CT Clearinghouse

Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are drugs that cause hallucinations- profound distortions in a person's perceptions of reality.

Research & Statistics

  • NIDA Information for Researchers

    Links to various NIDA publications, including research reports, Addiction Science & Clinical Practice journal, NIDA Notes, and more.

  • PubMedPubMed comprises more than 20 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.

Locate a Treatment Facility


Hallucinogens are drugs that cause hallucinations - profound distortions in a person's perceptions of reality. Under the influence of hallucinogens, people see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but do not exist. Some hallucinogens also produce rapid, intense emotional swings.

Hallucinogens cause their effects by disrupting the interaction of nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin. Distributed throughout the brain and spinal cord, the serotonin system is involved in the control of behavioral, perceptual, and regulatory systems, including mood, hunger, body temperature, sexual behavior, muscle control, and sensory perception.

LSD (an abbreviation of the German words for "lysergic acid diethylamide") is the drug most commonly identified with the term "hallucinogen" and the most widely used in this class of drugs.