Hallucinogen Dependence2018-09-27T16:10:57+00:00

Hallucinogen Dependence

Hallucinogen Dependence

Hallucinogen Dependence

Hallucinogens are a group of drugs that alter a user’s perception of the world around them and of reality. Many cause auditory and visual hallucinations, where people either see reality distorted or even see entirely new images. They distort the perception of space and time for users, and have been known to cause synesthesia. Synesthesia is a perceptual mixing of sensations where people may ‘see’ scents or ‘feel’ colors.

Types of Hallucinogens:

Common hallucinogens are

  • D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
  • Peyote (mescaline)
  • 4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (psilocybin) commonly called Shrooms
  • Dextromethorphan (DXM)
  • Ketamine (K or Special K)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) commonly called Angel Dust

How do hallucinogens affect the brain?

Research suggests that hallucinogens work at least partially by temporarily disrupting communication between brain chemical systems throughout the brain and spinal cord. Some hallucinogens interfere with the action of the brain chemical serotonin, which regulates:

  • Mood
  • Sensory perception
  • Sleep
  • Hunger
  • Body temperature
  • Sexual behavior
  • Muscle control
  • Pain perception
  • Responses to the environment
  • Emotion
  • Learning and memory

Short-Term Effects

The effects of hallucinogens can begin within 20 to 90 minutes and can last as long as 6 to 12 hours. Hallucinogen users refer to the experiences brought on by these drugs as “trips,” calling the unpleasant experiences “bad trips.”

Along with hallucinations, other short-term general effects include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Intensified feelings and sensory experiences
  • Changes in sense of time (for example, time passing by slowly)
  • Increased blood pressure, breathing rate, or body temperature
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleep problems
  • Mixed senses (such as “seeing” sounds or “hearing” colors)
  • Spiritual experiences
  • Feelings of relaxation or detachment from self/environment
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Excessive sweating
  • Panic
  • Paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
  • Psychosis—disordered thinking detached from reality

Long-Term Effects

Little is known about the long-term effects of hallucinogens. Researchers do know that ketamine users may develop symptoms that include ulcers in the bladder, kidney problems, and poor memory. Repeated use of PCP can result in long-term effects that may continue for a year or more after use stops, such as:

  • Speech problems
  • Memory loss
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts

Developing a dependence on a certain drug or type of drugs means that you feel that you need the drug to function, or at least that you see it as an important part of your life. Some people do develop a dependence on hallucinogens. This dependence is usually psychological, where a person will have a perceived need to take the drug and may experience anxiety when they cannot access the drug.

Though hallucinogens, especially LSD, are known to create tolerance in users, most are generally not considered to be addictive. This is the case for LSD, peyote, and psilocybin. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, LSD is not considered to be addictive because it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior. The drug’s effects are so intense that people generally wait some time to take it after a particular time.

PCP, on the other hand, is an addictive drug. Repeated use of PCP leads to drug cravings and compulsive drug-seeking behavior. The Department of Justice also reports that PCP dependence is possible, and that the dependence is mostly psychological. Signs of PCP addiction include the psychological withdrawal symptoms of extreme depression and psychosis. PCP is a white crystalline powder that is readily soluble in water and that is injected, snorted, or ingested. PCP addiction treatment usually consists of inpatient, residential care that involves antidepressants and counseling.

Treatment for Hallucinogen Dependence:

Currently there is no effective psychosocial or pharmacological treatment for Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder that has been proven effective in replicated, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Thus there are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder.

Types of Hallucinogens:

Common hallucinogens are

  • D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
  • Peyote (mescaline)
  • 4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (psilocybin) commonly called Shrooms
  • Dextromethorphan (DXM)
  • Ketamine (K or Special K)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) commonly called Angel Dust

How do hallucinogens affect the brain?

Research suggests that hallucinogens work at least partially by temporarily disrupting communication between brain chemical systems throughout the brain and spinal cord. Some hallucinogens interfere with the action of the brain chemical serotonin, which regulates:

  • Mood
  • Sensory perception
  • Sleep
  • Hunger
  • Body temperature
  • Sexual behavior
  • Muscle control
  • Pain perception
  • Responses to the environment
  • Emotion
  • Learning and memory

Short-Term Effects

The effects of hallucinogens can begin within 20 to 90 minutes and can last as long as 6 to 12 hours. Hallucinogen users refer to the experiences brought on by these drugs as “trips,” calling the unpleasant experiences “bad trips.”

Along with hallucinations, other short-term general effects include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Intensified feelings and sensory experiences
  • Changes in sense of time (for example, time passing by slowly)
  • Increased blood pressure, breathing rate, or body temperature
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleep problems
  • Mixed senses (such as “seeing” sounds or “hearing” colors)
  • Spiritual experiences
  • Feelings of relaxation or detachment from self/environment
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Excessive sweating
  • Panic
  • Paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
  • Psychosis—disordered thinking detached from reality

Long-Term Effects

Little is known about the long-term effects of hallucinogens. Researchers do know that ketamine users may develop symptoms that include ulcers in the bladder, kidney problems, and poor memory. Repeated use of PCP can result in long-term effects that may continue for a year or more after use stops, such as:

  • Speech problems
  • Memory loss
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts

Developing a dependence on a certain drug or type of drugs means that you feel that you need the drug to function, or at least that you see it as an important part of your life. Some people do develop a dependence on hallucinogens. This dependence is usually psychological, where a person will have a perceived need to take the drug and may experience anxiety when they cannot access the drug.

Though hallucinogens, especially LSD, are known to create tolerance in users, most are generally not considered to be addictive. This is the case for LSD, peyote, and psilocybin. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, LSD is not considered to be addictive because it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior. The drug’s effects are so intense that people generally wait some time to take it after a particular time.

PCP, on the other hand, is an addictive drug. Repeated use of PCP leads to drug cravings and compulsive drug-seeking behavior. The Department of Justice also reports that PCP dependence is possible, and that the dependence is mostly psychological. Signs of PCP addiction include the psychological withdrawal symptoms of extreme depression and psychosis. PCP is a white crystalline powder that is readily soluble in water and that is injected, snorted, or ingested. PCP addiction treatment usually consists of inpatient, residential care that involves antidepressants and counseling.

Treatment for Hallucinogen Dependence:

Currently there is no effective psychosocial or pharmacological treatment for Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder that has been proven effective in replicated, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Thus there are no FDA-approved pharmacotherapies for Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder.