Hallucinogen Facts

Hallucinogens are psychedelic drugs. That means that they wildly alter your perceptions and emotions, even your brain functions. Hallucinogens can seriously affect the user. It isn’t always a uniform effect, but instead can have a variety of different things occurring which differ from one experience to the next experience. These effects can be dangerous and intense. This can cause hallucinations, some of which can drive the user into a psychotic state. What it comes down to is that hallucinogens are not safe in the least because of just how unpredictable the effects of them are. This has to do with the fact that there are many variations existing in the compounds found in the plants utilized to produce hallucinogenic drugs.

Despite what the avid hallucinogen users say, these aren’t a safe type of drug by any means and have detrimental qualities about them. The hallucinogenic drugs can cause the user to experience flashbacks- which is basically the person experiencing the sensations of a previous trip all over again days after having used, sometimes weeks or months and sometimes even years later. This goes to show how strong hallucinogens can be. Flashbacks are a most common occurrence with LSD. This can take a toll on the person, especially if it has happened to them on multiple occasions. It can be dangerous but aside from that it can negatively affect the person on a mental level. This can actually be traumatizing for the individual.


LSD also known as acid is a very powerful, conscious-altering type of hallucinogen. The drug is derived from a type of fungus. Sometimes it is sold on sugar cubes, sometimes it’s dropped onto paper, sold in small tablets known as microdots, gelatin squares nicknamed as window panes or sold in liquid form. LSD was definitely at its peak in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. It was even used back then for mentally ill patients as well as in the military. The LSD user is usually going to end up tripping for up to around twelve hours. Sometimes they could end up in a bad trip, which is a string of fearful hallucinations. This is not a good place to be in mentally and the user can actually go crazy, sometimes unable to get out of that crazy state.

Short Term Effects of Hallucinogens

The short term effects of LSD include:

  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry Mouth
  • Sweating
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Increased blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate
  • Impulsiveness
  • Rapid emotional shifts ranging from fear to euphoria

Psilocybin short term effects include:

  • Feelings of relaxation
  • Nervousness
  • Paranoia
  • Panic

Peyote short term effects can include:

  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased heart rate
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Sweating profusely
  • Flushing

The short term effects from DMT include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations that can involve body and spatial distortions

The short term effects from Ayahuasca can include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • A lot of vomiting
  • Perceptions of otherworldly imagery

The general short term effects of hallucinogens are:

  • Hallucinations- this includes seeing, hearing, touching or smelling things in a distorted manner or which don’t exist at all
  • Intense feelings
  • Intensified sensory experiences
  • Mixed senses, such as seeing a sound or hearing a color
  • A change in sense or perception of time
  • Nausea
  • Increased energy
  • Increased heart rate

Long Term Effects of Hallucinogens

Some long term effects associated with hallucinogen drugs include:

  • Psychosis
  • Disorganized thinking pattern
  • Paranoia
  • Mood disturbances

Why Do People Take Hallucinogens?

There are obviously a myriad of reasons behind why people use hallucinogens. It definitely can be an individual matter and varies depending on the person or the group of people. Like any other types of drugs, people use hallucinogens for an escape essentially. They want to literally escape reality by using a drug that could alter their perception of their immediate surroundings. When someone is having a hard time dealing with the present, they might want to be thrown into these psychedelic kinds of experiences as a distraction. This is no different than any other drug in that regard. Sometimes a person or a group of people will take hallucinogens together, kind of like a spiritual ritual. Actually hundreds of years ago magic mushrooms was used for religious rituals. This is a similar type of practice these days. Sometimes DMT is taken as a “spiritual awakening” process. People think or assume they are going to gain profound and spiritual type of insight into their mind and spirit from using hallucinogens. In reality, the bottom line is that these are still drugs and remain harmful. Even if spiritual insight was gained this wouldn’t necessarily outweigh the harm that’s caused by the drug on the brain, body and mind.

As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why people would choose to use hallucinogens or be gravitating towards hallucinogens over other kinds of drugs. However, no reason to use is a worthy reason. The dangers in taking especially hallucinogenic drugs is not something to risk.

Are Hallucinogens An Addictive Type Of Drug?

Apparently there hasn’t been a whole lot of research on this subject. It’s a kind of complicated subject for a few reasons. However it would seem as though the general consensus is that hallucinogenic drugs are not necessarily physically addictive, as they are on a psychological level. In other words your body might not be dying and craving for more of the drug on a cellular level. However, you are going to be drawn to the drug and craving the sensations it had given you, and this craving will most likely be mental. It’s more like the user is attracted via concept to take more of the drug and keep taking more but their body isn’t driving them to take it. Like many drugs, if somebody is addicted to a hallucinogen, their body will gain a tolerance for it. This will inevitably lead them to having to take a bigger dose of the drug in order to achieve the effects they want tot achieve from using. So even though it may not be physically addictive, it still produces a physical tolerance. So the user isn’t going to need it, but once they start using more often it will create the same vicious cycle any other addictive drug could create. If you know somebody who is using or addicted to hallucinogens it is important to inform them of the danger and risk involved in this sort of activity. Hallucinogens may just be the most dangerous drug of them all. If you think about it, driving under the influence of a hallucinogen can be fatal. If you are so out of reality that you’re moving through a whole set of hallucinations you could be in serious trouble. There really is no telling what could end up happening, the possibilities are literally endless with the effects of these drugs. This puts the user in a highly vulnerable state, susceptible to a myriad of consequences. So if you know somebody who is about to use, or uses regularly, it would be wise to really educate them on all the facts and talk them out of it.

By Robert O. Newman II, ICDAC, ICPS, CIP