Are Hallucinogens Addictive?
Hallucinogens such as LSD, PCP and Peyote are widely abused drugs that cause dissociative behaviors and can lead to hallucinations, delusions and psychosis. Every case of hallucinogen abuse is different on both a user-by-user basis and on time-to-time basis. For instance, a user may experience a particular effect on a hallucinogen such as LSD one time and experience widely different effects the next time.
Many hallucinogens are addictive but not all of them. Some hallucinogens have yet to be studied enough to determine whether they really possess long-term addictive qualities or if they cause serious long-term side effects. The reaction that a user has to a particular hallucinogen can be altered based on the amount of the drug used, the environment in which the drug is used, the individual psychological well-being of the user and various other factors.
If you or someone you know is addicted to hallucinogens, call 800-411-9312 (Who Answers?) to get needed treatment help.
Types of Hallucinogens that May be Addictive
There are three umbrella categories that hallucinogenic drugs fall within. These categories include:
- Psychedelics such as LSD, Psilocybin, PCP and Peyote
- Dissociatives such as Ketamine and nitrous oxide
- Deliriants such as certain over the counter medications like Benadryl and Dramamine
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when hallucinogens are described the user is referring to the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD or Psilocybin (magic mushrooms). Dissociatives such as Ketamine actually do have a high potential for causing addiction but these drugs are not always considered hallucinogenic. The dissociative qualities of the drug can cause some to classify it as such but most people don’t think of a prescription medication such as Ketamine as an actual hallucinogen.
Is LSD Addictive?
LSD is actually not considered an addictive hallucinogen as it does not cause any distinct desire or craving to use after it has been abused. Addiction is the presence of physical or psychological dependence that develops as a result of having used a drug in repeat doses. While a user may take LSD in multiple instances, the ability for this drug to cause physical dependence or a psychological craving to continue using is typically not present.
This doesn’t mean that repeat use of LSD is not dangerous or that people should not be aware of the potential risks of using LSD. This drug can cause serious side effects and, if a user enjoys the time that they have while under the influence of LSD, they may be at increased risk of repeating the process of taking LSD and this can pose serious dangers. Unfortunately, using hallucinogens such as LSD can be highly unpredictable and this can quickly lead to serious danger.
Is PCP Addictive?
PCP was once an approved anesthetic that was discontinued in the 1960s because it caused patients to become irritable, delusional and irrational. This drug is addictive when the user repeatedly uses the substance. Unfortunately, PCP can cause serious mood disturbances and can cause major anxiety or panic attacks in those who abuse the drug.
Studies show that taking PCP repeatedly can cause intense cravings and compulsive behaviors associated with seeking PCP for additional use. Despite the severe consequences that may arise from abusing PCP, people who become addicted to the drug tend to overlook the problems and continue abusing the drug unless they get professional help.
Is Peyote Addictive?
Unfortunately, not enough research has been conducted to fully understand the effects of Peyote. The principle active ingredient in this cactus is mescaline which causes hallucinogenic effects and may lead to dissociative thoughts or behaviors. While there have been recent studies into the regular use of Peyote by Native Americans, these studies are not fully conclusive as to whether the drug will cause addiction. The study did find that Peyote abusers could experience flashbacks that may linger with the user for a period of days, weeks or even months following the last known use of the drug.
Is Psilocybin Addictive?
Psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, are often eaten for their LSD-like hallucinogenic qualities. These mushrooms can lead to a wide array of effects including an increased tolerance with repeat doses. Tolerance is one of the key signs of addiction and although there are no definitive studies that claim that psilocybin does actually lead to physical dependence, the presence of tolerance described in case reports does lead one to believe that this hallucinogenic drug is potentially addictive.
Taking mushrooms does pose another serious danger in addition to the potential for addiction; eating the wrong mushroom in an effort to get high may lead to poisoning. Many mushrooms are actually poisonous to eat and some users mistakenly take the wrong mushrooms in an effort to get high not realizing that they are eating a poisonous fungus.
For more information on hallucinogen addiction, or for help finding treatment that fits your needs, call 800-411-9312 (Who Answers?) .
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