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Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs: Including LSD, PCP, Ketamine, and Dextromethorphan

NCJ Number
Date Published
8 pages
This research report provided scientific information on both hallucinogens, such as LSD and dissociative drugs, such as PCP, Ketamine, and Dextromethorphan to inform and strengthen prevention and treatment efforts.
With the prevalence of both hallucinogens and dissociative drugs gaining widespread usage, this report intended to inform and enhance prevention and treatment efforts. Hallucinogens, such as LSD cause emotions to swing wildly and real-world sensations to assume unreal and frightening aspects. In addition, LSD is associated with psychotic-like episodes that can occur long after a person has taken the drug. Hallucinogenic drugs have played a role in human life for thousands of years. From the tropics to the arctic, cultures have used plants to induce states of detachment from reality and to precipitate “visions” thought to provide mystical insight. All LSD manufactured in the U.S. is intended for illegal use, since it has no accepted medical use. Dissociative drugs, such as PCP, ketamine, and dextromethorphan (cough suppressant) may make a user feel disconnected and out of control. PCP and ketamine can cause respiratory depression, heart rate abnormalities, and a withdrawal syndrome. PCP and ketamine were initially developed as general anesthetics for surgery, distort perceptions of sight and sound and produce feelings of detachment and dissociation from the environment and self. They are more properly known as “dissociative anesthetics”. Dextromethorphan is a widely available cough suppressant, and when taken in high doses, it can produce effects similar to those of PCP and ketamine. The use of ketamine and LSD were seen as becoming more widely used at dance clubs and all-night raves by older teens and young adults. Glossary, graphs, and references


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