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Hallucinogens are a class of drugs that cause distortions in a person’s perception of reality or hallucinations. These drugs can be man-made or found in mushrooms and plants including peyote and psilocybin. Hallucinogens disrupt the neurotransmitter serotonin and disrupt the interaction of nerve cells. For this reason, when people are on hallucinogens they see images, feel sensations and hear things that don’t really exist but may seem real to them.

Hallucinogens produce intense mood swings, physiological symptoms including increased blood pressure and heart rated and their effects are unpredictable and vary from person to person. According to Psychology Today, “Hallucinogens are not generally life threatening, but the user may end up killing herself while under a hallucination.”

LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) is the most commonly identified drug for the term hallucinogen, and is known typically as “acid.” PCP (known as Angel Dust), MDMA (known as Ecstasy) and Ketamine are also widely used hallucinogens.

In various cultures, naturally occurring hallucinogens, such as those found in the peyote cactus plant and certain mushrooms, have had a role in human life for thousands of years. They have been used as medicines, during religious rituals or to precipitate visions. However, LSD has no accepted medical use in the US, so any LSD manufactured here is specifically intended for illegal use.

Symptoms of Hallucinogen use include:

  • Agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Psychosis similar to schizophrenia
  • Panic Attacks
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Trembling and tremors
  • Difficulty distinguishing between reality and illusion
  • Anxiousness, depression and terror at same time
  • Cardiac Arrhythmias
  • Seizures
  • Acute Renal Failure
  • Diluted pupils
  • Tachycardia
  • Mydriasis
  • Flashbacks


Treatment Options

  • Psychotherapy for long-term effects and flashbacks