Hallucinogens are split into two categories: classic hallucinogens and dissociative drugs. Both kinds produce side effects like hallucinations or sensations and images of things that seem real but aren’t. Additionally, both hallucinogens and dissociative drugs can cause an out-of-body-like experience that makes you feel as if you’re disconnected from or don’t have control of your body. Even though some people believe these drugs have benefits, our Milford treatment center is aware of hallucinogens’ effects and how dangerous they really are.
Various types of dissociative drugs or hallucinogens can produce similar side effects. There are also some common hallucinogenic plants that these drugs are derived from, such as peyote (Lophophora williamsii), salvia (Salvia divinorum), ololiuqui (Turbina corymbosa), and ebena (Virola theiodora). Also known as magic mushrooms or shrooms, certain kinds of fungi and mushrooms can also produce hallucinogenic side effects.
Some common types of classic hallucinogens include:
Common types of dissociative drugs include:
What many people don’t believe or fail to realize is that hallucinogens are addictive. Many are either illegal or controlled prescription drugs because of their potential for abuse and unpredictable side effects. There is little research on hallucinogens’ effects, meaning their duration and severity are difficult to track. However, if you’ve become dependent on these substances, the medical detox treatment we offer at Banyan Delaware can help flush it from your system and assist in physical recovery.
Research suggests that hallucinogens work by acting on neural circuits in the brain that utilizes the neurotransmitter serotonin to produce perception or mind-altering side effects. Specifically, the side effects of hallucinogens most commonly occur in the prefrontal cortex and other regions that regulate arousal and physiological responses to stress, panic, and anxiety.
The effects of hallucinogens usually begin within 20 to 90 minutes after use and can last as long as 12 hours. Some short-term side effects include:
Hallucinogens’ short-term effects vary depending on the type of drug used and the dosage taken. Dissociative drugs are also often used in conjunction with other substances like alcohol, which can also affect users’ experiences.
Hallucinogen users can quickly develop a high degree of tolerance to certain drugs, meaning repeated drug use requires increasingly larger doses to produce the same high or similar side effects. The use of dissociative drugs can also produce tolerance to other drugs in the same class. However, hallucinogens can only produce tolerance to drugs that act directly on the same receptors in the brain. Even so, these drugs are not safe nor healthy.
The long-term effects of hallucinogens are most commonly hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) – also referred to as flashbacks – and persistent psychosis.
Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder causes a person to relive the visual aspects of an experience caused by hallucinogens. These relived experiences are also referred to as flashbacks. Common symptoms include:
The hallucinations caused by HPPD are purely visual, but they can be annoying and even terrifying. Research on the duration of these symptoms is scarce.
Often called “split-brain,” persistent psychosis comes in many forms, the most common of them being schizophrenia. Symptoms of persistent psychosis include:
Flashbacks, “bad trips,” and other long-term effects of dissociative drugs and hallucinogens can occur within a few days, months, or years. These symptoms are often mistaken for other disorders like a stroke or brain tumor. HPPD and persistent psychosis are seen more often in people who have a history of mental illness but are not limited to these individuals.
Hallucinogen abuse often opens the door to harder drugs that can produce severe addictions and physical complications. If you or someone you know is battling drug or alcohol addiction, help is just a phone call away. Call our inpatient rehab in Delaware now at 888-280-4763 for more information.