Hallucinogens aren’t as popular as addictive drugs like heroin and meth. Despite this, they are a danger to society in many cases. The Drug Policy Alliance notes that around 16,875 American adolescents used hallucinogens. That means children as young as 12 put themselves at risk for addiction.
Society may turn a blind eye to this substance, but hallucinogen addiction treatment is crucial to recovery. People can become addicted to this drug and develop mental health issues as a result. They could even die.
This is what makes professional hallucinogen addiction treatment services so important. Detoxification and rehab are some of the most important and necessary processes for those suffering from substance abuse.
What Are Hallucinogens?
First off, hallucinogens is a wide umbrella term to describe substances that change a person’s visual surroundings, thoughts, and emotions. These kinds of substances cause vivid imagery, audio distortions, and physical sensations that aren’t there. In other words, hallucinations.
Typically, movies and media depict hallucinations as wild images that appear before a person using hallucinations. For example, a person sees their dead grandmother appear and lecture them on their baggy pants. This can happen but can also take the form of brighter colors and double vision. The effects vary since there is a wide variety of substances in the hallucinogen category.
Continuing, hallucinations can fall into two categories: classic hallucinogens and dissociative drugs. Unlike classic hallucinogens, dissociative drugs make an individual feel physically disconnected and out of control.
Individuals who consume hallucinogens might experience the following:
- Sleep problems
- Paranoia and panic
- Spiritual experiences
- Distortion in sense of time
- Loss of motor coordination
- Increased sensory experience
- Visual, auditory, and physical hallucinations
These are the main effects of hallucinations, but others include excessive sweating and dry mouth. In extreme cases, some people may experience psychosis. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), psychosis is, “disordered thinking detached from reality.” This is what makes this class of substances particularly dangerous. Those who can’t process reality don’t understand when they’re in a dangerous situation.
Some people might dismiss how life-threatening hallucinogens can be. Hence, they feel that hallucinogen addiction treatment isn’t worth it. They might feel this way in comparison to more addictive drugs like heroin and meth. Yet, what happens when a person gets behind the wheel or goes to work while they’re on it? A person can die as a result.
The Science Behind Hallucinogens
Like many substances, hallucinogens interact with body chemicals, aka neurotransmitters. These hormones start off in the brain and make their way throughout different parts of the body’s systems. Then, they instruct the body how to feel. Further, this substance affects neural circuits that use serotonin.
Neural circuits are pathways within the brain. They play a large role in movement and thought. These pathways can be thought of as connections between neurons. Neurons receive sensory input from external sources, then translate them. In terms of hallucinogens, this all happens in the prefrontal cortex.
So, the stimulation of the prefrontal cortex in combination with the increased production of serotonin affects a person in these ways when they use hallucinogens:
- Changes response to stress and panic
Scientists don’t completely understand the way every hallucinogen works. Though, they understand the areas and chemicals they interact with. To some extent, this is why scientists can’t fully say whether or not this substance is addictive. Yet, it can easily result in health disorders and hospitalizations. Hallucinogen addiction treatment is essential for this reason.
What Types of Hallucinogens Might Need Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment?
In short, all hallucinogens can make someone need hallucinogen addiction treatment. The reason is that they are powerful psychoactive drugs. Although they may not all be highly addictive, they can change a person’s life forever. Also, they go into effect in as little as 20 to 90 minutes.
There are various ways to consume hallucinogens, says NIDA:
- Raw or dried
- Brewed in a tea
- Tablets and pills
- Inhaled as smoke or vapor
- Pieces of paper soaked in the substance (absorbs through mouth lining)
Some hallucinogens are synthetically manufactured illegally. Others are found within nature and can be grown. The legal ramifications are murky in some states since some hallucinogens grow in the wild or accidentally on farms. However, the bottom line is they are illegal.
Popular Forms of Substances Treated in Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment
- LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide) – Extremely powerful and synthetically made. It’s known as acid, blotters, mellow yellow, Lucy, and dots. It can be ingested as pills or tablets, a liquid, or drug-soaked paper.
- Ketamine – Also known as Special K and Cat Valium. Works as a surgery anesthetic for animals and humans. It’s usually diverted from vets’ offices for illegal use.
- DXM (Dextromethorphan) – It’s a powerful hallucinogen, but also medicine against cold-like symptoms. This includes coughing and excessive mucus. Doctors are careful to prescribe it sparingly. Robo is another name.
- Salvia (Salvia divinorum) – One of the most powerful forms. Aka Magic Mint, Maria Pastora, Diviner’s Sage, and Sally-D.
- PCP (Phencyclidine) – Commonly known as Angel Dust. It has medical origins, but the hallucinogenic properties made doctors scrap its use.
- Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine) – Scientists aren’t fully aware of how psilocybin works, nor the long-term effects. They grow naturally in the form of mushrooms in the Americas. The mushroom itself isn’t illegal, but anything containing psilocybin is. Slang terms include shrooms, magic mushrooms, and little smoke.
- Peyote (mescaline) – A spineless cactus, but also comes in a synthetic version. Other names include buttons, cactus, and mesc.
- Cannabis – Marijuana can be considered a hallucinogen. Cannabis, Mary Jane, the Devil’s Lettuce, pot, trees, and green are all the same thing.
- 251-NBOMe – A synthetic hallucinogen that is more powerful than LSD. It was originally made for brain research.
The list above are popular forms, but not an exhaustive list. Hallucinogens contain a variety of substances. Many fall into the field of psychedelics. Some drugs, like MDMA, fall into the category but not exclusively.
Who Might Need Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment?
Firstly, addiction is when any kind of activity or substance impedes a person’s life. People can develop an exercise addiction or a sugar addiction. It’s because the brain responds to chemicals that an addiction supplies. For hallucinogens, that means serotonin. Serotonin has the following roles:
- Feels of well-being
- Regulates stress levels
- Regulates healthy sleep
- Plays a role in bone health
- Maintains eating and digestion
The brain knows a particular activity or substance can boost levels of this feel-good chemical. Hence, it wants more. If an individual continues to absentmindedly indulge primal instincts, they might need hallucinogen addiction treatment. This is because the brain will force the body to react to the lack of serotonin it has become accustomed to. That’s what makes all hallucinogens addictive.
Although, some hallucinogens are known to be addictive. For instance, PCP is known to be a strong and addictive form of this substance. A single use can derail an innocent person’s life completely. It begins quickly and can last as long as a full day. Paranoia, vivid hallucinations, and dangerous delusions are common. Some of these delusions might be something along the lines of mistaking the ability to fly.
It’s time to seek hallucinogen addiction treatment with these symptoms and signs:
- Memory loss
- Craving the substance
- Unhealthy sleep patterns
- Inability to stop consuming it
- Increased agitation and irritability
- Inexplicable body pains and aches
- Depression and thoughts of suicide
- Flashbacks (feeling the substance without taking it)
- Consuming the substance in inappropriate situations (ie: at work, weddings, birthday parties)
Further on, people who experience persistent psychosis or hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) must seek out hallucinogen addiction treatment. Persistent psychosis is a series of mental problems that arise from hallucinogen use. On the other hand, HPPD is the recurrence of drug experiences without consuming any hallucinogens.
Types of Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment
Most importantly, hallucinogen addiction treatment begins with detox. A detox (or detoxification) is when a person purges a substance and the harmful build-up of toxins from their body. This could take a week but can last much longer than this depending on the severity of the addiction. After a facility goes through the initial intake work, they will cut a patient off of hallucinogens.
The best way to do this is through a residential program. This is where a patient lives at a hallucinogen addiction treatment center. Typically, this is for 14 days or longer. The advantage is around the clock care and constant support from peers. This includes support from medical staff as well. When it comes to hallucinogens, much of the addiction is psychological. A good support network is crucial to recovery.
To continue, individuals within a hallucinogen addiction treatment program will go to therapy. The list of therapies may include:
With this, holistic methods may aid a patient suffering from a hallucinogen addiction. Holistic methods may include using art and exercise as a healthy coping mechanism. Often drug use has an underlying reason. Talk and holistic therapies can root out the real reason for substance abuse. That is why many addiction treatment centers in Florida offer dual diagnosis treatment.
Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment and Dual Diagnosis
A dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder is when a person has one or more health disorders at the same time. Addiction won’t go away if only a part of a diagnosis is solved. A comprehensive drug rehab will get to the bottom of the issue. From there they can work on changing maladaptive behaviors and thought patterns. This can happen in a couple of weeks.
Detox Is the First Step for Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment
Individuals suffering from hallucinogen addiction may avoid getting clean because of the pain and discomfort of withdrawal. Coastal Detox offers hallucinogen addiction treatment in the most comfortable setting in Stuart, Florida. We combine medicine with comfort to gives members a way to detox hallucinogens serenely. Contact us now to get started today.