Drugs that are considered in the class of hallucinogens are generally illegal drugs that distort the senses and alter a person’s mental state. A high from one of these drugs is often called a “trip,” and these trips can be long-lasting and unpredictable. Sometimes, people claim to experience a spiritual awakening while “tripping” but others may suffer from panic attacks, paranoia, delirium, and violent or aggressive behaviors during a “bad trip.”
LSD is made from lysergic acid. PCP (phencyclidine), often called angel dust, began as a general anesthetic but now has no accepted medical uses. Many other hallucinogenic drugs come from plants or their extracts (e.g., peyote, salvia, psilocybin, DMT, and ayahuasca).
Over 1 million Americans abused a hallucinogenic drug in the month before the 2014 NSDUH. These drugs change the way people see the world and themselves, and cause users to see, hear, or feel things that are not actually there. They may be swallowed, brewed in tea, injected, smoked, or inhaled, and they come in many different forms.
While not typically considered to be addictive, the abuse of hallucinogenic drugs can cause a person to experience “flashbacks” many months or even years after taking them. Trips can also be unpredictable and have unintended or undesirable side effects.