Hallucinogen abuse may not lead to a traditional physical addiction, but it still has short and long term side effects that can cause physical withdrawal symptoms; these make abstaining from hallucinogens without professional help extremely difficult.
According to the National Library of Medicine, both synthetic and natural hallucinogens have the same effects on the mind and pose the same dangers to the user if treatment is not applied. Treatment can offer many ways of easing the process of withdrawal and teach the abuser how to maintain their recovery long after treatment is over.
What follows are a few reasons why anyone who abuses hallucinogens should seek treatment right away.
If you or someone you know is suffering from hallucinogen abuse or addiction and needs treatment, please call 800-592-1193; speak with a representative who can help.
Professional Treatment Basics
Hallucinogens lack the expected physical components of addiction and cannot be easily treated with medications, so the treatment process is psychologically-based. Often the user will experience schizophrenic behaviors and will be treated with a series of therapies that are designed to:
- Target the main reason behind the use
- Reverse the behaviors that led to the abuse
- Correct the behaviors that are not easily reversed
- Show the user how to live without the drug
Standard hallucinogen treatment methods include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Cognitive therapy
- Support group interaction
- Continued access to resources outside of treatment
Hallucinogens are often best treated through inpatient care, as the effects of their usage can be unpredictable and require round-the-clock care. The time it will take to recover largely depends on the severity of the effects and how the person responds to treatment. Due to a lack of a physical component to their addiction, most users of hallucinogens will not easily relapse as they do not have the typical cravings associated with relapse.
Why Treatment Is Necessary
The effects of hallucinogens often increase with each usage and can cause some serious side effects. For many, tolerance will require a higher dosage in order for any effects to be experienced. This may lead to an overdose, which for hallucinogens is localized in the brain, rather than in the body.
Other severe side effects include:
- Speech problems
- Memory loss
During treatment, these symptoms can be reversed. However, the longer a person puts off treatment, the more severe these issues will become.
Another reason to seek treatment is that it will help manage the persistent psychosis—including hallucinations and flashbacks—that occurs during recovery. These instances are common and treatment will often teach patients how to recognize and cope with flashbacks and psychosis.
The withdrawal process for hallucinogens can cause a person’s symptoms to worsen momentarily before they fade. In some cases, those in hallucinogen withdrawal may experience delusions that cause them to both intentionally and accidentally harm themselves. This is why treatment should be carried out by trained medical professionals, as they are well versed in how to keep patients and others safe during withdrawal.
What Will Happen If Treatment Is Not Done?
In addition to the worsening of side effects, lack of treatment can cause permanent and irreversible damage to your brain.
Continually interrupting the brain’s normal function can cause it to stop completely or severely warp. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, this warping can lead to an overdose, which is rare but possible with hallucinogens. Overdoses usually result in severe irreversible brain damage, the risk of which increases drastically the longer a person goes without treatment.
Without treatment, the brain and nerve damage caused by extended hallucinogen use may lead to:
- Brain tissue loss
Professional treatment programs can be a vital first step in the recovery process, and getting that help as soon as possible could save a life.
For more information about treatment options for hallucinogen abuse and addiction, please call 800-592-1193.
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