Drugs & Parenting
Drugs & Parenting Guide
Alcohol
Alcohol Guide
Drugs Overview
Drugs Introduction
Stimulants
Stimulants Guide Amphetamine-type Cocaine
Depressants
Depressants Guide GHB Marijuana Inhalants Heroin
Hallucinogens
Hallucinogens Guide
Getting Help
Drugs & Alcohol Services Drug Rehab Centre

Hallucinogens

What is it?

Hallucinogens can be found naturally (In mushrooms) or made synthetically (made by chemical processing in a laboratory type setup)

  • LSD is synthetically made.



  • Psilocybin is found naturally in several types of magic mushrooms. Other trees, seeds and fungi also have hallucinogenic potential.



  • PCP (Phencyclidine) is an anaesthetic now only used on animals
  • Ketamine is an anaesthetic used on both humans and animals



  • Mescaline can be naturally extracted from peyote cactus, or manufactured synthetically
  • Ecstasy\MDMA and Cannabis can also be a hallucinogen in high doses

What does it look like?

LSD: Most common form is squares of gelatine or blotting paper. It can also be liquid form, tablets, capsules or white powder (at its most pure)

Psilocybin: Appear like dried mushrooms or even powdered into capsules. Synthetically made Psilocybin is a white crystalline powder placed inside capsules, tablets or dissolved in liquid

PCP (Phencyclidine) White powder (at its most pure) but generally coloured powder, capsules or pills

Ketamine: A white crystalline powder, placed in pills, tablets or dissolved in liquid

Mescaline: White crystalline powder (at its most pure). Synthetically made as various colours of powder and capsules

Street Names

  • LSD is known as acid, trips, microdots, dots, blotters, mellow or tabs may be named according to the design on the blotting paper e.g. a picture of a yellow star would attract the name, “yellow stars”
  • Mushrooms can be called their common botanical names, magic mushrooms, shrooms, magics, blue meanies, liberty caps, golden tops, mushies
  • PCP: angel dust, peace pill
  • Ketamine: Special K, K, ket, kitkat, super K

How They Are Taken?

  • LSD: Swallowed, sniffed, injected or smoked. As a liquid it can be rubbed onto the skin.
  • Psilocybin: Mushrooms can be eaten as they are, used in food recipes, or brewed in tea
  • PCP: Swallowed, snorted, injected or smoked
  • Ketamine: Swallowed, snorted, injected or smoked
  • Mescaline: Usually swallowed. Also chewed or smoked

How They Work

Hallucinogens affect the central nervous system to drastically alter a user’s sensory perception

Why Is It Taken? (Desired Side Effects)

• Drastic change in sensory perception
• Distorted sense of visuals, auditory, body, time and space
• Altered perception of oneself
• Hallucinations
• Relaxation
• Happiness and Satisfaction
• Euphoria

Unwanted Side Effects

  • Increased rapid heart beat
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Agitation
  • Increased body temperature and sweating may lead to chills
  • Bad hallucinations
  • Panic attacks
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Flashbacks after use
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting

Bad Trips

  • The negative unwanted side effects of hallucinogens can result in what are commonly known as “bad trips”
  • Many or all of the unwanted side effects can overwhelm a user all at once causing them to experience severe panic and bad hallucinations
  • This can all lead to dangerous and risky behaviour
  • The effects generally wear off when the drug wears off but in some cases it can continue for some time afterwards

Long Term Side Effects

Flashbacks

  • Are the most common long term effects associated with hallucinogens
  • Are moments where the effects of the drug are experienced and this can occur years after use
  • They can last for a few minutes and can either be pleasant or uneasy
  • They are usually visual perhaps involving colors and hallucinations

Long term use of hallucinogens could impair memory and other brain functions
Personality and mood changes in people have occurred
Drug-induced psychosis involving hallucinations and delusional behaviour can occur, lasting up to several hours

Overdose And Death

  • Taking large doses of hallucinogens may result in more intense unwanted side effects
  • LSD, Mescaline and Magic Mushrooms have not been directly responsible for deaths. The rare fatalities that have involved the drugs have been a result of accidents, behaviour or plant poisoning.
  • Taking extremely large doses of PCP and Ketamine can result in coma, seizures, respiratory arrest and ultimately, death

Addiction And Dependency

  • There have been no reported cases of physical dependency or withdrawal symptoms from hallucinogens. It is however possible to become psychologically dependent, using hallucinogens to function optimally, perhaps in social situations.
  • Frequent use of hallucinogens is not so common, users generally taking the drugs sporadically with generous time periods between. This is because the experience can be extremely intense with a long recovery period.