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LSD (Acid)

Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs

Offers the latest research findings on hallucinogens and dissociative drugs, describing what they are, how they are abused, and basic facts about different drugs within this classification of drugs.

Published: March 2001
Revised: January 2014

Hallucinogens - LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP

Hallucinogenic compounds found in some plants and mushrooms (or their extracts) have been used—mostly during religious rituals—for centuries. Almost all hallucinogens contain nitrogen and are classified as alkaloids. Many hallucinogens have chemical structures similar to those of natural neurotransmitters (e.g., acetylcholine-, serotonin-, or catecholamine-like).

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Chronically delinquent boys in Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care reduced their substance abuse more than boys assigned to Community Group Care.

Hallucinogens

Explains how hallucinogens affect the brain’s communication centers as well as its ability to control sleep and emotions.

Published: January 1997
Revised: January 2009


Read this publication online at the NIDA for Teens Web site »

From the Director

Hallucinogens and dissociative drugs—which have street names like acid, angel dust, and vitamin K—distort the way a user perceives time, motion, colors, sounds, and self. These drugs can disrupt a person’s ability to think and communicate rationally, or even to recognize reality, sometimes resulting in bizarre or dangerous behavior. Hallucinogens such as LSD and psilocybin cause emotions to swing wildly and real-world sensations to appear unreal, sometimes frightening.

Hallucinogens

Brief Description

Hallucinogenic compounds found in some plants and mushrooms (or their extracts) have been used—mostly during religious rituals—for centuries. Almost all hallucinogens contain nitrogen and are classified as alkaloids. Many hallucinogens have chemical structures similar to those of natural neurotransmitters (e.g., acetylcholine-, serotonin-, or catecholamine-like). While the exact mechanisms by which hallucinogens exert their effects remain unclear, research suggests that these drugs work, at least partially, by temporarily interfering with neurotransmitter action or by binding to their receptor sites. Learn more

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Other Resources

Past information on many drugs of abuse is available on our Archives site.

Club Drugs

Brief Description

Club drugs tend to be used by teenagers and young adults at bars, nightclubs, concerts, and parties. Club drugs include GHB, Rohypnol®, ketamine, and others. MDMA (Ecstasy), Methamphetamine, and LSD (Acid), are considered club drugs and are covered in their individual drug summaries. Learn more

Also more about:

Other Resources

Past information on many drugs of abuse is available on our Archives site.

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