What are Hallucinogens?
Hallucinogens are a type of “psychedelic” drug that affects the way people see, feel, taste, hear or smell. They also affect mood and thoughts in individuals who use it. Hallucinogens typically refer to drugs such as PCP, cannabis, LCD, mescaline, ketamine, psilocybin, salvia and many others. When hallucinogen drugs are taken in high doses they can cause some unwanted effects such as seeing or hearing things that are not really there or known as “hallucinations.” The common ways that hallucinogens are taken are eaten, brewed in a tea or drink, ingested from fresh plants or used in syrups, tablets or gel capsules.
Research shows that in past times, hallucinogens were drugs that were used during certain religious, spiritual, or medicinal ceremonies during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Hallucinogen drug use was considered a symbol of the counterculture among younger adults in North America and Europe. In the 1990s, hallucinogen use was linked to the “rave” scene.
Due to their strong effects, hallucinogens can cause abuse or addiction, and be difficult to quit using. With the right treatment, support and care at a treatment facility such as AToN Center, you can recover from a hallucinogen addiction and live a life free from addiction. For more information on our resources and addiction treatment services, please contact us.
Types of Hallucinogens
D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) a man made substance that is derived from ergot which is a fungus that grows on certain plants. LSD is one of the most powerful hallucinogens out there, causing intense hallucinations in individuals to occur.
LSD can come in multiple forms such as a white powder, or clear liquid that has no smell or color. It most commonly comes in the form of a square block of blotter paper or a gelatin that individuals place on their tongue. The long-term effects of LSD include the danger of abusing it in any amount, including microdosing, may be the potential for experiencing “flashbacks” days, months, or even years after stopping use of the drug.
PCP is a man made hallucinogen substance that can be extremely dangerous, but was originally used as an anesthetic in the past but later discontinued due to the harmful health side effects. Taking PCP, especially in large doses, can be life-threatening and lead to serious mental health problems.
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring, hallucinogenic drug that can be found in mushrooms that contains psilocybin and psilocin. When it is taken in large quantities, it can cause similar effects to the powerful hallucinogen called LSD. It is also called “shrooms”and can come in the form of dried or fresh. It can be eaten, brewed in tea for drinking or mixed into your food.
Where do Hallucinogens Come From?
Hallucinogens can come from different plants or man made substances. Some hallucinogens come from cacti (mescaline), mushrooms (psilocybin), or other plants (salvia, cannabis). Of these, psilocybin and cannabis are almost always used in their most natural form. Although LSD is used only in a man made form, a related drug, LSA, is found in nature. Other hallucinogens, such as ketamine and MDMA are created in laboratories.
How do they Make you Feel?
How hallucinogenic drugs will make you feel depends on several factors including:
- How much of the drug you use
- How often and how long you use hallucinogens
- Your mood, expectation and environment
- Ages of the drug users
- Whether you have certain pre-existing medical, health disorders or mental illness
- Whether you’ve taken any alcohol or other drugs (illegal, prescription, over-the-counter or herbal).
Many have reported that the most common side effects of hallucinogens include mind-altering, psychoactive mental health effects that can be mild to severe. Most hallucinogens cause changes in mood and produce certain feelings, emotions or sensations in the body. For example, LSD can cause an array of effects such as changes in perception or visual patterns, while PCP can make you feel euphoric and invincible if PCP is taken at higher doses.
Health Effects of Hallucinogens
Using LSD may also cause several physical health effects, including sweating, blurred vision, mydriasis, palpitations, and impaired coordination. Many other hallucinogens cause vomiting or nausea. With all, hallucinogens, judgment is impaired.
Side health effects of dissociatives (PCP,ketamine, DXM)
- Fear and paranoia
- Memory loss
- Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
Side health effects of psychedelics (peyote, ecstasy, LSD, psilocybin)
- Increased body temperature
- Muscle issues
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Cardiac events
Addiction to Hallucinogenic Drugs
Like most other drugs or alcohol, using hallucinogens can result in addiction and abuse. The stages of addiction usually begin when someone develops a dependence to the drug and needs it in order to function at a “normal” level. When you detox or clear the drug from your body, it typically will result in withdrawal symptoms and effects that occur.
Many people wonder which hallucinogenic drugs cause addiction and which do not, such as is LSD addictive? The simple answer to this question is, that it could be. There is no evidence to suggest that LSD is addictive, but you can become tolerant to its effects. This means you need to take more of it to get the same effect as before. Some may view the risk of addiction to be low, but the chance is still there.
Some reported signs of addiction or substance abuse to hallucinogens include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Depersonalization, or the sensation of being apart from one’s own body, unable to control your actions
- Intensified feelings, thoughts, and experiences
- Experiencing a wider range of sensations than what you are normally used to, or heightened awareness of environment and surroundings
- Strange sensory experiences including the blending of senses, distorted sense of time and place, or distorted perception of body
Addiction to these drugs can often coincide with a mental illness which is why finding treatment services, support and proper resources is so important. If you are looking for additional resources and information, please contact AToN Center for info on our treatment services. If you know someone struggling from an addiction, a referral goes a long way, and we would be happy to assist the person in their recovery.
Treatment at AToN Center
AToN Center is a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center that provides a multitude of services to address substance abuse, in a supportive, comforting environment. At our facility we treat both the mental health and physical health aspects of abuse to alcohol or drugs, understanding that there can be certain health disorders associated with substance use disorder.
At AToN Center we know what drugs and alcohol can do to a person’s health and well-being, and our care services team supports each individual person that walks through our door looking for recovery. We also believe that your past does not have to dictate your future, and that you have a lot of opportunity to get past your troubles, and we can be there for you the entire time.
Our program and services are different from other treatment programs around the country, and we provide top notch services for all that we do. We care about our clients success in our program, and we want to help you get better from a drug or alcohol problem. We have an on-site first class chef, yoga, meditation, counseling and other holistic care options. You or your loved one will receive all the necessary components to achieve recovery.
If you or someone you love needs help with a drug or alcohol problem and would like information on our support, resources or care services, please contact our admissions team.