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Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are a type of drug that create an altered perception of reality. This includes altering the user’s senses, thoughts and feelings. People often use these drugs for spiritual purposes, to feel more connected with nature or with themselves. However, these drugs have no legal or medical purposes in the United States, and therefore there are several short-term and long-term effects of hallucinogens.

Here is everything to know on:
  • Negative effects of hallucinogens
  • Short-term effects of hallucinogens
  • Long-term effects of hallucinogens
  • Hallucinogen effects on the body
  • Treatment options for short-term and long-term hallucinogen effects

What are Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are a type of recreational drug, used to experience an altered perception of reality, called hallucinations. Hallucinogens fall into two categories known as classic hallucinogens and dissociative drugs. Classic hallucinogens include drugs such as LSD, Peyote, and DMT, while dissociative drugs include drugs like PCP and Ketamine.

Each type of hallucinogen drug will have a different effect, yet each type will alter the users mind to some degree. Many types of hallucinogens will alter the users senses and create a distorted sense of reality. This experience is often referred to as a “psychedelic trip.”

While each drug will cause the user to feel differently, there is always a risk for negative effects of hallucinogens.

Most Common Hallucinogens

Many hallucinogens are natural, plant-based drugs while others are human-made known as synthetic. The most common types of hallucinogens include:

  • LSD
  • “Magic” mushrooms or “shrooms”
  • PCP
  • Ketamine
  • Ayahuasca
  • DMT
  • Peyote

Drugs like Ayahuasca and DMT are commonly used in spiritual events and retreats as a way to connect deeper with yourself and your environment. Although there are thought to be many religious and spiritual benefits to using these drugs, there are many negative and dangerous effects hallucinogens have on the body.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Hallucinogens and Ways to Treat Them

The psychedelic experience from hallucinogens can range from being enjoyable and “spiritually awakening” to quite terrifying. This is referred to as either a “good or bad trip.” This can depend on several different factors, including the type of drug used, the amount taken, the route of administration (orally, injected, consumed raw, etc.), and simply the personality of the using individual. Each person will have a different experience but will always be at risk for experiencing negative effects of hallucinogens.

The effects of hallucinogens typically occur within 20-90 minutes after the drug has been taken and the effects can be both short or long-term. For the most part, hallucinogens will create sensory effects, altering the users sense or reality, causing hallucinations. This means the user might see, hear, touch, or smell things in a distorted way. These drugs are also known to intensify emotions and can cause extreme sensory experiences such as seeing bright colors or hearing loud sounds.

Short-term negative effects of hallucinogens include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Impulsivity
  • Increased blood pressure, heartrate and body temperature
  • Excessive sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Numbness or weakness
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Inability to move
Long-term effects of hallucinogens include:
  • Persistent psychosis (continued mental problems such as visual disturbances, disorganized thinking, mood swings and paranoia)
  • Flashbacks otherwise known as Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD)
  • Memory loss
  • Speech problems
  • Increased anxiety and depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

When someone is experiencing negative effects of hallucinogens, medical support should be sought out immediately to ensure the safety of the using individual, as these effects can lead to dangerous and sometimes fatal outcomes.

Hallucinogenic Drugs Effects on the Body

Each type of hallucinogen will create a different experience for each person using the drug. However, most hallucinogens will create an altered perception of reality, causing the user to feel intense emotions, or experience hallucinations.

The effects from hallucinogens vary from being felt within seconds such as with DMT and in some cases, can last up to 12 hours after taking the drug. The user is likely to feel an increase in heartrate, blood pressure and body temperature sometimes causing excessive sweating and paranoia. The exact effects of hallucinogens can be unpredictable and based on several different factors such as the type and amount of drug used.

It is important to note that using any type of hallucinogen can be highly dangerous and each person will have a different reaction to the drug taken.

Treatment Options Available for Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Hallucinogens in California

While hallucinogen addiction is not as common as with most other mind-altering drugs, it is still possible. The short-term and long-term effects on hallucinogens can cause destructive outcomes on a person’s life and it is important to seek help before it is too late. Detox and rehab centers can help you recover from the negative effects of hallucinogens.

Contact Forward Recovery today at (844) 387-6889 to learn more about treatment options for your drug abuse and have a safe and fully supported recovery process.

Citations National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Hallucinogens Drug Facts.” Reviewed November 2021 VeryWellMind. “The Short and Long Term Effects of Hallucinogens.” Reviewed 21, September 2020

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