The term hallucinogen (from the Latin word allucinari, meaning "to dream, to wander in the mind") is applied to any drug used to produce distortions of reality and hallucinations. These drugs are sometimes called illusionogenic or psychedelic.

Hallucinogens are drugs that dramatically affect perception, emotions and mental processes. They distort the senses and can cause hallucinations-sensory images similar to dreams or nightmares. Hallucinogens are sometimes called "psychedelic drugs." They are most often used for their so-called "mind-expanding" effects. The best known hallucinogen is LSD. There is no currently accepted medical use for hallucinogenic drugs.

Classification: hallucinogenic drugs distort the senses, producing hallucinations (experiences that depart from reality). Possession and distribution of hallucinogens are illegal.

Peyote and mescaline: the primary active ingredient of the peyote cactus is the hallucinogen mescaline. It is derived from the fleshy parts or "buttons" of the plant. Mescaline can also be produced synthetically. A dose of 350 to 500 mg of mescaline can produce hallucinations lasting five to twelve hours or longer. Mescaline may be marketed as a Powder, as a gelatin capsule, or in liquid form, thus making it possible to sniff, ingest, or "mainline" the substance. However, most mescaline is taken orally. Peyote is taken orally in the form of mescal buttons, the brown, dried crowns of the cactus. These buttons are chewed, sucked, or chopped and swallowed whole to extract the hallucinogenic substances.

Slang terms: mesc, buttons, and cactus.

Ecstasy: is the street name for mdma (methylenedioxy methamphetamine), an analog of the hallucinogen MDA and the stimulant methamphetamine producing effects similar to both. Ecstasy is taken orally. Its effects include a euphoric feeling similar to that experienced with LSD but without hallucinations. Ecstasy also increases visual and acoustic sensory perception and elevates mood. Recent research indicates that mdma has neurotoxic properties. Ecstasy comes in tablets of various colours and retails on the street for about $20 per dosage.

Psilocybin and psilocin: these are active ingredients of the psilocybe mushroom. The active ingredients are chemically related to LSD and can now be synthetically produced. These drugs are available in the organic mushrooms, or in powder and liquid forms.

Slang terms: magic mushrooms and mushrooms.

LSD (lds-25, lysergic acid diethylamide): LSD was originally used to study the mechanism of mental illness. Later, LSD was adopted by the drug culture. Although its popularity declined after the mid-1970's, it appears that the illicit use of LSD is once again increasing.

LSD is produced from lysergic acid, a substance derived from ergot fungus (which grows on rye and wheat kernels) or from lysergic acid amide, a chemical found in morning glory seeds.

LSD is usually sold in the form of tablets, thin squares of gelatin (called "window panes"), or on small squares of paper on which LSD has been applied by an eye dropper (called "blotter acid"). It is reported that some schools have had students approached by dealers selling stickers of popular cartoon designs, which are impregnated with LSD.

Slang terms: LSD, acid, green or red dragon, white lightning, blue heaven, sugar cubes, and microdots.



indications of use of hallucinogens are: