Hallucinogens are a type of drug that alters the users surrounding awareness, thoughts and feelings. This experience is often referred to as a “trip” and are known to be used for various spiritual reasons. The two main types of hallucinogens are considered classical hallucinogens (psychedelic) and dissociative drugs, both in which create a hallucination effect on the mind. Some of the most common examples of hallucinogens include “magic” mushrooms, LSD, and PCP, although there is a large list of other reality altering substances.
While hallucinogens are not known to be addictive in the way most other drugs are, it is possible to develop a psychological addiction to the feeling and experience they create for the user. When a person has become psychologically addicted to these types of drugs, hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms may occur in which case, treatment is highly advised.
Understanding HallucinogensHallucinogens are a type of drug category that creates hallucinations, causing the users senses (sight, smell, sounds, touch, taste) to be altered and possibly nonexistent in reality. Many types of hallucinogens are naturally grown and others are synthetic (human-made).
Hallucinogens and dissociative drugs have been used in different religions and for spiritual purposes, however they are also commonly used for recreational use. Common types of classical hallucinogens include LSD, Psilocybin, DMT, and Peyote. The most common types of dissociative hallucinogens include Ketamine, PCP, and Salvia. Hallucinogens and dissociative drugs can be used in several different routes of administration, such as orally in a pill tablet, brewed into tea, consumed raw, snorted, injected, etc. Each drug produces a different experience, and can create several risks when being abused.
Signs of Hallucinogen Abuse
When a person routinely misuses a substance, they are more than likely going to increase their chances of developing health issues. Because hallucinogens are nonmedical (in the United States) and most commonly used for recreational use, any type of hallucinogen drug use can be considered abuse.
A common way many people tend to abuse hallucinogens is by mixing it with other substances to enhance the feelings. Other signs of hallucinogen abuse include:
- Building a tolerance to the drug (needing more to reach desired effect)
- Experiencing hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms
- Using dangerous route of administration (injecting, snorting, etc.)
- Becoming physically or psychologically addicted to the drug
- Taking the drug despite negative consequences
- Problems in personal life due to hallucinogen use
Any type of hallucinogen abuse comes with a risk for developing health issues and can lead to possible addiction. Some risks of hallucination abuse include memory loss, speech impairment, rapid breathing and heartrate, increased anxiety and paranoia, and possible seizures. The side effects and risks of hallucinogen abuse can be both short or long-term and depending on the severity of the drug use, may require treatment to ensure a safe recovery.
Hallucinogens Withdrawal Symptoms, Signs and Treatment Options
With frequent or continued hallucinogen abuse, a person should expect to experience withdrawal symptoms once they stop the use of the drug. Hallucination withdrawal symptoms are different from those of other more addictive drugs, but can still be uncomfortable and dangerous.
One common withdrawal symptom includes experiencing flashbacks from the drug trip. Flashbacks can occur months after the last day of use and can cause the user to feel the effects of the drug, even after the “trip” has ended. Other hallucination withdrawal symptoms might include:
- Fever or chills
- Panic attacks
- Severe mood swings
- Difficulty speaking
The withdrawal effects can range from mild to severe depending on the drug of use, amount used and the duration of drug use. Dangerous withdrawal symptoms to look out for include increased heartrate and blood pressure, and seizures and tremors.
Each person’s experience with hallucinogens will be different, and recovering from hallucinogen abuse and addiction may require different types of professional treatment.
Hallucinogens Withdrawal Symptoms Treatment Options in California
The recovery process from continued hallucinogen abuse or addiction can be a challenging journey but you do not have to go through it alone. Forward Recovery is an addiction recovery center located in Los Angeles, California, staffed with several highly qualified mental health professionals that will support you throughout the entire withdrawal and detox phase. The staff will help to better ensure you have the tools needed to manage any drug cravings and utilize healthy coping skills. Contact Forward Recovery today (844-387-6889) to get started on your addiction recovery journey.Citations National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Hallucinogen Drug Facts.” https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens Reviewed November 2021