Hallucinogens: Information You Should Know
Freedom from hallucinogens is possible with holistic and evidence-based treatment plans. Call Hawaii Island Recovery today.
Hallucinogens are drugs in which alter an individual’s thoughts and feelings. These types of drugs cause an individual to experience hallucinations, which are sensations, thoughts, and images the individual perceives as real. Individuals using hallucinogens experience frequent states of dissociation, which is the experience of feeling disconnected from one’s environment and body caused by substance use.
How Are Hallucinogens Created?
Hallucinogens are derived from plants and mushrooms, and on occasion are synthetically made by humans.
One of the most common types of hallucinogens you may have heard of before is LSD, which is one of the most potentially powerful mind-altering substances in the drug class of hallucinogens.
Many individuals have historically and also currently use hallucinogens for spiritual and healing purposes, and some individuals use hallucinogens for recreational purposes, to relax, to destress, and to intentionally alter their mood.
However, even without the intention of using a hallucinogen to become addicted to the substance, many find themselves unable to quit using hallucinogens, leading to substance use disorders (SUD) and drug addiction.
How Hallucinogens Work
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), hallucinogens interact with centers of the brain responsible for the regulation of serotonin, a hormone critical in the production of feelings associated with well-being and happiness, as well as certain processes and movements involving the spinal cord.
Some of these processes include the regulation of mood, sensory perception, sleep, hunger, body temperature, sexual behavior, and intestinal muscle control. Many hallucinogens also impact the regulation of pain perception, responses to the environment, emotion, and memory.
Are Hallucinogens Considered Addictive?
Although hallucinogens, such as LCD, aren’t usually considered to be addictive, individuals can and do become addicted to them as they build a tolerance to their effects. As individuals lose their tolerance, they will continue to increase their use of the substance in order to experience the same effects it left them with that led them craving to use it again, causing their dependence on the drug to begin. Whether or not an individual becomes addicted to a substance is dependent upon a variety of environmental, genetic, temperamental, and biological factors.
Short-Term Effects of Hallucinogens
Using hallucinogens cause a variety of short-long terms effects. Short-term side effects associated with hallucinogen use include, but are not limited to:
- Increased heart rate
- Nausea and loss of appetite
- Intensified sensory experiences (such as seeing brighter colors, hearing louder sounds, heightened sensitivity to touch)
- Increased blood pressure
- Difficulty sleeping
- Dry mouth
- Disorientation and loss of coordination
- Excessive sweating
- Panic and anxiety
- Mood swings
- Trouble breathing
- Memory loss
- Episodes of paranoia and psychosis
- Bizarre behavior
Long Term Effects of Hallucinogens
When used excessively for extended periods of time, hallucinogens cause a variety of long-term effects that in many cases lead to permanent damage and fatality in some cases. Long-term effects of hallucinogens include, but are not limited to:
- Speech problems
- Memory loss
- Weight loss
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
- Persistent psychosis (in which individuals experience disorganized thinking, paranoia, and mood changes)
- Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (in which individuals experience flashbacks of past drug experiences)
What Does Hallucinogen Addiction Look Like?
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder (SUD), finding help at a center for alcohol and drug treatment, such as at Hawaii Island Recovery, is critical in healing, recovery, and freedom from drug addiction.
You or a loved one may be struggling with addiction when greater quantities of the substance have to be used to experience the same effects that first led to the desire to use again.
Another sign that you or your loved one may be experiencing symptoms of substance use disorder (SUD) include:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
- Neglecting everyday responsibilities
- Difficulties in relational functioning
- Unexplained financial troubles
- Loss of control over drug misuse
- Unexplained changes in personality and attitude
Treatment for Hallucinogen Addiction
Most treatment programming begins with supervised medical detox, where an individual is safely monitored under the supervision of medical professionals in withdrawing and detoxing from substances before further treatment can be started. Due to the intensity of symptoms such as anxiety, drug cravings, and nausea likely to be experienced in drug detoxification, being in the care of medical professionals specializing in this process is critical to keep oneself and those around them safe.
After drug detox, individuals often continue inpatient residential care at the same facility that they medically detoxed with. At Hawaii Island Recovery, Hawaii’s premiere residential substance abuse treatment center, we offer residential treatment stays for thirty to ninety or more days, depending on individuals’ medical necessity for residential care that supports their long-term recovery.
Residential treatment is customized to fit the needs you have in your recovery. At our Hawaii drug and alcohol treatment centers, we blend a variety of holistic, experiential, and evidence-based therapeutic modalities to create a customized treatment plan that supports your needs, level of care, and goals in recovery.
Many individuals continue with outpatient care and programming after their residential treatment is completed to support them as they reintegrate into their life, relationships, and community. Aftercare is essential to long-term healing because without holistic and evidence-based continued care drug relapse is more common.
This is why at our drug rehab programs in Hawaii, we integrate and support individuals through outpatient and continuing care programs to guide you as you experience long-term and healing, recovery, and maintain sobriety.CTA:Drug addiction causes severe physical, mental, emotional, relational, and physiological harm to one’s well-being and, without treatment, the long-term effects can be irreversible and even fatal. Recovery begins in finding a treatment program that supports you as you heal, and at Hawaii Island Recovery, we can help overcome addiction and build a solid recovery. Call us today at 866-390-5070 to learn more about our facility and treatment programs.