How Can Hallucinogens be Dangerous?

types of hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are drugs that alter a users idea of reality. The users will interpret lights, sounds, colors and much more in a different way. Reality becomes warped. Some users will see things that are not truly there. You might hear sounds or voices that are not real.

Hallucinogens can be natural or man-made. Natural Hallucinogens typically come from plants and mushrooms. According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are two categories or hallucinogens; Classic Hallucinogens and Dissociative Hallucinogens.

Classic or common hallucinogens typical affect the users auditory, sensory and visual senses. Dissociative drugs may also have auditory and visual hallucinations but they also create feelings of detachment from reality.

Classic Hallucinogens

LSD – Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

LSD, also known as acid, is a synthetically made hallucinogen. It is made with lysergic acid that is known to grow on grains such as rye and ergot fungi. It is usually white or clear and odorless. Users often refer to the effects of LSD ad ‘acid trips’. LSD is very strong and is known to cause very strong ‘trips’. These trips can last up to 12 hours.

Sometimes users have ‘good’ trips. Other times the effects of the drug lead to ‘bad’ trips. These bad trips can lead to enhanced thought of suicide. Sometimes these trips lead to attempted suicide or acts of violence toward others.

Acid is distributed it crystal or liquid form. According to The Foundation for a Drug-free World, they come in many forms. These being; microdot pills, gelatin squares, items ‘laced’ with the drug or paper squares you hold on or under your tongue.

Peyote – Mescaline

Peyote is a small spineless cactus. Peyote can be found in the southern part on the United States and Mexico. The hallucinogenic properties of the Peyote cactus come from Mescaline in the plant.

Peyote is typically eaten, chewed on or made into tea. The cactus has been know to be used in religious ceremony and recreational use. If the user ends up combining alcohol and peyote, this type of substance use may have adverse side effects.

Magic Mushrooms – Psilocybin

Psilocybin is typically found in the southern United States, South America and Mexico. Psilocybin is a certain type of mushroom that, when ingested, will cause similar hallucinogenic effects as LSD.

Magic mushrooms are consumed by eating the mushroom cap raw or dried and sometimes even brewed into a tea like drink. Many have died from poisoning when taking mushrooms due to misidentification of the correct species of mushroom.

DMT – Dimethyltryptamine

DMT can be found in the Amazon. It can be consumed from different plants found in the Amazon by making it into a tea and drank. It is also common to see synthetic DMT. The effects of using Dimethyltryptamine are intense auditory and visual hallucinations.

DMT commonly comes in a powder form and is inhaled as a vapor or smoked in a pipe. DMT in high doses has been known to put the user into a coma or even death due to suffocation.

Dissociative Hallucinogens

Special K – Ketamine

Also known as cat valium, Ketamine is a hallucinogen that creates a dream like dissociated hallucination. Users have stated that the feeling was that of a dream. The drug is also known to cause increased sexual appetite.

Ketamine comes in a powder form and is made into pills or snorted. Because of its sexual behavior changes and changed reality, Ketamine is sometimes used as a date-rape drug. Users also can experience short-term memory loss.

PCP – Phencyclidine

PCP, also known as Angel dust, is a hallucinogen that can cause auditory and visual hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, increased violent behavior, involuntary REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and much more.

The use of Angel dust is typically smoked, taken as a tablet, snorted or injected. Users of PCP may have long term effects from using the drug. PCP increases the thought of self harm or harm on others. This can lead to suicide and/or homicide.

DXM – Dextromethorphan

Dextromethorphan is found is some over the counter cough medicines and decongestants. Users experience a mild Euphoria when taken in small doses.

In large doses, the users can become violent and aggressive. DXM can be found in liquid, capsule and pill form.


Salvia is grown in parts of Mexico, Southern and Central America. Salvia can sometimes be found for sale legally in smoke shops inside of the United Stated. Users of Salvia experience a 10-30 minute, almost instant, hallucination. The hallucinations during Salvia use have been described as realistic and intense.

Salvia can be chewed or brewed in raw form. Other ways of using Salvia is by smoking or vaporizing the dried leaves. The use of Salvia can cause long-term brain damage. When consumed raw, it can have similar affects as a dissociative hallucinogen.

Dangers of Hallucinogens

There are many dangers of using hallucinogens in any form. Some hallucinogens are highly addictive and very damaging to one’s mind and body.

These drugs have been know to cause the following; emotions changing rapidly, increased heart rate, changes is sexual behaviors, sleep impairment, trouble controlling ones own body or muscles and increased or decreased appetite. This is due to a change in the way the neurotransmitters in the users brain are communicating.

Dissociative Hallucinogens have been know to have the following side effects on the users; increase in violent behaviors, short term memory loss, increased anxiety, trouble controlling muscles, motion function impairment and even seizures. This shows how dangerous it can be to use dissociative drugs even one time.

  1. My mom went to high school with a guy that did LSD (or maybe it was PCP?) regardless, it was a hallucinogenic. He ended up in a mental institution for the rest of his life. His brain chemistry didn’t handle the drugs well and it left him permanently messed up. I think this story alone is why I always steered clear of shrooms when I was offered them by some people in high school a few times, that and the fact that hallucinogenics scare me.

  2. Salvia is horrifying – just plain horrifying. I stupidly tried it once…. I thought I had died… or was gonna die… omg..

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