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Hallucinogens are a class of drugs that alter perception, thoughts, and feelings, often leading to hallucinations or profound distortions of reality. Substances such as LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), peyote, and PCP fall under this category. While some individuals may use hallucinogens for recreational or spiritual purposes, the unpredictable effects can pose serious risks and challenges.


Psychedelics, also known as Hallucinogens, are a class of psychoactive substances that produce changes in perception, mood and cognitive processes. Psychedelics affect all the senses, altering a person’s thinking, sense of time and emotions. They can also cause a person to hallucinate—seeing or hearing things that do not exist or are distorted. This class of drugs can temporarily alter a person’s mood, thoughts, and perceptions of reality. Among other health effects and safety concerns, people who use psychedelic and dissociative drugs report feeling strong emotions, ranging from intense happiness and a feeling of connectedness to fear, anxiety, and confusion. People who use these drugs also report experiencing intense or distorted visions or sensations.

There are many different kinds of psychedelics. Some occur naturally, in trees, vines, seeds, fungi and leaves. Others are made in laboratories. They come in many forms including tablets, blotter paper, dried mushrooms, powders and crystalline powders.

Psychedelics have been used since ancient times by various cultures throughout the world for their mystical and spiritual associations. LSD, magic mushrooms, Mescaline and DMT are usually swallowed, smoked or inhaled. Mushrooms are usually eaten fresh, cooked or brewed into a ‘tea’.

Many psychedelic drugs derive from plants and fungi, and some have been used for thousands of years in traditional or religious rituals. Some psychedelic and dissociative drugs are also synthetic (lab-made). People report using psychedelic and dissociative drugs for a variety of reasons, including seeking new, fun, healing, or spiritual experiences.
What Is It?


Short-term effects

  • Intense Hallucinations: Users may experience vivid visual or auditory distortions.
  • Elevated Mood: Some users report feelings of euphoria and transcendence.
  • Altered Sense of Self: Users might feel a sense of detachment from their own identity.

Long-term effects

  • Persistent Psychosis: Prolonged use can contribute to ongoing psychological issues.
  • Flashbacks: Users may experience hallucinogen-like episodes even when not using the drug.
  • Impaired Memory and Concentration: Long-term cognitive effects can impact daily functioning.

General effects

Physical Signs:
  • Dilated pupils
  • Altered coordination
  • Distorted sensory perceptions, such as heightened colors or altered sounds
  • Changes in heart rate and/or blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate

  • Feelings of euphoria 

  • Blurred or impaired vision

  • Dry mouth

  • Loss of appetite

  • Inability to sleep

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Increased body temperature

  • Excessive sweating

Behavioral Signs:
  • Altered perception of time and reality; such as feeling time passing by slower than usual
  • Impaired judgment and difficulty distinguishing between reality and hallucination
  • Mood swings and unpredictable behavior or paranoia
  • Intensified sensory experience, such as brighter colors

  • The blurring of senses, such as hearing colors or visualizing sounds

  • Spiritual experiences, such as unification or ego death

  • Panic

  • Psychosis

  • Bizarre behavior



  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 5 million people aged 12 or older reported using hallucinogens in 2020.
  • Emergency department visits related to hallucinogen use have increased, highlighting the need for targeted intervention and treatment.


The subjective experience of using hallucinogens is highly variable. Users often describe a profound alteration of reality, with sensory perceptions transcending normal boundaries. While some may find the experience enlightening or spiritual, others may endure terrifying or distressing episodes, contributing to the unpredictable nature of hallucinogen use.


We recognize the unique challenges posed by hallucinogen addiction. Our treatment approach combines evidence-based therapies, counseling, and holistic support to address the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of addiction. We are committed to empowering individuals to break free from the cycle of hallucinogen dependence, guiding them towards a life of sustained recovery and fulfillment.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with hallucinogen addiction, take the first step towards recovery by reaching out to Total Life Change. Together, we can navigate the path to healing and build a foundation for a future filled with hope and sobriety.
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