What Are Hallucinogens?

For hundreds of years, people have been using psychoactive substances to alter their reality.

There are many different kinds of mind-altering drugs that can be prime targets for abuse across every demographic.

Regardless of the legal status and level of perceived safety of each of these drugs, it is important to remember that any of these substances can cause a physical dependence.

Find out more about getting treatment for an addiction to psychoactive drugs.

Abuse of Hallucinogens

Because nearly all of the aforementioned drugs are illegal (most heavily regulated), any amount of use should be a cause for concern. Abuse of these drugs can cause serious harm to the user or those around them, and continued abuse can lead to a physical and psychological addiction in some cases.

Hallucinogens Drug Dependence and Addiction

Although addiction to these types of drugs is less common than other substances, many people can still develop a dependence on them. A physical addiction is marked by tolerance to the drug, meaning more is needed to achieve the initial high. It is also recognized by the presence of withdrawal symptoms when stopping use.

A psychological dependence can take place when:

  • The user feels the need to take the drug more frequently
  • Goes through extremes to get the drug
  • Starts avoiding responsibilities or friends and family in favor of using the drug
  • Continuing use despite recognizing the severe consequences of doing so

An addiction to a mind-altering substance may be linked to other conditions, including depression.


Phencyclidine (PCP) is a dissociative anesthetic that was discontinued for human use in 1965. The drug creates an “out of body” feeling and coming down from its anesthetic effects can cause people to become agitated and irrational.

PCP is used as an additive to many other street drugs (including marijuana, LSD and methamphetamine). This enhances their psychedelic effects. Predominantly distributed as a powder, PCP is snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed.

When abused at high doses, PCP can cause hallucinations, seizures and coma. PCP-induced deaths are most common when the user commits suicide or has an accident due to their altered state of consciousness. PCP is also known as:

  • Angel dust
  • Embalming fluid
  • Killer weed
  • Zoom
  • Super grass
  • Peace pills

Don’t write off your addiction if you think you need help.