Send Email

Recipient(s) will receive an email with a link to 'Hallucinogens' and will have access to the topic for 7 days.

Subject: Hallucinogens

(Optional message may have a maximum of 1000 characters.)


See Amphetamines, Cannabis sativa


  • Drugs that are capable of altering perception of reality, also known as psychotomimetic drugs. Although many drugs (e.g., anticholinergics, cocaine) can induce delusions and/or hallucinations, this class has the capacity to reliably induce states of altered perception, feeling, and thought.

  • Other names:

    • Ketamine: 2-(2-chlorophenyl)-2-(methyl-amino) cyclohexanone

    • Phencyclidine: PCP, 1-(1-phenylcyclohexyl) piperidine, angel dust, elephant tranquilizer, peace pill, Sherman, T

    • d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD): 9,10-d-N,N-diethyl-6-methylergoline-8b-carboxamide, microdots, window pane

  • Normal range: ketamine: 500–2,000 ng/mL plasma [IV administration]; PCP/LSD: not available


  • Ketamine: induction of anesthesia

  • Phencyclidine: no current medical use in the United States; abused as a hallucinogen

  • LSD: no current medical use in the United States; abused as a hallucinogen


  • LSD unstable in light, elevated temperature, and alkaline conditions and may irreversibly adsorb to containers.

  • Screening: individual drug-specific tests required; immunoassay based on automated chemistry analyzers using blood/serum/urine

    • Ketamine

      • No tests currently available by immunoassay

      • TLC procedures have a high limit of detection of approximately 1,000 ng/mL.

      • See confirmation: readily detected with alkaline liquid–liquid or solid-phase extraction followed by gas chromatography or GC/MS analysis.

    • PCP

      • Tests available from multiple manufacturers

      • Target; PCP

      • Limit of quantitation: 25 ng/mL [urine]; 2–10 ng/mL [blood/serum]

      • Little to no cross-reactivity with PCP metabolites and varying cross- reactivity (20–90%) with PCP analogs [e.g., TCP-1-(1-thiophenecyclohexyl) piperidine]

      • May cross react with dextromethorphan

    • LSD

      • Target: d-LSD

      • Limit of quantitation: 0.5 ng/mL

      • Low (<20%) cross-reactivity with metabolites, no cross-reactivity with lysergic acid

  • Confirmation: chromatography based; sample pretreatment/extraction procedure often required

    • Ketamine [blood/serum/urine]

      • Gas chromatography

      • HPLC

      • GC/MS

      • Target analyte: ketamine

      • Limit of quantitation: 25–50 ng/mL

    • PCP [blood/serum/urine]

      • Gas chromatography

      • HPLC

      • GC/MS

      • Target analyte: PCP

      • Limit of quantitation: 10–50 ng/mL

    • LSD [blood/serum/urine]

      • LC/MS

      • LC/MS/MS

      • Target analytes; d-LSD, hydroxy-LSD, 2-oxo-LSD, 2-oxo-3-hydroxy-LSD, N-desmethyl-LSD

      • Limit of quantitation: 0.5–2 ng/mL

      • Multiple identified and unidentified metabolites formed, resulting in a low confirmation rate for LSD of positive-screened specimens