Hallucinogens & Dissociative Drugs

Some effects of PCP including depression and memory loss may last six months to a year following prolonged daily use.

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Class of drug:  Hallucinogens (most common form is LSD)

                          Dissociative drugs (most commonly form is PCP)

Main active ingredient:
                          Hallucinogens: Lysergic acid diethylamide, mescaline, psilocybin, ibogaine
                          Dissociative: Phencyclidine

What it looks likeLSD: Clear, odorless liquid, brightly colored tablets, impregnated blotter paper, thin squares of gelatin  PCP: liquid, capsules, white crystalline powder, gum

Street namesLysergic acid diethylamide: LSD, Acid, Blotter, Phencyclidine: PCP, Angel Dust, Loveboat, Wack

How it is used: Both hallucinogens and dissociative drugs can be swallowed, injected or smoked. LSD liquid and gelatin forms can be put in the eyes. PCP is often sprinkled or sprayed on cigarettes, parsley and marijuana.

Duration of high:  Hallucinogens: effects begin within 30 to 90 minutes and last from six to twelve hours. PCP: effects begin within minutes and last for hours.

Withdrawal symptoms: Depression, memory loss


Physical (both)—increased heart rate and blood pressure, elevated body temperature, loss of appetite, loss of muscle coordination, slurred speech


Mental—hallucinations; intensified senses; distortion of time, reality and environment; confusion; mood swings; panic; suicidal thoughts

Long-term—heart and lung failure, flashbacks, coma


Mental—detachment/disconnection of environment and self, distorted perceptions of sight and sound, violence

Long-term—memory loss, speech difficulties, paranoia, convulsions, coma


U.S. information

In 2012, more than 180,000 Americans aged 12 and older reported current (past-month) use of LSD and 32,000 reported current use of PCP. The average age at first use was about 17 for PCP and 19 for LSD. (National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2012)

There are hundreds of synthetic hallucinogens on the market today including 25I-NBOMe (N Bomb) and 2C-I (Smiles) which have been attributed to multiple deaths and significant injuries. They are generally found as powders, liquids, soaked into blotter paper or laced on something edible. Both drugs are classified as Schedule I substances, making possession, distribution and manufacture illegal.

Sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Research Report Series, American Medical Association, Illinois Drug Threat Assessment—National Drug Intelligence Center, NIDA Community Epidemiology Work Group