Hallucinogens are natural and synthetic drugs that distort thinking, awareness and the senses. This group of drugs includes LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), PCP (phencyclidine, also known as "angel dust"), psilocybin (found in different types of mushrooms), and mescaline, among others. Many of the newer "designer drugs", such as ecstasy, are hallucinogens produced in illegal labs.
Hallucinogens can be extremely dangerous for both the user and other people around the user. Even a single dose can cause severe and complex reactions. Effects may include euphoria, loss of ability to separate fact and fantasy, paranoia, panic and violence. Because hallucinogens affect judgment so powerfully, using them can result in accidents such as falls and car crashes, as well as suicide attempts.
Some users of hallucinogens experience a serious break with reality that requires long-term professional treatment. Using these drugs even once can cause "flashbacks" - an unexpected recurrence of a hallucinogen's effects. These flashbacks can happen even years after the drug is taken, and can lead to depression or a fear of going insane.
Hallucinogens are illegal drugs with no medical use. All users risk arrests, fines and jail terms. Using hallucinogens may cause the user to commit violent crimes.