How Widespread Is the Abuse of Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs?
According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 180,000 Americans aged 12 and older reported current (past- month) use of LSD and 32,000 reported current use of PCP.1 New hallucinogenic/dissociative drugs have also emerged on the scene in recent years. Salvia, historically used by indigenous tribes of Southern Mexico during religious rituals, has replaced LSD and PCP as the most commonly used hallucinogenic drug. In fact, past-year use of salvia among the nation’s 12th-grade students is more than 1.5 times that of LSD (3.4 percent versus 2.2 percent) and almost 5 times that of PCP (3.4 percent versus 0.7 percent).2
While regular use of hallucinogenic and dissociative drugs in general has remained relatively low in recent years, a recent study reported that the United States ranks first among 36 nations in the proportion of high school students ever using LSD or other hallucinogens in their lifetime (6 percent versus 2 percent in Europe).3
This series of reports simplifies the science of research findings for the educated lay public, legislators, educational groups, and practitioners. The series reports on research findings of national interest.