This writeup is intended to describe the various stages that users of hallucinogenic substances such as LSD and DMT typically experience. It refers specifically to those hallucinogens which are also described as psychedelics. It is not my intention here to attempt to describe the actual contents of such experiences except in the broad terms required in order to understand the delineation of the various stages.
Onset : As with all alteratives, there is an initial period during which no effects are felt. The length of the period of onset differs greatly depending on the substance involved and the method used to obtain its effects.
Ascent : As they begin to take effect, hallucinogens typically produce an intense feeling of ascending quickly towards some undefined inner destination (though the term 'ascending' is only a very rough approximation).
Peak : This occurs when the experience reaches its zenith of activity and effect, and is generally known as 'peaking'. This can be disorienting and uncomfortably intense, although some users experience this is a period of great clarity or realization. This stage is generally the briefest.
Plateau : Typically, the feeling of ascent and the discomfort often associated with it ceases at this point, and the content and quality of experience changes dramatically. For some people, it becomes somewhat less intense and therefore more 'manageable'. When people refer to 'tripping', this is probably the stage they are referring to.
Descent : Descent from the plateau stage is generally gradual. The intensity of the effects lessens noticeably for a while, then increases slightly again, then decreases further still, and so on. This is generally likened to waves, each less intense than the last. With each wave, the effects decline a little more.
After-effects : Most hallucinogens do not produce the stereotypically unpleasant 'come-down' of some other drugs, such as amphetamines. The immediate after-effects of hallucinogens are usually fairly mild, and typically consist of feeling a little 'spaced out' and tired, although a minority of users actually feel energized. Please note though that I am only referring here to the short-term after-effects of hallucinogenic substances, and not to any lasting physical or psychological effects that may occur as a result of taking them.
SEE ALSO: My interest in DMT, purely scientific in nature of course by perdedor if you are interested in reading a completely absorbing and superbly-written account of the actual contents of a hallucinogenic experience. It is an intensely subjective writeup of course, but all accounts of such experiences necessarily are.
Please also bear in mind that individual experiences vary widely, and that some individuals have extremely unpleasant experiences while under the influence of hallucinogens.