What are Hallucinogens?

Hallucinogens are a type of drugs that cause hallucinations—profound changes in an individual’s perception of reality.  Sudden and unpredictable mood changes can also take place when some users take hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are produced by some plants and mushrooms. Or, they can be man-made. Often they are classified into two groups –  classic hallucinogens (for example, LSD) and dissociative drugs (for example, PCP).

What do Hallucinogens look like?

Hallucinogens come in all shapes and sizes. Here’s an overview of the most important drugs of this type:


This drug is synthetically made as crystals which are then converted into liquid form.  As a liquid it is odourless, colourless and has a mildly bitter taste.

LSD is often called “acid” as well as  many other names, it is sold small tablet form (“microdots”), capsules or squares of gelatin (“window panes””). Often the drug is absorbed inside paper, which is then made into sheets of small squares that are illustrated with colourful designs or pictures of cartoon characters.


This drug can be found occurring  naturally in over 200 types of mushroom. These types are often referred to as magic mushrooms and ‘shrooms. Other fungi and plants also have hallucinogenic potential.

This drug can take the form of dried mushrooms or even capsules with powder inside. Laboratory made Psilocybin is a white crystalline powder that is then put into pills, capsules, or dissolved into liquid.

PCP (Phencyclidine)

This drug is an anaesthetic that is conventionally used on animals. It can be found as white powder (in its purest form) but generally the drug is seen as capsules, pills or coloured powder.


This drug is another anaesthetic that is medically used on both humans and animals. Normally, a white crystal powder, found in pills, tablets or dissolved in liquid


This hallucinogen is obtained from from the peyote cactus. It can also be manufactured synthetically. Takes the form of a white crystal powder (in its pure form). Man-made in various colours of powder and capsules

Cannabis and Ecstasy (MDMA)

Both of these drugs can also act as hallucinogens when taken in high doses

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