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Flashbacks: How Common Are They and How Can I Avoid Them?

Though relatively uncommon, flashbacks can occur at any time in one’s hallucinogen abuse, and they can cause a number of severe issues. Professional treatment is often required for those who do experience flashbacks as a result of hallucinogen abuse. Call 800-411-9312 (Who Answers?) now to find treatment centers where you can recover from hallucinogen abuse and its effects.

The Occurrence of Flashbacks

According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) is the medical term for the syndrome associated with flashbacks. “HPPD episodes are ‘spontaneous repeated recurrences of some of the sensory distortions originally produced by LSD’” and other hallucinogen drugs.

Common sightings include visual disturbances like halos or trails on moving objects or movements in the peripheral vision.

In general, flashbacks are somewhat rare and unlikely to occur in most instances. It was even believed for many years that these issues would only happen when one had been abusing these drugs for a long time.

However, as stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, HPPD is “unpredictable and may happen more often than previously thought,” even after only abusing the drugs for a short time. In addition, it is currently known that flashbacks may occur along with persistent psychosis, another disorder caused by hallucinogen abuse.


Flashbacks can be a frightening experience.

Flashbacks can be frightening, severe, and uncomfortable, and while some may last for only a few minutes or hours, others may last for days or weeks. It can be very upsetting to experience this syndrome, which is why one should do all they can to avoid it.

How Can I Avoid the Experience of Flashbacks?

The easiest way to avoid the possibility of experiencing flashbacks is to stop abusing hallucinogenic drugs. The syndrome is unpredictable, and it can occur at any point in time during someone’s abuse of hallucinogens. Therefore, one must stop using these drugs in order to fully avoid the possibility of having flashbacks.

You can also attempt to manage your anxiety and the intake of anything that would heighten it. This includes caffeine and other substances that would make you more jittery or anxious. Those who struggle with anxiety disorders, depression, and other mental disorders in addition to their substance abuse may be more likely to experience these issues, so getting help for any co-occurring disorders is important too.

Essentially, though, there is no way to be certain that you can avoid experiencing flashbacks unless you stop your abuse of these drugs. If you are already having flashbacks, you will require professional treatment in order to learn to minimize and manage these issues until they begin to subside on their own.

Seek Help Now

If you are having flashbacks––or you think you may be likely to––seek treatment today. We can help you find a rehab center where you can be treated for your drug abuse, any side effects of it, and any co-occurring disorders you might have. Call 800-411-9312 (Who Answers?) now, and we will answer any questions you have about rehab before helping you find the right program for you.

How is HPPD Treated?

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed below, each of which is a paid advertiser:

ARK Behavioral Health

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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