Hallucinogen is the name of a class of drugs with psychoactive effects. They cause change in perception, thought, and emotion. They are not physically addicting. Here are the most common hallucinogens:

Hallucinogen: LSD

LSD is a hallucinogen that can distort reality and cause hallucinations. Known as “acid,” LSD is a semisynthetic substance. It is known for its psychological effects. LSD is not physically addictive, and has a low toxicity in small doses.

LSD’s psychological effects vary from person to person depending on dose, age, and life experience. Most users experience strong sensory and visual distortion. Colors may seem brighter, patterns could seem to “breathe” and users can experience an altered sense of time. LSD may also impair judgment and the ability to perceive danger, so accidents on LSD are common, sometimes even fatal.  An LSD trip can last up to 12 hours and have long term emotional and psychological effects. Some users report having “acid flashbacks” for months or years after taking the drug. Flashbacks are a recurrence of some part of the experience of the trip, without having taking the drug again. A small percentage of LSD users experience what is known as Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder.  People suffering from this syndrome experience flashbacks that are persistent, instead of momentary.

Hallucinogen: Ketamine

Ketamine is a hallucinogen used in both human and animal medicine. Usually, it is combined with a sedative and used as an anesthetic. It is also used in emergency medicine as an analgesic (pain killer) and as a treatment for bronchospasm. New studies suggest that Ketamine may be useful in treating psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder. Ketamine is similar to PCP in that they both cause a dissociative state.

The effects of the hallucinogen ketamine use vary with the dosage of ketamine used. In small doses, ketamine use causes a mild, psychedelic euphoria similar to the effect of ecstasy. At high doses, ketamine use can trigger what is known as a “k-hole” effect. A k-hole is the point when the user loses grasp of all his or her senses. There is a complete separation of mind and body. Most users will feel extreme disorientation and experience vivid hallucinations. They will be unable to move or speak at this point.

Hallucinogen: DMT

DMT, or N,N-Dimethyltryptamine, is a naturally occurring hallucinogen. It is derived from certain plants. Modern formulations of DMT are usually in the form of a crystalline powder which is smoked or injected. When DMT is combined with an MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor), DMT is orally active and can be ingested by mouth.

DMT use results in a short, intense psychedelic high.  When DMT is smoked or injected, peak concentrations of the drug occur immediately and last about 10 minutes. When the hallucinogen is combined with an MAOI, the MAOI prevents DMT from being broken down in the digestive system, so it can be taken orally and is also more potent. Oral ingestion of DMT produces a long lasting (over 3 hours) psychedelic experience.

DMT causes intense visuals, euphoria and hallucinations. As with most hallucinogens, the psychological effects of DMT drug abuse can be damaging. It can cause overwhelming fear and inability to distinguish reality. DMT is more potent than other hallucinogens, so DMT drug abuse can have more intense psychological effects. DMT can also trigger latent mental illness in someone who is already predisposed.

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