
Article seems largely incomplete. Many sections are very short (1-3 sentences). I don't understand the purpose of the 'drugs as status symbols' section -- seems to me like it's content could go with either the 'recreational drugs' or 'ritual & spiritual use' sections.
  • Laundry lists.
  • Thoric's chart disputed.
The Venn diagram looks pretty but I have never seen it before and seems to make alot of arbitrary assumptions
The Venn diagram under "Subjective and behavioral effects" is very inaccurate.
a dubious chart.
The Venn diagram seems mostly accurate, although there are a few issues that should be addressed

Let's work on these. Jolb 03:59, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Some scholarly resources for you

Advances in the History of Psychology, a new blog run out of York University's Dept. of Psychology, has been developing some resources to help Wikipedians find high-quality peer reviewed material to augment their contributions. The latest, a capstone piece on the use of psychoactive drugs in the history of psychology, can be found here. (It links to several other related resources, with scholarly histories of psychedelics, LSD, marijuana, antidepressants, etc.) Also, if there's something in particular that you're looking for, and can't find, please let me know at my talk page. (I'm always looking for new ideas.) Cheers, JTBurman 05:13, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I liked the old intro

OK, so I wrote a lot of the previous version of the introduction, so I'm probably biased, but I liked it better than what's up there now. I thought it was clearer and less biased. This new version uses the weasel word "to some extent", and has a laundry list of drugs in this category that are not a representative sample of the entire population (i.e., it lists only recreational drugs). Not a huge fan of the cup of coffee pic, either, although I think the old picture might benefit from the inclusion of a cup of joe. I won't revert myself because I am wary of my bias, but if anyone else agrees, please be my guest! Steve CarlsonTalk 06:22, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree, and that is why I placed a snapshot of it on my talk page. --Thoric 15:00, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Harm chart


A couple of notes about this new chart. It is unclear what the colours in the chart refer to (they are not in the journal article; somebody has asked the chart author on the meta page). Second, the chart is based on data in the article; there is no chart in the article (there are in fact 3 dimensions, not 2). Secondly, the data are not based on the psychiatrists' rating, but a second panel of experts. Also, it doesn't seem appropriate to mention that it was published in the The Lancet in the caption, because the chart doesn't actually exist in the article, and it implies a degree of authority, which is may or may not deserve. --Limegreen 05:48, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree. That is not a good chart. However, in the original British House of Commons' Science Select Comittee report, which can be found here [3], there are a two graphs. Here are the two in the official report that we could use to replace that one:

File:Relative Harm chart.png

File:Expert-Psychiatrist ratings.png

You can find the keys for both of them in the House of Commons Report. They are at the very end of the report in pages 175-178. Jolb 16:37, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm glad to see that there is interest in finding information like this, because we all know that it's important for the facts to speak for themselves.
WriterHound 20:58, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
The second graph is not particularly relevant to the article here, as it deals more with the reliability of the new rating tool, which is a relatively uninteresting sideshow. The bar graph actually depicts more or less the same information as the graph that was on the page (it's the average of all 3 dimensions, and the other graph was a plot of 2 of the dimensions against each other). Curiously, and not something that seems to be addressed, is that each of the 3 dimensions correlates with the means displayed in the bar graph in excess of .92. Do I smell redundancy? Actually, the authors note that the largest discrepancy between the 3 is for cannabis, steroids, and tobacco.
The real problem with the other graph appeared to be the colours, but I've just worked out what they represent. From page 178 "one possible interpretation of our findings is that drugs more dangerous than alcohol might be Class A, cannabis and those below might be Class C, and drugs in between might be B". Thus, the red ones are the suggested Class A, etc. Having solved that slight dilemma, I don't think it would be too greater problem to reinstate the graph. --Limegreen 23:56, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
I say we use the bar graph. It's more easily understandable and clearer. Jolb 04:56, 6 September 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jolb (talkcontribs)

The bar graph is good, but it leaves out the contrast between harm and dependence, especially for alchohol and tobacco. The third dimension (social harm) can be included but it is not very interesting because of the strong correlation noted above. Social harm is also arbitrary because it includes cost of detention, etc. Heroin has a far greater social cost in the US than it does in the UK. The most obvious question about the rating is for solvents, which are basically poisons, and would logically have a much greater harm than was assigned. It would be nice to see the chart reviewed and expanded to include caffeine, chocolate, and sugar. In the UK Khat is legal. It would be interesting to see if other legal stimulants clustered in the same region. While it is very interesting to note that the most popular social drugs, cannabis, alchohol and tobacco are all clustered together in the upper left quadrant, that is, they are the most dependent and least harmful of all the drugs compared, there is nothing in the article that draws that conclusion. 02:19, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Some of your commentary is mistaken. Social harm is mostly not detention costs, but healthcare, property, and family cost, and the study was conducted in the UK, with UK panellists presumably, so the "cost" of heroin that you mention is not included. Which would also explain why Khat is depicted as legal on the chart. I also don't see any clustering of cannabis with tobacco and alcohol. There is explicit mention that cannabis is less harmful and less dependent than tobacco and alcohol. --Limegreen 05:40, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Draw a line from left to right across the middle of the chart, and a second line from top to bottom also across the middle of the chart, intersecting at harm=1.5 and dependence=1.5. You have now divided the chart into four quadrants, upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right. Upper right is most dependent and most harm. Lower left is least harm and least dependence. Upper left has only three drugs in it, alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco, and represents most dependent and least harm. 03:00, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Cannabis has a harm value of 1.51, so it is pretty tenuous to claim that it is in that quadrant (and splitting arbitrarily at some half way point is dubious anyway). Those three drugs are similar in that they have higher levels of dependence than would be expected from their harm (but the same is also true for Khat). In that respect I'd call them 'outliers', and they certainly don't seem to 'cluster'. --Limegreen 03:17, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Are you sure about harm being 1.51? Did you mean dependence? Harm looks to be about 1.00, maybe a little bit less and dependence about 1.51, putting it into the upper left quadrant. Buprenophene and Benzodiazepines are close, but appear to have harm above 1.5, meaning they are in the upper right quadrant, along with Methadone and Barbituates. What I meant by cluster is that I can draw a circle around them and have that circle not include anything else on the chart, if I put the center of the circle off to the left and above cannabis. And no I do not think there is any magic number for harm that can be used to decide if something should be illegal or not. However from a mathematics standpoint dividing charts into four quadrants is done all the time. 03:45, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
My bad. Harm is 0.99 and dependence is 1.51. I don't know about mathematics, but in the kind of woolly area of statistics where this is located, median (or arbitrary cut-point) splitting is frowned upon, especially where something as straightforward as a linear relationship is apparent. In which case you'd talk about them being outliers from a fitted regression line. You could put an elipse around them easily enough, but a circle would extend well off the chart. The only clear cluster to my mind is the yellow ones, which cluster, in that they are all quite close together, and have clear space between them and other points (the kind of thing I'd expect would fall out if you submitted the data to a cluster analysis). --Limegreen 04:41, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
We should not use any of these graphs or should not cite this publication. It is just a survey and as such highly biased. You would probably get the same results when asking random people on the street (interestingly, they have not done this as a control). It says more about how users of the respective drugs are seen by the public than anything about the actual drugs and their properties. This is completely unencyclopedic. Cacycle 13:09, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
There is probably a reason why the House of Commons picked psychiatrists and "independent experts" to rate these drugs--their field includes (or is) the study of drugs and drug dependence! They probably do know better than random people off the streets, and I'm sure they did a little research when they created that report... They didn't just bullshit 180 pages! Therefore, I think that the chart has, at least, a little value. Jolb 15:42, 11 September 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jolb (talkcontribs)
Having recently completed the type of survey that Cacycle suggests (not yet published), I can be pretty unequivocal that a random sample of people give nothing like the same results (their perceptions are very much shaped by which class the drug is in). I'm also assuming that Cacycle has not read the version of this work published in The Lancet, where the method section makes it quite clear that it is not just a survey. --Limegreen 22:08, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Can we archive some of this talk page?

This page is getting really long and a lot of the discussion is related to Thoric's chart, which is more or less a dead issue now. Would others support archiving some/all of this content? Where should we draw the line between active discussion and archived information? Steve CarlsonTalk 22:00, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

I was thinking much the same. I would suggest that perhaps there could be an archive explicitly labelled as containing the chart discussion. That way if people did want to go back over it, it's convenient enough to find, without having so much to swim through here.--Limegreen 22:29, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Liked your suggestion, so I went for it. Any discussion that was centered around the chart is now at Talk:Psychoactive_drug/Archive1. I did not delete or reorder anything. If anyone has serious issues with what I did, please raise them here. Steve CarlsonTalk 23:19, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

MAO image

Curious why MAO has such a nice pretty colorful image while the others don't. It's not very consistent. Can we get one that looks more like the others? Steve CarlsonTalk 06:15, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, it does kind of clash a little. That's the image that I happened to find for it. There may be more images for it at Wikimedia Commons. Feel free to look. WriterHound 17:03, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, I found one that didn't have a blue background, but still couldn't find anything consistent with the others. I vote to remove the image, since there are other rows on the table that don't have them either. Steve CarlsonTalk 21:17, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I created this image of MAO-A a while back, at least it has a white background. You may also want to use this structure for acetylcholine, the geometry is a little bit more accurate. Removing the image of MAO altogether might be a good idea as well; that would leave images for compounds only. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 21:35, 15 September 2007 (UTC)


I can't find any reference on inhalants. Why is that ? 12:47, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

You mean there is no mention of inhalants as a class of drugs in this article, or you can't find any external published/internet sources on inhalants? I took a quick look at the article and agree that we have no mention of inhalants, except in a roundabout sort of way in the Administration section, where we list inhalation as a route of administration. No direct link to inhalants at all. Does this article need one, or is it sufficient to have a link to inhalants in the recreational drug use article and in articles on specific inhalants? Steve CarlsonTalk 05:23, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I mean that there is no mention of inhalants as a class of drugs in this article. And I think that there needs to be one. (talk) 11:01, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I added a line under the recreational use section. --Thoric (talk) 23:02, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Psychoactives Venn diagram

Does anyone know why the psychoactives Venn diagram was taken down? It was extremely informative and useful. Is someone working on an improved version? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:10, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Talk:Psychoactive_drug/Archive1 MilesAgain 18:04, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Put it again i dont know how to put it iwould put it somebody put the thing again —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abesex (talkcontribs) 18:41, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

I have no idea, but I couldn't agree more.

Please see the discussion below for information on why the chart was removed. Steve CarlsonTalk 03:56, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

yea definitely need to put up that reference venn diagram (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 08:30, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Relevance of part of the Legality and Ethics section

Hi, I don't find the last sentences of said section pertinent to the article as it consists of an episodic account of personal events. If anything, they could be stubbed out and augmented in chronicle articles and linked to. Also there are more similar stories like the use of cannabis in chemotherapy treatment, controlled prescription of hard drugs to stabilize and resocialize addicts.

At the beginning of the 21st century, legally prescribed psychoactive drugs used for legitimate purposes have been targeted by the US Justice System. In Florida, Richard Paey was sentenced to 25 years in prison for possession of painkillers he requires to eliminate the ecruciating pain in his back. Paey was recently pardoned after serving three years of the 25 year sentence. However, not everyone is as lucky as Paey. In California, Richard Gajewski, diagnosed with narcolepsy in 1979, was unable to get a prescription for Xyrem (sodium oxybate) from a San Mateo County physician. Instead, the physician, David Cecil Gershan,MD wrote "SPEED ABUSE" on Gajewski's medical record after Gajewski revealed that he had used Desoxyn (methamphetamine hydrochloride) prescribed by physicians for 14 years until he began using a healthfood store product that is now sodium oxybate. When Gajewski's medical records were transferred to a Santa Clara County clinic, he was unable to obtain housing assistance, leading his long-time domestic partner, Brian Weber, to take a loan at the bank where he worked to make backpayments on rent. The case has not yet gone to trial.

-- (talk) 10:15, 16 December 2007 (UTC) e

I think the whole section Legality and ethics deserves special attention as it is potentially the most controversial part of the article. I tagged this section with Template:NPOV as some formulations, eg. However, not everyone is as lucky as Paey seem to me to be POV or at least weasel words. Also, by common sense, classifying tobacco as psychoactive drug seems rather questionable. Are there any sources stating that tobacco was officialy classified as a psychoactive drug anywhere or is this just some slant/nonsense/joke (which is likely in my opinion)? Micha&#322; Kosmulski (talk) 19:29, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, nicotine (in tobacco) is a psychoactive drug. This has nothing to do with "official" classification, and everything to do with the fact that it is a drug which acts upon the central nervous system. --Thoric (talk) 00:30, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Legitimacy section

I noticed that Mms split the "Legality & Ethics" section into "Legitimacy" and "Legality", essentially creating a section for pro-deregulation and one for regulation of psychoactive substances. I'd like to start some dialog here about what others think about this change.

For my part, I think that these two topics are better treated together. I preferred "Legality & Ethics" as a section header, which I thought alluded nicely to the ethical considerations of responsible drug use and arguments for deregulation. Furthermore, the content of the "Legitimacy" section is mainly two large block quotes that don't add a lot to the article (IMHO). Because this is a top-level article on the subject of all psychoactive drugs, legal or not, I think detailed information on legalization like this should be moved to the Recreational drug article. Other opinions? Steve CarlsonTalk 17:07, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

It's an ethical decision what drugs you use and how. But the question in the "Legality & Ethics" section was "should we imprison people who take drugs we don't like?" One could discuss the ethics of this question but I ask myself first, by which moral right do they judge others and how can they justify to punish and kill people for actions which they are not affected by? The questions of legitimacy and legality is always related but they are not one question.
I have added the McKenna quote to War on Drugs#Legitimacy[4] and two quotes of Weil to recreational drug use[5], too. McKenna is not talking about recreational drug use. I haven't figured out, how to include his quote to entheogens. Not all drugs are illegal. Not all recreational drugs are illegal, not all entheogens are illegal and not all psychotropic drugs are illegal. But yet legality is an important aspect for all sorts of drugs. If you speak about why something should be legal or illegal, you discuss the legitimacy. The ethics includes legitimacy but also if the measure is desirable and if the action in question is morally good. Weil's quote is quite lengthy. You can shorten it if you like. But it is on topic and adds value to the article. --mms (talk) 10:55, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Since ethics, legitimacy and legality are all intertwined, wouldn't this article be better served by treating them together? Re: the quotations, I think my objection to them is that they are so long. Could they just be paraphrased and appropriately referenced? Steve CarlsonTalk 07:51, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Thoric's chart

I believe Thoric's chart should be reinstated on this page. While it is possible that some materials are erroneously placed in this diagram, it is very difficult to come up with definitive proof that such is the case. I believe the goal of this page should be to present a broad, well-defined summary on Psychoactives, relevant to a broad reader base, not fulfill some obscure interal measuring-stick's idea of a Good Article. This diagram presented people with an eye-catching presentation about how various materials can contain effects attributable to more than one class of drugs. The article in its present state, i believe is much worse than the old version. The Neurotransmitter/classification/examples table is horrible, it isnt even particularly accurate(MDMA a serotonin"releaser"? come on) and even though i try to read it several times, it fails to bring information across. It tries to simplify things to a point where the informational value is lost. The old chart instead showed the complexity and depth with which psychoactives work. The current table belongs in a textbook for the 5th grade, while Thoric's chart is on a post-grad level. Trash the table, bring back the chart. (talk) 06:39, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Ugh, do we have to open this discussion again? The fact that Thoric created this chart based on a synthesis of other sources makes this original research, forbidden by WP:NOR. I am removing it. Steve CarlsonTalk 08:04, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
Someone put the chart back a few months ago, and it is very popular (there are dozens of sites/blogs/etc talking about the chart and linking to this article). The chart is soon to be published, so you might as well just leave it in place. It's not hurting anything here. --Thoric (talk) 14:50, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
Dude, I like the chart and find this classification interesting, but until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal, it is original research. Wasn't that the conclusion that the community reached over a year ago, in the wake of the last FA nomination? Please look at the WP:NOR guideline concerning synthesis of published material - your chart arrives at a classification that none of your cited sources explicitly arrive at. And I disagree that this is not hurting anything - it is advancing this knowledge as encyclopedic, which implies that this information is generally accepted by subject matter experts, which, at this time, it is not. Steve CarlsonTalk 23:40, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

There are some serious problems still - I can't recall the older chart. It has MDMA, and MDA overlapping with antipsychotics, yet these stimulants have a widely recognised propsychotic effect - same with cannabis - you can't have these drugs with well-recognised drug-related psychoses in an antispychotic section. period. I will keep checking. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:20, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

You misunderstand the overlap. Only the very top (pink) section are true antipsychotics. MDMA (teal section) is overlapping with antidepressants (lavender section), which means that MDMA is two sections away from the antipsychotics. As for MDMA being a pro-psychotic, just about any drug (including the antipsychotics see akathisia, and especially the antidespressants) can have pro-psychotic side effects. Look at this chart as not only a Venn diagram, but an X/Y spectrum balancing stimulant -> depressant, and hallucinogen -> antipsychotic. --Thoric (talk) 00:39, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Without a doubt, the chart is original research and must be removed. The popularity is not a reason to keep it. It is also nonsense, but that is a secondary concern. Paul Gene (talk) 01:39, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Whoa, hang on Thoric, unless I remember wrongly on the whole sets/subsets thing on Venn diagrams, if something is in the circle, it is considered part of that circle as much as other circles it may belong to. hence the problem of psychotogenic agents in an antipsych circle. This is my concern about misinformation. I have also read the OR exclusion on images too. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 02:06, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Re: the OR exclusion, it is not a blanket exclusion for all images: "Images that constitute original research in any other way are not allowed". Steve CarlsonTalk 02:15, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

To say it bluntly: This chart is scientific nonsense and very misleading. It is simply not possible to project the different classes of drugs with their specific mechanisms of action onto a two-dimensional relationship! The consensus was that this diagram has no place in this article. It is very irritating to find it back again in the article and it should be removed immediately and forever! Cacycle (talk) 02:39, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

I am quite surprised to see this surface again. I thought we got rid of it for good. While I have seen some very simple venn diagrams used in graduate coursework before, illustrating the simple relationship between stimulants, depressants, and antipsychotics, I have not seen anything (in lecture or in print) as complex is this. While it is true there is some relationship among these classes, I do have a significant problem with the placement of specific drugs on this chart, as many of them are horribly misleading, and some just plain wrong. For example, alcohol, which actually should refer to ethanol, specifically, should be placed more between 'depressants' and 'stimulants', as it is widely known to have mild stimulant activity at low doses. Without going into too many more details, the plain and simple problem with this chart is original research; if it is to be kept, it needs a citation. Probably many citations. Dr. Cash (talk) 03:40, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

I thought we had well and truly agreed in the past that the chart constituted OR. The above comments reflect again the widespread community opposition to its inclusion. However pretty it is, and however much the psychonauts out there love it, it does not belong on Wikipedia. We have some pretty informed comments from people with a professional or research background in psychopharmacology. I think this is heading for WP:RFC. JFW | T@lk 06:45, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
This chart has major problems. For instance, the tricyclics (TCAs) are listed as depressants when they are used as antidepressants. Now granted that they have sedative effects and this may well be why they are in that area but it totally misses the point of their usage. SSRIs overlap with the antipsychotics but I would be fascinated to see any literature that suggests that they have any antipsychotic effects. Somehow cannabis just gets into the antipsychotic circle when it is clearly documented as provoking psychoses. The same could be said for the psychedelics. I note that several people like the chart and I can understand that it does appear to simplify things but then so did the idea of a flat earth. As a psychiatrist who uses many of these drugs in clinical practice, I find this chart inaccurate and misleading. --CloudSurfer (talk) 07:34, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
It has been removed, don't worry. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 07:39, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Are we circling around consensus here? I would like to put a Template:Conclusion at the top of this page with a concise summary of our decision so we (hopefully) don't have to address this issue again in the future. But, I don't want to be premature, so I want to make sure everyone has said their piece before I do this. Steve CarlsonTalk 07:45, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Casliber, I realise that it has been removed but I am just adding points to ensure that it stays that way - at least in its current format.
I have just reread Thoric's statements about the overlap. In the page I found with the chart in it, it was introduced as a Venn diagram. Now it looks for all the world like a Venn diagram and yet Thoric's comments suggest that he/she intends it not to follow the rules of a Venn diagram. If it is introduced as a Venn diagram and more importantly looks like a Venn diagram then it should follow the rules of what constitutes a Venn diagram. For it to do otherwise is grossly misleading. A graphic should be pretty obvious without much explanation. That is the point of using graphics. If it looks like a particular way of depicting data then it should adhere to convention or risk being misleading. For example, if you show a graph that has one axis as logarithmic and yet you give no indication of that then it is fair for people to assume that both axes are linear.
To put it simply, for abundant reasons, this diagram does not belong on Wikipedia. --CloudSurfer (talk) 07:55, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Well we have two psychiatrists, a Ph.D. scientist working in the pharmaceuticals area whose main field of interest is the pharmacology of CNS agents, and some physcians all agreeing that it has too many inherent problems that are misleading, so, I think it is consensus. I do feel sorry that Thoric has clearly put alot of effort into it but I don't see another option. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 09:40, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

There is certainly a need for simple graphics or tables that identify simple factors like degree of sedation or anticholinergic side effects associated with the CNS drugs. Each class of drug could have such a table or graphic with the relevant factors displayed. There are tables like this in several publications. The idea of a simplifying graphic is good. But they need to be useful, easily understood, and accurate. --CloudSurfer (talk) 01:18, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

OK, time to put this to bed. I will move this to the top of the page in several days if nobody objects to the wording:

Conversation conclusion

The Venn diagram depicting the subjective and behavioral effects of certain psychoactives created by User:Thoric constitutes original research and should not be included in this article. It is still available here for reference.

Main arguments:

  • The classification depicted by the diagram is an original synthesis of various sources, none of which include a similar diagram or classification.
  • There are conceptual issues with the chart that editors with expertise in this field strongly object to.

Steve CarlsonTalk 02:59, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

One thing that's not sitting well with me about this is the use of Thoric's name. I don't want to single him out as some sort of wiki-criminal. He put a lot of hard work into that chart and it clearly was helpful to a lot of people. However, I feel like his name needs to be there because people associate his name with that diagram, so it's necessary for identification purposes. Would appreciate other's thoughts about how to deal with this tactfully. Steve CarlsonTalk 21:13, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I can see it is a problem, but am not sure how to rephrase it, as he did make it. Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:37, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

We could nip this ongoing problem in the bud by deleting the image over at commons, but it seems to be in use at the French Wikipedia (link). Checking the image use, it also has it's own template on here. We should probably get the template deleted. . .R. Baley (talk) 21:55, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

That seems a tad extreme. This sort of attitude has driven away a lot of good Wikipedians. --Thoric (talk) 22:04, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, Thoric. I probably would have forgotten about it altogether if no one had tried to insert it back to the article against consensus. Nevertheless, we shouldn't have info that is both original research and, by most accounts, misleading. Btw, for those interested, the TfD nom is linked below: (R. Baley (talk) 22:23, 20 July 2008 (UTC))

Again, this sort of thing is why literally hundreds of good Wikipedians -- the sort that actually contribute content, rather than only cowboying around with an admin badge -- are currently inactive, or have completely given up on contributing here. --Thoric (talk) 05:42, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
No, Thoric, the reason I and other wikipedians have been inactive is due to persistently bullyish Original Researchers like you. You made that diagram from scratch--it exists nowhere else in any book or on any website (unless it was copied from here). Therefore, it's original research and shouldn't be put on here.
Then again, I like the chart and I think it has value... but it's misleading to anyone who thinks it's encyclopedic information. It's definitely not concrete scientific fact--it's more of an educated approximation of psychological phenomena, so you can't say that it's legitimate since it synthesizes info from many different sources. None of those sources synthesize the information; YOU, Thoric, have synthesized it, and it is therefore OR. And, no, this does not fall under the picture exception to the OR rule, since it is a diagram communicating verbal information. Jolb 14:59, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Psychoactive drugs

Template:Psychoactive drugs has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. — R. Baley (talk) 22:23, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Zoloft photograph

This photo stuck out for me when I visited this page for the first time in a year or so. I wondered why a picture of two Zoloft bottles and some pills? Why use only the brand name? Why not describe it as an SSRI antidepressant rather than just an antidepressant. Apart from being a nice quality picture of one brand of antidepressant, why have it in the article at all? --CloudSurfer (talk) 01:10, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

junk food

Junk food needs to be recognized as a psychotropic drug.

A recreational drug is a substance one ingests because it has a psychotropic effect. In this case, junk food is typically consumed for the purpose of mood elevation -- a psychotropic effect. Most intelligent people do not consume these substances for the purpose of nutrition. Intelligent people recognize that they partake of these substances as a "treat." Junk food is in fact a mild intoxicant.

Food-like drug substances that are particularly addictive are typically those with high amounts of chocolate, refined carbs (especially sugar), artificial sweeteners, caffeine, fat, salt, or spices -- and particularly food-like substances that mix these addictive additives. The more that are mixed, the more likely it is that the result will provoke an addictive response in the consumer.

Obese people are often addicts, addicted to this particular type of recreational drug. Food addicts, or compulsive overeaters, are people who get high off "taste hits" or who have some other biochemical sensitivity to food or food ingredients that provoke an addictive response. Some research has tended to show that food addicts are people with hyper or hypo sensitivities in the neurological response of their senses of taste and smell.

Unlike other addicts, obese people are forced to wear their addiction. This would be a bit like an alcoholic carrying around empty beer cans.

There are a number of twelve step programs addressing this addiction, such as Overeaters Anonymous.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:56, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm skeptical, but if you can find reputable sources that describe junk food as a psychoactive drug, this can be considered. I don't think you'll have much luck. Looie496 (talk) 20:12, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
    • MSG is known to be directly psychoactive (not necessarily in a traditional experience of drug use), cheese is supposed to have a casein that is related to opioids which affect histamine release. Psychoactive yes, maybe not in the way of 'psychoactive drug' thoughApothecia (talk) 00:15, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

GA Reassessment

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Psychoactive drug/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

This review is part of Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles/Project quality task force/Sweeps, a project devoted to re-reviewing Good Articles listed before August 26, 2007.

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance:
    Introduction is too short, see WP:LEAD for more info. The introduction should be a summary of the entire article.
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    There is one {{cn}} template, so I'll have to point that one out, otherwise a good job with the citations... except for the lists. Lists need cites too. Also, four refs have dead links, 19, 22, 27, and 34.
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    A good article, but lack of sources (live or dead) and an inadequate introduction are holding it back. Article will be placed on hold until issues can be addressed. If an editor does not express interest in addressing these issues within seven days, the article will be delisted. --ErgoSumtalktrib 23:31, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

This article has been delisted. Feel free to renominate when the issues have been addressed. --ErgoSumtalktrib 21:54, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

"Temporary" word

I am director of the Aldous Huxley Foundation, and I just recently returned from lecturing on Neuroethics at MIT. The permanence of psychopharmaceuticals is discussed in Huxley's Brave New World Revisited. It is also the principal consideration of substance recreational users. A reference should be given if there is a claim that ALL psychopharmaceuticals create a temporary alteration in the brain or other parts of the central nervous system. Derivatives of snake venom used in some rituals are a simple counterexample to this. Also, read Cohen (UCLA) and his pushing for a finding of permanence of finding objectively measurable (other than by sophisticated macro behavior changes) brain funcion change from LSD and other such. Also, read the recent literature on drugs used to treat autism. But if there is an objective scientific study that can be cited to include the word "temporary", I will be happy to look at it, although it would almost impossible to establish with any valid experimental design. ChinaUpdater (talk) 19:18, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm ok with deleting the word temporary, so long as it is not replaced with language actually claiming permanence. Just not saying it one way or the other is ok. By the way, your real-life credentials are not a substitute for persuasiveness of argument. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:22, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
I think all of us agree on the facts, the trick is to find the right language for describing them. Although drugs can certainly have effects that last indefinitely (the memory of taking the drug is itself such an effect), the direct pharmacological action is always limited in time, right? In any case, all three of us here are experts, and it would be sad if we can't handle such a straightforward issue without fighting. Regards, Looie496 (talk) 15:26, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is fighting, actually. (All I meant by my comment about credentials is that it is policy here that credentials are not a substitute for good arguments, and, by that token, it doesn't really matter that we are all experts.) I agree with you that the direct psychopharmacological action is generally temporary, while at the same time I agree with ChinaUpdater, in part, that some drugs can cause permanent lesions, but I think we need to be careful about steering clear of unsourced claims that physicians and pharmaceutical companies are conspiring to foist toxic agents on the public for profit. As I said, I think it's fine to delete the word "temporary" from the lead, and have it read as it does now. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:27, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
Cool. I think your sentence about credentials could easily have come across as criticism to an editor new to Wikipedia, and I was hoping to head off an angry response -- thanks for clarifying. Looie496 (talk) 17:54, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, I understand now what you mean. And I just meant it as clarifying how things work, for a new editor. Sorry it was badly worded; I guess no good deed goes unpunished. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:01, 6 September 2009 (UTC)