What are Hallucinogens?
Hallucinogen is a term that is applied to a group of drugs that effects the user’s perception of reality. While on a hallucinogen ‘high’, a user may see things that aren’t real, or hear and create imaginary characters or settings. And then there are other hallucinogens that make a user feel disconnected with reality altogether. While most hallucinogens lack evidence to suggest that they are habit forming or altogether physiologically addictive, it is psychological dependence that forms in hallucinogens addiction and abuse.
This dependence is the crux of harm through using hallucinogens. Hallucinogens function by altering the normal fluctuation of serotonin in the brain and also how the nerve cells interact with one another. This can be a detriment to the nervous system’s ability to maintain homeostasis.
Common Street Names for Hallucinogens
Hallucinogens are illegal. Because they are illegal, synthesized illegally with illicitly procured materials in illicit synthesizing operations, and sold illegally in illicit settings, hallucinogens have common street names unique to the drug in order to facilitate transaction.
- Special K
- Angel Dust
Hallucinogens are recognized by the Controlled Substances Act and under the authority of the DEA and federal government as a Schedule I substance. This means that hallucinogens have no medical function, and as such are thoroughly illegal.
Some Examples of Hallucinogens
D-lysergic acid diethylamide
Lysergic acid, which is the base for LSD, is found naturally in some fungi. LSD is often referred to as a ‘psychedelic’ on account of its eponymous psychedelic music culture.
Mescaline occurs naturally in Peyote, the cactus plant that is illegal outside of federally recognized Native American tribes.
This is another naturally chemical found in various forms of mushrooms that are called ‘magic mushrooms’.
Ketamine is a dissociative hallucinogenic. It is used as an anesthetic for both animals and humans. Hallucinations occur from the use of Ketamine when the drug is used in dangerous amounts.
PCP is a common designer drug that is commonly found on the streets. It comes in the form of tablets and capsules, but liquids and powders are the most common forms.
Ecstasy, or Molly, shares qualities of the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline.
History and Trends in Hallucinogens Addiction and Abuse
LSD has been on the drug scene since Albert Hoffman first synthesized, used and documented the drug in the 1950’s. The controversy is their unreliability and largely unsteadied hallucinogens effects on the human brain. Current trends have seen steady use in festival and club scenes. Depending on the hallucinogen, the drug can be introduced to the user’s central nervous system by ingestion, snorting, shooting intravenously, and absorption through the mouth and skin. Hallucinogens addiction and abuse is a possibility no matter how the drug is induced.
Side Effects of Hallucinogens
Hallucinogens function by disrupting signals between the brain and the spinal cord. Hallucinogens effect either the neurotransmitters Serotonin or Glutamate.
Short term side Hallucinogens effects include:
- Increased blood pressure
- Excessive sweating
Possible long term side effects of hallucinogens addiction and abuse include:
- Speech problems
- Memory loss
- Suicidal thoughts
Persistent Psychosis is a documented though rare long term side effect of hallucinogens addiction. This is the consistent occurrence of mental problems that include
- Visual disturbances
- Disturbed thinking
Signs of Hallucinogens Addiction and Abuse
Hallucinogens addiction has obvious signs and addiction itself is typically considered to be diagnosable through observation. Stimulant based hallucinogens such as PCP are addictive because of their amphetamine content, whereas hallucinogens such as LSD are significant on account of their tolerance building. If an individual suffers of hallucinogens abuse by taking repeated doses of LSD, they will need to increase the dose to acquire the same effect. This is altogether dangerous. A key symptom of abuse is the constant search and/ or need for hallucinogens.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Hallucinogens
Individuals who seek treatment for hallucinogens addiction must go through a detox period. This period lasts one week to one month, and typically is influence by the duration and extent of abuse. Symptoms include:
- Cravings, often for drugs
These can also include cravings for food and should be monitored.
Treatment for Hallucinogens Addiction and Abuse
Treatment for Hallucinogens addiction is based largely on cognitive therapy. There is no federally approved drug that helps with treatment for addiction to hallucinogens. With careful monitoring of a patients psychological health and physical homeostasis, any addiction is able to be treated.
Call White Sands Tampa at 1-877-640-7820 if you or a loved one is suffering from hallucinogens addiction.