Hallucinogens

LSD, Acid, PCP, Magic Mushrooms, Shrooms, Ketamine, Special k, DMT

Also known as psychedelics, these drugs can change the way a person perceive the world. It affects all the senses, altering thinking, sense of time and emotions.

LSD

Signs and Symptoms

A person tripping on LSD might not necessarily be overly concerned about concealing their behaviour due to the emotional responses evoked by the drug. Typical signs noticeable:

  • Dilated pupils

  • Salivation or dry mouth

  • Weakness

  • Negative effects including emotional distress, anxiety, depression, disorientation or paranoia

  • Dizziness, nausea, rapid heart rate and convulsions

  • Sweating or chills

  • Blurred vision

  • Inability to perform complex tasks like driving or operating machinery

Methods of Use

  • Orally

Adverse Effects

  • Sleep problems

  • Panic

  • Paranoia

  • Psychosis

  • Disorganized thinking

  • Memory loss

  • Depression

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature

  • Loss of appetite

  • Excessive sweating

  • Numbness

  • Nausea

  • Speech problems

Overdose Potential

Inexperienced users may not be aware of the late onset of the elicit effects and therefore take repeated doses over a short period which could lead to accidental overdose. Another factor to consider is the unpredictability of the doses. Therefore it is essential to be aware of possible symptoms leading to overdose even if the consensus is that lethal overdose on LSD alone is not possible. LSD may present side effects as mentioned above. But more severe side effects may include the following:

  • Extreme anxiety.

  • Feelings of lost identity that they are ceasing to exist.

  • Panic.

  • Paranoia.

  • Rapid mood swings.

  • Aggression towards others, including homicide.

  • Self-mutilation.

  • Dying in an accident.

  • Committing suicide.

  • Features of psychosis that don’t immediately end when the LSD trip is over.

Withdrawal

Due to LSD primarily becoming a psychological dependence, there are not likely to experience physical ailments but rather a strong desire to take LSD because of the emotional discomfort.

The following is most commonly found:

  • Flashbacks

  • Anxiety

  • Confusion

  • Depersonalisation

Magic Mushrooms

Signs and Symptoms

Methods of Use

  • Orally

Adverse Effects

  • Anxiety or depression

  • Muscle weakness or twitches

  • Coordination problems

  • Excessive sweating

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure

  • Irregular breathing

Overdose Potential

Withdrawal

Psilocybin mushrooms are very low in toxicity and would therefore require large amounts to be fatal. However, taken in large doses it could cause severe side effects including violent behaviour, suicidal thoughts, psychosis or convulsions. Other factors to consider is mistakenly taking poisonous mushrooms. If extreme nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal cramping is experienced, seek immediate medical attention.

Due to no physiological symptoms of addiction, long-term abusers of mushrooms may experience depression, insomnia or flashbacks. However, little is known about long-term risks. But the lack of known risks does not indicate that it is safe. Some hallucinogens may increase the risk of persistent psychosis.

Ketamine

Although magic mushrooms as considered non-addictive, a psychological dependence may develop. The psychological reactions can be risky, as people will use it as an escape from reality.

Side effects may include the following:

  • Flashbacks

  • Panic attacks

  • Severe depression

  • Objects appear to breath

  • Emotional swings

  • Paranoid delusions

  • Psychosis

Signs and Symptoms

Ketamine is primarily used as a party drug and due to its short lasting effect, unless an empty vial is found in the person’s possession, it will be difficult to determine if it is in fact what is being used. But due to the profound psychological dependence, the following might be more noticeable:

  • Lack of production

  • Lack of enjoyment of life

  • Isolation

  • Increasing depression

Categorized as a “dissociative anaesthetic”, Ketamine is used as an anaesthetic in animals. It creates a detached, dreamlike state when used. Because of its paralyzing effect, ketamine are also used as a ‘date-rape’ drug.

Methods of Use

  • Smoked

  • Injected

  • Snorted

  • Orally

Adverse Effects

  • Hallucinations

  • Dissociation

  • Agitation

  • Depression

  • Difficulty thinking or learning

  • Nausea

  • Involuntary muscle movements

  • Amnesia

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Delirium

  • Psychosis

  • Liver damage

  • Severe abdominal cramps

  • Long-term bladder and urinary tract problems

Overdose Potential

Death from ketamine poisoning alone is rare but the combination of the loss of consciousness, vomiting and decrease in motor function can cause to choke on their own vomit.

Withdrawal

Ketamine withdrawal is reportedly mainly psychological but some cases have been reported of physical withdrawal. Typical withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fatigue

  • Sweating

  • Tremors

  • Restlessness

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Nightmares

  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

  • Chills

  • Cognitive impairment

  • Psychosis