Hallucinogenic drugs are typically classified as experiential substances. The reason for this is that people don’t take them to achieve a certain feeling, such as they might with opioid drugs, but in order to alter their senses in what is called a “trip.” To be clear, various types of substances have the capability to induce hallucinations. However, hallucinogenic drugs are usually naturally-occurring substances, such as magic mushrooms (or psilocybin), that are used for that sole purpose, and pretty much invariably induce hallucinatory effects.
While most of these drugs are not as immediately harmful as harder substances, there are dangers that come with using naturally-occurring hallucinogens.
Short term effects of naturally-occurring hallucinogens
The primary effect of taking hallucinogenic drugs is that one’s senses are drastically impaired. A mild version of this might be seeing blends of different colors, or having your hearing distorted in unusual ways. However, severe hallucinations can include hearing voices or even full-blown visions of things that aren’t there. Psychosis and paranoia are both possible, while under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs.
The largest danger of hallucinogenic drugs, though, is behavioral. People whose senses are disrupted in such impactful ways can make risky decisions that end in injury or death.
Long term effects of naturally-occurring hallucinogens
Because hallucinogenic drugs are experiential substances, people often don’t use them, regularly, and instead opt to do so only in specific circumstances. This separates hallucinogenic drugs from other types of drugs that people use as part of a routine. Using hallucinogenic drugs routinely is rare because most naturally-occurring hallucinogens are not physically addictive, and the highs experiences are so intense that it is difficult to maintain one’s day-to-day life while continuously using.
However, there are still some people that do use hallucinogenic drugs frequently over a long period of time. When people do this, it can heavily change the makeup of your brain’s chemistry and lead to depression, psychosis, anxiety, memory loss, and other types of long-term brain damage.