Hallucinogens are a powerful class of drug that causes a person to feel or experience sensations not based on reality. Hallucinogens directly affect how a person perceives the reality around them and can potentially lead to reckless or dangerous behavior. Many long-term effects of hallucinogens are still not fully understood due to a lack of research.
Hallucinogens are a class of drugs that affect how a person perceives the reality around them. Depending on the hallucinogen, this can be done by altering awareness, thoughts, and feelings or by creating visual or auditory hallucinations. Hallucinations are sensations or images that are not real.
There are two types of hallucinogenic drugs: classic hallucinogens and dissociative hallucinogens. While both types of drugs can cause hallucinations and altered perceptions, dissociative drugs also can cause the user to dissociate from their body or environment. This may lead to a person experiencing an “out of body” sensation or feeling like they are in a dream rather than the real world.
Hallucinogens can be entirely natural and plant-based or synthetic creations. Synthetic hallucinogens are generally created in labs to replicate the effects of natural hallucinogenic drugs. These drugs have a long history of being used for medical and spiritual purposes, especially in Native American and South American cultures. In recent years, they have become more popular among adolescents and college-aged students for recreational use.
LSD, or acid, is a common type of synthetic hallucinogen. The drug became popular in the 1960s for spiritual, recreational, and clinical use. However, we now understand that most of the medical applications and benefits of LSD were overrated or false. The United States now considers LSD to be a Schedule I drug, meaning that there is no approved medical use, and it is at a high risk of being abused.
LSD is commonly found in liquid form. The liquid is used to soak thin strips of paper that users then place on their tongues. The drug is absorbed from the paper and into the body. Today, LSD is most commonly used by young adults in party settings, such as clubs or music festivals.
PCP is a synthetic dissociative drug. It was initially designed to be used as an anesthetic, but medical use was halted in the 1960s due to adverse effects and the potential of abuse. The effects of PCP are often compared to LSD. However, it is far more potent. On the streets, PCP is commonly referred to as “angel dust.”
PCP can be used by itself or in combination with other drugs. The dissociative effects of PCP can cause a reaction that seems to enhance the effects of other drugs, such as marijuana or cocaine. However, mixing PCP with other substances makes an already dangerous substance even deadlier.
Not all mushrooms are hallucinogenic drugs. Most mushrooms, such as ones found in grocery stores, are entirely safe. However, a few specific species of mushrooms contain a chemical called psilocybin, which is a naturally occurring hallucinogen. Most of these mushrooms are found in the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America.
These mushrooms are usually dried and eaten or brewed in boiling water to make a potent tea. The effects of psilocybin are very similar to those of LSD. In history, mushrooms have been used in Native American rituals for healing and spiritual purposes.
DMT is a naturally occurring chemical that is extracted from a species of South American plant. It is often found as a white powder and is usually smoked. On the streets, DMT may be referred to as Dimitri. Like PCP, this drug is often combined with other illicit substances.
Peyote is a particular species of cactus that contains the chemical mescaline. Mescaline is a naturally occurring hallucinogen. Peyote is a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no approved medical uses, although some claim it has the potential to treat depression and alcoholism.
Peyote is a major substance in the history of Native American culture, as it was used in many religious ceremonies. Peyote can cause a person to experience intense visual hallucinations and alters their perception of time and space.
Ketamine is a medication used by doctors and veterinarians as an anesthetic. When being abused, ketamine is commonly used as a “club drug,” meaning it is used in party settings. Like most “club drugs,” this means that ketamine is generally used in combination with other substances, such as stimulant drugs or alcohol.
Because ketamine can cause a person to experience a dissociative episode and memory loss, it is considered a “date rape” drug. A person may slip ketamine into someone’s drink without realizing it to commit sexual assault once the drug kicks in so that the victim may be unable to fight back.
The science behind how hallucinogens work still has not provided a clear answer. The current belief is that classic hallucinogens affect the neural circuits in the brain that involve serotonin, whereas dissociative drugs disrupt the glutamate system of the brain. Research is still being conducted to learn more about these drugs, including how they affect a person’s brain, the long-term effects of use, and how they can cause addiction.
Hallucinogens are not usually considered as addictive as other illicit substances, such as opioids or cocaine. However, long-term use of hallucinogens has proven to cause substance dependence. A dependence will lead to the bodybuilding tolerance to the substance, making a person require more of a drug to achieve the desired effects. It may also lead to physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms when substance use stops. Both tolerance and dependence symptoms are key criteria in the diagnosis of an addiction disorder.
Hallucinogens are not believed to cause a variety of physical withdrawal symptoms. However, psychological dependence on these drugs is more common. Psychological withdrawal symptoms may include depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, restlessness, or irritability.
The truth is that the long-term effects of hallucinogen use and addiction are not fully understood. This does not mean that they are safe to use, just that science hasn’t done the research to understand the potential consequences of use. If you or a loved one are suffering from a dependence on hallucinogenic drugs, it is best to seek the help of medical professionals as soon as possible.
Substance abuse treatment should always be catered to the needs of the individual. Each person in recovery may respond differently to various types of treatment, so no one treatment program will work for everyone.
Psychotherapy options, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy, can be beneficial in the treatment of substance abuse. Group meetings, such as SMART Recovery or Narcotics Anonymous, may be helpful tools for people who find group support helpful.
If you or a loved one may be suffering from substance abuse disorder, the first step is to seek a medical professional’s help. Getting help with addiction treatment is a vital step in the recovery process. Symptoms associated with withdrawal are often challenging and can be dangerous to face alone. Treatment facilities can help guide you through the initial stages of the recovery process safely and effectively.
At AM Health Care, we believe in finding the recovery method that will work best for you. Every person has different needs when it comes to addiction treatment, and not one thing will work for all people. We can find the facility and program that best fits your needs to receive the best chance at recovery possible.
Our facilities that offer Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment: