Hallucinogens are substances that some people take to alter their perception of reality. Most of these substances are taken recreationally; however, a few can be used for medicinal purposes. In the United States, the most common hallucinogens are illegal and unregulated, making their consumption quite risky. Here are four examples of hallucinogenic drugs.
Psilocybin is a substance that is commonly referred to as mushrooms, magic mushrooms, or shrooms. People take mushrooms for their psychoactive effects, such as producing more intense emotions, laughing, altering one’s sense of reality, and distorting one’s sense of time. Senses may also become confused, for example, someone might feel that they can hear a certain color. This can be either a positive or uncomfortable side effect, depending on the person and their experience taking the drug. Mushrooms do have some negative side effects, however. Some of the adverse effects of shrooms include:
Anxiety and panic
Heightened heart rate
Despite these negative effects, there is research showing that magic mushrooms do have some medicinal use when used under medical supervision. Psilocybin may be used in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression, and other mental health conditions.
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LSD, or acid, is a substance that can make people feel more energized and excited. However, there are many negative side effects of LSD, including panic, dry mouth, and elevated blood pressure. When someone experiences particularly bad side effects of a drug, it is commonly known as having a bad trip. Some of the changes in sensations caused by LSD can be pleasant to one person and terrifying to another. There are many ways to take LSD, including via capsules or intravenously. When taking LSD via the latter method, there is additional risk involved when using shared or otherwise dirty needles.
People who use LSD sometimes experience an urge to continue taking the substance in order to reach a certain state. Like all forms of addiction and dependency, this can cause problems from a social, professional, and legal standpoint.
Ecstasy, sometimes known as E, MDMA or Molly, is a drug that causes distortions in perception, time, and the senses. People who use this drug do so because of how it affects the serotonin and dopamine in the brain. However, ecstasy comes with side effects such as:
Sweating and chills
Nausea and vomiting
Users can also experience longer-term issues from the use of MDMA, including depression, trouble sleeping, anxiety, impulsiveness, and decreased appetite. People who take a high dose of the substance may even experience heart and liver failure as well as death.
Mescaline is derived from a type of cactus called peyote. It is similar to drugs such as shrooms and LSD and can produce intense hallucinations. Its effects last around 10 hours, and the drug is illegal in the United States with the exception of some religious ceremonies performed by the Native American Church.
Be aware of the negative effects of these four hallucinogens.