Epidemiology

Recent surveys in the United States and Europe indicate that hallucinogen use is increasing. Johnson et al.,(2) for example, reported that the trend for the lifetime prevalence of LSD use among American high school seniors rose from 7.7 to 13.6 per cent from 1988 to 1997. Similarly, a German sample of 3021 adolescents found a twofold increase in LSD and substituted amphetamines from 1990 to 1995.(!6> From 1990 to 1992 in East Germany there was a ninefold increase in LSD use, compared to a fivefold increase in all other illegal drugs. In the United Kingdom LSD use increased from 7 per cent in 1989 to 11 per cent in 1993. In Denmark 7.2 per cent of students surveyed reported using hallucinogenic mushrooms in 1993. In surveys of American undergraduates, an 18.4 per cent prevalence of mushroom experimentation was found in the years 1993 to 1994. LSD users tend to start in adolescence, and because this class of drugs lacks the addiction potential of alcohol, cocaine, or opiates, hallucinogen use typically declines in the mid-twenties.

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