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Common Effects of Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens have been used for religious and spiritual ceremonies for thousands of years. In modern times, they are primarily used to “enhance” the experience of young people attending concerts, dance clubs, or parties. Their long history contributes to the perception that hallucinogens are safe and fun.

However, there are very real consequences to using any substance that fundamentally changes your brain chemistry. What are the potentially dangerous common effects of hallucinogens?

Short Term Effects

The dangerous and potentially deadly effects of hallucinogen abuse can be divided into two categories. These are short and long term effects. Short term effects are usually noticed immediately following hallucinogen use and have the greatest potential for imminent danger. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these effects include:


Hallucinogen abuse can cause severe depression.

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Lack of motor control
  • Hallucinations
  • Mixed perceptions (hearing scents, feeling colors)
  • Increased body temperature and excessive sweating
  • Dehydration
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Heart palpitations or arrhythmia
  • Inability to keep track of time
  • Blackouts
  • Out-of-body experiences

These effects not only hold the potential to kill you, they put you into situations where you are at disastrously high risk of sexual assault or accidental injury. As if this wasn’t bad enough, without treatment you run the risk of falling victim to the long term effects, as well.

Long Term Effects

While the short term effects are obvious in their potential for imminent danger, they are not the only negative aspects to using hallucinogens. There are also several long term effects that can affect every aspect of your day to day life. Long term effects of hallucinogen use include:

  • Difficulty with speech and understanding spoken words
  • Significant memory loss and difficulty remembering new things
  • Anxiety and panic disorders
  • Psychosis (the inability to recognize reality)
  • Increased risk of developing a personality disorder
  • Severe depression and suicidal tendencies
  • Extreme weight loss and associated health problems
  • Chronic insomnia

These effects can last for months, years, or even the rest of your life, and may occur after only a single use of hallucinogens. To avoid all of the potentially life-threatening effects of hallucinogen abuse, call 800-411-9312 (Who Answers?) and end your substance abuse today.

Persistent Psychosis and HPPD

In reality, there are two other possible long term effects to hallucinogen use. These are perhaps the most frightening of all of the possible effects. These are persistent psychosis and hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder (HPPD).

Persistent psychosis occurs when a psychotic state brought on by the changes that hallucinogen abuse causes in the brain becomes permanent. HPPD is a little bit different. According to the National Library of Medicine, former hallucinogen abusers have randomly occurring “flashbacks” to times that they used hallucinogens, complete with hallucinations and all of the effects possible.

Both of these potential effects can be permanent, and will keep you from living a normal life with out the proper type of treatment.

How Treatment Helps

There is only one way to reduce your risk of suffering any of the negative effects, either short or long term, related to hallucinogen abuse and addiction. That is to stop your hallucinogen use and undergo treatment that addresses all aspects of addiction, substance abuse, and its possible physical and mental consequences.

Only professionally trained addiction specialists are qualified to determine the course of action that best fits your recovery needs and goals. Call us at 800-411-9312 (Who Answers?) today and allow our dedicated counselors assist you in taking the first step to a drug free life.

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