Most drug abusers use drugs in an effort to alter their perception of the world around them; it is not surprising that many of them choose psychedelic drugs or hallucinogens. As a temporary escape from life’s dilemmas, many drug abusers turn to hallucinogens, which help them cope by distracting them or giving them a new perspective on their current situation. Unfortunately, the effects of these psychedelic drugs are temporary and artificial. Hallucinogens can make one see or feel things that are not really there, impairing the ability to distinguish between what is real and what is not. Long-term exposure to hallucinogenic drugs also impair memory and concentration; they are also known to cause flashbacks, where a regular user suddenly experiences the effects of the drug days, weeks, or years later. Hallucinogens come in many forms, but they have similarly psychedelic and dangerous effects. Below is a list of the most common hallucinogens and their effects.
LSD or ‘Acid’
More commonly known as “acid,” lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a drug that affects parts of the brain responsible for cognition, perception, and mood. It is used in psychedelic therapy due to its ability to alter thought processes and simulate spiritual experiences. It’s addictive nature remains a point of debate, but it has been used as a recreational drug ever since the 1960’s. The effects of LSD are very unpredictable, but the most common include dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea, tremors, and increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a very powerful hallucinogen present in hundreds of plants and is a substance naturally produced by the human brain. It is now synthetically produced and comes with a stronger alternative, 5-MeO-DMT, which is 10 times as potent. Many DMT users report out-of-this-world experiences such as conversing with aliens, seeing the face God, and visiting alternate worlds. The use of DMT causes disorientation because its effects rapidly dissipate after a certain period of time. Other negative effects include visions, auditory hallucinations, muscle twitching or jerking, vomiting, and unconsciousness.
“Shrooms” or Magic Mushrooms
Shrooms, as the name implies, belong to a type of mushroom or fungi that contains varying amounts of psilocybin and psilocin, both of which are substances that alter consciousness and perception. Shrooms, as hallucinogens, have effects similar to LSD — hallucinations, altered perceptions, and dissociation. Long-term effects include flashbacks, fatigue, and hypersensitivity to external stimuli.
Mescaline is a hallucinogen derived from the Peyote or “divine cactus.” The Peyote has been used medicinally and ritualistically through history by indigenous Americans due to it’s psychedelic effects and psychoactive ingredients. Mescaline is used as a recreational drug and is known to cause dream-like states, visions, and euphoria. Negative side effects include dizziness, tachycardia or racing heartbeat, dizziness, diarrhea, and vomiting.