Hallucinogens, also called psychedelics, are a classification of drugs that affect an individual’s self-awareness, thinking, sensations, emotions, and perceptions. These drugs work by disrupting the functioning of the brain’s serotonin system.
Types Of Hallucinogens
Drugs that are categorized as hallucinogens include:
- MDMA (Ecstasy)
- Psychedelic Mushrooms
The Effects Of Hallucinogens
Depending on how much and how long you use, the effects of hallucinogens can have both short and long term consequences.
The effects of hallucinogens vary, but most begin immediately and can last between 30 minutes and 12 hours. These effects can be unpredictable, depending on a variety of factors such as how much of the drug was taken, the user’s personality, and the surroundings in which the drug is used. Physical effects can start quickly including dilated pupils, raised body temperature, increased heart rate, sweating paranoia, and tremors. Emotions and moods can swing wildly, and sensations can even seem to cross over causing the user to feel sound or hear color. This overload on the brain can result in feelings of fear, panic, and anxiety.
Individuals who frequently use LSD or other hallucinogens experience changes in their brain function over time. This often leads to memory loss, confusion, and problems with cognitive thinking. Taken in large doses, these drugs can cause sleepiness, convulsions, coma, and death. In the case of PCP, there is also an increased risk of heart and lung failure, ruptured blood vessels in the brain and violent, bizarre behaviors. These behaviors have led to some users experiencing serious injury and death due to drowning, falls, auto accidents, and burns. The dangers of LSD and other hallucinogens can also lead to a risk of psychosis and a disorder called hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) which causes users to experience flashbacks long after the drug’s effects have worn off. These occurrences can last for years after the drug use has subsided.
Getting Help For Hallucinogen Abuse
While many have debated whether or not hallucinogens are addictive, the reality is that they are dangerous. And, many require help in overcoming their use of these dangerous drugs. If you or a loved one is abusing hallucinogens, Summit Estate’s drug addiction treatment center in the Bay Area can help.