What are Psychedelic Drugs?
Psychedelics are a class of mind-altering drugs also commonly known as hallucinogens. As the name indicates, these types of drugs can cause hallucinations, altered states of consciousness, and sometimes a sense of euphoric wonder. These effects are often sought after by anyone who willingly tries these substances.
Hallucinations can affect all of the human senses, meaning they make you see, hear, feel, taste or even smell things that are not there. This distorts your sense of reality and time, often affecting your emotional and mental awareness. Sometimes, these effects result in profound, joyful experiences. Others, though, can lead to a sense of doom, panic, or “ego death”– where you temporarily lose touch with everything you have always believed to be real about yourself and the world.
Hallucinations are the primary effect caused by taking psychedelics. However, there can be several different side effects as well. For example, some types of psychedelics can cause you to release serotonin, and other types can cause you to dissociate from reality, or even have an out of body experience.
The source of psychedelic substances come from all over the place, ranging from chemical creation in a lab to a natural occurrence in nature, such as certain plants or fungi. While recreational use of psychedelics is common in many parts of the world, their consumption is mostly illegal universally. There are a few legal exceptions for religious purposes, such as the cactus Peyote used in spiritual rituals by the Native American Church.
Some of the most common types of recreational psychedelic drugs are:
- LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), also known as acid
- Psilocybin, commonly known as magic mushrooms, “shrooms”
- Mescaline “peyote”
- DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine, termed “the spirit molecule”)
- MDMA, known as ecstasy or molly
- Ketamine, or K, Ket, Special K
- among many others.