Hallucinogens Dependence (Psychedelic Drugs)

Hallucinogens, also called psychedelic drugs, create a range of perceptual distortions and various psychological symptoms. Under the influence of hallucinogens, the senses seem to be enhanced, and brilliant hallucinations occur. Many users experience synesthesia, in which various forms of hallucinations occur simultaneously. Many also describe feeling disconnected from their bodies or other altered states of reality.

Street names for LSD, which is a hallucinogen, include acid, twenty-five, Sid, Bart Simpsons, barrels, tabs, blotter, heavenly blue, L, liquid, Liquid A, microdots, mind detergent, orange cubes, hits, paper acid, sugar, sugar lumps, sunshine, ticket, wedding bells, and windowpane. LSD is available in tablets or pills or, more commonly, soaked on small squares of paper called tabs or blotters. The blotters are often printed with images or designs, and a specific supply of LSD may be called by the design that appears on the blotter papers, such as "Bart Simpsons" or "Blue Unicorns."

Methods of Use of Hallucinogens

• Snorted
• Injected into the bloodstream (mainlining), muscles, or under skin (skin popping)
• Smoked
• Swallowed
• Applied to membrane surfaces
• Cooked in foods
• Chewed

Types of Psychedelic Drugs

Hallucinogens include LSD, peyote, mescaline (which is the active component of peyote), psilocybin, DMA, DOM, DMT, 2C-B, 2C-T7, and Ayahuasca

Effects of Hallucinogens on the Central Nervous System

The way that LSD and other hallucinogens affect the central nervous system is not clearly understood, but LSD molecules are structurally similar to the neurotransmitter called serotonin and seem to have an affect on the serotonin system. Serotonin helps regulate important body functions such as sensation, sleep, attention, and mood. Hallucinogenic effects on the serotonin system may help explain how the drugs alter those body functions.


Hallucinogens produce hallucinatory experiences ranging from visual distortions and illusions to multiple hallucinations and even severe panic (during "bad trips"). Effects last from hours to days. Some of the effects of hallucinogen intoxication may last for months, such as the visual "trailing" effect in which moving objects seem to leave visual traces behind. Flashbacks, or spontaneous reoccurrence of hallucinatory effects, may continue to occur long after the drug was used.

Some individuals may experience spontaneous recurrence of the hallucinations experienced during use. These can occur even during drug-free periods, up to several months following the use.

Physical symptoms include enlarged pupils, blurred vision, tachycardia, and poor coordination.

Life Risks

Individuals who use hallucinogens may become delirious or psychotic. Depressive disorders often occur following the use of these substances. In a few individuals, a single, extremely frightening experience can cause severe long-term problems with a dramatic decrease in their ability to function normally.

Withdrawal symptoms - hallucinogens

Effects of withdrawal from hallucinogens have not been clearly established because these drugs do not seem to be physically addictive. They may, however, be psychologically addictive because users feel emotionally dependent on taking them.



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