With such a diverse variety of drugs out there, it may get confusing as to which one leads to what outcomes. Hallucinogens addiction can result in many short and long-term effects.

What are Hallucinogens?

The hallucinogen definition, according to drugabuse.gov, is that they are “a diverse group of drugs that alter perception (awareness of surrounding objects and conditions), thoughts, and feelings.” These drugs cause you to hallucinate (hence the name), meaning they make you feel like you’re seeing and hearing things that aren’t there.

How are Hallucinogens Made?

Hallucinogens are made from many origins; they are most commonly a product of mushrooms and other related plants. Their extracts can also be taken from the plant when being human-made. Here are some common ones:

DMT (a.k.a. Dimitri): this is a potent chemical found in plants from the Amazon, but people can also make it in a lab. This is the principal hallucination component of a drug. It is most commonly represented as a white crystal powder.

  • Ayahuasca (a.k.a. Aya): this hallucinogen is a tea that is made from a plant containing DMT.
  • LSD (a.k.a. Acid): this is one of the strongest mood-changing chemicals. It’s manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in a fungus that grows on grains. LSD is a white or transparent substance.
  • Psilocybin (a.k.a. Shrooms): this hallucinogen comes from mushrooms from tropical and subtropical areas of the world.
  • Peyote (a.k.a. Buttons): its main ingredient is mescaline. It can be artificially made even though it usually comes naturally from a small cactus plant.

Some more dangerous hallucinogens that cause people to feel disconnected from their bodies and their surroundings include:

  • Ketamine (a.k.a. Special K): this drug is used as an anesthetic for people as well as animals, and when it is sold on the street, it most commonly comes from veterinary’s offices.
  • DXM (a.k.a Robo): this is an over-the-counter cough and mucus clearing medication.
  • Salvia (a.k.a. Magic Mint): this hallucinogen comes from a plant from Central and South America.
  • PCP (a.k.a Angel Dust): this drug used to be an anesthetic for surgeries, but is no longer utilized for this due to its serious side effects.

How are Hallucinogens Used?

Hallucinogens can be used multiple ways each working differently from the next. The most common is through pills, liquids, eating, brewing with tea, snorting, injecting, smoking, inhaling, and absorbing through “drug-soaked” paper pieces, according to an article from drugabuse.gov.

What are the Effects of Hallucinogens?

Research has shown that hallucinogenic drugs work by disconnecting the communication channel between the brain and spinal cord. When this channel is disturbed by a substance, many short and long-term effects can be experienced.

Two primary brain functions can be disrupted by the hallucinogen: brain chemical serotonin and brain chemical glutamate. When the serotonin is disrupted, people may experience changes in their mood, sleeping patterns, hunger, sexual behavior, and body temperature. When the glutamate is disturbed, changes in pain tolerance, emotions, memory, receiving information, and adaptivity may be altered.

Short-term effects:

  • Nausea
  • Intense feelings
  • Altered sense of time
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Irregular eating patterns
  • Sleeping disturbances
  • Incoordination
  • Panic
  • Paranoia

Long-term effects:

  • Loss of memory
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Speech problems
  • Flashbacks
  • Changes in mood

How long do these effects last?

”The effects of hallucinogens can begin within 20 to 90 minutes and can last as long as 6 to 12 hours,” states drugabuse.gov. People call the experiences they have when taking hallucinogens “trips,” and how long they last depend on the person and the exact drug used.

Are there risks of hallucinogens?

Like any drugs, there are risks associated with the use of hallucinogens. By having an altered state of mind, not only you become vulnerable to dangerous circumstances, but so do other people.

  • Psilocybin, or shrooms, may accidentally be harvested from a poisonous mushroom, resulting in poisoning or death.
  • PCP can cause seizures, and death (which most commonly occurs due to injury or suicide while on the drug). When taking with depressants, it can lead to coma.
  • Law enforcement may need to step in when a person is on hallucinogens due to disruptive behavior, resulting in arrests or other punishments.
  • Hallucinogens such as Peyote may affect babies when they are developing in the womb.

Hallucinogens can become addictive with persistent use, and tolerance can be built up for them. Some hallucinogens do not cause people to become physically addicted to them but may result in a need for more of the substance to produce an effect. Hallucinogen treatment is still being researched, so you must be careful with the substances you are consuming.