Lifestyles Center Blog


While attending college, it can seem like drugs become an inevitable topic of conversation. Whether it’s someone using, or having previously done so, it is important for us to know how drugs can negatively affect our brains. This week is all about hallucinogens. Hallucinogens are common “party drugs” because of their psychedelic side-effects and overall aesthetic. Some commonly known hallucinogenic drugs are: salvia, PCP, LSD, “shrooms,” peyote, and MDMA (Molly).

Watch This:

These two short videos simplify and visualize what happens when your brain is on MDMA (molly) and when your brain is on psilocybin (shrooms). These two drugs are both popular among college students because they are easier to find. MDMA is both an amphetamine and a hallucinogen. It makes you feel the way you do because it tricks your brain by changing the way the nerve cells in your brain communicate. Similarly, Psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms temporarily alters the brain’s entire organizational framework.

Read This:

An article published in the New Yorker recounts the testimonial of a man who took acid one night in college and experienced lasting effects throughout his life. This type of story is not uncommon with hallucinogens. There are always risks of long-term side-effects. This story should be an eye-opener for students who are looking for a good time for a suspected singular night should they decide to try hallucinogens. Before taking these drugs, kids should be prepared for decades of lasting effects.


Do This:

While the psychedelic effects of these drugs seem to draw certain people to them, there are also plenty of healthy alternatives to getting into a groovy mood:

  1. Go for some glow-in-the-dark bowling/mini golf. Who doesn’t love bowling? Most bowling alleys already have black lighting anyway, so it should not be hard to find a place that offers it at least one night a week. Lighthouse Lanes in Oswego offers it sometimes and Destiny USA has a really cool glow-in-the-dark mini golf course.
  2. Looking up optical illusions online. If for some reason you really want to try and trick your brain, there are numerous websites you can find to do some optical illusions. All you need to do is Google it and click on the first or second link. You can find the link to my favorite optical illusion website here:
  3. Coloring in adult coloring books. Everyone seems to have these complex, fancy coloring books (including me). Consider having a few friends over to your pad to see who can do their best at coloring in the lines. You can pop in a record and have a slammin’ (good) time! Adult coloring books have even been shown to have health benefits. Coloring reduces stress and can help those with conditions such as depression, anxiety and PTSD.


Written by Sarah Pasquarelli, Peer Educator

Photo Cred: Pill Head image