Hallucinogen Rehab Treatment
Hallucinogens change the user’s sense of reality, sometimes causing them to see, hear or feel things that do not really exist. The drugs achieve their effects by disrupting the user’s serotonin system. Some examples of commonly abused hallucinogens (and other dissociative drugs) are:
- LSD – street names: acid, blotter, dots, mellow yellow, window pane
- PCP – street names: angel dust, boat, tic tac, zoom, ozone, rocket fuel, wack, supergrass
- Psilocybin – street names: shrooms, magic mushrooms, musk
- Mescaline (peyote)
- Dextromethorphan (DXM, which is often found in over-the-counter cough and cold medications)
- Ketamine – street names: K, Special K, cat Valium
Though they originally came from fungus, mushrooms, plants and other natural products, many of these drugs are now manufactured in laboratories to maximize potency. People take hallucinogens for the altered perception of shapes, colors and movements, the heightened senses, and the “visions” or hallucinations.
The Effects of Hallucinogen Abuse
Hallucinogens produce a wide range of effects, many of which can be unpredictable and vary in intensity, including:
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature
- Feelings of detachment or dissociation from self and surroundings (“out of body” sensations)
- Blurred vision and dizziness
- Panic reactions
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Convulsions, coma and death (in high doses)
Hallucinogens take action quickly and their effects can last for many hours. Depending on the user’s past use and mood, surroundings, and expectations when taking the drug, they can experience an enjoyable, mentally stimulating trip or they may experience what is sometimes called a “bad trip.”
During a bad trip, the user may see, feel or perceive things that are disturbing or frightening, producing anxiety and intense fear of insanity, death or loss of control. Memories of these experiences (also known as “flashbacks”), mood swings, visual disturbances, hallucinations and other psychological effects can haunt the user for years, even after just one use.
Like other drugs, extended use of certain hallucinogens can result in tolerance (requiring larger amounts of the drug to get the same high) and addiction. Some hallucinogens, such as LSD, also produce physical withdrawal symptoms when the user stops taking the drug. Drugs like PCP can produce psychological dependence and drug cravings, as well as long-term feelings of depression and memory loss.
Treating Addiction to Hallucinogens
Use of hallucinogens can result in psychological and sometimes physical dependence. Those who are addicted to hallucinogens often require counseling, 12-Step support groups, or drug rehab treatment for LSD addiction, PCP addiction or Ketamine addiction. Residential drug treatment programs help patients identify the underlying causes of their hallucinogen addiction and develop healthier coping mechanisms. With help, hallucinogen addicts can learn to embrace reality rather than trying to escape from it.