In The Know Zone

Health Effects of Hallucinogens


LSD, Psilocybin/Psilocyn Mushrooms, and Peyote/Mescaline

LSD, mushrooms, and mescaline cause similar psychological effects. Light, colors, and shapes are altered, and imaginary objects appear. Walls "melt." Abusers feel like they are floating, being pressed down, or moving in slow motion. Users focus on tiny details for hours. They lose track of long periods of time.

Hallucinogens cause extreme, upsetting mood swings. Thoughts jump from idea to idea, memory to memory. Users feel their bodies growing, shrinking, or changing shape, or they feel as if they no longer exist.

Short-term Effects of LSD, Mushrooms, and Mescaline

LSD, mushrooms, and mescaline can cause these physical symptoms:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Numbness
  • Tremors
  • Heavy perspiration
  • Bad body odor
  • Chills
  • "Goose bumps"
  • Nausea
  • Muscle weakness
  • Trembling
  • Poor coordination
  • Lowered body temperature (LSD or psilocybin mushrooms)
  • Higher body temperature (peyote/mescaline)
  • Rapid heart rate (LSD or psilocybin mushrooms)
  • Depressed heart rate and breathing (peyote/mescaline)
  • High blood pressure (LSD or psilocybin mushrooms)
  • Lowered blood pressure (peyote/mescaline)
  • Seizures (LSD or psilocybin mushrooms)

Long-term Effects of LSD, Mushrooms, and Mescaline

LSD, mushrooms, and mescaline can cause these effects with heavy or continued use:

  • Psychological dependence
  • Cross-tolerance -- the need for increasing amounts to feel effects; covers various substances, not just those someone has used
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Increased risk of developing schizophrenia or psychotic episodes
  • Miscarriages
  • Birth defects
  • Fatal liver damage if the wrong mushroom is ingested.
  • Flashbacks
  • Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) -- trailing images, spots, auras, and other visual disturbances; depression, or panic attacks; long after use or perhaps permanent


Short-term Effects of PCP

Phencyclidine/PCP is the most hazardous and damaging of the hallucinogens. Users often injure themselves or others, cause property damage, or become dangerously ill.

Effects become worse with higher dosages. They include:

  • Lower doses:
  • Elevated breathing and heart rates
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Shallow breathing
  • Flushing
  • Heavy perspiration
  • Numbness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Higher doses:
  • Distorted speech
  • Psychosis or catatonia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Depressed breathing and heart rates
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Rapid eye movements
  • Drooling
  • Dizziness, loss of balance
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Accidental injuries
  • Suicide attempts
  • Death

Long-term Effects of PCP

Heavy or prolonged use of PCP can cause these effects:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Impaired thinking ability
  • Depression
  • Unwanted weight loss
  • Mood disorder

In The Know: Substance Abuse Pamphlet/ DVD Package
In the Know: Hallucinogens, Out of Your Mind Pamphlet
In The Know: Substance Abuse DVD Package