Hallucinogens are drugs. They cause, among other things, hallucinations. This means that sensory perceptions are altered. Nature produces hallucinogens. There are hallucinogens in certain types of mushrooms, for example. Hallucinogens are also synthesized in laboratories. The best-known example of this is LSD.
Hallucinogens are used in a variety of manners. LSD, for instance, can be obtained as ‘paper trips’ or in pill form. Mushrooms can be eaten or tea can be brewed with them.
- Addictive? Not physically, rarely psychologically.
- Increasingly more needed for the same effect? In the short-term, yes, as repeated use of the substance within a few days produces virtually no effect. In the long-term, no.
- Short-term effects: Intensification of current emotions, visual hallucinations, distortions and sometimes complete alterations of perceptions of time and space.
- Long-term effects: Chance of mental disorders for people who are susceptible to these (anxiety, psychosis).
- Important: Danger of inaccurate or mistaken appraisals of environment. Panic can arise as a result of a particularly strong trip and cause the user to ‘flip out.’ A trip is the term for the effects of the hallucinogenic use.