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Is it true that psychedelics can trigger mental illness?
Responses to the hallucinogens depend on several factors, including the user's expectations, his ability to cope with perceptual distortions, and the setting. Untoward reactions (anxiety attacks, extreme apprehensiveness, or panic states) to psilocybin mushrooms are quite rare. Most often, these reactions quickly subside with appropriate management in a secure setting. This is why trip sitter is recommended. However, some persons (especially after using LSD) remain disturbed and may show a persistent psychotic state. Whether drug use has precipitated or uncovered a preexisting psychotic potential or can produce this state in a previously stable person is yet unresolved.
Some persons, especially those who are long-term or repeat users of hallucinogenic drugs (particularly LSD), may experience apparent drug effects long after they have discontinued drug use. These episodes (flashbacks) most commonly consist of visual illusions but can include distortions of virtually any sensation (including self-image or perceptions of time or space) and hallucinations. Flashbacks can be precipitated by use of marijuana, alcohol, or barbiturates or by stress or fatigue or can occur without apparent reason. The mechanisms of flashbacks are not known. Flashbacks tend to subside within 6 to 12 months.