Hallucinogens are drugs that cause hallucinations or distortions in a person's perception of reality. Hallucinations are described as seeing images or hearing sounds that are not actually present and can result from medications, disease, mental illness, and even insomnia. This entry is concerned with the history, effects, and classification of hallucinogens that are discussed and/or used most frequently: lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), phencyclidine (PCP), ketamine (known on the street as Special K), psilocybin (street name, magic mushrooms), mescaline (peyote), meth-ylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or ecstasy) and dimethyltryptamine (DMT). However, drugs that are not labeled hallucinogens, such as marijuana and cocaine, may cause hallucinations when taken in high doses or combined with other drugs.

Hallucinogens challenge what one knows and believes about human behavior and how the brain works. ...

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