Drug addiction has become a menace recently. Drugs that have played a key role in addictions are hallucinogens. These are a class of drugs used to alter perception, moods, and emotions. Most people have a common misconception that these drugs cause hallucinations when, in reality, they are used to cause a change in thought and moods.

Hallucinogens bring a different type of addiction known as tolerance rather than the commonly known uncontrollable drug-seeking behavior caused by other drugs. Tolerance means that users taking the drug will repeatedly take higher doses to achieve the same effect. This can be extremely dangerous, especially with the unpredictability of the drugs that you are taking. If you or your loved one cannot control hallucinogen use, Just One Recovery is available to provide necessary support and treatment. Please schedule an appointment with us if you are seeking help in Orange County, CA, and let's help you.   

What You Need to Know About Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are a class of psychoactive substances that can induce visual and auditory hallucinations. Doctors usually recommend these drugs to people who often see and hear things that do not exist, referred to as tripping. When a user is high on a hallucinogen, this can lead to severe distressing symptoms, also referred to as a bad trip. During a bad trip, people usually experience intense panic attacks and anxiety. Since these drugs naturally alter their users' perception, individuals intoxicated may become violent or act erratically.

Types of Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are classified into different types depending on the effect they have on their users. Most people are familiar with the classic hallucinogens since it includes commonly known drugs like LSD and psychedelic mushrooms. However, the popularity of dissociative drugs has increased, leading to other types of hallucinogens. These types are as follows: 

  1. Classic Hallucinogens

Classic hallucinogens, also known as psychedelics, include drugs like peyote, LSD, and psychedelic mushrooms. These drugs cause hallucinogenic effects and euphoria. They can be produced naturally from particular plants or synthetically. 

  1. Dissociative Hallucinogens

Dissociative hallucinogens are a class of psychedelic substances that can cause users to feel disconnected from their bodies. Common symptoms include paranoia and delusion. Common types of dissociative hallucinogens include PCP, salvia, and ketamine.

  1. Deliriants

Deliriants are a group of hallucinogens that create unreal or false visual perceptions examples of deliriants include atropine, mandrake, belladonna, and henbane. 

Common Hallucinogens

There are different types of hallucinogens. However, only a few of them are common and often abused. Although these drugs cause hallucinations, each substance has its own symptoms. Let's have a closer look at the common types of hallucinogens. 

  1. LSD

LSD is the most powerful and commonly abused hallucinogen. It's made from lysergic acid, hence its white, odorless appearance. It's also derived from rye and other grains. Most people chew, swallow or chew blotter papers infused with LSD to experience euphoria. Street names for this drug include yellow sunshine, dots, and acid.

  1. Peyote

Peyote is a small, spineless cactus that has a hallucinogen product known as mescaline. Peyote can be smoked with marijuana or tobacco, chewed, or swallowed. Its street name includes cactus, buttons, and mesc.

  1. Psilocybin (Shrooms)

Psilocybin is a hallucinogen delivered from mushrooms grown in Mexico, the United States, and South America. It is also referred to as purple magic and can be typically produced synthetically in a laboratory. It's known for causing severe anxiety and confusion. 

  1. DMT

DMT, also known as the "spirit molecule," is a hallucinogenic chemical that occurs naturally in the human brain and certain plants. Most DMT users drink it from an herbal tea known as ayahuasca, which is brewed from an Amazonian plant that contains it. Tripping from DMT can cause hallucinations of a past version of yourself or images of aliens.

  1. PCP

PCP is an anesthetic hallucinogen that was developed in the 1950S. It comes in the form of white crystal powder, capsules, tablets, and liquid. PCP'S street names include peace pill, love boat, and angel dust.

  1. Ketamine

Ketamine is a type of dissociative drug used in surgical anesthetic for animals and humans. It distorts people from sight and sound. The drug is injectable, can be snorted, swallowed, and smoked. 

  1. Bath Salts

Bath salts or synthetic Cathinones are artificial illicit substances known for their stimulant and hallucinogenic effects. This drug has the same chemical composition as the khat, grown in Southern Arabia and East Africa. Bath salts' makeup varies depending on the laboratory that produces it, making it a fatal drug to use.

It is a white or brown crystal-like powder and is sold as a cheap substitute for Cocaine and Meth. It's widely popular among its users due to its ability to reintroduce a slightly-altered version of Meth and cocaine and the ability to dodge law enforcement efforts to eradicate it. 

  1. Salvia Divinorum

Salvia Divinorum is a plant with psychoactive properties from Mexico, South, and Central America. It's widely known as the Sage, Seers, Magic Mint, and Diviner's Sage. This hallucinogen causes distortion of time and unintended physical effects like nausea, chills, lack of coordination, and dizziness. 

Hallucinogen Abuse

Once hallucinogen users take these drugs, they feel detached from their bodies and surroundings, experience alteration in their perception, and hallucinate. These users can end up enduring significant interpersonal strife due to using these drugs and can end up injuring themselves or compromising their ability to think and act unless they are under the influence. 

Causes and Risk Factors Associated with Hallucinogen Abuse

Many hallucinogen addicts end up wondering why they are struggling with this kind of addiction. Similar to other drugs, the cause and risk factors of hallucinogen abuse narrow down to specific users. However, some of the common causes of addiction include:

  • Genetics — It's a well-known fact that known addicts can pass down addiction concerns from one generation to another. Researchers have isolated particular genes found among family members that make specific people vulnerable to grappling with hallucinogen abuse. Therefore, try to understand whether addiction is or was a problem to other members of your family while pursuing ways to recover.
  • Environmental — The people you hang out with, the place you spend your leisure, and other experiences have a significant impact on your vulnerability to your hallucinogen abuse. You can also suffer from hallucinogen abuse if you find it hard to cope with stress and turmoil and don't have a solid life support system, meaning that drugs are your only refuge.

When it comes to the risk factors associated with hallucinogen abuse, the following aspects come into play:

  • Family history of substance abuse
  • Personal history of substance abuse
  • Easy access to hallucinogens
  • Being young
  • Personal or family mental illness history

Signs and Symptoms of Hallucinogen Abuse

Hallucinogen abuse presents different signs and symptoms, which include cognitive, physical, behavioral, and psychological. Learning about these signs and symptoms is necessary since it helps you seek professional help when needed. They are as follows:

  1. Behavioral Symptoms

Some of the behavioral symptoms that you might experience due to hallucinogen addiction include:

  • Abusing hallucinogens even when it's dangerous to continue taking these drugs
  • Spending most of your time buying, using, or recovering from hallucinogen effects
  • Attempting but failing to stop hallucinogen abuse
  • Continued use of hallucinogens even after experiencing negative consequences
  • Aggressive or violent behaviors
  1. Physical Symptoms

Common physical symptoms associated with hallucinogen abuse are as follows:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Numbness in arms and legs
  • Vision problems
  • Muscle spasm
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Perspiration
  • Vomiting
  1. Cognitive Symptoms

Common cognitive symptoms that result from hallucinogen abuse include:

  • Poor focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Paranoia
  • Amnesia
  • Delusion
  • Poor concentration
  • Hallucination
  • Dissociation
  1. Psychosocial Symptoms

When it comes to the psychosocial symptoms of hallucinogen abuse, users might experience the following:

  • Mood swing
  • Loss of interest in leisure activities
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Social withdrawal

Effects of Hallucinogen Addiction

Hallucinogen addiction does not give any good results in an abuser's life. If you become a regular abuser, you will likely endure some strife in your life. If not, you might experience the following if you don't seek prompt and effective treatment:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Job loss
  • Homelessness
  • Arrest
  • Poor occupation performance
  • Psychosis
  • Heart problems
  • Ruined interpersonal relationships
  • Incarceration
  • Family conflict
  • Financial instability
  • Death

How Hallucinogen Addiction is Managed

There are no FDA-approved medications to treat hallucinogen addictions. Rehabilitation centers have the freedom to adopt any treatment process that would help their patients. However, there are common approaches that would help to treat hallucinogen addiction. These treatment processes include the following: 

Inpatient Rehabilitation

For most patients, attending inpatient rehabs provides a suitable chance of treating their hallucinogen addictions. Inpatient rehabilitation requires patients to stay in a treatment facility throughout their time in treatment. Therefore, patients have the opportunity to recover through structured programs, strict supervision, and support from staff to emerge from their recovery process fully. This kind of treatment expects patients to be fully involved in their treatment since they are removed from their regular responsibilities. 

Inpatient rehabilitation has several advantages. Occasionally, patients who abuse hallucinogens experience deadly effects. Due to detoxification's painful side effects, treatment should be best done under constant supervision by medical professionals in an inpatient facility.

Apart from the capacity to mitigate the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms, inpatient rehabilitation provides a different environment from their life of addiction. It also separates them from stressors, destructive influences, triggers, and their sources. Patients also get the attention and care needed to assist and connect with them on personal levels. Other benefits of inpatient rehab include identifying the root cause of the addiction, intensive therapy, and medical guidance. 

Those beginning their recovery can have 24/7 access to medical, clinical, and spiritual treatment to treat their cause of addiction effectively. There is also knowledgeable staff guaranteed to treat the patients with compassion necessary to connect their vulnerability to hallucinogen addictions. Some rehabilitation facilities provide family members opportunities to visit their loved ones, offering additional love and support needed for effective recovery. 

The kind of treatment provided in an inpatient rehab facility differs. You might find two patients' experiences to be different based on factors like the kind of drug that the patient is addicted to, how long the patient has been addicted, and whether there are additional health conditions. That's why you'll find these programs lasting for 30 to 35 days, 45 days, 60 days, 0r 90 days.

 Outpatient Rehabilitation

Outpatient rehabilitation provides an opportunity for patients to reside in their homes and travel to a sober treatment facility for additional support and treatment structure. Outpatient rehab offers more freedom than inpatient.

Typically, patients attend a detox facility to get clean to participate in outpatient rehab. Treatment in the outpatient facility usually lasts between 1 to 9 hours during a day. At this time, patients attend individual and group therapy and can participate in other treatment methods like yoga and art therapy. There are managers in these facilities that connect their patients with outpatient providers like acupuncture, private doctors, chiropractic services, and applying for government assistance. 

Co-Occurring Disorders in Hallucinogen Treatment

Co-occurring disorders are mental health conditions that exist alongside hallucinogen abuse. These disorders can significantly impact the abuser and other people. Mental health and addiction have a very close relationship. If mental health is left untreated even after successful addiction treatment, it might affect the patient.

Since addiction and mental health conditions have similar symptoms, it's necessary to have a proper patient diagnosis. Failure to do so, one disorder might be left out, leading to relapse or worsened mental health. Therefore, every diagnosis might be made and treated simultaneously.

Common disorders include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicide
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder

It's recommendable to find a rehabilitation facility that offers diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring disorders apart from addiction treatment. This will avoid instances of relapses and potential harm on you and other people around the patient.   

Potential Withdrawal Experiences During Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment

In most hallucinogen addiction treatment, patients experience unpleasant psychological and physical symptoms when they are no longer under the influence of the drug of their choice. These symptoms are referred to as withdrawal and may include the following:

  • Muscle twitches
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Impaired reflexes
  • Diminished speech
  • Anxiety

Treatment for withdrawal includes medication, support, and care to ease these symptoms and prevent possible complications. While some people might cope with their withdrawal symptoms, hallucinogen addicts might find it hard to do so. The best approach for their withdrawal treatment is by using medically-assisted withdrawal procedures. The type of medication prescribed to alleviate your withdrawal symptoms varies depending on your substance of abuse. Some of the medications include: 

  • Methadone
  • Buprenex
  • Librium
  • Catapres
  • Valium
  • Ativan

Your doctor might also prescribe medication to manage specific withdrawal symptoms. This includes anticonvulsants, anti-anxiety medicines, antipsychotics, and other drugs designed to treat insomnia and nausea. 

Find Hallucinogen Treatment Near Me

Although hallucinogens are not physically addictive, users can become psychologically addicted to the drugs' effect. If you or your loved one is abusing any hallucinogen, you should find a rehab center to help you.  If you are seeking help with hallucinogen addiction in Orange County, CA, and its surroundings, you don't have to wait any longer. Contact Just One Recovery today at 714-538-8085 and let us help you understand your options.