What are Hallucinogens?
A substance is classified as a hallucinogen because of the effects received when using or abusing the substance. Hallucinogens change the way a person sees, hears, feels and thinks. The real world of 'reality' becomes extremely distorted and a person's thinking and perception of time and space is twisted and deformed.
Images take on sound and distorted forms and sounds take on shape, colors and movement. The hallucinogen abuser feels and sees things that aren't really there. These sensations, thoughts, feelings, sounds and sights can actually become scary and bring on paranoia. Even though the experience can be extremely scary and fearful, the substance abuser many times continues to repeat the abuse.
Mushrooms and LSD are both hallucinogens that can cause the effects mentioned above however; the hallucinations from abusing LSD are much more dangerous than magic mushrooms. Watch this video that explains the effects and dangers of hallucinogens.
Some years ago, there were plants and fungi that were abused due to the hallucinogenic properties and substances they contained. Today, people produce these hallucinogenic substances synthetically which means they are manmade. When these substances are produced synthetically they can be manufactured in much higher potency causing much deeper psychological and physical affects.
There are several drugs that are in the hallucinogenic group. Some of these hallucinogenic drugs are:
- LSD which is also referred to as lysergic acid diethylamide and it is one of the serious drugs in the hallucinogen class. LSD was discovered in 1938 and is produced from lysergic acid. This acid comes from a fungus (ergot) and it grows on rye and certain other grains.
- PCP which is also called phencyclidine was manufactured in the 1950s and was used as an anesthetic that was administered intravenously. Patients many times became delusional, agitated and quite irrational when recovering from its anesthetic use so it was discontinued in 1965 for human use.
PCP is produced in labs now illegally as a white crystalline powder that dissolves in water or alcohol. PCP is very bitter and has a taste that can't be compared to any other chemical. Because PCP mixes easily with dye it can be found on the illegal drug market in tablet form, capsules and powder that's colored. PCP abusers snort it, smoke it or ingest it. When the abuser smokes PCP, they mix it with leafy ingredients like mint, parsley, oregano or marijuana.
- Psilocybin comes from various mushrooms and can be found in the United States, Mexico, and in South America. Psilocybin can also be made synthetically. Most of the time people eat the mushrooms but they can also be added to foods because it covers up the distinct bitter taste. Psilocybin mushrooms can be eaten fresh or dried and sometimes abusers brew them in beverages like tea.
- Mescaline is a substance that's found in peyote which is a small cactus. Mescaline is the hallucinogenic ingredient that's found in the cactus which was used by the natives in Mexico and southwestern United States. The natives used it mainly in religious ceremonies. Mescaline can also be synthetically produced.
- DMT can also be synthetically produced but is found in several seeds and plants. DMT abusers primarily snort it, smoke it or inject the drug. If a person ingests DMT by itself it doesn't produce hallucinogenic effects so abusers combine other drugs with it in order to produce those effects.
- Foxy is also referred to as Foxy Methoxy and comes in powder, capsule and tablet form. Most of the time it's ingested by mouth but can also be snorted or smoked. Foxy tablets and capsules come in a variety of colors and many have logos on them.
- DXM is also referred to as Dextromethorphan or robo. DXM is an ingredient that's found in over the counter cough syrups and cold medicines. When this drug is abused in high doses the effects (dissociative) are very similar to those of PCP and Ketamine.
- Ecstasy is also referred to as MDMA and is a synthetic psychoactive drug also which is similar to the hallucinogen mescaline. Effects from ecstasy abuse include distorted time and space and impair the individual visually as well as audibly. Ecstasy is popular today among the young crowd at parties and raves. Young and older adults abuse MDMA as well but this a drug of choice for many young people.
Who Abuses Hallucinogens?
In 2008 a National Survey showed that about 36 million Americans tried hallucinogens at least once during their lifetime. The ages of those surveyed were 12 and older. People of all age groups abuse hallucinogenic drugs for the distorted dissociative effects.
Are There Dangers and Risks Associated With Hallucinogen Abuse?
Depending on the drug or substance that's abused there are serious dangers and risks involved with hallucinogen abuse. If these drugs are mixed with other substances or alcohol the health risks could include death. Some of the serious health risks include:
- Blurred vision
- Heart rate elevation
- Coma and possible death
- Blood pressure increases
- Addiction and Dependency
- Breathing and respiratory problems
What Kinds of Treatment Programs are Available for Hallucinogen Dependency?
Because every drug is unique withdrawal symptoms and drug treatment are unique as well. There is no one treatment program that is designed to treat every substance of abuse. Drug treatment needs to be designed to treat the individual substance that's been abused. Addiction treatment for hallucinogens will depend on which one is being abused.
Most all Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers are designed and equipped to treat most drug addictions. Some individuals may need short term treatment and others need long term residential treatment. There are also different types of therapy and counseling available depending on the drug abuse. Some drug addictions are chronic and require a more extensive approach.
Behavioral therapy is a wonderful tool when dealing with any addiction. It's not easy changing the way we look at life or deal with life on a normal daily basis for anyone and it's even harder for someone who is trying to manage life while recovering from drug addiction or substance abuse. Behavioral therapy will help you to help yourself when it comes to managing stress which will make your recovery much easier.
There are also drug users out there that are dependent on more than one drug or substance and their needs are very unique. Some drug users also require detoxification treatment as well as drug rehabilitation. One thing is for sure though, there is treatment available for any substance abuse and dependency and they're available in every state and most countries.
To find the right treatment available for hallucinogen addiction or any other substance dependency call 1-800-559-9503 if you need help getting started on 'your road to recovery', the call is free 24 hours a day because You're Not Alone!
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