(Information for this sub-post from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/what-are-dissociative-drugs)

Last, but certainly not least dangerous, on this post on “party” drugs is hallucinogens. What are they? Hallucinogens are a class of drugs that can cause, as the name implies, hallucinations. And just in case you are not 100% sure what that means, hallucinations are when you see, feel or hear things that are not actually there.

noun (from dictionary.com)

  1. a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind, caused by various physical and mental disorders, or by reaction to certain toxic substances, and usually manifested as visual or auditory images.

Two classes of hallucinogens exist: Classic hallucinogens (like LSD) or dissociative drugs (like PCP). Ketamine, listed above, is a dissociative drug as is DXM (the main ingredient in cough medicines) and PCP.  LSD, magic mushrooms (shrooms), peyote and DMT (also known as Dimitri) are common hallucinogens. But please do not make them common in your lives. All of these are dangerous, and both classes of drugs cause mood swings and hallucinations that can be both sudden and scary.

Why would people do them then? In the past, hallucinogens were often used in religious ceremonies to create states where a person was detached from reality and therefore believed to be more open to receiving messages from a higher power or other spirits. More recently, people have used them for recreational purposes or in an attempt to experience a more “enlightened” state of being.

However using hallucinogens cause a wide variety of symptoms such as anxiety, memory loss and impaired motor function. It can also cause nausea, vomiting, increased blood pressure, respiration problems, panic, feelings of exaggerated strength and invulnerability and paranoia.  Used in high doses or combined with alcohol or other drugs, hallucinogens can lead to death.

Of particular note, the hallucinations experienced as a result of taking these drugs can last for several hours or several days. Indeed, users can experience “flashbacks” even months or years later. 

Although people do take hallucinogens for “fun,” a person has no control over what hallucinations he/she will have. As such, you may see pink elephants dancing down the hall one minute and then bloody mangled bodies the next. Many, many people report horrifying hallucinations that have been traumatic. Indeed, just the experience of seeing, feeling and hearing things that are not real can be a traumatic experience.

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