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People take hallucinogenic substances to escape reality or to try and seek spiritual revelations through it, as some mistakenly tend to believe. Known to be among the oldest known group of drugs, hallucinogens are found in plants, fungi or are synthetically produced in illegal laboratories.

Types of hallucinogens include mushrooms, peyote, ecstasy, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ketamine, dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and phencyclidine (PCP). Most hallucinogens are listed as Schedule I drugs by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) meaning that they have a high potential for abuse and allow for no accepted medicinal use. But the delusions that accompany different types of hallucinogens can quickly worsen and lead individuals down a dangerous path, obstructed by health detriments and winding into suicidal ideations.

Though it can be extremely tough to quit a hallucinogen addiction, treatment at an all-inclusive, accredited hallucinogens addiction treatment center can help one overcome their addiction and lead the road to recovery. Sovereign Health of Arizona provides evidence-based treatment options for hallucinogens within our comprehensive and customizable recovery rehab facility for women. Providing each of our clients’ evidence-based treatments clinically proven to be effective, our team of trained professionals provides each of our female patients with individualized care in a private, caring and tranquil environment.

Hallucinogen abuse

Hallucinogens are mostly known for causing delusions as well as visual and auditory hallucinations. The drugs fall somewhere in between sedatives and stimulants, with properties of each. Hallucinogen users generally seek a sense of introspection or heightened understanding, but they can sometimes experience the opposite effect: intense anxiety and nightmarish delusions. In 2016, an estimated 1.4 million people or 0.5 percent of the population (aged 12 or older), an estimated 114,000 adolescents (aged 12 to 17) and 668,000 young adults (aged 18 to 25) were current users of hallucinogens.

Coming in a variety of forms, hallucinogens are typically taken orally or can be smoked. Some of the most commonly abused hallucinogens among students include hallucinogenic mushrooms, MDMA (ecstasy), and LSD. Psilocybin (mushrooms) and mescaline (peyote) induce effects similar to LSD. Mushrooms are usually ingested after being cured or ground into a pill, whereas mescaline is cut into dried slices of peyote cacti or pressed into a tablet form

Ecstasy (MDMA) can produce hallucinatory effects in higher dosages, although it is primarily used as an entactogen or empathogen, a class of drugs with the ability to reduce social anxiety by inducing empathy and a sense of connectedness with others. Although deaths due to ecstasy are rare, past deaths have been preceded by hyperthermia, water poisoning (due to over-hydration in anticipation of hyperthermia), and accidental deaths

PCP or phencyclidine, a type of synthetic dissociative drug, causes distortions in a person’s sensory perceptions, consciousness, memory and motor activity, and produces feelings of detachment from one’s body and the surrounding environment. When taken in higher dosages, PCP puts users in a trance-like state. Relatively unpredictable in its effects, PCP can either cause users to become incredibly detached or animated, sometimes feeling invincible or that they possess extraordinary strength.

DMT is quite possibly the most powerful known psychedelic compound, producing fully immersive experiences marked by a complete loss of connection to the outside world. The drug is derived from the ayahuasca plant that is native to Amazonian regions of South America.

Hallucinogen abuse: Signs and symptoms

Once abused, hallucinogens can lead to sensory, physiological and psychological problems. Following are some common effects of hallucinogen abuse.

  • Aggression
  • A floating sensation
  • Blurred vision
  • Colorful hallucinations that may last for hours
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Dilated pupils (except for PCP)
  • Distortions in physical senses and perceptions
  • Dizziness
  • Euphoria
  • Exaggerated emotions
  • False feelings of power or safety
  • Inability to perform complex tasks like driving or operating machinery
  • Imperviousness to pain
  • Lack of control of body movements
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep problems
  • Paranoia
  • Perception of bright lights and color
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Salivation or dry mouth
  • Shaking hands and feet
  • Sweating or chills
  • Tingling fingers or toes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Uncontrolled laughter
  • Weakness

Hallucinogen abuse: Red flags

A diverse group of drugs that can alter one’s perception feelings, or thoughts, certain hallucinogens can be addictive and can interfere with the brain chemicals responsible for brain functions concerning memory, sleep, body temperature and pain perception. Following are some common warning signs of hallucinogens abuse:

  • Brain damage
  • Bad trips – fright and panic instead of the normal sensation of euphoria
  • Convulsions
  • Flashbacks
  • Psychiatric illness
  • Memory problems

Inside the body

Most hallucinogens work by interrupting the interaction of nerve cells and serotonin – a component in directing behavior, emotions, perception and regulatory systems. In fact, the structure of a hallucinogen resembles serotonin.

PCP acts through glutamate – a brain receptor responsible for pain perception, responses to environmental cues, learning and memory. The cause of a “bad trip” remains mysterious. The completely opposite reaction to the drug doesn’t appear to be relative to the amount consumed.

Due to the low rate of overdoses, the majority of deaths related to hallucinogen abuse result from reckless behavior prompted by delusions. For example, ecstasy can produce a feeling of floating or flying, sometimes causing people to leap from high areas to the ground. There is evidence that hallucinogens change the personalities of some and completely alter their senses.

Getting help

While some hallucinogens can be addictive and may cause its users to develop tolerance, at the root of hallucinogen abuse is a psychological need to escape, a mental thirst for more. If a woman has an addiction to hallucinogens, it’s time to get her help before permanent damage sets in. Those suffering from hallucinogen addiction should seek out a professionally monitored hallucinogen detox treatment at certified hallucinogen detox centers.

A comprehensive treatment for hallucinogen addiction involves medically assisted detox program followed by intense behavioral therapies. While a supervised detoxification treatment helps flush out the toxins and deal with the withdrawal symptoms, addiction treatment therapies help the user learn to live without drugs.

Sovereign Health of Arizona provides restorative cognition modalities of treatment and brain wellness techniques as part of our holistic recovery. We offer several levels of care and what distinguishes our recovery is our belief that not all patients require the same level of care and treatment and that lasting wellness is based on tailor-fit treatment.

Why choose Sovereign Health?

If you or someone you know is experiencing withdrawal symptoms of hallucinogens, we can help. An exclusive substance abuse rehab center for women, Sovereign’s treatment center in Chandler, Arizona, provides a safe and secure location for female patients with substance abuse problems related to hallucinogens, alcohol, and other drugs as well as mental health disorders and co-occurring conditions. Sovereign Health of Arizona places special emphasis on treating patients with trauma with a range of therapies.

We are a licensed treatment facility to treat mental health issues and all related manifestations. A women-only rehab facility, Sovereign Health of Arizona provides an individualized, holistic combination of behavioral therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), neurofeedback and eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to all those who seek its assistance.

In addition to clinically proven treatments and therapies, Sovereign Health of Arizona provides its clients with experiential therapies including yoga, equine, art and music therapy, meditation and exercise to help patients identify trigger points and help them recover from addiction. At Sovereign Health, we provide patients with a residential rehab in a safe, supportive, and trigger-free environment where they can focus on their recovery.

Sovereign’s women’s rehab center accepts most major health insurance plans and offers financing options through My Treatment Lender, making recovery affordable. To know more about our evidence-based hallucinogens addiction treatment programs or to locate the finest hallucinogen detox centers, near you, please call our admission specialists at our 24/7 helpline number. You can even chat online with our representative for any further assistance.

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