Tips for Teens – About Hallucinogens


Hallucinogenic drugs are substances that distort the perception of objective reality. The most well-known hallucinogens include phencyclidine, otherwise know as PCP, angel dust, or loveboat; lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD or acid; mescaline and peyote; and psilocybin, or “magic” mushrooms. Under the influence of hallucinogens, the senses of direction, distance, and time become disoriented. These drugs can produce unpredictable, erratic, and violent behavior in users that sometimes leads to serious injuries and death. Drownings, burns, falls, and automobile crashes have also been reported. In 1993, hallucinogens were associated with almost 10,000 hospital emergency room visits and approximately 200 deaths.

What Are the Physical Risks Associated With Using Hallucinogens?

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Sleeplessness and tremors
  • Lack of muscular coordination
  • Sparse, mangled, and incoherent speech
  • Decreased awareness of touch and pain that can result in self-inflicted injuries
  • Convulsions
  • Coma
  • Heart and lung failure

What Are the Psychological Risks Associated With Using Hallucinogens?

  • A sense of distance and estrangement
  • Depression, anxiety, and paranoia
  • Violent behavior
  • Confusion, suspicion, and loss of control
  • Flashbacks
  • Behavior similar to schizophrenic psychosis
  • Catatonic syndrome whereby the user becomes mute, lethargic, disoriented, and makes meaningless repetitive movements

Everyone reacts differently to hallucinogens — there’s no way to predict if you can avoid a “bad trip”.

The effect of hallucinogens can last for 12 hours — do you really want to lose control of your body and mind for that long? Don’t get duped into thinking that taking hallucinogens will lead you to self-discovery.

Quick Facts

Is there any way to predict how I will react to taking LSD?

The effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken, the user’s personality, mood and expectations, and the surroundings in which the drug is used. Usually, the user feels the first effects of the drug 30-90 minutes after taking it. These effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors. Sensations and feelings change much more dramatically than the physical signs. The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. Depending on the dose, the drug can produce delusions and visual hallucinations, which can be frightening and cause panic. Users refer to their experience with these acute adverse reactions as a “bad trip,” and the effects typically last for about twelve hours. Terrifying thoughts and feelings, fear of insanity and death, injuries, and fatal accidents have occurred during states of LSD intoxication. Anyone can experience a bad trip and there is no way to predict what your own experience will be.

I’ve heard that hallucinogens aren’t even addictive. So what is the big deal?

LSD does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior like cocaine, alcohol, or nicotine, but LSD produces tolerance, so that users who take the drug repeatedly must take progressively higher and higher doses in order to achieve the same state of intoxication. This is an extremely dangerous practice, given the unpredictability of the drug, and can result in increased risk of convulsions, coma, heart and lung failure, and even death.

Click here for valuable resource information about Hallucinogens.

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