Hallucinogen Use & Abuse

Types of Hallucinogenic Drugs

LSD, PCP and other hallucinogens differ from other drugs in that the scientific community has yet to fully understand how they work and their long-term effects on the body. It is known that hallucinogens affect neurotransmitter circuits in the cortex region of the brain, changing the user’s perception of reality.

LSD, the strongest of the hallucinogens, is served in tablet or liquid form and can lead to “trips” of up to twelve hours. PCP (or “angel dust”) is a white powder that can give the user intense feelings of strength and power. However, it has also gained a reputation as drug that’s “not worth the risk,” as it often leads to “bad trips,” or unpleasant and temporarily inescapable experiences.

Other hallucinogens include Ketamine (Or “Vitamin K”), often a powder or pill that is similar to, but less potent than, PCP and Dextromethorphan (DXM), an ingredient found in many decongestants which, when consumed in large amounts, can lead to distorted perceptions.

Hallucinogens Are Different, But Still Dangerous

Hallucinogens also differ from other drugs in that some of the greatest risk factors are mental, not necessarily physical, reactions. The hallucinogen itself may be less likely to lead to physical harm in the user than other drug, but its users are at an increased risk for mental disturbances. Feelings of happiness and love may shift (quickly) into feelings of intense fear or anger that can lead to self-mutilation or harming others. People under the influence of hallucinogens may also unknowingly put themselves in harmful situations, such as running into traffic or jumping from great heights.

Even after the effects of an hallucinogen wear off, the user can experience sudden “flashbacks” for months after, suddenly feeling as if he or she is experiencing the visual or effects of the high all over again.

Signs & Effects of Hallucinogen Use

  • Distorted reality
  • Irrational actions and/or violent behavior
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Increased heart rate & blood pressure
  • Poor coordination
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