The only surefire way to avoid any long-term side effects of hallucinogen use is to not take these drugs. Most hallucinogens are Schedule I substances, partially because of the severe effects they can cause, and using them (especially often) is very dangerous.
The Long-term Dangers of Abusing Hallucinogens
Hallucinogenic drugs are not safe to use recreationally. Because many of them are not addictive, some individuals believe they have no long-term side effects, but unfortunately, they can cause many lasting issues for those who abuse them, even just once.
According to the Administrative Office of the Courts of California, these can include:
- Severe, violent or hostile behavior that could lead to homicidal or suicidal thoughts and actions.
- Confusion and other effects that can lead to accidental deaths.
- The formation of severe depression or anxiety disorders.
- Impaired memory and concentration.
- Severe bad trips that can last a few hours or as long as several months.
- A decrease in motivation.
Any of these side effects can be long-term and extremely unpleasant, depending on the specific individual and their experience. Some hallucinogens can cause addiction while others may cause deadly overdose syndromes.
Even if you have used a hallucinogen before, there is no way of knowing how it will affect you the second time around and if it will cause severe side effects for which you may not have been prepared.
Avoiding Long-term Hallucinogen Side Effects
As stated previously, the only way to know for certain that you will not experience long-term side effects of hallucinogen abuse is to avoid the use of these substances as a recreational activity.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, “Many hallucinogens are Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act,” meaning they
- Have a high potential for abuse.
- Are not currently accepted for any medical use in treatment in the United States.
- Lack the accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
Many of the long-term effects listed above are likely to occur with frequent hallucinogen abuse, and even those that are rare (including flashbacks and persistent psychosis) can occur spontaneously with no discernible source causing them to occur in one individual but not another.
Abusing hallucinogens for recreation is dangerous, and the more you do it, the more problematic the results are likely to become.
There Is a Way…
You can avoid any more serious side effects from occurring by seeking treatment for your hallucinogen abuse. Even if you are not addicted to any of these drugs, it can be immensely helpful to you to attend a rehab program in a professional treatment facility. There, you can find out not only how your hallucinogen abuse has affected you––and put a stop to it––but also why you may have begun taking these drugs in the first place.
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