Hallucinogen dependence is the dependence on hallucinogens to meet the psychological need of not being able to function properly without them. A hallucination is a perception that has qualities of real perception without an external cause. Hallucinations occur while awake and are not under voluntary control.
A hallucinogen is a psychoactive substance that can alter a person’s mood, behavior, and perception of reality, time, and space; and the hallucinations can range in severity from mild to intense. There are a variety of “natural” (e.g. the peyote plant) and synthetic (e.g. LSD) hallucinogens available. The high lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to 12 hours, depending on the type of hallucinogen used.
The common classifications for hallucinogens are:
- Psychedelics or classic – like LSD and psilocybin, usually swallowed or ingested
- Dissociatives – like ketamine and PCP. These cause users to feel disconnected from their body or not truly present, usually swallowed or snorted. PCP can also be injected or inhaled / vaped.
- Deliriants – like diphenhydramine. Deliriants cause delirium or an acute confusional state, and this primary effect distinguishes them from psychedelics and dissociatives, which are characterized by clearer states. Usually swallowed.