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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Hallucinogenic addiction or abuse

Waranga, whakamanioro pōhewatanga rānei


Taking these drugs in an unsafe environment can cause accidents or death. This includes driving or if you're near a hazard such as water, a high ledge or fire.

If someone is putting themselves or others in danger while taking these drugs, you should call 111 and ask for the police.

Hallucinogens or psychedelic drugs can change the way you see the world. They affect your senses, so you might hear or see things that aren't there or feel things differently. This is called tripping.

More than any other drug, the effects of hallucinogens vary from person to person. The effects also depend on your size, your mood and other things in the environment. You cannot know if you'll have a good trip or a bad trip. The effects of the drug usually last between three and five hours but can last as long as 12 hours.

Long term, you may have flashbacks. These can happen at any time after taking the drug. Taking other drugs can trigger them, as can fatigue or heavy exercise.

Heavy use of LSD can affect your memory. It may also increase your risk of serious mental disturbance.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed June 2023.


Page reference: 579011

Review key: HIADG-47857