Hallucinogens are psychoactive drugs that distort the way a person perceives reality, time, space, motion, or self. They primarily act on the brain and central nervous system to disrupt the interaction of nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin which controls perception, behavior, mood, hunger, body temperature, muscle control, and sensory perceptions.
Types of Hallucinogens
Hallucinogens are found in plants and fungi or they may be synthetically produced by clandestine laboratories. Divided into three categories, there are psychedelics such as LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms), and PCP which cause sensations to appear unreal and sometimes, frightening. There are dissociatives such as Ketamine, PCP, DXM, and Salvia which cause the user to feel distant or disconnected from reality and then, there are deliriants which includes Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and dimenhydrinate (Dramamine).
Hallucinogens are technically, not considered to be physically addictive but they do alter functions in the brain and affect the central nervous system which can cause the user to become physically dependent or psychologically addicted to them. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “people report using hallucinogenic drugs for more social or recreational purposes, including to have fun, help them deal with stress, or enable them to enter into what they perceive as a more enlightened sense of thinking or being.” The use of any hallucinogen can be dangerous and the abuse continues to increase, despite the physical and psychological risks. There is no specific dose that has the same effect on every person and addicts have unpredictable results every time they use.
Ten Signs You Need Addiction Treatment
Hallucinogens often bring about pleasurable changes in moods and behaviors that reinforce the temptations to use but, when you experience negative results and continue to use hallucinogens, you need addiction treatment. The following are ten signs you need addiction treatment:
- You obsess over and compulsively use hallucinogens
- You use hallucinogens to enjoy activities or events
- You use hallucinogens to elevate your mood or to enhance performance
- You have severe depression after using and when not using
- You have overdosed or suffered negative results such as acute anxiety, paranoia or other psychosis from using hallucinogens
- You have found yourself committing unethical or immoral acts to obtain or use hallucinogens
- You have engaged in risky behaviors such unsafe sex, or driving while under the influence of hallucinogens
- You believe that in order to feel normal and well you needed to use hallucinogens
- You use hallucinogens to avoid relationships or emotions
- You have attempted to quit using hallucinogens, unsuccessfully
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