Other names: LSD - Acid, Tabs, Trips, Blotters. Magic mushrooms (psilocybin) – shrooms. DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine). Peyote (mescaline). 251-NBOMe – N Bomb, 251. Salvia. Dextromethorphan - DXM

Hallucinogenics are a class of drug that change how people perceive reality. People can see, hear and feel things that seem real but do not actually exist. Effects can be very short (15 minutes for DMT) to very long (several hours for LSD).

Hallucinogenics are available in a variety of forms. Some are available in liquid form or small tabs of paper which have been soaked in the liquid and then dried. Psilocybin is found contained in a mushroom that can be dried and eaten or brewed into a tea. Others are available as a powder, pill or tablet and some can be inhaled, smoked or vaporised.

The effects of hallucinogenics, especially LSD, are often called ‘trips’. These effects are unpredictable and vary hugely from person to person. A good trip can make users feel relaxed and happy with pleasant hallucinations. A bad trip can make you feel agitated and confused, with unpleasant and frightening hallucinations.

Hallucinogenics are taken in different ways depending on how they come. Some liquids are swallowed, as are tabs of paper soaked in the liquid. Mushrooms can be dried and eaten or brewed into a tea. Pills and tablets taken orally and powders snorted, inhaled or vaporised. Whatever hallucinogen you’re thinking of taking, it’s a good idea to thoroughly research them first to find out the safest way of taking them.

• You do not know whether you will have a good or bad trip until you take a hallucinogenic. Trips can feed off your imagination and may heighten a mood you’re already in. So if you are in a bad mood, feeling worried or depressed, a hallucinogenic may just make these feelings worse.

• A bad trip can involve frightening hallucinations.

• Whilst under the influence of a hallucinogenic your perception of your body and the world can be distorted, which can leave you vulnerable to accidents or other dangers.

• Hallucinogenics can trigger or exacerbate mental health problems.

• Regular users may experience flashbacks, sometimes weeks, months or even years after using a hallucinogenic.

• If trying to find psilocybin mushrooms, be aware that there are many different types of mushrooms and some are so poisonous that they can kill you. It can be difficult to know which type you have.

• If you choose to use a hallucinogenic, then use it in a safe environment and in the company of someone you trust. Ideally, this person will not have used the substance themselves and will be in a position to get help if things go wrong.

• Take small amounts first to test strength and effects. Allow a hallucinogenic time to work before taking more. It can take up to 90 mins to take effect, with those effects lasting up to 12 hours.

• Mixing a hallucinogenic with alcohol or other substances can be unpredictable, and it is safer to avoid this.

• Be cautious about using a hallucinogenic if you are aware of any existing mental health problems.

• As some hallucinogenics are long acting, allow time to recover before driving.