People take hallucinogenic substances to escape their reality or to try and seek spiritual revelations through it.

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, allowing 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.

Sovereign Health of Arizona provides treatment options for hallucinogens within our comprehensive and customizable recovery for women.

Abusing Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are most 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.

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 tablet form

Dimethyltryptamine (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 native to Amazonian regions of South America

Ecstasy (MDMA) can produce hallucinatory effects in higher dosages, although it is primarily used as an entactogen or empathogen, a class of drugs that refers to their 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 puts users in a trance-like state in higher dosages. 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.

Signs and Symptoms 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, of perceptions of objects
  • 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

Red Flags of Abuse

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

Hallucinogens Inside the Body

There is evidence that hallucinogens change the personalities of some and completely alter their senses.

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 making its mimicking abilities more subversively than other drugs.

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 due solely to hallucinogens 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.

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Getting Help for Abuse

At the base 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 rehabilitative help before permanent damage sets in.

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 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. Sovereign’s treatment center in Chandler, Arizona, provides a safe and secure location for women 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 Joint Commission accredited, and licensed to treat mental health issues and all related manifestations.

Sovereign Health of Arizona includes alternative therapies into recovery, such as: yoga, equine, art and music therapy, meditation and exercise. We provide patients with a residential rehab in a safe and supportive environment where they can focus on their recovery.

Sovereign’s women’s center accepts most major health insurance plans and offers financing through My Treatment Lender, making recovery affordable. Call our 24/7 helpline to learn more about our programs for hallucinogens addiction.

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