Drugs such as acid, vitamin K, and angel dust distorts a user’s perceptions of motion, time, colors, sounds, and self. These drugs can affect a person’s ability to think and communicate rationally, and recognize reality, which in turn might provoke dangerous or bizarre behavior. Hallucinogens such as LSD cause major mixed emotions and make real-life sensations seem unreal. Drugs such as ketamine and PCP can make their user feel out of control and disconnected.
LSD is associated with psychotic-like episodes that can happen long after the drug has been taken. PCP and ketamine can cause respiratory depression, a withdrawal syndrome, and heart rate abnormalities. Secondary school students’ use of LSD and other hallucinogens has dropped since 1998. However, LSD and ketamine are more popular at dance clubs and all night rave parties by young adults and older teens then ever before.
Hallucinogens are some of the oldest known drugs that have been used to alter human mood and perception. For hundreds of years most of the natural hallucinogens that are commonly found in plants and fungi have been used for religious, medical, and social reasons. The physiological, biochemical, and pharmacological basis for hallucinogenic activity are not understood well. The category for these drugs, hallucinogens, is not always appropriate since the drugs do not always produce hallucinations. In nontoxic doses, these drugs create changes in mood, perception, and thought. An elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, and dilated pupils are some physiological effects of such drugs. Sensory effects include perceptual distortions that can change with mood, setting, and dose. Psychic effects may include thought disorders associated with space and time. Time sometimes appears to stop, and forms and colors appear to change and take on new meaning. Taking hallucinogens can be either a pleasurable or frightening experience. It is important to emphasize that the effects are unpredictable every time these drugs are taken.