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Last updated : August 20, 2018
Hallucinogens (also known as psychedelics) can make a person see, hear, smell, feel or taste things that aren’t really there or are different from how they are in reality.1
Some plants such as magic mushrooms can cause hallucinations. Hallucinogens such as LSD can also be made in a lab.1
Also known as acid, trips, tabs, microdots, dots.
In its pure state, LSD is a white odourless powder. However, it usually comes in squares of gelatine or blotting paper that have been dipped or soaked in LSD. LSD is also sometimes sold as a liquid, in a tablet or in capsules.2
LSD is usually swallowed, but it can also be sniffed, injected or smoked.2,3
Also known as shrooms, mushies, blue meanies, golden tops, liberty caps.
There are many different types of magic mushrooms. The most common ones in Australia are called golden tops, blue meanies and liberty caps. Magic mushrooms look similar to poisonous mushrooms that can cause a person to become very sick and can result in death.2
Magic mushrooms are usually sold as dried mushrooms, a powder or as capsules.2
Mushrooms are often eaten fresh, cooked or brewed into a tea. They are sometimes mixed with tobacco or cannabis, and smoked.2
Also known as cactus, cactus buttons, cactus joint, mesc, mescal.
Mescaline is the active ingredient of the peyote cactus plant. It is also known to be made synthetically in a lab.4
In its pure form, mescaline sulphate is a white crystal-like powder. Synthetic mescaline can come in different colours. The peyote cactus contains ‘buttons’ that can be cut from the root of the plant, and then dried before eating or smoking them.4
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any type of drug.
Hallucinogens affect everyone differently, based on:
The effects of hallucinogens can last for 4 to 12 hours and can be different depending on which type of hallucinogen is used. The following may be experienced during this time:
Sometimes you can experience a ‘bad trip’, which are frightening and disturbing hallucinations. This can lead to panic and unpredictable behaviour, like running across a road or attempting suicide.
If you take a large amount or have a strong batch, you are likely to experience negative effects of hallucinogens.1,2
In the following days after using hallucinogens, you may experience:
People who regularly use hallucinogens may eventually experience flashbacks. Flashbacks are hallucinations that occur weeks, months or even years after the drug was last taken. This can be disturbing, especially when the hallucination is frightening.1,2
Flashbacks can be brought on by using other drugs, stress, tiredness or exercise and usually last for a minute or two.1,2
In addition to flashbacks, regular use of hallucinogens may eventually cause:
The effects of taking hallucinogens with other drugs − including over-the-counter or prescribed medications − can be unpredictable and dangerous, and could cause:
Psychological withdrawal symptoms are more common than physical symptoms, but as hallucinogens are a range of different drugs, it’s not possible to be specific about withdrawal symptoms. People withdrawing from hallucinogens may experience:
If your use of hallucinogens is affecting your health, family, relationships, work, school, financial or other life situations, you can find help and support.