Table of Contents
1. What is a Hallucinogen?
5. How are Hallucinogens Used?
6. How do They Work?
7. Short and Long-Term Effects
8. Health Complications
10. Links to Further Information
What is a hallucinogen?
•A drug that changes perception, thought, or emotion
•They also alter senses, consciousness, and may cause
Because this classification is too broad, there are three
subgroups of hallucinogens. These are:
•Psychedelic drugs, also called psychoactives, include: LSD
(acid), psilocybin (shrooms), mescaline (peyote), LSA, MDMA
(ecstasy) and cannabis (weed).
•These drugs enhance the thought process of the brain giving a
“mind expanding” experience. They temporarily disable filters in
the brain which usually block unimportant or unwanted thoughts
from reaching the conscious mind.
•Dissociatives include: phencyclidine (PCP), ketamine (an
anesthetic) and dextromethorphan (DXM), nitrous oxide
(laughing gas), and salvia divinorum.
•These drugs block signals to the conscious mind from other
parts of the brain. The loss of these senses leave the user in a
dream-like state of self exploration and hallucinations.
•All of the drugs listed above are legal except for PCP and
can be bought in stores.
•Deleriants (anticholinergics) are said to be „true
hallucinogens‟ because they cause a dissociation from regular
• These drugs include the plants deadly nightshade, mandrake,
and henbane and the pharmaceuticals diphenhydramine
(Benadryl) and dimenhydrinate (Dramamine).
•Anticholinergics are toxic and can cause death at high doses,
as well many uncomfortable side-effects.
How are Hallucinogens Used?
• In most cases they are ingested, such as LSD, Mushrooms,
Peyote, and Ecstasy.
•They are also commonly smoked, such as marijuana.
•Other ways are by snorting or injecting. These drugs are
usually crushed from a solid into a powder and then used.
How do Hallucinogens Work?
Many hallucinogenic drugs share a basic chemical
structural unit the indole ring, which is found in the
nervous system substance serotonin.
They tamper with the central nervous system by blocking
signals from the senses and disabling filters in the brain
that block unwanted or unnecessary thoughts from
reaching the conscious mind.
Some hallucinogens starve the brain
Short-Term and Long-Term
Short-Term: distortion of color, time and distance, vivid visual
and audial hallucinations, impaired judgment, altered memory,
problems with concentrating and communicating, and in some
cases, intense fear, anxiety, and psychosis.
Long-Term: Heavy usage has shown to deteriorate the
ability to reason and communicate with others. They have
also been known to affect the memory.
Years after taking a hallucinogen, a flashback may occur,
bringing on the same affects experienced while on the
Increased heart rate and blood pressure, fever, dilated
pupils, tremors, nausea, chills and numbness are all
symptoms of hallucinogens.
Many are non-toxic or very low in toxicity, however they
may starve the brain of oxygen or dehydrate the user.
Others, especially deleriants, are extremely toxic and can
cause death due to overdose.
• What drugs are associated with hallucinogens?
• Which type of hallucinogen is deadly?
• What is one effect hallucinogens have on people?
• How can LSD affect you in the future?
• What is one way a hallucinogen can produce its affect ?
True of False
• Non toxic hallucinogens are ok to do.
• Hallucinogens make you smarter and more creative
• A hallucinogen can cause someone to go psychotic.
• An LSD flashback can occur to a 60 year-old man who
took the drug in his 20‟s.
Further Information on Hallucinogens
Can Be Found at…
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