The term “hallucinogens” refers to a broad range of substances, both synthetic and naturally occurring, that cause visual and auditory hallucinations, feelings of euphoria and disconnectedness. Hallucinogens can be divided into classic hallucinogens, which include synthetic substances like LSD, dissociative substances such as PCP, and psychedelics such as “magic mushrooms,” peyote and mescaline.
Hallucinogen use has steadily gained in popularity over the last few decades. In 2021, 8% of young adults reported past-year hallucinogen use, representing an all-time high since the category was first surveyed in 1988. By comparison, in 2016, 5% of young adults reported past-year hallucinogen use, and in 2011, only 3% reported use. While addiction and overdose is more likely with dissociative drugs such as PCP that can cause seizures, coma and death, all hallucinogens can cause serious medical emergencies and fatalities.
If you engage in recreational use of hallucinogens on a regular basis, you should know that prolonged use can result in an increased tolerance, psychological dependence, detrimental effects to your social life and long-term damage to your mind and body. Have hope. The addiction recovery specialists at ARC are here to remind you that it’s never too late to seek help for your addiction.
Hallucinogenic substances alter both your mood and your perception of reality. While they can provide you with feelings of euphoria, peacefulness or a sense of invincibility, they also come with a wide range of detrimental effects attached.
It should be noted that while some hallucinogens don’t carry the same risk of physical dependency that substances like opioids do, increased hallucinogen use leads to an increase in tolerance, which can lead to a greater level of consumption. There is also a risk of psychological dependence, which can result in long-term effects on your health and psychosocial wellbeing.
In the short term, repeated hallucinogen use causes:
- Rapid increase in heart rate
- Altered sensory perceptions (especially visual)
- Increased blood pressure
- Labored breathing
- Dry mouth
- Lack of coordination
- Panic and paranoia
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
The true danger with prolonged use of hallucinogens is the chance that you will develop psychosis or experience flashbacks. Psychosis is a general term for persistent mental issues such as paranoia, fear or confusion which may persist even when you are not under the influence of the hallucinogen. A flashback occurs when you experience altered sensory perception outside of intoxication. Both can affect your day-to-day interactions with others and your personal safety.
You don’t have to let an addiction to hallucinogens control your life any further. Authentic Recovery Center is here to help you on your road to recovery. We combine evidence-based, trauma-informed therapeutic practices in a safe and welcoming environment to help you overcome physical and psychological dependence on drugs and alcohol. For help with living sober, please reach out to us today.