Also known as:
•LSD •Mescaline • Psilocybin • PCP •Cannabis • Ecstasy • Salvia and others
What is it?
•Hallucinogens disrupt the normal functioning of your brain, making it hard to think, communicate and focus on reality. Psychosis, panic attacks, and dangerous accidents are all possible risks of taking that one "trip."
•Hallucinogens are drugs that distort the way you perceive reality. They can cause you to see, feel and hear things that don't exist, making it hard to communicate or think clearly. They can also cause rapid, intense emotional mood swings.
•Hallucinogens work by disrupting how your nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin interact throughout the brain and spinal cord. By changing the normal, healthy structure of serotonin in the body, hallucinogens twist and alter the way your brain processes your senses, feelings and visual information.
•When you are unable to get a grip on reality, normal events and situations can take on an unreal and frightening quality.
The most common hallucinogens are:
LSD (AKA: Acid, blotter, cubes, microdot, yellow sunshine, blue heaven, Cid) — an odorless, colorless chemical that comes from ergot, a fungus that grows on grains.
Mushrooms (Psilocybin) (AKA: Simple Simon, shrooms, silly putty, sherms, musk, boomers) — psilocybin is the hallucinogenic chemical found in approximately 190 species of edible mushrooms.
Mescaline (AKA: Cactus, cactus buttons, cactus joint, mesc, mescal, mese, mezc, moon, musk, topi) — occurs naturally in certain types of cactus plants, including the peyote cactus.
The Risks, Taking any hallucinogens can cause you to:
•Fear and paranoia
•Sometimes verging on psychosis (a complete loss of contact with reality)
•In this state of mind, it can be very easy to have a dangerous, or even fatal, accident
•Though more common with LSD, all hallucinogens can cause flashbacks—feelings and thoughts that replay the effects of being on the drug weeks or even years after taking them.
•Since all hallucinogens disturb the normal functioning of the brain, they put you at risk of developing long-lasting psychoses or mental disorders.
•The effects of hallucinogenic drugs are unpredictable.
•They depend on the amount taken and on your own unique personality and body chemistry.
•What is predictable is that when you hallucinate, you dramatically disturb the normal functioning of your brain. And this will always make you vulnerable to dangerous, or even fatal, accidents.
Most of the hallucinogens used in North America belong to one of these six categories:
•Indolealkylamines, which includes LSD (d-lysergic acid diethlyamide, a semi-synthetic substance originally derived from “ergot,” a fungus that grows on rye and other grains), LSA (d-lysergic amide, from morning glory seeds), psilocybin and psilocin (from Psilocybe mushrooms) and DMT (dimethyltryptamine, from the bark of the Virola tree, and other sources)
•Phenylethylamines, which includes mescaline (found in peyote cactus), and “designer drugs” such as:
oMDMA (ecstasy, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)
•Arylcycloalkylamines, such as PCP (phencyclidine) and ketamine
•Cannabinoids, especially THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), found in marijuana, hash and hash oil
•Anticholinergics, from the plant family Solanaceae, which includes deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) and Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium)
•The diterpene, salvinorin-A, from the plant Salvia divinorum.
Hallucinogens cause mostly psychoactive, or mind-altering, effects, which can be mild to intense. These effects vary from drug to drug, from person to person, from one drug-taking episode to the next, and can even change dramatically within one time of use. Effects can range from ecstasy to terror, from mild distortion of the senses to full hallucinations (where people believe that drug-induced visions or other perceptions are real).