The hallmark of drugs that belong to the hallucinogen class are that they cause an alteration in perception. Hallucinogens also can alter one’s feelings and their thoughts. In fact, frank hallucinations and delusions may occur, with hallucinations being more common than delusions. Even though mushrooms and plants contain natural hallucinogens, mankind has been able to produce synthetic hallucinogens.
Some hallucinogens, like PCP (phencyclidine, angel dust), cause other effects, such as stimulant effects. For those who persistently play with their lives by chronically using hallucinogens, they may expect to develop persistent psychosis, speech problems, depression and suicidal thoughts, chronic violent behavior, memory loss and frequent anxiety.
Thus, if you or a loved one is suffering from a hallucinogen addiction, it is important that you seek treatment at a residential drug treatment center as soon as possible. Most often, for those who are unable to stop using hallucinogens despite negative consequences, inpatient drug detox is not necessary.
Persistent psychosis is a constellation of continuing mental health problems that arise from the use, even once, of a hallucinogen. This type of psychosis causes visual disturbances, paranoia, unwanted mood changes, and disorganized thinking. Flashbacks are closely related to persistent psychosis (also called hallucinogen persisting perception disorder) and can be life-threatening. Some flashbacks cause the user to attempt or be successful at suicide, or display other violent behaviors. Flashback relate to the experience that one had when actively using a hallucinogen. Flashbacks can occur without warning and may persist indefinitely.
If the simple thought of the effects of hallucinogens aren’t enough to prevent one from using them, even those who are actively experiencing negative effects, such as mental health, medical, legal, social and financial problems, may continue using the substances in a fury of addiction. Pandemonium in the user’s life and the lives of those around them ensues and the ability to differentiate reality from fiction is impaired.
In an inpatient drug rehab, one can learn how to stop using hallucinogens and gain satisfaction from live though alternative and healthy behaviors. Some drugs, like PCP, lead to tolerance and cravings, as well as drug seeking behavior. Others, such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) do not necessarily lead to drug seeking behavior, but cause tolerance nonetheless. And, for those who use LSD, even though they may not demonstrate drug-seeking behavior, they are still unable to stop putting LSD laced paper in their mouths, or quit smoking LSD lacked tobacco or marijuana.
Commonly abused hallucinogens include:
- DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine) – Found in plants and is short-acting with intense effects.
- LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide) – A common drug used to have a “trip.” Highly associated with music and spiritual events.
- Peyote (mescaline) – Comes from a cactus plant and is also produced commercially. Was originally used for spiritual reasons by Native Americans, but has been hijacked by the mainstream population and is used for those who wish to escape reality.
- Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) – This drug comes from various mushrooms and are also called Little Smoke, Magic Mushrooms, Purple Passion and even Shrooms and causes a distortion of reality when ingested.
- DSM (dextromethorphan) – This drug is found in OTC cough medicines and is hallucinogenic when used in high doses. It is commonly abused by youth and can be fatal when ingested in copious quantities.
- Ketamine – This approved anesthetic is also abused and, even though it has some stimulant properties, it can cause one to enter a “K Hole.” A K-Hole is a hallucinogenic state in which one is out-of-touch with reality.
- PCP (phencyclidine) – This drug has hallucinogenic and stimulant properties and can cause violent behavior, seizures, hyperthermia and is no longer used for surgery. It is also known as Angel Dust.
- Salvia divinorum (salvia) – This hallucinogen drug comes from a plant and induces visions and purported spiritual experiences. The plant grows in Mexico, but is exported to other regions of the world. Even though the use of salvia has religious origins, there are those who can’t stop using this psychoactive substance and end up in drug rehab. It is legal by federal law in the USA, but many states and some other jurisdictions in the US have banned it. Of note, since this drug binds to one of the opiate receptors, it may be useful in treating opiate addiction. Other than extreme and uncontrollable laughter, this drug also causes visions, the reliving of memories, the sense of merging with or even becoming objects, and the ability to feel that one is in more than one place at a time. The high associated with salvia can be terrifying for some. If you or a loved one is suffering from the horrors of saliva addiction, an inpatient or residential drug treatment center is an option.