While hallucinogens are a popular drug due to the hallucinogenic “trips” people can experience under their influence, they also carry a host of dangerous side effects, and many are illegal and addictive.
Though the use of hallucinogens in recent years has been relatively low in the United States compared to in days gone by, hallucinogen abuse and addiction remains a widespread problem. In a 2013 study, more than 229,000 Americans reported having used LSD in the past month, and 33,000 reported using PCP. Salvia, ayahuasca and other hallucinogens have also maintained a popular presence in recent years.
The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers are here to help if you or a loved one is struggling with hallucinogen abuse or addiction. Read on to learn more about the many types of hallucinogens, their side effects, and treatment options, or contact us today to get started on the road to recovery.
There are many different types of hallucinogens, both naturally occurring and synthetic, but all have the same general effects on people. Hallucinogens are drugs that alter their users’ perception of reality, sometimes by impacting their awareness of what is around them as well as their thoughts and feelings, and other times by causing hallucinations, in which people experience images and sensations that feel real but are not.
Hallucinogens have been used by people for hundreds of years for various purposes, including religious ceremonies, but they are also commonly abused for their hallucinogenic effects. But just what are hallucinogens? A hallucinogen is a chemical substance that can be found in plants and mushrooms but also in liquids, powders, pills, and capsules.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), these are some common hallucinogens:
Hallucinogens can disrupt the communication between chemical systems in the brain and spinal cord, according to NIDA. Some affect the serotonin in the brain, which impacts our mood, sensory perception, sleep, hunger, body temperature, muscle control and sexual behavior. Others target glutamate in the brain, which impacts our ability to perceive pain, respond to the environment, feel emotion, learn, and create or access memories.
Hallucinogens effects begin within 20 to 90 minutes after taking a hallucinogenic substance and can last for 6 to 12 hours. They vary depending on what type of hallucinogenic substance is used — DMT effects will differ from the effects of LSD or the effects of Acid, for example — but general short-term hallucinogenic effects include:
Other short-term effects more specific to different forms of hallucinogens include:
Long-term effects of hallucinogens may include:
Unsure if someone you know is using hallucinogens? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you can look to see if these signs of hallucinogens abuse are present in your loved one:
There hasn’t been much research into many of the varieties of hallucinogens, but it is known that some are addictive, such as PCP. Others are not classified as such, such as LSD. Even when hallucinogens are not addictive in the general sense, users may still develop a tolerance to them or to similar drugs, where more of the drug must be taken over time to achieve the same effect as the initial, lower doses.
Someone who is addicted to hallucinogens may experience hallucinogens withdrawal symptoms including drug cravings, headaches, and sweating, according to DrugAbuse.gov.
The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers are equipped to offer therapy and treatment for hallucinogens abuse and hallucinogens addiction. Our services include a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) Day Program, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and General Outpatient Program (GOP). If Residential Treatment for stabilization is required during treatment for hallucinogens abuse, such cases will be coordinated with a partnering residential treatment facility.
The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers are driven by this guiding mission statement: “Empowering individuals and families suffering from addiction and mental health disorders to celebrate life through lasting solutions.”
Hallucinogen addiction treatment at The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers is a carefully tailored program defined by research. We make every effort to support outcomes that prepare patients and their families to manage their hallucinogens addiction and to reclaim a meaningful life. We equip those we help to overcome hallucinogens abuse with both the knowledge and the applied behaviors they need to continue on a path to success.