Hallucinogens Treatment for Addiction

treatment for hallucinogens

Some of the most dangerous drugs are dangerous because they are easy to access. One example of this truth is in hallucinogen drugs. 

Because people can find hallucinogens in natural plants, people are constantly using these substances. In fact, people have been using hallucinogens for centuries. Long-term use of hallucinogens can lead to dependency or addiction. 

Before learning about hallucinogens treatment for addiction, it’s important to learn about all the symptoms and withdrawals that come from using hallucinogens. It is also important to first learn about the different types of hallucinogens that people use.

What is a Hallucinogen?

A hallucinogen is a psychoactive drug that alters your perception, thoughts, and feelings. Hallucinogens are able to do this by disrupting the communication between the body’s spinal cord and brain. 

Some hallucinogens can cause you to develop an altered state of reality by affecting the chemicals in your brain that control your different bodily functions, pain perception, sensory perception, memory, learning ability, emotion, and mood. 

Some hallucinogens even make you feel disconnected from your body, mind, and surroundings. By causing you to feel disconnected from yourself, hallucinogens can make you feel out of control. 

People who use hallucinogens tend to use them with the hope of gaining a new perception of the world around them. Some view consuming hallucinogens as a spiritual experience. In fact, many people think that taking hallucinogens will increase their level of awareness of the spiritual realm. 

Others think that taking hallucinogens will increase their sense of self-awareness. Others just want to take hallucinogens as drugs to make them feel good while partying or socializing. 

Types of Hallucinogens

There are numerous types of hallucinogens. Many of them are substances that you can find within plants. You can find other hallucinogens within medical or prescription drugs or other man-made items. 

Some well-known types of hallucinogens include the following:

1. Psilocybin

Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic drug found in the party drug, magic mushrooms, otherwise known as “shrooms.” The psilocybin drug within magic mushrooms is what makes people who take them feel overly giddy and happy. Taking shrooms also often makes people see colors and see and hear things that are not there. 

Many people view the symptoms we just listed as being fun and positive. Still, there are some clearly negative mental symptoms that magic mushrooms can cause. For example, shrooms can cause you to experience mood swings, light-headedness, anxiety and panic attacks, confusion and disorientation, and paranoia.  

Physical side effects that could arise after taking shrooms include numbness in the face, muscle weakness, body twitches, shivering chills, and exaggerated reflexes. Other physical effects that could arise after taking shrooms include increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, high body temperature, dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, and loss of urinary control. 

Some people that take magic mushrooms may even experience negative and painful flashbacks. Many people refer to the experience of having negative responses to shrooms as having a “bad trip.” 

How Long Does Psilocybin Stay in Your Body’s System?

The drug psilocybin usually stays in your system for up to fifteen hours after taking it. Although psilocybin takes around fifteen hours to leave your body’s system, you will feel its effects for around four to six hours. 

You will likely start to feel the effects of the psilocybin around thirty minutes after ingestion. When mixed in hot water or tea, you can feel the effects of shrooms within five to ten minutes of ingestion. 

Overall, the time it takes for magic mushrooms to affect you or stay in your system will depend on how much you took and the type of mushrooms that you took. These things will also depend on your body type, age, tolerance, the substances that you mixed the shrooms with, and/or your mental health. 

2. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

Lysergic acid diethylamide, otherwise known as LCD, or acid, is a psychedelic hallucinogen. LSD causes you to experience changes in your perception, time, space, and emotions. Tolerance to LSD can occur fast. 

LSD is included in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. This means that it has a high potential for misuse. 

Although it has a high potential for misuse, people consider LCD to be non-addictive. Regardless, people can develop an addiction to LSD because of the colorful and exuberant, trippy experience it provides.  

The effects of LSD include hallucinations, delusions, sweating, alienation, and tremors. LSD effects also include seeing and hearing colors and sounds, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, flashbacks, dissociation, and impaired depth perception. 

3. Peyote/Mescaline

Peyote is a small, spineless cactus with the hallucinogen mescaline in it. You can extract mescaline from peyote or create it synthetically. 

Peyote/mescaline creates an altered state of perceptions and feelings. Peyote/mescaline can also cause you to have vivid mental images, a distorted sense of body image, and an altered sense of space, time, and reality. 

The physical effects that can arise after taking peyote/mescaline include nausea, increased body temperature, and heart rate, increased blood pressure, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, numbness, weakness, and tremors. Fear, anxiety, flashbacks, and feelings of a loss of control of oneself can also come up when taking peyote/mescaline. 

4. Phencyclidine (PCP)

A dissociative anesthetic, the ability to use phencyclidine, was discontinued in 1965. This is because people that took it became irrational and agitated when they were coming down from the anesthesia. 

Although the use of PCP was discontinued, it is now an additive to multiple street drugs.  Examples of these street drugs include marijuana, LSD, and methamphetamine. 

If you consume too much PCP, it can cause you to have hallucinations, seizures, and/or comas. Other names for PCP include angel dust, killer weed, zoom, supergrass, peace pills, and embalming fluid. 

5. Bath Salts

Bath salts are made out of numerous synthetic stimulants. The primary ingredient in bath salts is cathinone. Cathinone is human-made. 

Each batch of bath salts varies in its substances and chemical makeup. Thus, it is hard to identify what aspect of bath salts causes people to experience hallucinogenic effects.

6. Salvia Divinorum

Salvia divinorum is a psychoactive plant. Other names for salvia divinorum include Sage of the Seers or Diviner’s Sage. 

People that take salvia divinorum feel as if they are having hallucinogens and visions. People that take salvia divinorum also tend to feel like they can fly, float, and travel through time. The physical effects of salvia divinorum include dizziness, lack of coordination, chills, and nausea.

7. Gama-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB)

The gama-hydroxybutyric (GHB) acid hallucinogen is unique in comparison to others because it is already found in human cells. Although found in human cells, GHB gets synthesized and used for its ability to sedate or intoxicate someone. 

GHB is a central nervous system depressant. Common side effects of GHB include euphoria, decreased inhibitions and heart rate, sleepiness, disorientation, and loss of coordination. 

8. Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)

Dimethyltryptamine is a chemical that you can find in some plants in the Amazon. The manufactured version of DMT is illegal. Although not manufactured legally, DMT is still in many different hallucinogens. 

For example, DMT is a major component of the hallucinogenic tea ayahuasca. Although illegal in America, people in Brazil, parts, North and Central America, and the ancient Amazonian tribe use ayahuasca as a way to connect with their inner spirit.

9. Dextromethorphan (DXT)

Dextromethorphan is a hallucinogenic ingredient in some over the counter cough medications. 

10. Ketamine

Ketamine is the hallucinogenic drug used in surgery anesthesia. Some people steal ketamine from veterinarian offices and illegally sell it on the streets. 

Effects of Mixing Hallucinogens With Other Substances

It is very dangerous to mix hallucinogens with other substances, like alcohol. Symptoms that may arise after mixing hallucinogens with alcohol include nausea, vomiting, faintness, and headaches. 

Mixing hallucinogens with alcohol can also cause panic attacks, increased heart rate, loss of consciousness, and seizures. If nothing else, alcohol may cause the length and severity of your “trip” to increase. 

Hallucinogenic trips that are influenced by alcohol tend to be frightening. Drinking alcohol while taking hallucinogens can also cause you to become very out of it. So much so that you do not realize how much you are taking. This can lead to experiencing alcohol poisoning, or worse, risk your life. 

For example, mixing LSD and alcohol can cause you to become more relaxed and unaware, which will then cause you to drink more. People especially tend to drink more alcohol when mixing it with LSD since LSD reduces the perceived effects of alcohol. Therefore, overdrinking while on LSD can lead to alcohol poisoning. 

Mixing shrooms with alcohol can change the way your body processes both substances. This could lead to a variety of adverse physiological effects. 

Mixing hallucinogens with other drugs can also cause you to risk your life. For example, mixing LSD and anti-depressants or other drugs can cause you to experience hyperthermia, suicidal thoughts, or psychosis. 

Hallucinogen Withdrawals

Some hallucinogens can cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms. For example, dependence on PCP can lead to the withdrawal symptoms of cravings, headaches, and extreme sweating. 

Although some hallucinogens can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms, the length of time in which a person experiences these symptoms is often very short. This is especially true if you flush the hallucinogens out of your body’s system through detox.  

Hallucinogens Treatment for Addiction

Addiction is not as common with hallucinogens as it is with other substances. As a result, you can often stop becoming dependent on hallucinogens by just forcing yourself to stop taking them cold turkey. This is the best bet for psilocybin addiction treatment. 

Although hallucinogen addiction is not as common, it is important to note, though that when it does develop it can be severe. That is why you should not be ashamed to seek hallucinogens addiction treatment if you need it. For those that do need hallucinogen treatment for addiction, inpatient rehab is your best bet.

Sana Lake Recovery Center Is Here for You

As the leading recovery center in the midwest, Sana Lake Recovery Center is here for you anytime you need addiction treatment. With individualized inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs for men and women of every age group, there is no shortage of what we can assist you with. Whether you are seeking addiction treatment for drugs, alcohol, or a mixture of the two, we have treatment programs for you.

To learn more about Sana Lake and the services that we provide, contact us today.

Article Reviewed by David Sherman, MD

David Sherman, MDDavid Sherman, MD is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (FASAM) and board certified in Addiction Medicine with the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is a native Missourian and graduated medical school at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Dr. Sherman completed a two-year fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He leads a highly trained staff of master level certified addiction professionals. Men and women from all over Missouri and the United States come to Sana Lake Recovery Center to get the care they need and deserve.