Hallucinogen Dependence

Hallucinogen Dependence

Hallucinogen Dependence

A 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. Hallucinations can affect any of the five senses — sight, hearing, smelling, taste, and touch. Hallucinations can be associated with drug use, sleep deprivation, psychosis, neurological and psychiatric disorders, and delirium tremens — a complication of extreme amounts of alcohol intake.

A hallucinogen is a psychoactive substance that can alter a person’s mood, behavior, and perception of reality, 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 common classifications for hallucinogens are:

  • Psychedelics – like LSD and psilocybin
  • Dissociatives – like ketamine
  • 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.

Effects of hallucinogens

Hallucinogens cause physical, mental, and behavioral effects:

  • Hyperexcitability
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tachycardia – rapid heart rate
  • Heavy sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Reduced attention span
  • Agitation
  • Intense mood swings that can lead to violence or suicide

Hallucinogen dependence, like other types of drug dependence, is characterized by increased usage of the drug to achieve the desired effect, continued usage, or an inability to stop using despite an awareness of the harm to the user and/or others, intense craving that causes the user to spend most of the time procuring and using the drug and recovering from the effects, and withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.

Hallucinogen complications:

Complications of hallucinogen dependence include:

  • Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) – a lifelong disorder in which a person has flashbacks or recalls of visual hallucinations experienced during a previous hallucinogenic drug experience
  • Synaesthesia – an intuitive experience in which stimulation of one of the senses leads to involuntary experiences in a second sense, such as “seeing” scents and “feeling” colors.

Hallucinogen dependence can cause impairment in functioning at home, work, school, or social settings and can place a tremendous amount of stress and strain on interpersonal relationships.

Lifetime hallucinogen use has been associated with personality and substance use disorders but has not been shown to be associated with other mental disorders. People who experience hallucinogen-induced psychosis — serious disorganization of mind, personality, or behavior — are at increased risk of developing schizophrenia.

Treatment for Hallucinogen Dependence:

Treatment options available for hallucinogen dependence include:

  • Medications to treat withdrawal symptoms
  • Talking therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Referral to self-help groups such as Narcotics Anonymous
  • Hospitalization – may be necessary if withdrawal symptoms are severe and/or the user has taken an overdose and requires life-saving treatment

Effects of hallucinogens

Hallucinogens cause physical, mental, and behavioral effects:

  • Hyperexcitability
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tachycardia – rapid heart rate
  • Heavy sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Reduced attention span
  • Agitation
  • Intense mood swings that can lead to violence or suicide

Hallucinogen dependence, like other types of drug dependence, is characterized by increased usage of the drug to achieve the desired effect, continued usage, or an inability to stop using despite an awareness of the harm to the user and/or others, intense craving that causes the user to spend most of the time procuring and using the drug and recovering from the effects, and withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.

Hallucinogen complications:

Complications of hallucinogen dependence include:

  • Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) – a lifelong disorder in which a person has flashbacks or recalls of visual hallucinations experienced during a previous hallucinogenic drug experience
  • Synaesthesia – an intuitive experience in which stimulation of one of the senses leads to involuntary experiences in a second sense, such as “seeing” scents and “feeling” colors.

Hallucinogen dependence can cause impairment in functioning at home, work, school, or social settings and can place a tremendous amount of stress and strain on interpersonal relationships.

Lifetime hallucinogen use has been associated with personality and substance use disorders but has not been shown to be associated with other mental disorders. People who experience hallucinogen-induced psychosis — serious disorganization of mind, personality, or behavior — are at increased risk of developing schizophrenia.

Treatment for Hallucinogen Dependence:

Treatment options available for hallucinogen dependence include:

  • Medications to treat withdrawal symptoms
  • Talking therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Referral to self-help groups such as Narcotics Anonymous
  • Hospitalization – may be necessary if withdrawal symptoms are severe and/or the user has taken an overdose and requires life-saving treatment